The Start of New Thanksgiving Traditions

Free Olympics Activity Guide for Kids

I remember back to a few years ago.

Back then, my two oldest kids were quite little. Preschool and Kindergarten ages. Thanksgiving was coming up and I wanted an activity that would be fun for the kids but that would also teach them how to be thankful.

This was back when social media used to blow up every November with everybody’s ‘thankful of the day’ posts.

These posts were fun to read, and I even participated for a little while. I wanted something similar for my kids to do, but that was more on their age level.

I remember scouring Pinterest for some fun Gratitude activity ideas and Thanksgiving traditions. Back then, Pinterest was still in its infancy and there were not many ideas to be found. I quickly determined I was on my own.

If I was going to provide my kids with a fun gratitude activity, I was going to have to come up with it on my own.

So I came up with a tailor-made gratitude activity that I could do with my kids every day leading up to Thanksgiving.

The kids had a blast that year. And we’ve been repeating these fun Thanksgiving traditions ever since.

Even as my kids grow older and more babies have joined the mix, this gratitude activity still holds a special place in all of our hearts.

The Thankful Door
A Simple (and fun!)
Gratitude Activity For Kids

So what is this fun Thanksgiving tradition?

We call it Our Thankful Door.

What is a Thankful Door?

Starting on November 1st, every day I have each of the kids think of something they are grateful for.

This could be something big like their home or their family. Or this could be something small like the snow or a flower. When it comes to being grateful, the sky’s the limit!

Back in the day, I used to go the simple route. We wrote the items we were thankful for on little sticky-notes. Each kid would get a sticky-note, write down what they were thankful for that day, and then stick it to our front door.

It was a lot of fun watching the door fill up as the month went on! Every day, more and more items our family was grateful for went on the door. By the end of the month, there were so many sticky-notes, we had a hard time finding room for anything else!

It was awesome!

Sticky-Note Alternatives

Some years I don’t have any sticky-notes on hand. Or some years I just want to do something a little bit dressier than simple sticky-notes. Those are the years I make up a couple of pages of leaves and the kids get to write what they are thankful for on leaves instead.

Or if you have older kids, they can draw their own leaves free-hand all on their own!

This is an easy route to take if you don’t want to use sticky notes for whatever reason.

Cut the leaves out, have your kids write down what they are thankful for, and stick them to a door or wall in your home with a small piece of scotch tape.

The Thankful Door is a fun and simple way for kids to learn how to be conscientious about the good things in their lives and start one of your new Thanksgiving traditions.

You could even continue this tradition throughout the year, if you wanted to! What a great way to help kids remember to be grateful all year long!

In fact, if you check out this article on teaching kids to be grateful all year long, I talk a little bit more about this Thankful Door idea and how effective it is at teaching kids to have an attitude of gratitude, no matter what goes on in their lives.

That article also has a link for a free gratitude journal for kids, if you’re interested in adding that to your morning time routine. (We include the gratitude journal in our morning homeschool routine with great results.)

Today, I am including a couple of pages of these cute little leaves just for you.  Use these cute leaves to make your Thankful Door activity incredibly simple, but still fun and cute!

Fill in your name & email below and we’ll send the Thankful Door activity to you immediately. All you need to do is just download, print, and enjoy! 

Happy holidays, and happy learning!

Charlene Hess headshot

Charlene Hess spent many years teaching kids before she had her own kids. She now has 7 kids of her own, whom she has been homeschooling for the last 10 years. Charlene still teaches other children outside of her home but finds great joy in exploring the world with her family. Charlene has participated in many leadership trainings with John C. Maxwell. Charlene and her husband Benjamin blog about their homeschooling and parenting journey at

You can find Charlene:

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