Teaching gratitude to kids (Plus Free Gratitude Printable!)

Years ago, as my eldest daughter Jayda and I rode home in the car, I asked her, “What are you grateful for?”. She was just three years old at the time, which showed as she innocently responded, “What’s grateful for?” 

I had always taught her to practice good manners and give thanks in prayer, but up until that moment, I had never realized that I hadn’t introduced the idea of gratitude before. 

So how do you teach gratitude?

The Gratitude Jar

When I decided to teach Jayda the ins and outs of what it means to be grateful, I started with what she knew best – talking. I wanted these lessons to be simple and fun, so I grabbed some strips of construction paper and wrote questions like:

  • Who are you grateful for?
  • How can we show others we are thankful?
  • What dessert are you most thankful for?
  • Why is it nice to show our gratitude?

And so on.

I then placed the strips in a mason jar and began a little game with Jayda, where we each reached in, grabbed a strip, and asked the other the question. Her responses were so adorable that after dinner time, before stories, and by her bedside lamp, I recorded her as she spoke. 

Now, when I listen back to these recordings, my heart feels like it could burst! Seeing the ways in which she has grown and how grateful she has become makes me see that beginning this process at such an early age was entirely worth it!

There are many other ways we can teach our kids about gratitude, and I’ve listed a few below for you to try!

Gratitude Stones

The idea of this is to hide small, hand-decorated stones around your home. Each time a stone is found, the finder must state one thing they are grateful for. I love this idea because not only does it teach gratitude, it allows the kids to get crafty! So grab some rocks, a few colored paints, and unleash your inner artist!

Gratitude Bingo

It’s just like regular bingo, but instead of numbers, the cards are full of the things we can be grateful for. There’s no age requirement for this, so it’s the perfect way to teach gratitude to both young kids of any age over the Thanksgiving weekend!

Click here to grab your free Gratitude Bingo Card!

Conversations Over Dinner

Teaching your kids about gratitude can be as simple as a pre-dinner conversation. Simply go around the dinner table and get each person to state one thing they are grateful for. Done regularly, this is a fantastic way to teach your kids to be thankful and practice some family time!

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Stef says:

That was SO cute!!! She is just precious! And what a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Thank you so much 🙂

Sonia says:

CUTE!!! What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration Jenn!

Thank you! Let me know if you try it!

Kiwi says:

This is such a GREAT idea! I don’t have kids yet, but this is amazing! How cute and yes teaching your children about gratitude will grow them up into lovely individuals! Great parenting!!

Thank you so much! And I love how you’re planning for your future babies. That was so me 5 years ago!

So cute. Reminds me of my little ones. Great job on the video. It looks like a commercial.

Aww, thank you! Our kiddos are very similar! Love capturing them “in motion” when I can.

Quiana says:

Awww what cuties and the making of an awesome tradition!

She is adorable!!! I loved the video! That is something I want to learn to do, now all I need is software, anything you recommend?

I use Final Cut Pro, but you can make something simple like this using iMovie (if you have a Mac) perhaps Windows Movie Maker if not. I have used my iPhone for some stuff like this in the past too.. it’s nice HD quality, and simple enough for something like this! I love making videos so let me know if you have nay other questions!

Cynthia says:

I absolutely love this idea. If you make a video every year you are really going to see your kiddos growth. Your babies are absolutely adorable!!! 🙂

Thank you so much! I love how you can see how much they love each other in this one. I have a feeling next years may not be quite as friendly.

Renata Calixto says:

That is just TOO CUTE.

She is gorgeous! 🙂

Amanda says:

Pretty sure my ovaries just exploded. They are seriously some of the cutest kids EVER. Her little voice is just precious.

Jasmine says:

This is an awesome idea! And my favorite part is “he says he’s thankful for his big sister” of course! 😀 You have such a lovely family!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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