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Gratitude Practices for Children & Families

July 3, 2023
This photo depicts one of many gratitude practices for children and families. Here we have an oblong, smooth white stone with the word gratitude painted on and it is surrounded by drawn smiley faces.

Even on the hardest of days, the warmth of your child’s smile and a bedtime snuggle give you something to be grateful for. You can share this feeling of appreciation with your entire family each day by starting gratitude practices with your children.

Introducing gratitude into our daily routines offers a myriad of benefits. For parents, it can bring a sense of peace, mindfulness, and a renewed appreciation for life’s blessings.

For children, understanding and expressing gratitude can enhance their emotional intelligence, boost their self-esteem, and foster a positive outlook on life.

Together, as a family, these practices can strengthen bonds, improve communication, and build a foundation of shared values and understanding.

Simple Gratitude Activities to Bond Families

Let’s look into a few engaging activities that both children and parents can enjoy, bringing the essence of gratitude into everyday life.

Gratitude Practices for Children

Gratitude Stones
Engage your little ones in a fun craft activity by finding smooth stones and letting them decorate them. Encourage them to choose a word or phrase that represents something they are grateful for. Throughout the process, take the time to discuss gratitude with your child, reinforcing its importance in their day-to-day life.

Gratitude Collage
Encourage your children to create a gratitude collage by cutting out pictures from magazines or printing out images that represent things they are grateful for. They can arrange these pictures on a poster board or in a scrapbook, adding captions or descriptions to each image. This visual representation of gratitude serves as a daily reminder of the things that bring joy and appreciation.

Gratitude Journal
Provide your children with a small notebook or journal where they can write or draw about something they are grateful for each day. Encourage them to be specific and descriptive, allowing them to explore their feelings and thoughts around gratitude. This practice helps them develop a habit of recognizing and expressing gratitude regularly.

Feel free to choose the activities that resonate with you and your children, and adapt them based on their age and interests. The key is to create opportunities for them to reflect on and appreciate the positive aspects of their lives.

Gratitude Practices for Parents

Morning Gratitude Routine
Consider incorporating a simple morning routine of jotting down a few things you’re grateful for. Focus on the people in your life, meaningful activities, cherished experiences, or any positive aspect that comes to mind. Keep it simple and make it a habit to repeat every morning. If this resonates with you, consider getting a dedicated journal to capture your daily expressions of gratitude.

Gratitude Walk
Take a mindful walk in nature and use this time to reflect on the things you are grateful for. Pay attention to the beauty around you, such as the sound of birds chirping, the scent of flowers, or the feeling of the sun on your skin. With each step, think about the things in your life that you appreciate and feel a sense of gratitude for. This practice can help you reconnect with nature and cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude.

Gratitude Letter
Take a moment to write a heartfelt letter expressing gratitude to someone who has had a positive impact on your life. It could be a family member, a friend, a mentor, or someone who has shown kindness to you. Share specific reasons why you are grateful for their presence in your life and how they have made a difference. Consider sending or personally delivering the letter to let them know how much they are appreciated.

By incorporating these activities into your routine, you can cultivate a deeper sense of gratitude and model it for your children. Remember, practicing gratitude is a continuous journey that can bring more joy, positivity, and connection to your life and those around you.

Gratitude Practices for the Family

Gratitude Jar
Start a gratitude jar together. Find a jar and, if you like, decorate it as a family. Each day, every member of the family writes down something they are grateful for on a small piece of paper and places it in the jar. Choose a special day, whether it’s at the end of the week or month, to gather as a family and read through the notes together. It’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all the things you are grateful for as a family unit.

Gratitude Wall
Designate a wall or a bulletin board in your home as a gratitude wall. Encourage family members to write or draw something they are grateful for on small colorful pieces of paper or sticky notes. They can attach their gratitude notes to the wall, creating a beautiful display of gratitude. Take some time each week to read through the notes as a family and reflect on the blessings and positive experiences shared.

Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Create a gratitude scavenger hunt for the whole family to participate in. Make a list of gratitude-themed items or experiences to find in your home, neighborhood, or even during family outings. These could be things like finding something in nature that brings joy, discovering a favorite family photo, or identifying acts of kindness. As you find each item, take a moment to express gratitude for it and discuss why it is meaningful to you. This activity not only encourages gratitude but also strengthens family bonds through shared experiences.

You can mix and match each of these activities so they will work for you and your family. 

So, what will you choose to do today to cultivate gratitude in your family’s life? Share your thoughts and experiences below.

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