| | | | | | | | | | | | |

The Gratitude Game: Pick-Up Sticks

This post may contain affiliate links.

Teaching gratitude is at the top of my list for my kids.  I love to do things to remind my kids of the many blessings we have. There is so much in our lives to be thankful for. I created this little Gratitude Game to play with them this Fall for the Thanksgiving season, and we have been having loads of fun with it! But this can be done at ANY time of year, not just Thanksgiving time!

The gratitude game

What is The Gratitude Game?

Did you ever play the game Pick-up Sticks as a kid? (Also called  jackstraws, or spillikins)   This is a homemade version of Pick-up Sticks, with a twist.

You can watch us play it here:

With this game, each time you pick up a stick you have to name something you are grateful for. Each color represents a different type of thing. It’s a great way to get the kids really thinking in different ways about all that they can be grateful for!


To play, you hold all of the sticks in your hand and drop them They will fall randomly and that is great. Then each player takes a turn pulling a stick from the pile. You cannot make any other sticks move or you lose your turn and do not get to collect the stick. The player with the most sticks at the end of the game wins.

kids playing the gratitude game

Grab a printable version of the game instructions by subscribing now.


To play it as The Gratitude Game, each color represents a type of thing you are grateful for.  These were our categories, but you can modify them if you want:

Grab this as a printable in my subscriber library! 

Red Sticks: People you are thankful for

Orange Sticks: Places you are thankful for

Green Sticks: Foods you are thankful for

Blue Sticks: Things you are thankful for

Purple Sticks: Miscellaneous- Your choice of something you are thankful for

The Gratitude Game

How to Make the Gratitude Game:

I made this with chopsticks that we painted. If you don’t want to paint them, try it with colored paper straws instead, like I did in this post. I bought a big pack in bulk for various projects that we are doing. We painted the sticks with watercolor paints, but you could use any kind of paint that you want. If you want a brighter color of paint, use an acrylic or tempera paint. We painted 10 of each color of stick for a total of 50. The watercolors needed 2 coats to be dark enough.  My kids really enjoyed painting the sticks!

This has been a fun activity that we have used multiple times.  Try this cute version with Skittles over at Planning Playtime.

Want more activities like this?

Thanksgiving Tradition: Legend of Five Kernels of Corn

See my new Printable Gratitude Journal

Check out my Acts of Kindness Coloring Notes.

You may also like my post on Teaching Kids to Serve.

Or my post on Acts of Kindness Kids Can Do.

Want more fun Thankgiving activities for kids?

Check out our Turkey Tail Feather Tag post.

Thanksgiving Turkey Tag- game for kids

We LOVE these Thanksgiving Dinner Scratch-Off Cards, too!

Thanksgiving Writing Activity

Thankful Jar!

This is the Feast Story Sticks

thankful for Thanksgiving printables

I Am Thankful for- Thanksgiving Printables & Activities

Thanksgiving Conversation Starters

Thanksgiving Math: Counting Turkey Feathers

Thanksgiving Turkey Activity Pages

Thanksgiving Mad Libs Printable

Pair it with a book on being thankful:  Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson.

Bear Says Thanks









Similar Posts


Leave a Reply