Gratitude Jar sitting on a table filled with gratitude slips

Gratitude Jar Printables and Ideas

Have you heard of a gratitude jar?

Gratitude jars are a fun and creative way to help you or your family cultivate a heart of gratitude all throughout the year!

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the good things that happen, both big and small. However, fostering an attitude of gratitude can greatly enhance our overall well-being and strengthen family bonds.

One creative way to embrace gratitude together is by creating a family gratitude jar.

This simple yet powerful DIY idea can become a cherished tradition during the holiday season or beyond, fostering a habit of gratitude.

Many people choose to do this activity during the Thanksgiving holiday, but you certainly can express gratitude with this activity at any time of the year. 

There are times in life when we feel overwhelmed and like the world is against us. It’s hard to stay positive and grateful when things don’t work out as planned, but it doesn’t have to be that way! 

Cultivating gratitude can be easier than you think. All it takes is a gratitude jar to help remind us of all the wonderful things we have to be thankful for each day!

These gratitude jar ideas will help you get started!

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gratitude jar

What is a Gratitude Jar

A gratitude jar is nothing fancy. Seriously! Just find a mason jar or other type of container around the house to use. To make it more fun, use ribbon or other embellishments to decorate it so it stands out and looks pretty sitting on the counter.

Making a gratitude jar is a great activity to get the kids interested in the idea and want to use it!

A family gratitude jar is a vessel or class jar filled with notes expressing gratitude for the positive aspects of life.

Family members can jot down their thankful thoughts on small pieces of paper, creating a collection of heartfelt sentiments over time.

This great idea not only serves as a tangible reminder of the good things in life but also offers an opportunity for reflection and connection within the family unit.

You can either do a personal gratitude jar or a family gratitude jar. I’ve even seen classrooms practice the benefits of gratitude by adding a gratitude jar to their class!

The good news is that a gratitude jar does not have many limits, use your imagination to make it work for you.

Many people like to do a gratitude jar during the month of November and then read each slip of paper or card around the Thanksgiving dinner. What better time than Thanksgiving to show some gratitude!?

One of the best resources for explaining a gratitude jar to a child is this adorable book about a young girl named Mia who is constantly feeling sorry for herself.

The entire family starts leaving notes of gratitude in a jar and through the simple steps of simply writing down notes of gratitude, their entire family dynamic is changed! 

What Do You Put in a Gratitude Jar?

You can use any type of writing medium that you find around the house such as paper or card stock.

Of course, you can get fancy and print decorative ones to use – or do it the simple way with just torn strips of paper!

There are actually two ways to go about using a Gratitude Jar:

  • Fill it with slips of paper that have things already written on them. Then pull out each piece of paper and meditate on it or use it in an activity.
  • Start with an empty jar. Each day, write down one thing you are grateful for and put it in the jar. You can also write down something positive that happened to you that day.

I, personally, prefer the 2nd one because it forces you to find something to be grateful for every single day!

If you are having a hard time coming up with something on your own, here are a few pre-made ideas to use in your thankful jar. 

Gratitude Jar Ideas

In addition to having a physical gratitude jar sitting on the counter, gratitude jar worksheets are the perfect activity for children to help them cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Children can often get focused on the wrong things. Including a gratitude jar activity in their daily journaling can help them to think hard about the things they truly have to be grateful and thankful for.

Gratitude jar worksheets and activities can be used as part of a gratitude journal or as a stand-alone activity in which children write down the different things they are grateful and thankful for.

Gratitude Jar Quotes

Cultivating a heart of gratitude is truly the key to happiness! When we can focus more on the wonderful things God has done or provided for us, the other stuff just doesn’t seem so important or dire.

Here are some gratitude quotes to meditate on and help you to understand just how powerful a heart of gratitude can be.

  • The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become. – Robert Holden
  • Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other. – Randy Pausch
  • Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy. – Fred De Witt Van Amburgh
  • Gratitude turns what we have into enough. – Anonymous
Gratitude Jar Worksheet

Gratitude Jar Worksheets

Another alternative to doing a simple jar is to do worksheets. 

Gratitude jar worksheets are an even more simple way to practice positive emotions.  

These worksheets typically feature prompts and sections for individuals to reflect on various aspects of their lives and express gratitude for specific moments, people, or experiences.

Gratitude jar worksheets can be particularly beneficial in a therapeutic or educational setting.

