SPARKLERS / Gratitude

Sneaky Thank You Cards

A fun way to foster gratitude and the joy of giving.
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Why we love it

Kindness and gratitude are linked to overall happiness and just like sharing or turn-taking, they’re social skills we need to learn and practice.

These cards will help tamariki to think about and express what they’re grateful for, and the surprise element makes the exercise more novel, unique and fun!

The idea of hiding the ‘thank you’ in this activity does two things – it makes it a little more fun and it makes the child’s gratitude intrinsic. They don’t need to see the person’s reaction to enjoy doing it.


To get students thinking, discuss or ask them to note down:

  • Someone who makes you happy or takes care of you.
  • One of the best things this person does for you?
  • One more way they show they care.
  • One of your favourite things you do with them.
  • How they make you feel.
  • Ask if anyone’s heard of gratitude or has any idea what it means. (Noticing the good things in our lives; feeling happy about them, saying thanks!!)

What to do

Explain that letting people know how much they mean to us makes them (and us) feel really good! And that today you’re going to be making thank you cards for these special people… but rather than just hand the card to the person the idea is to think of somewhere fun you could hide it, as a sneaky surprise!

Then give the group some quiet time to make a thank you card for the person they have chosen. (For ideas see Matariki cards ). Encourage them to write one of the ideas you discussed/noted inside the card.

Discuss some sneaky delivery ideas (on their pillow, in your clean lunchbox, on the seat of their car).

Regroup in the next few days (the sooner the better) to let them report what they did, how the person responded and how they felt making/giving the card.

If anyone gets a poor reaction, talk about how timing can make all the difference.

What next?

Repeat the exercise – encouraging students to choose someone they wouldn’t usually give a card to (i.e a babysitter, office lady, sports coach, granddad etc).

Have fun and give back with our class Bunches of aroha activity.

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