Literacy Activities: Giving and Being Thankful Ideas

I’m so excited about our  Playful Preschool Series  this week.  Our theme this week is gratitude and I have three fun literacy activities that can be used together or separately to help teach kids about being thankful and giving to others.

Being kind and thankful are two of the most important character traits that I wish to instill in my kids.  It is something that we work on everyday and I’m always looking for fun ways to teach my kids about the power of doing for others and being grateful.

3 literacy activities to promote being kind and thankful from

Full Disclosure:  I received a copy of Jillee Bean and the One Good Think to review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  This post also contains affiliate links.

3 Literacy Activities

1.  Read

a great book for kids to teach about giving and random acts of kindess

We read Jillee Bean and the One Good Thing by Jill Nystul and Samanta Hollister.   In the story, Jillee’s Dad encourages her to focus on doing one good thing a day.  For each good deed, she earns a jelly bean to put into a jar.  Jillee isn’t sure if she can fill the jar but she makes a plan and sets out to try.  Her acts of kindness lead her to donating toys, to raking leaves, to helping to wash the dishes.  Before she knows it, Jillee has a full jelly bean jar.  Continuing on with her acts of kindness, Jillee shares her jellybeans with others and sets off on a quest to start the process all over again.

This was such a fun book to read and it delivered a wonderful message of doing things for others!

2. Do

We decided that for the next month we are going to do random acts of kindness.  To help serve as a visual and to document our work, we are going to fill a cookie jar with kindness cookies!

literacy activity: create cookies for the kindness jar

We made lots of cookies out of paper.  My boys are fascinated with candy cookies so that is what we made.  It actually served as a math lesson too.  We counted the number of candies (dot stickers) on each cookie, compared which cookie had the most candies, ordered the cookies from least number of candies to most and so on.

We also made some sprinkle cookies with glitter glue!

On the back side of each cookie we will write down our kind deed for the day.  Then, we will place the cookie in the cookie jar (glass mason jar).

After our cookie jar is full, we plan to bake real cookies to enjoy with our family and friends.

For random acts of kindness ideas, check out Coffee Cups and Crayons, Random Acts of Kindness Christmas Advent Calendar.

3. Sing

The last gratitude literacy activity that I have to share is a song that we have been singing recently each night before bed.  It pairs beautifully with the activities above.  It’s to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin”.

I am thankful.

I am thankful 

for my _______.

I am very thankful.

I am very thankful

for my ________.

We repeat the verse over and over again until each person has a chance to name what they are thankful for each day.

Here is a short video of me singing the song we wrote.

I hope you are inspired to do these activities with your kids.  If you have a favorite book or activity that helps teach about giving and being thankful, please share it below in the comments.

Keep reading.  Visit the links below for more gratitude activities from the Playful Preschool team.

The Giving Tree- An Attitude of Gratitude in Preschool from The Preschool Toolbox

Teaching Kids Thank You in Different Languages from Still Playing School

Thankful Rocks:  A Visual Reminder to Be Thankful from Mom Inspired Life

Gratitude Sensory Bin from Learning 2 Walk

Gratitude- Put Your Best Foot Forward Footprint Activity from Capri +3

Gratitude Sensory Jar from Tiny Tots Adventures

Non-Verbal Ways to Show Gratitude from Live Over C’s

Litearcy Activities: 3 gratitude and kindness activities for kids

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. LOVE this sweet idea!!!!

  2. These cookies are so much fun! Love your song, too!

  3. The book sounds great for preschoolers. We will have to check it out. I love the idea of filling the jar and then celebrating with real cookies.

  4. love the adorable cookies and the thankful song! Going to try the song with my 4 year old in the morning!

  5. This is a wonderful idea for any time of year!

  6. These are such great ideas to teach kids about gratitude. I love the little song.

  7. Love the song! I like the idea of documenting the ways we show gratitude. Something new I learned is the Jill had a book, now I have to read it.

  8. Jodie – I love this cookie idea for a thankful jar! What a great way to encourage literacy and thankfulness at ANY time of the year!

  9. What a wonderful idea and a great way to encourage kids (and us!) to do more good every day.


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