How to encourage kids to say thank you and why it matters

How to encourage kids to say thank you and why it matters

This guest post is from Becky Goddard-Hill, co-author of Create Your Own Happy–  a new happiness boosting activity book for 7-12 year olds and their families. All the activities are based on scientific findings that explain why doing them will create happiness.


 “Feeling gratitude, and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward (Writer and Poet)

Why it matters

80% of parents think learning to say please and thank you are the most important skills their children can learn. As well as keeping parents happy, Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California has shown that people who regularly say thank you and show gratitude are definitely a lot happier, healthier and have more friends. How cool is that! In fact there are just SO many benefits to being thankful

Being grateful is important, we all know that but doing something with our gratitude is even more important. Gratitude at its best needs to be an action as well as a feeling.

Here is a super simple activity for kids to help them get into the wonderful habit of saying thank you.


Okay, we are setting you a mission. You need to find two people to thank. When you thank them, you must also tell them what you are thankful for. Choose one person from your friends or family, and make the second person someone who has helped you, such as a coach or a teacher. If you find it too hard to say maybe you could write them a thankyou note instead?

Ready, steady…go!

Who did you choose and what did they do to make you want to say thank you to them?

Write their name in the tree below and each time you say thank you to someone new remember to come back and add their name. You’ll soon fill it up with an array of names of wonderful people who you are grateful for. You can print this off here My gratitude tree

My Tree of Gratitude


When it’s full – simply print off another tree and start again. Keeping your trees full of names either in a scrapbook or on display is a lovely reminder of all the people and things you have to be grateful for in your life.

Let’s reflect

So how was it? Did you get a warm and happy feeling inside?  Were you nervous giving out your thank you’s?  What did they say back to you?

Looking for things to be thankful for means we experience gratitude (gratefulness) and this has HUGELY positive effects on us and on the people we thank.

Create your own happy by making saying thank you your new thing. Always deliver your thank you with a big smile – you will definitely get one back.


A simple effective activity to encourage kids to say thanks




How to encourage kids to say thank you and why it matters
Article Name
How to encourage kids to say thank you and why it matters
From the authors of the book Create Your Own Happy, a really simple yet effective activity to encourage kids to give thanks
Publisher Name
Stressy Mummy


  1. November 12, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    What a lovely post. We really made the point to our kids that manners were EVERYTHING and thankfully 20+ years later it’s sticked!

  2. November 12, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    What a lovely idea, manners are so important and something as a parent that makes you proud when you see your children using their manners x

  3. November 13, 2018 / 1:19 pm

    The gratitude tree is such a great idea and we need to put things into perspective more x

  4. November 13, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    The book looks awesome, I included it in my children’s gift guide

  5. November 13, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    Learning to be thankful is such a useful tool to teach our children, and manners too. This sounds fab!

  6. November 13, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    This is fab for kids. Such a simple but a super lovely idea that aims to develop and teach the right way to be xx

  7. November 14, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    We keep plugging away at the manners in the hope that it sinks in eventually. It’s not so much him remembering to do it as him doing it loudly enough for him to be actually heard! I do like the idea of using something like the gratitude tree so we count our blessings.
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  8. November 14, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    It’s very important to teach kids manners, so I think this book is a great idea.

  9. November 14, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    This is a great idea. It is so important to say thank you and be thankful for things in life

  10. November 15, 2018 / 3:18 am

    This is such a great post, and so important to remember! Working on gratitude is something I think everyone could benefit from, and I think it’s especially important to teach our children.

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