How to Teach Children Gratitude: The Gratitude Game

I still can’t believe November is just a few days away. With November comes the beginning of gratitude season where you’ll see all sorts of Thanksgiving crafts, gratitude activities, and lists of things people are thankful for. I love gratitude season because everyone tends to be just a little nicer and honestly more grateful for the blessings they have.

Now that I have a baby, I’ve started trying to think of ways to teach him what gratitude is and how he can show gratitude. And while thinking through this, I’ve come up with three keys to teach children gratitude based on what my parents taught me.

  1. Set an example. Make sure your children see you showing gratitude to others.
  2. Find ways to show gratitude together. Encourage gratitude through family activities.
  3. Make it fun.

Keeping those three keys in mind, I’ve created The Gratitude Game, a game for families to use throughout the month of November to turn gratitude into a fun family activity.

How to Teach Gratitude to Your Children: The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

I’ve seen these Price is Right inspired punch boxes all over Pinterest and have always wanted to create one myself. Each circle is a piece of tissue paper that you can punch through to get your prize, or in the case of The Gratitude Game, a fun activity you can do as a family to show gratitude. The idea is that you can use this as an advent calendar through all of November. Each day someone gets to punch through a random hole and pull out a gratitude themed activity to do as a family that day. Who wouldn’t love punching through the tissue paper to pull out that day’s activity? I created mine with 24 holes because we’ll only be in town through November 24th but you could easily do one with more or less holes, the process is the exact same.

Create Your Own Gratitude Game

Supplies

  • Cardboard box that is large enough for the number of holes you want
  • Tissue paper in whatever colors you want
  • Cups (I used Styrofoam because it’s what I had but you could use plastic as well), same number as the number of holes
  • Pieces of paper with gratitude activities (free downloadable list of ideas to get your started)
  • Scissors
  • Exacto knife (recommended) or something else to use for cutting cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Hot glue gun (or another way of fastening the cups to the box)
  • Embellishments of any kind such as scrapbook letters, Washi tape, spray paint, etc. (optional)
The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Instructions:

Step 1 Decide how many holes you want. This will determine how many holes, cups, and tissue paper squares you will need.

Step 2 – Line up your cups on the back of your box to figure out exactly how you want them spaced. If you want to have a title on your game like mine make sure to leave a small space at the top.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com
The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 3 – Trace around each of your cups with a pencil so you know where to cut.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com
The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 4 – Cut out each of the individual circles. I highly recommend an exact knife if you have one. I used scissors and it worked okay but my circles are pretty rough.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 5 – Cut off all of the extra flaps from the box (or you can do this earlier, I just forgot). You want to leave the two sides, top, bottom, and bottom where you cut the holes. This will allow your box to stand on its own.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 6 – If you’re going to spray paint like I did, do it now. I only sprayed the front because that’s the part you’ll see but if you feel like it, you can spray all the other sides as well.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com
The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 7 – While the spray paint is drying, cut out squares of tissue paper large enough to cover your holes. You can make this REALLY fast by cutting multiple pieces of tissue paper at once.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 8 – After the spray paint dries, glue one square of tissue paper on the inside of each hole in your box, making sure to cover the entire hole. Do this for all of the holes.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com
The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 9 – Write gratitude activities on slips of paper (or print and cut them out). Here’s a downloadable list of 30 gratitude ideas to get your started. You’ll need one slip of paper for each cup.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 10 – Put one slip of paper in each cup then glue one cup to the back of each piece of tissue paper.

The #Gratitude #Game from playpartypin.com

Step 11 – Embellish however you want. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out letters with contact paper but you could easily use scrapbook letters or stickers. Or just leave the name off. And you’re done and ready to play!

How to Teach Gratitude to Your Children: The #Gratitude #Game

The best part is that you could use this same punchboard over and over again for an advent calendar or birthday party game since the toughest part of cutting the circles is already done

What do you and your family do to show gratitude in November?

How to Teach Children Gratitude - awesome game idea for teaching gratitude plus a printable list of gratitude related activities

Comments

  1. says

    What a great idea! I love how you’ve made gratitude fun and also stretched it out for the entire month–not just Thanksgiving! Really creative idea–what a wonderful role model you are to your child. And I love the 3 elements of teaching gratitude. Great post…visiting from SITS.

  2. says

    What a sweet idea! I’ve seen these punch game things all over the place and always wanted to try one. I never thought about the fact that it could be re-used! That makes me want to do it even more!!

  3. says

    Wonderful! These are the things parents should be teaching their children. I will keep this in mind for the future. I work with college students, and I wish most of them would have played this game!!!

  4. says

    Wow, I am seriously impressed with your creativity. I will keep this in mind for October (for Canadian Thanksgiving) because I think teaching children gratitude is so important. Enjoy your SITS day!

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