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Gratitude games for kids - just in time for Thanksgiving!

Canadian Thanksgiving is here so we're sharing some great ways to make a game of gratitude to enjoy as a family this weekend. Just like kindness, practicing gratitude has a plethora of benefits for our physical and mental health, from increasing happiness, energy levels and quality of sleep to decreasing anxiety and depression, to name but a few.  

Here are some kid-approved ways to encourage expressions of gratitude this weekend and beyond!

Gratitude journal: Get a small gratitude journal for everyone at your Thanksgiving table this year. Daily gratitude practice is proven to be so impactful on mental and physical health, so start with an entry this weekend and then keep it up! And if you've been doing this already, ask every guest to share an entry from the past year of something they were grateful for.

Slideshow: For older kids and teens, play to their interests and ask them to take out those iPhones! Ask each dinner guest to snap pictures of 5 things they're grateful for and upload photos to a shared album. After dinner, watch a slideshow and have everyone guess who took each photo and why! A great conversation starter. 

♡ What would life be like... If you've asked the whole "what are you grateful for" question for the past few years at Thanksgiving, take a different approach this year and ask "what would life be like without ...." Have each dinner guest complete the sentence and see what everyone has to say about life without some of the things we're used to. This can lead to great conversations of how life is in other parts of the world, and is bound to conjure up some feelings of gratitude. 

Thanks for the candy! Even though we've taken the candy out of the Advent calendar tradition with My Kindness Advent Calendar, we have to admit, what kid doesn't like candy? Get a pack of Smarties/Skittles etc., and give each colour a theme: red = people, pink = animals, green = nature, blue = experiences, purple = things, brown = skills, etc. Divvy up the candies evenly and have each guest share what they're grateful for, based on the pile of candy they've been dealt and the corresponding categories. 

Alphabet game: A classic road trip game, perfect for the Thanksgiving table too! Go around the table and, starting with the letter A, have each person say something they're thankful for that starts with that letter of the alphabet. Everyone takes a different letter as you continue to go round the table until you get to Z. Just like all alphabet games, I'm curious what the X word will be? 

Quiet reading time: And if all the turkey's make you tired, curl up with a great book for story time after dinner. Some of our favourites include The Thankful Book, by Todd Parr, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein, Bear Says Thanks, by Karma Wilson and Gratitude Soup, by Olivia Rosewood. 

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