preschool gratitude activities

Preschool Gratitude Activities

Teaching the importance of gratitude to young children children can be a wonderful way to enhance empathy and positive social skills.  We are sharing some preschool gratitude activities, along with ways to explain the concept of gratitude to young children.

To explain what gratitude means to young children, use simple language and visuals:

  • Gratitude means saying “thank you” when someone does something nice for us.
  • We feel happy and warm inside when we think about the good things we have in our life.
  • Gratitude is like a warm, fuzzy feeling we get when we appreciate something or someone.
  • When we say “thank you,” it shows that we are happy and appreciative.

Make sure to reinforce these explanations through the activities and discussions, helping the children understand the emotional and social aspects of gratitude.

Preschool Gratitude Activities

Gratitude Search: Give each child a bag (canvas grocery bags work great) and throughout the day, encourage them to find things that makes them happy…anything around the classroom, outside, etc.  At the end of the day or the next day, discuss their findings and why they are grateful for them.  Maybe limit them to 3 items so that it doesn’t get too out of hand.

Gratitude Story Cubes: Use story cubes with images related to gratitude and have the children roll the cube.  Ask them to create and tell a story about being thankful for the item that they land on.  Use our free pre-made cube pattern template or create your own with a blank template. 

Gratitude Rock Garden:  Give each child a small, smooth stone to decorate with something they are grateful for.  Paint or markers can be used.  Find stones outside, at a craft store, or on Amazon.  Find a place outside to create a rock garden, and have each child place their painted rock(s) in the garden, and share what they painted on their stone.






Community Helper Appreciation: Invite community helpers like firefighters or nurses to the classroom, and encourage the children to express gratitude for their services. Explain that saying thank you is a way to show appreciation.

Gratitude Sculptures:  Provide Play-Doh or clay and ask children to create a sculpture that represents something that they’re thankful for. Example: If grateful for your pet dog, make a little dog sculpture. If it’s your family, try to make small figures that look like them.  (Credit: splashlearn.com)

Gratitude Alphabet: Go through the alphabet and ask children to think of something they’re thankful for that starts with each letter.

Gratitude Songs:

Grateful Heart (Tune: London Bridge)

Grateful hearts are happy, yes they are,
Yes they are, yes they are,
Grateful hearts are happy, yes they are,
Be thankful every day.

Grateful Every Day (Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Grateful, grateful, for today,
Thankful for our time to play.
Grateful, grateful, full of cheer,
We’re thankful for the friends we’re near.

Grateful and You Know It (Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

If you’re grateful and you know it, clap your hands,
If you’re grateful and you know it, clap your hands,
If you’re grateful and you know it, then your face will surely show it,
If you’re grateful and you know it, clap your hands.

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