One of the best things we can do in our lives is express our gratitude – gratitude for friends, for family, even strangers.
There are many ways to express our gratitude. For instance, telling someone how much you value them by saying “thank you” or by showing them how much they mean with physical contact, like giving them a hug, or even a high five.
If you notice someone making a difference, you can make a difference too. You can make a difference by doing something positive for them or similarly by doing something positive for someone else. By doing something positive for someone else you are now passing on the chain of gratitude by paying it forward. Paying it forward means doing a good deed for someone else without asking for anything in return.
Start off simple – with one good deed a day, then increase it to three to five good deeds a day. The recipient of your kind gesture almost always will pay it forward to someone else. And then that person will pay it forward, and then that person will pay it forward, and so on, and so on. Examples of really simple acts of good deeds are things you probably already do but don’t even think about! Things like: holding the door/elevator for others, donating toys and/or clothes to charity, treating someone while you treat yourself, volunteering your time, picking up trash in your neighborhood, smiling, or even just giving a compliment to someone.
Ideas to Implement
Many times, it’s hard to get started, or even know where to start with regularly practicing gratitude, therefore, I’ve rounded up a few ideas to help.
- A Gratitude Tree [Mama Smiles]: A printable tree to fill in with drawings or write out things you are grateful for.
- A Gratitude Game [Down Red Bud Drive]: Printable questions in a jar to pass around and play with family or friends.
- Gratitude Drawing Dice [Mama Miss]: Learn to regularly practice gratitude with this drawing game.
- Acts of Kindness Printable Cards [Living Life and Learning]: Printable cards with ideas to think about kindness.
- I Am Thankful Worksheet [Simply Bessy]: Find something for each letter of the alphabet that you are thankful for.
- Thankful Jar [Mama Miss]: A jar to fill with thankful moments throughout the week.
- Random Acts Of Kindness Jar [My Joy-Filled Life]: Add random acts of kindness in your day.
- The Ripple Effect Experiment [JDaniel4’s Mom]: A simple experiment that illustrates the ripple effect of kindness.
- Thanksgiving Placemats [Mama Miss]: A simple placemat for kids to fill in at Thanksgiving.
- Clay Gratitude Leaves [Rhythms of Play]: Transform marbled clay fall leaves into gratitude leaf ornaments.
- Gratitude Evergreen Tree [The Preschool Toolbox]: Encourage daily acts of gratitude from the whole family.
- Spreading Kindness with Cards [Mama Miss]: brighten someone’s day by sending special cards.
Want to get your kiddos into the daily practice of gratitude? Start with one of my gratitude journals!
There are two of versions of my gratitude journals for kids!
The first one is for middle schoolers, roughly kiddos that are 8yo-12yo, which released earlier this year. The second one hits the shelves on December 7th, and it is for the early elementary set, kiddos about 6yo-9yo!
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