14 Gratitude Activities for the Whole Family

Though I do try to be grateful throughout the year, I really appreciate the general air of gratitude that pervades the month of November. I want to take advantage of this to boost my family’s focus on thankfulness.

Looking for ways to enhance your family’s gratitude? Try one of these gratitude activities! They are fun, easy ways to help your family be more thankful.

One easy way to do this is to engage in gratitude activities. These take many forms, so there’s bound to be one or more that are perfect for each of our families!

Activities that heighten gratitude

  • Make a gratitude inventory. Keep a blank journal on hand in which family members can list things for which they are grateful (younger family members can draw pictures instead of writing words). You can simply document things as they come to mind or you can set a goal, such as listing 500 or 1,000 things before the end of the month.
  • Say grace before eating. Make a habit of saying a prayer of thanks to God as a family before eating meals.
  • Write gratitude letters to community servants. As a family, discuss the important role of community servants (police officers, firefighters, etc.) and write thank-you cards for these individuals.
  • Make a gratitude paper chain. Give each family member strips of colorful paper on which to write or draw images of the things for which they are grateful. Use these strips of paper to form a chain that you can use to decorate your home for the coming weeks.
  • Play gratitude 20 questions. Have one family member (the answerer) think of something for which he or she is thankful. The remaining family members (the questioners) then ask questions to determine what thing the answerer has in mind. These questions must be stated in such a way that they can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. The goal is for the questioners to determine the answer in only 20 questions.
  • Sit family members in an appreciation chair. Set a chair in the middle of the room and designate it as the “appreciation chair.” Gather around the chair and have one family member sit in it. Those gathered around can bestow praise, gratitude, and encouragement on the loved one seated in the appreciation chair. Have each family member take a turn sitting in it.
  • Create a gratitude tree. Arrange some small tree branches in a planter or vase. Cut leaves out of colorful paper and give each member of the family a couple of leaves on which to write or draw images of the things for which they are grateful. Hang the completed leaves from the tree branches. Consider displaying the tree as a Thanksgiving centerpiece.
  • Write 365 thank-you notes. Purchase several packages of cards or some stationery and write one thank-you note on each day of the coming year. Family members can take turns writing the cards or you can sit down and write them together. Send thank-you notes to friends, neighbors, government officials, pastors, librarians, teachers, etc.
  • Read books about gratitude. Get your hands on some books that address the topic of gratitude and read these aloud together. Some great books for families include The Blessings Jar, Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks, The Thankful Book, and Being Thankful.
  • Make a gratitude collage. Use images from magazines and photos taken with a camera to create a collage that illustrates things for which you are grateful. This is a wonderful activity for family members of all ages, but especially for younger children who may not be able to write or articulate their gratitude very well.
  • Study and memorize Bible verses about gratitude. Look up Bible verses about gratitude. Study and memorize these as a way to hone your focus on gratitude. Good places to start include 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Colossians 3:15-20, and James 1:17.
  • Set up appreciation jars. Give each family member a jar or similar receptacle to decorate. Once they are decorated, set these out on a bookshelf or mantle. Place note cards near the jars and encourage your family members to drop gratitude messages and encouraging words into one another’s jars throughout the coming month.
  • Make a gratitude tablecloth. Cover your dining table with banner paper or kraft paper and have each member of the family write or draw pictures of things for which they are grateful. You can leave the tablecloth on the table for a while so you can reflect on your many blessings and add to it as additional things come to mind. If you’d prefer, you can use fabric markers and puff paints to document your gratitude on a cloth tablecloth. This provides you with a more permanent memento.
  • Volunteer to serve the needy. Take the whole family to a soup kitchen, food bank, or similar charity and volunteer together. Note: If you have young children, then you may not be able to volunteer as a family because many organizations have age restrictions for volunteers. In a situation like this, you can still get the whole family involved by teaching young kids to drop coins into donation kettles and helping them select toys to donate to toy drives.

Though there are a lot of ideas here, I’m sure you can find even more if you conduct a quick Pinterest or internet search. Of course, you may already have additional ideas in mind. If you do, please use the comments section below to share your ideas with us!

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Shared on the following link-ups:

Shine Blog Hop, Word Filled Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Faith and Fellowship, Think Tank Thursday, Coffee and Conversation, Tuesday Talk, Titus 2sday, The Art of Home-Making and Monday’s Musings.


  1. This is great! I especially love Gratitude 20 Questions. My kids LOVE 20 questions and this is a unique spin on it! I pinned your list to my Thanksgiving board.

  2. I really want to do one of these this year! I’ve never done any formal, planned activity before, but this year it would help me personally, and my family. Thanks for sharing these!

    • Hi Jendi,
      There are many years that I haven’t done anything formal, either. It can sometimes seem a little cheesy when you start trying some of these ideas, but they end up being so meaningful! I hope you get to try at least one. 🙂

  3. I also think the gratitude 20 questions game is a great idea. I had never heard of doing it that way before. We did a gratitude tree in my classroom, and the students seemed to enjoy that. This is a great list!

    • I’m glad that you can testify to the success of a gratitude tree, Emily. Let us know how the 20 questions game goes!

  4. I’m dropping by from the link party at Grammie Time. I really like your gratitude activities. I think I like the one where families sit in the appreciation chair and family members share comments of appreciation and kindness to the person sitting in the chair.

    I have a link party that I am trying to grow. I invite you to share this idea (and a couple of others) at my Party in Your PJs at GrandmaIdeas.com http://grandmaideas.com. I have joined 4 other hosts for this party. Your links will be seen on all 5 sites!

    The link party runs from now through Sunday night at midnight. I hope you can join in.

    All the best,

    • Hi Nina,
      Thanks for visiting. The appreciation chair does sound neat, doesn’t it? What a great way to encourage one another!
      I’ll check out your link party. 🙂

  5. Fantastic ideas, many I haven’t seen before. We love doing our thankful tree every November! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, I am so glad it is nearly here! 🙂

    • Hi Ana,
      Thanksgiving is a great holiday. I’m eager for it each year. I’m glad to introduce some new gratitude activities to you.

  6. These are some great ideas, Shannon. I’ll be sure to give them a try! Plus I’ll share this with my friends on social media.

    • I’m pleased to share the ideas, Marva, and I certainly hope you get to try some! I hope your friends also benefit from the ideas. 🙂

  7. This is wonderful and full of practical ideas anyone can do. I actually have done many when my children were young. Still incorporate a few in my classroom too. I’ll be featuring this on my Tuesday Talk link up next week. Thanks for sharing and giving others ideas to help get their children and family into the gratitude mode.

    • Hi Michelle,
      My family has room to grow in our gratitude, so we appreciate having these activities as a means to do this. I hope other families grow as they try some, as well.
      Thanks for sharing it on the link-up party!

  8. These are beautiful ideas, Shannon! I love this time of year because it makes being grateful all the more prominent. I used to do gratitude chains with my youth group when I was younger. We used to make several and then use it to decorate a shelter for the homeless that we would all volunteer in during the holidays. It’s a great reminder for everyone to take stock of what is important.

    Thank you for sharing this on #SHINEbloghop.It’s great that you were able to join us this week!

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