A Fun Way to Teach Gratitude to Kids of All Ages

teaching kids to be grateful via @lizzylit

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we’re all looking for ways to have a thankful spirit, and to encourage our children to be grateful. Last week I posted a super silly way to teach kids about gratitude. 

Here’s another devotional idea to encourage gratitude—for kids and grown-ups:

We did this activity last year with a small group at church, and credit for the idea goes to Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome. (We had a room full of adults and kids, including my very loud toddler, who had a lot to say all throughout the devotional!) We started by reading some scriptures about gratitude, then Kevin handed out notecards and pens. He asked us to write down things we were grateful for in different categories:

  • an activity we enjoy
  • an experience we’ve had
  • something we own
  • something in nature
  • a person outside our family circle

Then we took turns sharing what we’d written. This devotional was so fun because it made us stop to appreciate the simple things, experiences, and people in our daily life that we are grateful for. Sometimes when we think about gratitude we make it big and virtuous and intangible—”I’m thankful for relationships,” “I’m thankful for freedom,” “I’m thankful for grace”—and while those things are wonderful, they feel kind of . . . theoretical. It also helps our hearts to think, “You know, I’m grateful for my new shoes. And I’m grateful that I get to take piano lessons. And I love jumping in piles of raked leaves.”

I especially loved the way this devotional got adults and kids involved, sharing our thoughts together! The kids had a lot to say, and we all laughed and smiled a lot. Everyone left thankful and happy, feeling more connected to God and to each other.

Want more parenting tips and devotion ideas? Sign up for my monthly parenting newsletter, and you’ll receive a free download with seven two-minute devotions to do around the breakfast table with kids!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy: 

A Fun Family Devotion to Teach Kids Gratitude

The Tradition that Teaches Kids to Give at Christmastime

10 Ways to Encourage Kids to Open Up

13 Scriptures to Help Siblings Get Along

These Days of Small Things

When Being a Grown-up Means You’re Still Growing Up

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