If you've been following this blog for a while you know that expressing gratitude as a family is important to me. I've introduced family kindness tokens, established a routine of making New Year family kindness resolutions and every year, because of Thanksgiving, we spend the month of November discussing ways we are thankful.
Family gratitude activities don't have to be complicated! A simple and effective routine is to sit around the table each night and share, "I am thankful for..." You could also introduce a similar routine at bedtime. That's the easiest way, and you can do it all year long.
However, if you want creative ideas to do anytime or in November as a special tradition for the Thanksgiving month, here are a few suggestions. I've separated them into three general categories: the popular "thankful tree" and wall ideas, printables you can fill out our used in crafts, and some especially arty thankful projects. Plus, if you make it to the end of the list, there is a bonus suggestion for you! All are easy. All are fun. Enjoy!
Thankful Trees and Wall Ideas
Create a thankful tree. We did this two years in a row. Stick some branches in a jar, cut out leaves, and each day kids and parents write down something for which they feel gratitude, and hang the leaves on the tree.
Create a thankful wall. This was what we did last year and I still have the cards up on the wall. I love seeing it every day. One year we make painted thankful leaves from newspaper for our gratitude wall.
MamaSmiles has the best simple idea for a gratitude tree I've seen!
Turn thankful leaves or cards into a banner by stringing them up. You can get printable leaf templates here.
Create thankful cards. Print out our free, illustrated thankful card coloring pages. Kids can color them, write down their gratitudes and then either hang them on a tree, paste them in a gratitude journal or pass them out to family members.
- Get them here: Thankful Cards
More ideas with gratitude printables:
I love, love love this idea for thankful hearts from Let's Lasso the Moon.
30 day gratitude printable from Coffee Cups and Crayons. The best part is the flexibility.
I am thankful story window slide from Buggy and Buddy. Includes a free printable. If you want to extend this for a month, you could make a really, really long slide! (My kids would actually love that.)
Gratitude Arts and Crafts Ideas
Getting arty is a great way to improve family bonding. You don't have to be Great Artists to enjoy these simple creative ideas. All of these suggestions will spur conversations and reflections.
These kid-made thankful napkins from Homegrown Friends are fantastic!
This kid-made thankful table spread from ArtBar is so artsy-craftsy!!!
I like this idea to make a table runner so family members can write down their blessings.
Gratitude sun catcher from The OT Toolbox. To extend the idea create a new petal every day.
BONUS IDEA: Read these picture books about gratitude!