Ways to Show Gratitude Outdoors

how to simplify your homeschool

Gratitude doesn’t always come easy to us. Thankfully we have a whole month in November to practice an “attitude of gratitude” and find ways to show gratitude as a family.  Striving to make a daily habit of counting our blessings is so important.

Hopefully as we model and practice this with our children, it will continue all year long.  Our children will continue to reap the lifelong advantages to having a thankful mindset. Some benefits include improved health, increased contentment, and healthier relationships with others.

ways to show gratitude with 4 outdoor activities

Slowing down to be mindful, modeling gratitude, and creating experiences in nature is one of my favorite ways to practice gratitude. At a young age children instinctually wonder and awe at nature, but over time sometimes we can lose that sense of appreciation. Help your children always have a love for nature by identifying all the beauty and resources that nature provides. Here are four outdoor gratitude activities you can incorporate this month.

Ways to Show Gratitude with
4 Outdoor Activities for Kids

1. Gratitude Obstacle Course

ways to show gratitude with 4 outdoor activities

Help your children identify the amazing abilities of their bodies. Often we do not appreciate our health until something goes wrong. By giving thanks now and gaining appreciation of God’s unique design, we become aware of the many complex functions of our body.

Have your children create an outdoor obstacle course or visit a park with a nature playscape.

Obstacles

  • Jump in a leaf pile or crawl through it
  • Climb a Tree
  • Have a pile of rocks and attempt to hit a target or a specific tree
  • Leap from rock to rock or stump to stump
  • Balance on a log

Once you have completed the obstacle course, rest a minute while having a snack or water break and identify all the things your body can do. Some examples include; My legs can run fast, my arms can help me balance, my knees can bend to help me crawl, my brain can think and create, my lungs allow me to breathe.

2. Gratitude Walk

ways to show gratitude with 4 outdoor activities

Getting outside in nature has similar benefits as practicing gratitude. So combining both in a gratitude walk is a winning combination. Fall days are a particularly wonderful time to experience the beauty around us. Enjoying the beauty and colors as the trees change is one of the best ways to show gratitude and create positive experiences with lasting memories with your children.

This activity can be done while you hike or find a quiet spot to rest and discuss. By focusing our attention on the beauty of the world around us we can heighten our awareness and reflect on the many wonders of nature. Here are some questions to consider. Want a printable version of Gratitude Walk Questions, check out the free printable in the series.

ways to show gratitude with 4 outdoor activities
  • Senses: Find something that you appreciate with all your senses. Sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.
    e.g. my ears are grateful for rustling leaves.
  • Purpose: Find something that is useful in nature and has a specific purpose
    e.g. rain helps plants grow, bees make honey, trees provide wood for furniture  and paper.
  • Serve: You are a part of the natural world, so how can you make the world a more beautiful place?
    e.g. rake leaves for a neighbor, clean up the yard or pick up trash.

3. Gratitude Hiking Sticks

ways to show gratitude with 4 outdoor activities

If your family loves to take walks and go hiking, then creating personalized hiking sticks is a perfect craft for your children. There are multiple ways to create these decorative hiking sticks. Here are the full directions to help you get started.

Take it a step farther and incorporate other ways to show gratitude in this activity. We chose to add a loop of beads to the top of our hiking sticks. Each colored bead represents something you are thankful for. This serves as a great visual reminder every time you head out on an adventure!

Red- Family

Orange -Friends

Yellow-Pet

Green- Something in Nature

Blue-Food

Purple- A Toy or Sport

4. Feeding the Birds

ways to show gratitude with 4 outdoor activities

Serving others helps to improve empathy and reduces materialism.  It is quite difficult to be selfish, when you are busy helping others. Creating a bird feeder is a lovely hands-on activity to care for even the least of these, the little birds.  Here are instructions for making these adorable Tiki Hut Bird Feeders.

Hope these ways to show gratitude with outdoor activities encourage you to head outside this fall. How do you plan to model a thankful heart this season? If  you want more outdoor activity ideas, here are 5 Nature Inspired Gratitude Activities and Crafts. 

You can get fun ways to show gratitude with our free Gratitude Walk Questions by leaving your name & email. We’ll zip it on over to your inbox.

Marian, a nature loving mom of four wild ones, lives in the beautiful state of Michigan with her family. She blogs at Discovering Anew where she shares her family’s Midwest adventures camping and hiking. Follow along for outdoor activity ideas and nature inspired crafts, plus encouragement for motherhood and faith. You can find her on Instagram @discovering.anew



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