Not all the gifts your child receives will be hits. Explain to him ahead of time that the gift giver's thoughtfulness should be appreciated all the same.
Suggest specific things to say when he opens the present. For example, he can mention something that he does like about the item, such as "Red is my favorite color!" Let him know that a simple but enthusiastic "thank you" will be fine, too.
Kids will delight family and friends when they add an extra touch to thank-you notes -- a fun sticker. To make, color photocopy the ones below (or download them from marthastewart.com/kids and print out) onto self-adhesive paper; then cut out. Affix stickers to handwritten thank-you notes or envelopes.
Notes From Older Kids
Show kids that writing thank-you notes is easy when you know the basic elements. A child age 7 or older can write a short note like this one. For the greeting, help your child spell the gift giver's name. For the body, she should not only say thanks but mention the item.
Suggest that she say why she likes the gift or how she will use it, but let her find her own words. For the closing, a simple sign-off is standard.
Notes From Young Kids
Even young children can (and should) send proper thank-you notes. Have a toddler pose for a photo while using or wearing the gift. As kids begin to write, encourage them to pen "thank you" on a card or a note you've written. You can also have kids draw pictures of themselves enjoying their gifts, or add doodles to an envelope.