By engaging with these worksheets, individuals can foster a habit of gratitude that extends beyond the completion of the worksheet, contributing to enhanced well-being and a more positive outlook on life.

Here are a few more places to find some different gratitude jar printables such as worksheets, activities, and labels.

Gratitude Jar Worksheets and Activities

Printable Gratitude Jar Slips and Labels

One of the most basic ways to do a gratitude jar is to simply have a jar with pieces of paper next to it to jot down little things (or big things that you are grateful for.

This is a great way to engage all family members in thinking about gratitude and it helps everyone’s mental health during times of difficulty or extra stress.

However, sometimes it’s difficult to come up with areas of gratitude to stick in your thankfulness jar.

Here are 25 gratitude journal prompts when it seems difficult to create your own gratitude cards. 

  • Something that made me smile today was…
  • A person I’m grateful to have in my life is…
  • An accomplishment or achievement I’m proud of is…
  • Today, I appreciate the beauty of…
  • A small gesture from someone that brightened my day…
  • One thing about my home that I’m thankful for is…
  • A positive change I’ve experienced recently is…
  • I’m grateful for the support I received when…
  • A lesson I learned from a challenging situation is…
  • Today, I felt thankful for the kindness of…
  • A favorite memory from this week that brings me joy is…
  • I appreciate the effort someone put into…
  • A skill or talent I’m grateful to possess is…
  • I’m thankful for the opportunities I have to…
  • Something I often take for granted but am grateful for is…
  • A book, movie, or song that brought me joy recently is…
  • I’m grateful for the health and well-being of…
  • Today, I found gratitude in the simple pleasure of…
  • A friend or family member who provided invaluable support is…
  • A positive habit or routine I’m thankful to have developed is…
  • I appreciate the abundance of…
  • A moment today that reminded me of the beauty in life was…
  • I’m grateful for the knowledge or skills I gained from…
  • An act of kindness I witnessed or experienced today was…
  • I’m thankful for the love and warmth I feel when…

Gratitude Jar Activities

We’ve already mentioned some amazing gratitude jar prompts, worksheets, labels, and more. What about activities?

What type of activities are there to do in conjunction with the gratitude jar? Here are some great things to do along with the gratitude jar. 

  • Gratitude Scavenger Hunt:
    • Create a list of items or experiences that participants need to find or encounter throughout the day, each linked to a specific gratitude prompt.
    • Participants collect these prompts and share their reflections in the gratitude jar at the end of the day.
  • Thankful Photo Collage:
    • Encourage participants to take photos of things they are grateful for throughout the week.
    • Print or compile these images into a collage to be displayed near the gratitude jar.
  • Gratitude Letter Exchange:
    • Participants write heartfelt gratitude letters to each other, expressing appreciation for specific qualities or actions.
    • These letters are then sealed and placed in the gratitude jar, to be exchanged and read on a designated day.
  • Daily Gratitude Journal:
    • Provide participants with mini journals specifically for recording daily moments of gratitude.
    • At the end of the week, have a “journal share” where participants can discuss their entries before placing them in the gratitude jar.
  • Gratitude Affirmation Cards:
    • Create small cards with positive affirmations or gratitude prompts.
    • Each participant draws a card daily and reflects on how it applies to their life, sharing their thoughts in the gratitude jar.
  • Seasonal Gratitude Tree:
    • Create a gratitude tree display and encourage participants to add leaves with notes of thankfulness.
    • Watch the tree grow throughout the month as more leaves are added.
    • Another version of this is a gratitude Turkey, which is perfect for the Thanksgiving season. 
  • Gratitude Jar Art Project:
    • Provide art supplies and have participants decorate their own personal gratitude jars.
    • The act of creating a personalized jar can enhance the connection to the gratitude process.
  • Gratitude Circle Share:
    • Form a circle and take turns expressing one thing they are grateful for that day.
    • Pass a token (like a gratitude stone) around the circle as each person shares.
  • Random Acts of Kindness Challenge:
    • Participants engage in random acts of kindness and share their experiences in the gratitude jar.
    • Reflect on the positive impact of these acts on both the giver and receiver.
    • Find more kindness worksheets here.

Help your family in cultivating a heart of gratitude by starting a gratitude jar today! You can put it on the kitchen counter where they will see it every day and serve as a reminder to think of something to be thankful for.

Be sure to also use the gratitude jar printables to help your kids be more mindful about all the things they have to be grateful for in their lives.

For more help with teaching kids about gratitude, be sure to also read:

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