Gratitude journals for children

It sounds a very grown up thing to do doesn’t it – to keep it a gratitude journal.

I first heard about them many years ago hearing Gwyneth Paltrow talkinfg about hers on Oprah and I thought blimey that’s a bit pretentious. 15 years later I have my own and i think it is such a lovely idea.

children and gratitude

When  my children were small right before a little prayer at bedtime I would tell them to to tell me three good things about their day. Over time this became 3 things you are grateful for. It always ended the day with feeling of warmth and a smile. I am sure such positivity helped their sleep and am equally certain it has helped shape them in the the largely positive and appreciative young people they are today.

One summer I began a gratitude scrap book  with my daughter (this is an old video!) and I was blown away by the simplicity of the things that made her day and the things that had truly mattered to her.

Do have look ( and please excuse the video quality)

Gestures of kindness from her brother, an ice-cream, a little paddle in the pool, such simple seemingly important things were the things she cherished most. What a lesson for me as her mother and how good for me to know.

Nowadays we have a lovely book that we write in as a family.

We use this book from The Green Gables but actually any exercise book will do. keep it safe and treasure it though it will be wonderful to reflect back on and will be packed full of memories and thoughts you will want to keep forever.


So from drawing scrap books to shared family journals to  spoken thanks to private journals a teenager may well prefer acknowledging gratitude can take many forms. I like this Instant Happy Journal full of inspiring quotes and writing prompts and space to record daily gratitudes. A creative child could even devise their own.

happy journal

We live in a culture of bad news and drama, fast paced living and being too busy. For children to pause each day and reflect on what has made them smile or made their heart sing will teach them to see the good too. It will teach them to be mindful, it will teach them to acknowledge, appreciate and seek more simple pleasures. You will learn a great deal about your child if you share in this with them.

However it is expressed gratitude is a GOOD thing that is well with taking the time to encourage.


  1. April 25, 2016 / 8:58 am

    What a lovely idea! I started giving my son three ‘happy thoughts’ before bed at night a while back which he really likes, sometimes they are something nice that has happened during the day, and sometimes just that he’s all tucked up safe in his bed with a family that loves him very much. He’ll often come up with one or two of his own which I try to encourage, when he’s a bit more confident with his writing I’ll try and get him to write them down himself and then hopefully it’s something that he’ll continue with or pick up again when he’s an adult. I’ve just started it with my younger daughter too, although she’s a lot more specific (for example they have to be something nice that happened in the day before bedtime and can’t involve food!). I love the Daily Journal that you use, it would be nice to perhaps fill it out as a family after dinner or when you are all together.

  2. July 24, 2016 / 11:53 pm

    Gratitude Journals, writing a letter to the universe! A gift to our children building peaceful agency and embedding resiliency…Think of the famously beautiful Diary from Anne Frank! I have just published two decades of journalling through my free e-book ‘tools of love’ as a way to encourage others to free their creative voice.
    As a retired early years teacher, congratulations on promoting such a wonderful mechanism for children’s emotional well being and sense of belonging!

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