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Practice Gratitude with Children

Practicing gratitude is fun and can become part of your daily routine. Positive emotions balance out negative emotions and allow us to be able to appreciate what makes our lives what they are. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can help reduce stress, and anxiety and increase self-esteem. 

What is gratitude?

Being thankful and appreciative for the things in your life. The focus on what is good in our lives.

Three stages to gratitude:

  1. Recognition
  2. Acknowledgement
  3. Appreciation

Modeling gratitude is important and can start to have an impact on children as young as 18 months old. 


These two activities can be done starting as young as 2 years of age or younger. As the caregivers you will know when you are ready to introduce these concepts and this activity to your child. Remember gratitude taxes practice. 

Gratitude Chain:

What you need:

How to:

1- Use your colored construction paper to cut out different shapes. 

2- Choose a time during the day where you will write down the things you’re grateful for. 

3- Sit down with your child and start writing one thing you are grateful for in one shape. Make sure to write down one thing you are grateful for per one piece of construction paper. Children can name as many things as they would like to. Remember it takes practice. 

4- When they are done, have them thread the shape on the string using your sewing needle. 

5- You can do this everyday and watch their gratefulness chain grow. It makes a great decoration for a childs room and they will love it. 

Gratitude Jar:

What you need:

How to:

1- Use your construction paper and cut strips of different colors. You can place there in one jap with a marker

2- Choose a time of day you would like to practice gratitude. You can do this as a family. 

3- Sit with your child at that chosen time and together you can write what you are thankful for on the strip of paper. Choose one thing to be thankful for per each strip of paper. 

4. Place the strip of paper into the jar and watch the jar fill up more and more as the days go on. Gratitude grows exponentially. 


Remember that gratitude takes practice: There is no wrong answer for gratitude. Your child may be grateful for: the day, the treats they got for snacks, playing at the park, mom, dad, pet, watching their favorite show, weather, etc. You will see that their answers may be the same everyday and that’s OK. Remember this is practice and the more your practice the more they will be able to name the things they are grateful for. Make sure to model by doing the activity with them and naming the things you are grateful for. 


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