Gratitude Prompts – Journaling Ideas or Conversation Starters
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal, but you might have been faced with a blank page and wondered what in the world to write down. These gratitude prompts are perfect journaling about ways you are grateful. Not only are they good for gratitude journals, their great for exploring the concept of gratitude with kids.
Gratefulness is a character strength that can be increased with practice. Knowing this, I’m looking for ways to make gratitude something we practice as a habit in our lives. I hope to raise kids who are grateful instead of entitled.
One way I’m increasing the habit of gratitude is with these gratitude prompts which we use to start conversations at dinner time. We have our printed out on cards – if you’d like a printable version you can get our Grateful Family Pack which comes with 54 prompts. We use these gratitude questions both for gratitude journals as well as for conversation prompts. The gratitude prompts in this list are designed specifically with kids between the ages of about 5 to 12 in mind, but you’ll probably find them enjoyable as well.
Ideas for using gratitude prompts:
Use as conversation starters at dinner table or talk about gratitude as part of a bedtime ritual. Doodle, draw or write about the prompts in a gratitude journal. Post a new gratitude prompt each week on the fridge or bulletin board.
52 Gratitude Prompts for Journal or Conversation
- Tell about a time you were grateful for something a friend did for you.
- Tell about a time you were grateful for playing with someone.
- Tell about a time that you were grateful for someone helping you when you were hurt.
- Tell about a time that someone helped you solve a problem.
- Tell about a time someone helped you find something that was lost.
- Tell about a time you had something to drink when you were very very thirsty.
- Tell about something you have learned this week.
- Tell about family member you are grateful for.
- Tell about a pet you are grateful for.
- Tell about a toy you own that you love.
- Tell about a time you got to play with a toy that belongs to someone else.
- Tell about a time you were able to help someone else.
- Tell about your favorite place outside.
- What is your favorite place in your house?
- What is your favorite way to move your body?
- What is your favorite activity to do?
- What is something unique about your family that you’re grateful for?
- Talk about all the people that worked to bring food to your house.
- Talk about the all the people who had a hand in making the clothes you wear.
- Talk about the work that went into the home you live in.
- Talk about the way you get around your town and all the work and energy that goes into that.
- Talk about people who work in your community. Who are you grateful?
- Talk about the ways a family member makes your life better.
- Choose 3 people to say thank you to today.
- Who is someone you have a hard time getting along with? Think of at least 3 positive things to say about that person.
- What is one thing you are grateful for today?
- What is one food you are grateful for?
- What was the best part of your day?
- What are 3 ways to say “thank you” without using the words thank you?
- Say something positive about the person on your left.
- Who is someone who has really helped you this week?
- Who is someone who lives far a way that you are grateful for?
- Who is someone you have never met that you are grateful for?
- What is a sound you are grateful for?
- What is a smell that you are grateful for?
- What taste are you grateful for?
- Which of your five senses are you most grateful for?
- If you had to give up all your possessions what 3 things would you keep?
- Which season are you most grateful for and why?
- Talk about all the people who keep you safe.
- Talk about all the ways you are healthy.
- What is your favorite park and why?
- Think about what it means to be safe and cozy close your eyes and feel safe and cozy.
- Close your eyes and think about something you are grateful for pay attention to what gratitude feels like in your body.
- What technological advancement are you most grateful for?
- What animal in nature are you most grateful for and why?
- Pause for a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for in this moment.
- What is your least favorite kind of weather? Think of 3 things about it to be grateful for.
- Think about the things that you own; feel gratitude for what they allow you to do not just the things themselves.
- Pretend you are writing a thank you card to your-self what are 3 things you can thank yourself for?
- Who is someone you would like to send a thank you card to and why?
- Make silly faces with the person next to you, feel gratitude for silliness!
- You can find out more about teaching gratefulness to children by reading about how to teach the four parts of gratefulness here.
- Let these prompts inspire your own ideas for conversation. Having conversation starters on the table is a fun way to connect at dinner time.
- Imitation is what kids do best – be sure to share your own moments of gratitude with kids. It’s very powerful when they see you express your thankfulness each day, and it’s a great learning experience when they see you go through a challenge and still find gratitude.
- Getting in the habit of gratitude takes time – when faced with a child acting “ungrateful” it can be helpful to ask for a “do-over” – you can model how you hope for them to react. (i.e. perhaps you give your child a present and they start out with, “Ohhh, I wish this was the bigger lego set…” Try: “Wait, let’s try a do-over on that. How about: Thank you. What a cool lego set.”
Want to encourage Gratitude in Your Family? Check out the Grateful Family Pack today. Available now for instant download.
Alissa Zorn is an author, and founder of the website Overthought This. She's a coach and cartoonist passionate about helping people overcome perfectionism and shame to build authentic, joyful lives. Alissa is certified through the International Coach Federation and got her Trauma-Informed Coaching certification from Moving the Human Spirit. She wrote Bounceback Parenting: A Field Guide for Creating Connection, Not Perfection, and is always following curiosity to find her next creative endeavor.