Starting a Gratitude Jar: An Easy Way to Count Your Blessings
If your family is looking for a fun and meaningful activity that emphasizes all the things you’re thankful for? Consider starting a gratitude jar!
Whether it’s just you or you get the entire family involved, gratitude jars are the perfect way to reflect on the things that really matter to us and tangibly manifest our appreciation.
This year especially, many have faced crisis and hardship in a weary world. That should only underscore the importance of taking the time to acknowledge—in meaningful ways—our blessings, and all the things we’re truly grateful for.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.— Thessalonians 5:18
What is a Gratitude Jar?We recently talked about how to teach gratitude with 4 Christian activities for kids…but the gratitude jar is something that is valuable regardless of age!
Gratitude jars are a fun, artistic, and hands-on way to positively express feelings of appreciation. In essence, the activity consists of creating a special jar where statements of gratitude are placed at the end of each day.
Gratitude jars are entertaining and easy to create.
To get started, you only need:
- A clear glass or plastic jar
- Arts and craft supplies to decorate your jar
- Paper slips or cards to record your gratitude statements
How to Use Your Gratitude Jar
Sure, the inspiriting notes that eventually find their way into the jars are the essence of the activity. But the imagination and creativity that goes into making each jar provides a lot of joy and excitement.
Start by personalizing your jar. Use ribbons, stickers, glitter, pictures, items from nature—sky’s the limit, really!
When the jar is decorated and complete, pick a fun place to keep your jar. It should be somewhere accessible, but perhaps also a location that has special significance, like next to a loved one’s photo, near your pet’s habitat, etc. Working with the jar in an area that has extra meaning will only enhance the purpose of the activity.
Your First Gratitude Statements
When you’re set and ready to begin, write (or have your child write) three gratitude statements.
Explain that each statement should reflect something they truly appreciate and are thankful for—no matter how big or small. When each statement is recorded (one per paper slip/card) take a moment to discuss each one.
This should become part of your daily routine throughout the month (recording, discussing, and adding three statements per day), or as long as you carry on the activity.
There is no right or wrong way to tend to your gratitude jars, as long as everyone is invested and engaged. It works great and adds consistency as a pre-bedtime activity, but participants should be encouraged to write their statement down whenever and wherever they think of it.
You could even have friends and family add their gratitude statements to the jar when they visit on Thanksgiving Day!
Here are a few ideas to help get your gratitude jar notes started:
- I love my family because…
- Today was special because…
- I appreciate (person) because…
- I was proud of myself today because…
- I felt happy today when…
- Something I am grateful for
- Something I like about myself
- I helped (person) today by…
- I am thankful to God for…
Happy Thanksgiving from MOHI
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.—Psalm 69:30
At Missions of Hope International (MOHI), we are filled with gratitude not just during this time of year—but every day—to our sponsors, churches, schools, children, and everyone who helps advance the MOHI mission.
And we are grateful to be endowed by our Creator with the right to the free exercise of religion and that all Thanksgivings, past and present, are centered on gratitude to God for His blessings.