Young girl making a thank you card as mother encourages her

4 Creative Ways to Teach Gratitude

During this time of year, we are reminded of the importance of gratitude and giving back. Thankfulness is a trait that often takes practice and continuous modeling for our children. Art is a great way to nurture and practice gratitude for the whole family.

Here are a few different ways you and your child can use art to show gratitude:

Giving to Family and Friends

  • Watercolor Art

Step 1: Cut watercolor paper into the size of postcards.

Step 2: Use a watercolor palette, paintbrushes and water to decorate one side.

Step 3: Once the projects dry, encourage children to add more detail with crayons or colored pencils.

Step 4: On the back side, have your child write how thankful your family is for the recipient and sign her name.

  • Family Photo Collages

Step 1: Purchase canvases (available at craft stores), acrylic or tempera paint, paintbrushes and acrylic sealer (such as Mod Podge, which you can use for any type of paint except for oil-based paint).

Step 2: Make copies of photos that include the recipient.

Step 3: Create a mixed media collage using the images and paint. You can add embellishments and photographs with glue.

Step 4: Once everything has dried, paint a few coats of acrylic sealer on top of the entire canvas. Don’t worry – it will become clear when it dries!

Step 5: Use a permanent marker to write why you’re thankful for your family on the wood frame on the back of the canvas.

Young girl showing her colorful hand

Giving to the Community

  • Personalized Donation Notes

When donating food or clothing during the holiday season, include a personalized postcard or note with your donation.

Step 1: Draw, paint or make a collage on postcard-sized paper.

Step 2: Once it is dry, turn the artwork over and write a simple message like “To brighten your day! With warm regards, The Johnson Family.”

Step 3: Punch a small hole in the corner of the card so you can use string to tie the card to the donated item.

  • Local Community Art

Ask if your family can create and frame a piece of artwork to brighten up the walls of a local children’s hospital, woman’s healthcare center, retirement home or other community center.