10 Fun & Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your Family

Practicing gratitude as a family is an important discipline to develop in your children. Here are 10 fun and easy ways to practice gratitude as a family. #Gratitude #thanksgiving #parentingtips #Womenlivingwell

I remember having a talk with one of my children late at night and they told me they just wished they could experience God like I do.  They couldn’t feel God’s love the way I seemed to and I did not know how to make God real to them in the moment.  Unanswered prayer and discouragement from other things in life were flooding out all of the things that my child knew to be true of God.  And in that moment the only answer I had was – “look at all we have to be thankful for.”

Yes, there are so many hurts and hard things in our lives – but there are so many blessings as well.  And it seems that it is because of the blessings that I have experienced in my life – I feel closer to God.

As I give thanks to God…

I recognize that I have experienced God’s hand in my life.

And if you have a child who is struggling to feel the love of God in their life or is struggling with not experiencing God in an intimate way – one way we can show them is through opening their eyes to all of the things they can be thankful for.

The problem of entitlement is growing in our culture and an ungrateful and discontent child – is an unhappy child.  I have struggled with this myself as I tend to find indulging my kids the path of least resistance.  It’s easier to give them what they want than to withhold things and make them feel uncomfortable.  But contentment is not something we naturally have… it is learned.

For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13)

One of the ways our kids learn is through mirroring their parents.  They are watching us and taking in all that we say and do and even if they are not reflecting our attitudes right now in life – much of what we say and do is sinking in.

So the question for us is –

Have we learned contentment?

One way to learn contentment is to daily give thanks to God for our blessings.  So let’s not keep our gratitude lists private. Let’s not keep our thankful hearts a secret. Let it be known and lived out exuberantly in our lives!

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good! (Psalm 136:1) 

Let’s role model thankful and content hearts so that others will be drawn to Christ, as they see how we have experienced God in our own lives.

Psalm 9:1 says:

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Here’s 10 Fun & Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude With Your Family

1. Start a Gratitude Jar.  Put slips of paper beside an empty jar and invite your family to write out things they are thankful for throughout  the month of November. Then on Thanksgiving Day, pull out all of the slips of paper and read them together and give thanks to God for his many blessings.

2.  Share why you are thankful for each person around the table.  Focus on each person.  Have everyone go around the table and say one thing they are thankful for in that one person.  Then focus on the next person and go around the table saying something encouraging about this person.  Continue all the way around the table blessing each other!

3. Create a Thanksgiving Family Journal
We have a “Thanksgiving Journal”. Each family member writes a paragraph in the journal of things we are thankful for every year.  I keep it in my bin with my Thanksgiving decorations.  Every year it is so fun to read about the kid’s favorite toys, friends, teachers and trips from previous years! I know that in 20 years, this journal will be priceless!

4. Make a collage of pictures.
Have the kids go around and take pictures of things they are thankful for. Then print the pictures and make a big collage out of the pictures.

5.  Make a Blessing Tree.
One year, my brother-in-law drew a huge Blessing Tree on cardboard.  Then we created leaves and gave one leaf to each person in the family and they wrote one thing they were thankful for this year.  Then we went around the room and shared what we wrote and stuck our leaves on the tree for all to see!


Blessing tree 1


blessing tree 2

6. List 100 Blessings as a family.
Get out a piece of paper and see if you can list 100 blessings.  Brainstorm together and have fun thinking of 100 blessings!

7.  Make a Turkey.
When the kids were little we made multiple turkey bodies out of construction paper and I hung them on the kitchen wall. Then I gave each person in the family construction paper feathers and had them write out things they are thankful for. Then we stuck all the feathers on the turkeys – for all to see and rejoice!  I saved those turkeys and just stumbled across them this year – and they made me smile. 🙂

Thanksgiving Turkeys

8.  Create a Thank You card to send to someone.
Consider who your family would like to say thank you to.  Then together, create a beautiful thank you card and let each person write something special in the card.

