Need thankful game ideas for Thanksgiving or gratitude games for the holidays or any time of year? Whether you need gratitude games for students, fun activities to teach thankfulness, holiday gratitude activities for families, or you’re wondering how do you make Thanksgiving fun for adults and kids, you’ll find something in this grateful list for grateful kids for appreciation activity ideas or even fun gratitude lessons!
Best Thankful Game Ideas and Fun Gratitude Games
What are some gratitude activities?
Fun Gratitude Games And DIY Thankful Games:
- Thankful Skittles Gratitude Game
- M&M Game of Gratitude
- Yeti In My Gratitude Spaghetti
- Gratitude Alphabet Game
- Jenga Gratitude
- Gratitude HedBanz
- Thankful Twister with a Twist
- I Spy Game Gratitude
- Roll and Respond for Thanks
- Gratitude Guess Who
- Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
- Thankful Treasure Hunt
- Gratitude Pick Up Sticks Game
See the full list of games for gratitude, gratitude activities for groups, and appreciation activity for students ideas below. (Great ideas for explaining thankfulness to preschoolers, too!) KEEP SCROLLING!
How do you play Thanksgiving gratitude?
How do you play the gratitude game?
When most people talk about the gratitude game they mean the M&M Gratitude Game or the Im Thankful Skittles Gratitude Game. You play this game of thanks by corresponding the candy color to a gratitude prompt.
Definitely add this to your Thanksgiving gratitude games!
(See full gratitude game directions below.)
Playing gratitude games with children can help them practice gratitude and gratitude habits in a fun and engaging way.
Incorporating gratitude into their playtime can also have lasting effects on their overall well-being and happiness and is a great way to focus on being thankful with family.
Try out some of these gratitude game ideas at your next gathering!
Best Gratitude Game Ideas for Kids, Thankful Family Party Games, and Youth Group Games for Appreciation
These are fun gratitude games for adults and kids alike — including youth games about thankfulness, gratitude games for groups, thankful exercise ideas for students / gratitude children’s lessons, or fun gratitude team building activity ideas!
Candy Gratitude Game
The thankful candy game is usually played as either the Thanksgiving Gratitude Game M&M or the Gratitude Game Skittles.
(You may have heard it called the I’m Thankful Skittles Gratitude Game or the M&M Thanksgiving Gratitude Game / Thanksgiving M&M Game.)
Whether you choose to play the candy game of gratitude with M&Ms or Skittles, the premise is the same.
How to Play the Gratitude Candy Game
- Place a bowl of M&Ms or Skittles in the center of the table
- Each player takes turns closing their eyes and drawing a piece of candy
- Based on the color of the candy they get, they have to name something they are thankful for
For example, if you play the thankful M&M game, your color list may be:
- GREEN M&M: Name a person you are thankful for (and why!)
- YELLOW M&M: Name a place you are thankful for
- BLUE M&M: Name an object you are thankful for (toy, book, etc.)
- RED M&M: Name an event you are thankful for
- ORANGE M&M: Name a food you are thankful for
- BROWN M&M: Name anything you are thankful for
You can easily adjust the list for Skittles colors and even make your own list. (Just make an M&M game printable so everyone can refer to it during the game.)
The M&M Thankful Game makes a top list of gratitude games because it’s great for all ages — gratitude games for preschoolers to fun gratitude games for adults.
Great for ice breaker gratitude games and thankful games for youth groups, too! (And even fun Thanksgiving games for seniors!)
At the end of the game, everyone has a little treat to eat!
Yeti In My Gratitude Spaghetti
Transform your Yeti In My Spaghetti game to a gratitude game!
Each time you pull out a piece of spaghetti, make a gratitude statement.
First person to make the Yeti fall loses the game.
Everyone of all ages had fun playing this… even my elderly mother!
Gratitude HedBanz (Headbands Game / HeadBanz)
Transform your HedBanz game into a game of gratitude!
Write grateful prompts on notecards.
(Think of things to be grateful for: apples, dog, sleep, warm coat, etc.)
Each player puts on the HedBanz headband and (without peeking!) picks a grateful prompt and puts it in the headband spot.
Then, each player has to ask yes or no questions to try to guess their grateful prompt.
If you don’t have a Hedbanz game and don’t want to buy one, use regular headbands like this and stick the cards in the edge.
ALSO CHECK OUT THESE KINDNESS ACTIVITY IDEAS:
Gratitude Guess Who
With Gratitude Guess Who, players write gratitude statements or answer gratitude prompts on pieces of paper and put them into a gratitude jar.
Each player takes turns choosing a slip of paper, reading out loud, and then choosing who they think the thankful statement belongs to.
If they get it right, they get a point!
(You can also have a fun little gift for the winner!)
Gratitude Alphabet Game
The Alphabet Gratitude Game is so easy!
