How to Practice Gratitude with Kids using Thankful Owl Breaths

Gratitude Practice with Owl Breathing Exercise
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How to practice gratitude with kids by using Thankful Owl Breaths. This breathing activity is a gratitude practice that incorporates both muscle relaxation and gratitude. The gratitude practice asks children to explore what they are thankful for in a fun and playful way

A Thankful Owl is very wise. He takes a breath and opens his eyes.
He stops and sees all the things. That a happy owl life can bring.

Book of Breaths – Calm Ahoy Kids

You can support this activity with the Owl Breaths activity pack and my Book of Breaths, there are also 3 creative and playful owl themed activity ideas including a free colouring page at the end of the post.

{Related Page: A to Z List of Breathing Activities for Kids}

How to Practice Gratitude with Kids using Thankful Owl Breaths

Why is gratitude important for kids?

An attitude of gratitude is a positive way of looking at life. It’s important for kids to learn the skill of gratitude as it can support them in their overall well-being. Gratitude can increase their happiness, self esteem and help them to be more thankful for and appreciate everything they have.

It’s important for kids to understand that being grateful does not mean that we are no facing challenges, problems and negative things in our lives, but it’s about having the power to choose where we want to focus our attention.

{Related Post: Square Breathing Gratitude Activity for Kids}

What is a Thankful Owl Breath

A Thankful Owl Breath is a breathing activity for kids, which combines mindfulness, gratitude and muscle relaxation.

Children imagine they are wise owls and squeeze their arms (wings) which allows them to relax their muscles and notice the difference between a tense and relaxed muscle. Which is an important skill to help us notice when we are feeling stressed. Children are also invite to think about and share something they are thankful for.

This fun activity is great to use in the classroom at mat time, for a children yoga class or at home in the calm corner. Playful breathing activities are a great tool for teachers and parents to use with children.

How to Practice Gratitude with Kids using Thankful Owl Breaths

How to Take a Thankful Owl Breath

Ready to practice some gratitude and relax? Let’s go!

Optional Resources:

{Related Post: 50 Gratitude Ideas for Kids + Free Printable}


Step 1 – Introduce:

“We are going to try and activity called Thankful Owl Breaths and practice something called gratitude. Gratitude is being thankful for what we have. When we focus on gratitude, it’s a way to practice feeling happy.”

Step 2 – Spark the Imagination:

“Imagine that you are a wise owl, you are perched on a branch, in a safe, sturdy old tree. You feel calm, still and strong, sitting on your branch. You start to notice all the beautiful nature around you, take a look around what can you hear and see? It makes you feel happy.” (Give children a moment to imagine what they see around them)

Step 3 – Show:

With your wings (arms) by your side. As we breathe in, we are going to squeeze our wings into our sides. Then as we breathe out we will relax our wings. Then we will think of one thing we are thankful for.

Step 4 – Lead:

  1. Everyone get comfortable, make sure you feel sturdy and safe
  2. Breathe in and squeeze your wings
  3. Then breathe out slowly and relax them.
  4. Wiggle your shoulders and roll your neck very gently
  5. Now relax your body and if you would like to share what you are thankful for

Step 5 – Reflect

Ask children to share what they are grateful for, then encourage them to share if they noticed anything whilst trying their owl breaths. You can then follow on will some of the ideas and creative activities below.

5 Tips on How to Teach Kids Gratitude

Practicing gratitude with your kids can help them develop a positive outlook on life and appreciate the good things they have. Here are five tips on how to practice gratitude with kids:

  1. Model gratitude: Children learn by example, so make sure to model gratitude in your own life. Express thankfulness for the little things, and show appreciation for the people in your life.
  2. Discuss what gratitude means: Help your child understand what gratitude is and why it is important. Talk about how being grateful can improve their overall well-being.
  3. Read books about gratitude: There are many children’s books that teach the importance of gratitude. Read them together and discuss what you learned. Here are my faves!
  4. Start a gratitude journal: Get your kids a notebook and encourage them to write down three things they are grateful for each day. This can be done before bed or in the morning. Use these 50 Gratitude Ideas for Kids as prompts.
  5. Play the gratitude game: Each day, have your child name three things they are grateful for. This will help them focus on the positive aspects of their lives.
How to Practice Gratitude with Kids using Thankful Owl Breaths - Free Printable

Fun Owl Themed Ideas to Extend the Activity:

1 – Gratitude Nature Walk

Taking a gratitude nature walk with kids is a wonderful way to get them outdoors and teach them about the beauty of nature. Before heading out, you can encourage the children to think about things they are grateful for and to focus on those during the walk. Try out out the DIY Colour Walk Adventure Kit

2 – Mindful Owl Colouring

Owl themed colouring pages can be a calming activity that allow children to practice their colouring skills and express gratitude. or have the kids draw their own owl on paper. Use lots of fun colours! We love these Crayola markers, and colouring pencils, then let the kids colour away.

Paper Plate Owl Craft

We love this paper plate owl craft and to add in some gratitude practice you could write three things you are grateful for on the back of the owl before you hang it up.

Gratitude Practice with Owl Breathing Exercise

I hope you enjoy taking an owl breath and practicing gratitude with your kids. I would love to hear about how it goes. You can find me on at @calmahoykids. Take Care Emma x

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