9.  Reflect on verses of thanksgiving from the Bible.
Here’s a place to start:  Psalm 9:1, Psalm 69:30, Psalm 1o0:4, Jeremiah 33:11, Philippians 4:6, Revelations 7:12

10. Have an open time of a prayer and Thanksgiving to God.  Bow your heads together and allow each person to pray out loud and give thanks to God for something they are thankful for.

While November is a month where we focus on Thanksgiving, it’s something we can do all year long.

So if you can’t get to some of these ideas now – save a few and do it in later months. We can never be too grateful for all that God has done!

Walk with the King,


**Chime In**

Does your family have a creative way to practice thankfulness in your home?   Share it with us!

If you don’t have a Habit Tracker –
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  1. My oldest, my daughter is going exactly through that. I’m praying for her faith to be renewed and find her way back to the Lord. She has a medical condition that causes infertility, has had miscarriages. Her last attempt was after undergoing IVF she lost the baby at 17 weeks. Very devastating for all of us. She does feel unloved by God and that He doesn’t hear her prayers. ???? ???? ????????

    1. Yolanda, I am praying for your daughter. I have lost a baby at birth and can relate to her pain. Though it is different, as everyone’s situations are, I know what suffering looks like in this area. I also know what Gods peace and faithfulness looks like and that He is able to heal our hearts. I am praying for her, that she is able to see all of Gods goodness and faithfulness through the suffering, that it matures her in her walk with Jesus. I pray she is able to see His love for her through others loving on her as well. Sometimes when we go through sufferings and people take action with bringing meals, coffee, pastries, anything- we just feel Jesus loving on us and are able to see His people be His hands and feet. I am praying she is able to have loved ones like that surrounding her with. ❤️

  2. Oh sorry my previous comment related to what you were sharing about your kids. Nothing at all with suggestions you asked for. ????

    1. Yolanda,

      I’m so sorry for what your daughter is going through and I am glad you shared that here tonight. You are not alone and I am praying for her. I am praying that she will feel the presence of God with her and see His hand in her life.

      Lots of Love,

  3. I love all of these ideas! Thank you so much for sharing!
    Will you be sharing your advent study with us this year? I always love that!

  4. One thing I’m thankful for is that it doesn’t matter whether I feel close to God or not, nor is it about how I feel. What matters is that God is close to us because of what He has done for us, not what I feel at any given time for Him. Just because I don’t always feel close to Him, doesn’t mean He’s not there. He closes the space between us, not the other way around.

    1. Brilliant thought, thank you for sharing that and restoring perspective! Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking it’s all about our needs .. but just recently I’ve been struck by the phrase “for me to live is Christ” … knowing Him, making Him look great, is what I was made for … so in order to be thankful, all I should need is Jesus. I need to have a grander view of who and what He is, so that my thankfulness isn’t dependent on the other things I want. That’s both challenging and liberating.

  5. I love all of your ideas Courtney! You are such an inspiration!
    I have been doing ther Abc’s of being Thankful. Every day on Facebook I am trying to share at least one thing I am grateful for. This was my first post on November 2nd. Have been adding to it every day!
    Some of the things I’m grateful for today!!
    The ABC’S of Thankfulness:
    A is for Apple Crisp
    B is for Beautiful sunrises and sunsets
    C is for all the Colors of fall.
    D is for Daily chores…even though we love to hate them; I still wake up each morning to do them. 🙂
    E is for everybody that touches my life in one way or another.
    F is for me familia! Blood relation and friends that have become like family!!!
    To be continued!

  6. Hi Courtney, these are great ideas. At thanksgiving we have a plastic table cloth that we write on each year. Everyone writes one or many things they are thankful for. We have been doing this for a long time. It’s great looking back at what everyone is thankful for.

  7. Thank you for this…love all ideas and activities, great ideas! Praying for your children’s, you and mine as well. Thank you for ur encouragement. So grateful for you you are such a blessing!

  8. I read about making a thanksgiving pumpkin through November and making it the center piece on your Thanksgiving meal table!
    Throughout November, your family writes reasons/what they are thankful for on a pumpkin with a permanent marker. Those invited into your home on Thanksgiving can add to it!

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