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Girls on the Run participants holding markers completing an activity

Saying “thanks” is an important part of being human but sometimes it can be tough to remember to take note of all we are grateful for in our lives and find ways to show our appreciation. While it might seem obvious that we should help our girls take note of the good in their lives, experts tell us that in order for girls to experience gratitude at its fullest, they need to do more than just notice the good. Girls also need to spend time reflecting on the things they appreciate and then decide how they’ll express that gratitude. The downloadable activities will help you and your girl be intentional about noticing what you’re grateful for and reflecting on how you can express gratitude!

Why it Matters

Learning to practice gratitude has lifelong benefits. According to Harvard Health, those who practice gratitude tend to have lower levels of stress, report higher levels of life satisfaction, and enjoy better relationships with their family and friends.

Ways to Express/Practice Gratitude

Keep a Gratitude Journal:

Dedicate a few minutes each day to jot down three things you're grateful for, both significant and small, in your life.

Express Thanks to Others:

Cultivate a habit of verbally acknowledging and appreciating the people around you, whether they're friends, family, colleagues, or even strangers who've made a positive impact.

Create a Gratitude Jar:

Initiate a gratitude jar and fill it with notes about moments and experiences you're thankful for. Review these notes during challenging times for a quick positivity boost.

Send Thank-You Notes:

Take a moment to write and send thank-you notes to individuals who've done something special for you. This could be a handwritten letter or a simple email.

Practice Mindful Thankfulness:

During your daily activities, pause to fully appreciate the present moment. Whether it's savoring a cup of coffee or enjoying a sunset, be present and acknowledge the positive aspects.

Random Acts of Kindness:

Engage in small acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. Acts of generosity can create a positive ripple effect in your community.

Volunteer Your Time:

Participate in community service or volunteer work to contribute to the well-being of others, fostering a deep sense of gratitude and fulfillment.

Create a Gratitude Collage:

Develop a visual representation of your gratitude by crafting a collage with pictures, quotes, and symbols that represent the things you're thankful for.

Celebrate Milestones:

Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements and milestones, no matter how small. Reflect on the hard work and support that led to your success.

Practice Gratitude Before Bed:

Cultivate a habit of reflecting on three things you're grateful for before going to sleep. This positive reflection can contribute to a more restful night.

Download These Free Gratitude Activities!

There’s no list quite like a gratitude list. This activity will help you and your girl be intentional about noticing what you’re grateful for and reflecting on how you can express gratitude!

Click here to receive a printable gratitude journal that is great for kids of all ages. 

Send a “thank-you” note to someone in your life. Click here to receive a “thank-you” coloring page.


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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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