Gratitude as a Daily Practice | Desert Botanical Garden


In today’s ever evolving world, practicing gratitude is a great way to create a positive mindset. Gratitude is defined as being thankful, showing appreciation and sharing kindness with the world around us.  Gratitude is also a part of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL has recently gained popularity in educational communities and is an essential part of education and human development.

It is a process where young people and adults learn skills, information and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotion and achieve personal and collective goals. Through SEL practices children and adults build authentic school-family-community partnerships.

Practicing gratitude can be an everyday adventure for you and the children in your life. For this activity you need a couple materials, a jar (glass or plastic) and art supplies (markers, ribbon, stickers, etc.)

Start off with decorating your jar. Use ribbons, stickers, glitter, sand and glue, or anything else to individualize it. Once you have decorated the jar add three gratitude statements. A gratitude statement is something like “I am grateful for my dog because she makes me smile or I am thankful for my breakfast today or I appreciate my mom because she plays with me.”

For younger children, you can use sentence starters and have them fill in the blank or help them fill it in. Sentence starters:

  • Today was special because …
  • I appreciate ____, because …
  • Something I am looking forward to …
  • Three people who make me happy are …
  • I felt happy today when …

Now that the jar has three statements in it continue the practice either in the morning or evening and make it part of your daily routine. Talk with the kids about their daily gratitude items to connect with them and develop beneficial mental health practices.

Did you enjoy this activity, try more with a Cactus Kids Activity Kit. Cactus Kids Activity Kit includes six different experiences with instructions in English and Spanish to some of the Garden’s most popular activities, like nature walks and hands-on explorations. The kit is for children 7 to 12., Purchase Here.

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Cactus Kids Club is for kids 12 and under. Cactus Kids will dig into Garden trails, learn about the wonders of the Sonoran Desert, meet enchanting creatures and enjoy fun onsite activities. Free with Garden admission.  Join Now.


April 17-19 Center for Desert Living Trail will be closed due to construction.
April 20 The Garden will close at 12 p.m., last admission 10:30 a.m.
April 20 Cactus Clubhouse will be closed.