Start with a set of alphabet letters like this.
Have the children take turns closing their eyes and choosing a letter from the pile.
Then, they share something they are grateful for that starts with that letter.
For example, if they pick an “A” they might say, “I’m grateful for apples.”
If you’re using magnetic letters, have them place the letter on the magnetic board after.
Great for gratitude games for preschoolers because they can practice letters or if you need family Thanksgiving games for all ages.
Thankful Alphabet Game Play 2
If you have a mix of ages or want a grateful game for older students and want to make the game a little more challenging, try playing the Gratitude Alphabet Game as the naming game.
The first person names something they are grateful for that starts A.
The next person has to name the thing that starts with A (from the previous person) and then add their own grateful item that starts with B.
The third person has to name the A & B thankful items, and then add a C gratitude (and on through the alphabet / players).
The person who misses it out.
Play continues until you’ve completed the alphabet of gratitude.
TIP: This is the same game as “I’m Going On A Picnic / Trip and I’m Bringing…” Alphabet Game
Write gratitude statements or gratitude prompts on Jenga blocks.
Have the players take turns removing a block and sharing answering the grateful prompt on their chosen block.
Then, place the block on top of the stack again (just like playing the regular Jenga game).
The game ends when the stack falls.
TIP: Use a permanent marker to write on the Jenga blocks.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY THIS MINDFULNESS BLOCK STACKING GAME WITH PRINTABLE GRATITUDE CARDS – great for a Thanksgiving Table Game, too!
Have everyone place a couple of things they are grateful for on slips of paper. Fold them and put them in a bowl.
Divide into into teams.
The people drawing take one gratitude note from the bowl and the people drawing read the same slip of paper.
On GO! They each starting drawing gratitude-related prompts, while their team tries to guess what they are drawing.
First team to guess the prompt wins a point.
Team with most points when all the gratitude ideas are gone wins the game.
I love this as gratitude activities for Thanksgiving after dinner ideas because it really gets everyone involved and laughing.
Gratitude Dice Game (Thankful Roll and Respond)
Players take turns rolling the dice and sharing something they are grateful for that correlates with the number they rolled.
1: gratitude for family
2: gratitude for nature
3: gratitude for a home item
4: gratitude for a comfort item
5: gratitude for a food
6: gratitude for something in the world
(You can make your own gratitude game list!)
Transform your regular Twister game into Twister with a twist!
Each colored dot represents a grateful category (person, food, comfort item, etc.).
Before placing a hand or foot on the called color, the person must say what they are grateful for.
Create bingo cards with gratitude items, like something they are grateful for in nature, a family member, an event, a food item, etc.
The bingo caller then pulls items from a pile and calls them out.
For example, Who is grateful for a food item?
Have each child mark off the prompts as they share what they are grateful for.
First person to get a gratitudes in a line wins!
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt
Gratitude Scavenger Hunt is great because it can be played indoors or outside and is a game for all ages!
Create a list of gratitude-related items for the players to find and bring back.
- Find a something blue that makes you feel grateful.
- Find a family picture you’re thankful for. (Or, take a picture of something you’re grateful for.)
- Find a household item you’re thankful for.
- Find something red in nature you’re thankful for.
You can easily create a gratitude scavenger hunt printable for this activity.
You can also easily adapt this for teen gratitude games or youth group games by making it a gratitude phone scavenger hunt.
Have them either find pictures that are on their phone (find something with a smile on your phone that you are grateful for, etc.) or take pictures of the items within a certain amount of time.
Gratitude Treasure Hunt
Hide gratitude-themed inside or outside.
Create clues for each item and have the players work as a team to solve the clues and find the item.
We’re grateful this is no longer in short supply, head to the bathroom and you don’t have to cry!
(Item: toilet paper. You’re welcome for that one.)
Once they retrieve the item, they’ll also find another clue with it. (And so on until all the items are found.)
At then end, you can also have them share why they are grateful for each item once it is found if you want to add another layer to the game.
ALTERNATIVE PLAY: Make them items you are grateful for and place them in a gratitude basket. Once all the times are found, donate the gratitude basket to a shelter or family in need!
Gratitude Relay Race (Or Gratitude Minute To Win It)
Split players into teams.
Have players race around while completing gratitude-related tasks at specific stations like:
- First person runs to Station 1: Write down something they are grateful for. Then, they run back to their team and the next teammate runs to station 2.
- Station 2: Pop a balloon with your bum until they find a gratitude quote inside and read it out loud. The team member runs back to the team and the next team member goes to station 3.
- Station 3: Find something blue you are grateful for and give it to the next team member.
- Station 4: Make a sculpture out of something you’re grateful for using the item from Station 3 and the items on the table.
The first team to finish all of the tasks wins.
