Want a fun way to do gratitude activities this Thanksgiving season? This gratitude game is one of the most fun ways to encourage gratitude and thankfulness with your family throughout the season!
Simply create a punch game filled with gratitude activities that your family can do together and watch as your family realizes how fun showing gratitude can be!
Gratitude Game to Teach Gratitude
I still can’t believe November is just a few days away. With November comes the beginning of gratitude season where you’ll see all sorts of Thanksgiving crafts, gratitude activities, and lists of things people are thankful for.
I love gratitude season because everyone tends to be just a little nicer and honestly more grateful for the blessings they have.
One of the things I’ve learned from having kids is that teaching them gratitude is harder than just telling them to say thank you! The three best ways I’ve found to really teach gratitude is to:
- Set an example. Make sure your children see you showing gratitude to others.
- Find ways to show gratitude together. Encourage gratitude through family activities.
- Make it fun.
Keeping those three keys in mind, I’ve created this Gratitude Game, a game for families to use throughout the month of November to turn gratitude into a fun family activity.
What is the The Gratitude Game
This gratitude game is a gratitude inspired version of my ultra popular DIY advent calendar (aka punch game) but instead of having treats and presents in the game, there are gratitude activities!
The idea is that every day you punch out one of the cups and find a little treat and a gratitude activity in it. You do the gratitude activity and get the treat once you complete it!
It’s simple to make, fun to use, and can create some of the best family memories ever!
Or make it for families to use on Thanksgiving day along with any of these Thanksgiving games. Just have one person punch each card and answer a gratitude question instead of doing a gratitude activity!
- Tissue paper – you’ll need one square of tissue paper for each cup that you use. You can typically get eight squares per each sheet of tissue paper. I like to use fall or Thanksgiving colored tissue paper for this game.
- Cups – I typically use plastic cups (like Red Solo cups but fall colors) but you can use reusable cups as well, they’re just more expensive. I used 24 because I wanted to do one every day leading up to Thanksgiving, but you could easily do more or less – your choice!
- Poster board – you just need one regular size poster board that you can stand up or lean up against something. I’ve also seen people use the presentation boards that have three sides.
- Rubber bands – make sure they’re big enough to fit around the lips of the plastic cups.
- Letters – I used large sticker letters to make mine, but you could easily just write the words using a permanent marker or skip this step all together.
- Gratitude activities – you can put your own activities in the cups OR you can download the free printable list at the bottom of this post.
How to make a Gratitude Game
1 – Make Your Punch Board
To make your gratitude game, you have to first start by making the actual punch board.
Lay out your cups on a white board to figure out your design and the number of cups you need. I did 24 because I wanted one for every day through Thanksgiving and 23 wasn’t an even number on my board!
If you’ll have more people playing participating you have space for on your foam board, no worries. Just make some extra sets of cups all stocked with goodies and ready to go. Then when people punch out cups, just slide the pre-filled cups inside of the emptied ones. It’s a quick hack for using one punch board for 24+ people!
Once you’ve figured out your design, hot glue the bottom of a cup and place it hot glue side down on the board at the bottom of your design.
Keep going until you’ve added all of your cups to the board in your preset design. Try to keep them a little spaced out to make adding the tissue paper on top a little easier.
2 – Fill Your Cups
The second step is to fill all of those cups with either gratitude activities (if you’re doing this as a month-long activity) or gratitude themed questions (if you’re doing it for a Thanksgiving activity) along with some sort of treat.
You can download a free printable list of gratitude cards at the bottom of this post. If you need gratitude question ideas, check out this Skittles gratitude game.
I typically like to put some sort of treat or prize (cash and gift cards work great for adults) as well. If you’re doing this with gratitude activities, enjoy the treat together after you complete the activity.
If you’re doing this with gratitude questions, have people answer the question then get the prize that goes along with it! It just makes people more excited about participating, but it totally optional!
3 – Cover Your Cups
Lastly you need to cover your cups so that there is something to punch through. Without the punch, there’s really no game!
- Start by folding your tissue paper in half and cutting it in half.
- Then fold what you just cut in half and cut it again so you have four squares of tissue paper for every individual piece of tissue paper you started with.
- Place a square of tissue paper over a cup.
- Wrap a rubber band around the tissue paper and cup to secure it to the cup. This is much easier to do if you keep a bit of space between your cups as I mentioned earlier.
- Repeat with all of your tissue paper and all of your cups until all of the cups are covered.
4 – Add the Title
If you want to add your Gratitude Game title, you can do it now! I just added the sticker letters above the cups once the cups were glued on!
How to play The Gratitude Game
I’ve mentioned a couple of times how to use this gratitude game but in case you missed it, here are two different options for using what you just created!
1 – Punch Out a Daily Gratitude Activity
Create your gratitude game before November 1st and every morning let one of your kids (or family members) punch out one cup.
Each cup should have some sort of gratitude activity (like baking cookies for a neighbor, writing a thank you letter, etc.) and a treat inside.
Once they punch the cup, they should read what the activity is. Make a plan to do it together and then you can either enjoy the treat together after you punch out the cup or after you complete the activity.
Complete the activity together! Then punch out another cup the next day and continue until you run out of cups!
If you don’t want to use my downloadable list of activities below, you can get some great ideas on this gratitude activity printout too!
2 – Punch a Gratitude Question on Thanksgiving
Bring out this punch gratitude game on Thanksgiving day and instead of just asking what people are thankful for, have them punch a cup to find a specific gratitude question and treat inside!
Once they answer the question, they can enjoy the treat! If you need some gratitude questions, try one of these:
- What’s one thing you’re most thankful for this year?
- Share a specific moment from the past year that filled you with gratitude.
- What’s one lesson you’ve learned in the past year you’re grateful for?
- What are three things you’re grateful for right now?
- What’s something you can do in the coming year to show more gratitude?
- Who is someone you’re grateful for and why?
- What’s something you can do to show someone you appreciate them?
- If you could tell anyone thank you for something, who would you thank?
- How can you express gratitude on a daily basis?
- What’s a small act of kindness someone did for you recently that you’re grateful for?
Let everyone take a chance punching out a cup, answering the question, and enjoying the treat inside!
More Thanksgiving Activities
If you’re looking for even more Thanksgiving activities, try one of these! They are some of my personal favorite ways to enjoy more gratitude throughout the holiday season!
- Gratitude Jar Ideas – tons of different ideas to create gratitude jars and boxes with your family!
- Thanksgiving dice game – pass this around the Thanksgiving table for a fun way to ask gratitude questions!
- Thanksgiving activities – tons of great activities to do on and before Thanksgiving!
- Thanksgiving gift tags – make some of your favorite Thanksgiving treats and hand out with these tags!
- Random acts of kindness cards – print out these cards and use them to add some kindness this year!
Get the Free gratitude cards
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