Ways to Teach Gratitude to Your Kids

In a world filled with distractions and materialism, instilling gratitude in our children has never been more crucial.  With the holidays fast approaching, we want to teach the beauty of gratitude and provide our children with opportunities to be thankful each and everyday.


Here is a list of things we do in our home to show gratitude! 

Dinner Time Thanks: 

   We enjoy taking turns talking about our favorite parts of the day and sharing something kind about someone in our family. My kids are 3yo, 5yo and 8yo – so it ranges from the color blue to recess. 


Volunteer Together: 

   Giving back is something so important to us. I volunteer for a handful of nonprofit organizations and my kids get to tag-along every once in a while. There are so many opportunities for your children to volunteer! Food pantries may need baggers or stockers, backpacks for foster children, soup kitchens for those in need or putting together a ziploc bag of necessities for when you happen to pass by someone who is homeless. You can also google local volunteer organizations that are kid friendly! 


Acts of Kindness:
   Similar to volunteering together, we talk about different ways to be kind to others and we put that into action. Writing letters, coloring pages for kids in the hospital or veterans in homes are just some of the many ways you can show kindness! 


Global Perspective:
   This one is near and dear to my heart. We talk about how there are people who are less fortunate than we are and we tap into the above mentioned to be able to help mediate that.  Each year we talk about people in other countries, as well as our own, and choose an organization to donate to!   


Gratitude Jar or Tree: 

   Create a gratitude jar or tree where family members can drop notes expressing what they are thankful for. At the end of the week or month, read the notes together to celebrate your family’s blessings.


Thank you, Thank you!:
   Develop personal thank you rituals before meals or bedtime. Expressing gratitude for the food on the table or the experiences of the day can become a habit. We take the time to say thanks each day – doesn’t have to be a prayer either! 


You know it wouldn’t be a blog from me if I didn’t share some of my favorite books about gratitude and thankfulness. 


Gratitude is my Superpower by Alicia Ortega 

Zen Pig by Mark Brown 

Grateful Ninka by Mary Nhin

Thankful by Elaine Vickers

A Little Thankful SPOT by Diane Alber 


Incorporating these activities into your family’s routine can help your children develop a strong sense of gratitude. Remember that teaching gratitude is an ongoing process, and patience is key. By fostering thankfulness in your kids, you are equipping them with a valuable life skill that can lead to a happier and more fulfilling life.


About the Author

My name is Sasha Hernández-Ticali and I’m a PCS Mentor with MilHousing Network. I’m a military spouse stationed with my family in Maryland. When I’m not working, I’m cooking, dancing & enjoying time well spent with family and friends.