Create gratitude themed Scrabble using your regular Scrabble game.
Players can only create gratitude-themed words and phrases.
When they make a word, they must share why they are grateful for each one.
Gratitude Ball Toss
Write gratitude prompts on a beach ball.
Have the children toss the ball to each other and whichever prompt their left hand lands on, they share what they are grateful for related to that prompt.
Super easy for gratitude activities!
Gratitude I Spy Game
Have the children take turns sharing something they see that they are grateful for, giving hints to the rest of the group until it is guessed correctly.
For example, “I spy something green that I’m grateful for…”
Each player takes turns guessing until the right gratitude answer is revealed.
Gratitude Freeze Dance
Play music and ask the kids to dance.
At different intervals, pause the music and the kids have to freeze.
To unfreeze, they have to share one thing they are grateful for.
This is great for thankful toddler activities or preschool thankful activities.
Have everyone write things they are thankful for on pieces of paper.
Divide into teams.
Each person takes turns acting out what they are grateful for, while the rest of the group guesses.
The first team to guess gets a point.
The team with the most points when the prompts are gone wins the game.
Gratitude Hot Potato
Have the children sit in a circle and pass around an object (like a heart pillow or fun stuffed animal).
When the music pauses, the person holding the object shares one thing they are grateful for before passing it on to the next person.
Start the music again and continue the game.
Gratitude Pick Up Sticks Game
Provide gratitude-themed pick up sticks or make your own using colored popsicle sticks and writing gratitude statements or gratitude prompts on them.
Have the players take turns carefully removing a stick without disturbing the others, sharing why they are grateful for the prompt or statement on their chosen stick.
Gratitude Simon Says
Play the classic game of Simon Says, but with gratitude actions or statements.
For example, “Simon says do a gratitude dance” or “Simon Says move ahead one big step if you’re grateful for a pet” or “Shout out a food you’re grateful for.”
When someone follows the direction without the leader saying “Simon Says” first, they’re out of the game.
Last person standing wins!
Gratitude Memory Game
Make gratitude-themed memory cards on notecards.
Have the children take turns flipping over pairs of cards and sharing why they are grateful for each gratitude statement or prompt.
The player with the most matching pairs wins the game.
Gratitude Wheel Of Fortune
Create a gratitude themed Wheel Of Fortune with gratitude statements, gratitude quotes, gratitude prompts, or gratitude challenges.
The The Pat Sajak (the reader leader), writes the statement on notecards (one letter on each notecard)) and turns them over on a table so you can’t see the letters. (Place the statement in order!)
The first person guesses a letter.
The Pat Sajak leader turns over the letters that correspond to the guess. Play continues until a player guesses the right answer.
Create gratitude themed hopscotch squares with gratitude prompts or gratitude challenges.
Have the children take turns hopping through the hopscotch while also completing the gratitude task corresponding with each square.
Other Gratitude Ideas for Thanksgiving
DIY Gratitude Board Game
Create a gratitude-themed board game using gratitude statements, gratitude prompts, or gratitude challenges as spaces on the board.
You can also make this a team challenge by giving each team an afternoon to make their own gratitude game. The other team plays the games and then everyone votes on a winner.
Even fun gratitude game for adults and kids to work on together!
I love this as a gratitude activity for students, too!
Gratitude Turkeys can be done many different ways.
They focus on each person writing something they are grateful for on a turkey tail feather (slip of paper) and placing it on the turkey. (It makes a great Thanksgiving centerpiece!)
Great for annual gratitude ideas!
If you’re looking for a words of gratitude for Thanksgiving activity, try this turkey gratitude idea!
DIY Gratitude Puzzle
Make a family or group DIY gratitude themed puzzle.
Have everyone decorate a puzzle piece and write a word that makes them feel grateful.
Take turns completing the puzzles and sharing why they are grateful for each gratitude task.
This can even be an annual Thanksgiving tradition!
Then, each year you can put together the gratitude puzzles!
I love this for thankfulness games for youth groups or a gratitude art project, too.
Gratitude Gatherings Tablecloth
A gratitude tablecloth is a Thanksgiving table cloth where everyone writes something they are thankful for on it every year.
(Make sure everyone includes their name and date!)
Each year, you have a reminder of the people at your Thanksgiving table and how they were grateful that year!
If you don’t want to do a full tablecloth, write it on something like this each year.
Other Games That Teach Gratitude
Other good Thanksgiving games, kindness games, or thankful games:
- 50 Ways to Show You Care
- Gratitude Topic Cards
- Holstee Gratitude Cards | A Deck of Questions to Inspire Grateful Living
- Gratitude for Kids: An Activity Book
If you’re looking for printable learning games or gratitude game printable, try this instead!
Let us know your favorite what are you thankful for Thanksgiving activity.