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Thanksgiving: Ideas for teaching kids gratitude

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Thanksgiving is almost upon us! Not only is it the day you fill your stomachs with turkey, mashed potatoes, and apple pie, we can show our gratitude all month long. Here are some ideas for celebrating life and love.

  • Just say THANKS: Voicing your gratitude is the first step in becoming a great role model for your kids, family and friends. Share all the things that you’re thankful for on Facebook, Twitter, and in your own home. Send thank-you cards or have your children draw pictures and send them to loved ones. We love this inspiring video of a woman who took it one step further.

  • Share appreciation. A fun activity to do for Thanksgiving  is take a piece of paper for each person in the house and write down something you love about them, and give an example. For instance, I wrote that I  love how giving and caring my friend is for others. She saves soda cans in order to give to her son. When they have enough cans to turn in for money, they donate it to a local animal shelter.
  • Gratitude Challenges. Pinterest is flooded with ideas on daily gratitude prompts and printables. November may have already started but it’s never too late to be thankful.contagious
  • Gratitude tree. One of our annual traditions is to make a gratitude tree (or basket) out of poster board. We spend all month long posting “leaves” on the branches as we share our gratitudes. You could also have your family keep a Gratitude Journal or a Gratitude Jar that the children fill all month long and on Thanksgiving, you read it together.
  • Gratitude Pictionary or Charades! Each person takes turns acting out or drawing out what they are most thankful for.
  • What are your most thankful for, from A-Z? Fill this out with your family and your answers will range from serious to
  • Send a holiday care package or letter to a soldier. Many men and women in the military are out of the country and away from their families for Thanksgiving. Any Soldier is an organization that has provided care packages to over 96,000 service members. Check out their website at to see the extensive list of popular items requested my soldiers overseas and thank them for their hard work and dedication to serving our country.
  • Serve Thanksgiving Dinner at a Homeless Shelter. Many donate food to the homeless for the holidays. Lend your hands at a local homeless shelter to prepare, cook, and serve a tasty meal for those in need. To find a shelter in your area, visit this searchable directory at Call your local homeless shelter to see if they’re still accepting volunteers. If not, this deed is something to keep in mind for next year. All shelters are accepting food donations, which could help all those in need too!

What are some of the ways you celebrate Thanksgiving?

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