20 Ideas for Expressing Gratitude
“In every thing give thanks.” While I believe most people would agree with me that gratitude supplies joy, I think it’s fair to say that, sometimes, gratitude in every thing can feel challenging. I love the reminder to give thanks in all things. While I am grateful for my challenges, it can be hard, especially in the moment, to feel that or to keep gratitude in mind. It’s the kind of gratitude I want to pass on to my children. With that goal in mind, it’s something I’m consistently working toward.
While creating a simple gratitude list is a good expression of giving thanks, there are many ideas for imparting gratitude. With so many available ideas to give thanks, it can be fun to try something new. Also, I find that trying new ideas aides in engaging my family in thinking upon and showing thanks. (While some of these ideas are inspired by the Thanksgiving season, most are adaptable for any time of year.)
20 Ideas to Express Gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Create a gratitude tree.
When I’ve done this in the past, I drew an outline of a simple trunk on brown kraft paper, cut it out, and stuck it onto a wall with painters tape. Next, I cut out simple oval like shaped leaves on colored paper. Then my family wrote what they were grateful for on leaves and taped it to the tree. Another similar idea would be to collect tree stems in a jar and tie paper gratitude leaves unto them. I don’t have a picture of mine, but here’s some ideas you can check out:
- Make a gratitude chain.
First, simply cut out strips of paper for a paper chain. Afterwards, you and your family can write what your grateful for on the strips of paper. Lastly, create a paper chain with the strips.
- Pass a ball of yarn around from person to person and share what you are each grateful for.
This works best with a group forming a circle. Also, the yarn doesn’t need to travel in any particular order (it can go to anyone in the circle). To begin, the first person will share something they are thankful for. Next they’ll keep hold of the end of the yarn as they toss the ball of yarn to another person. The next person will continue by sharing something they’re grateful. While holding on to a piece of the yarn, they’ll pass the ball of yarn on again. Everyone should end up holding onto multiple pieces of yarn (it might end up looking kind of like a web). It creates a fun visual of how many things the group is thankful for.
- Create an artistic gratitude list.
- Paint gratitude rocks. Here are a few examples:
- “Stuff” a Turkey.
This is a tradition I grew up. It’s a simple picture of a turkey attached to a paper bag. The family can write what they are thankful for on strips of paper, fold the strips, and fill the turkey with them. “Stuff the turkey” up to Thanksgiving Day. Finally, on Thanksgiving Day, it’s fun to read what everyone wrote.
- Tell someone what your grateful for about them.
This might look like: sending someone a note or giving someone a call. Additionally, young kids might like to color a card or picture for someone.
- Share what your grateful for with your family.
- Say a prayer of gratitude.
- Write a poem or song expressing gratitude.
- Take pictures of what you are grateful for.
- Make a gratitude jar.
- Keep a gratitude list on a pumpkin. Here are a couple of ideas of what this might look like:
- Create a gratitude wall or poster.
- Play a gratitude game. Here are some ideas:
- List items your grateful for with each letter of the alphabet.
- Go on a gratitude scavenger hunt. Here’s an example of one:
- The Best Gratitude Scavenger Hunt for Kids by Natural Beach Living
- Do something nice for someone else.
- Play or sing a song of thanks.
What are some ideas you do with your family to express gratitude?