Tips to Help Teach Gratitude

Learning to be grateful for the things and the people that surround you can impact your life greatly. Simply giving thanks can change your life. It is essential to instill in your children the significance of gratitude and how important it is to continually appreciate everything they have in their lives. Special projects, such as the one's below, can give our kids a time to pause, think about all that they have, and give thanks.

Here are some ideas for making gratitude a regular habit: 

Learn how to use Gratitude Stones to cultivate a sense of gratitude, an important social-emotional skill that can increase happiness and improve health.  
Make Gratitude Stones!

Supplies Needed:

  • stones (washed and dried)
  • tissue paper
  • scissors
  • glossy Mod Podge
  • paintbrushes


  1. Cut out a small tissue paper heart with scissors.
  2. Place the heart on the surface of a clean stone. Using a paintbrush, lightly spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over the tissue paper and top half of the rock. Allow this layer to dry undisturbed.
  3. Flip the rock over and spread Mod Podge over the bottom half. Allow this layer to dry undisturbed.


The gratitude stone is a physical reminder to remember what you're thankful for! There are many ways to use them.

Pass a gratitude stone around the dinner table before eating. When holding the stone, you must share something or someone you feel thankful for.

Thinking and talking about the good things in our life can calm down angry or sad feelings and build resiliency. Teach your child how to hold the stone in their hands and list everything they feel thankful for.

Pass your child the gratitude stone and ask him, “What was the best part of your day?” Reply with your answer when he passes the stone back to you.

Create extra stones and share them with the people you feel thankful for! Include a little note expressing your gratitude.

An attitude of gratitude is contagious! Scatter gratitude stones around your community and neighborhood to spread joy to others. Finding tiny hearts on stones is sure to bring a smile to other people’s faces!


Gratitude Tree Activity- tree with leaves hanging
Make a Gratitude Tree!

Raising grateful children is harder and harder in today's world. There are so many advertisements directed at our children telling them all the things they need to have that they don't already own. If we aren't careful, we can focus on the things we don't have rather than be grateful for all that we do have. Special projects such as this Gratitude Tree Activity can give our kids a time to pause, think about all that they have that they normally take for granted, and give thanks.

Supplies Needed:

  • tree branches
  • small rocks
  • 1 large wide mouth mason jar
  • green card stock
  • pencil
  • single hole punch
  • twine
  • scissors


1. Pour the rocks into the large mouth mason jar and insert the branches into the jar.
2. Use the scissors to cut the green card stock into leaf shapes.
3. Use the single hole punch to punch a hole in each leaf.
4. Allow the kids to write what they are grateful for on each leaf.




5 Simple Steps to Help Your Child Start a Gratitude Journal *Love this Thanksgiving activity for kids. Great list of book suggestions too!

Use a Gratitude Journal!

  1. Select a well-made journal.
  2. Get your kids a fun writing utensil (i.e. gel pens, markers, etc.)
  3. Read a story about being thankful with your child to help provide them with some inspiration (i.e. Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes).
  4. Start out small. Have a conversation with your child about things they are thankful for in their lives. Here are a few prompts to help you get started:

    "I’m grateful for…"
    "Thank you for…"
    "I appreciate…"

    Kids might only be able to name one or two things to start with and they might be very materialistic. That's okay! The more they practice, the deeper their thought process will develop.

  5. Schedule a set time to practice giving thanks each day. It can be done right before bed or a discussion at the dinner table. Find a time that works best for your family. When your child is having an “off” day, encourage them to reread some of the entries in their journal. What a quick pick me up!