Our family has a tradition of sharing the favorite part of our day with each other. We usually share while we are all together eating dinner. It is one of the ways we are encouraging kids to be thankful every day.

Even on nights when daddy is away the girls will make it a point to ask him over the phone what his favorite moment was. With so much negativity surrounding various aspects of our day to day lives, it feels good to recognize and focus on the positive, no matter how big or small.

While I encourage our kids to be grateful for their lives throughout the day and year, during the month of November we shift our “favorite part of the day” conversation to what everyone is most grateful for that day.

It can be fun to keep track of each of person’s responses. As the month goes on the kids are encouraged to think of things beyond family and food. Things like taking a hike and gathering gratitude stones are simple actions with big messages. Let’s go over a few more.

Here are some creative ways you can be encouraging kids to be thankful all year long:

Create a Thankful Tree:

Using brown craft paper, draw and cut out a tree and hang it somewhere in your house.

Each day, your kids can fill out a leaf with something they are thankful for, and place it on the tree.

For an extra craft activity, have your kids paint or color the leaves they will be writing on.

Here is a free printable thankful tree activity that makes this even easier.

Create a Thankful Jar:

Write down each person’s response to what they are thankful for that day. On Thanksgiving, open the jar and read the compiled responses.

Give back to the community:

Ask your kids what they are most thankful for in their lives, and find a way to provide that to others in need. There are many activities for kids to give back to others.

Buy a bedding set for the homeless, donate toys your kids have outgrown, volunteer to make a meal or bring a bag lunch to someone in need. Pick up trash in your neighborhood, or simply create homemade thank you cards drawn by your kids. Send them to family, friends or neighbors.

Thankfulness Time Capsule:

If focusing on being thankful all year long is a task you are up for, try creating a time-capsule.

At some point during the month, put an object that represents your thankfulness or handwritten note inside a box. On Thanksgiving day, open the box and review what you have to be thankful for. This would be fun to do all year long!

How are you encouraging kids to be thankful? Any Thanksgiving activity suggestions that your kids have enjoyed?

More activities to teach kids to be thankful:

Neighborhood Service Project for Kids

I Am Thankful Book (Free Printable)

Teaching Children to be Thankful (Subscriber Freebie)

Creative ways you can be encouraging kids to be thankful every day. We think of thankfulness at Thanksgiving, but kids can learn gratitude every day.


Jessica Stremer of Five O'Clock JellyJessica is a stay at home mom of two lovely little girls. She is also a military spouse and an entrepreneur. Jessica enjoys staying active and spending time outdoors with her family, cooking, and reading.