Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

5 Ways To Teach Kids Thankfulness

24 Oct

Blog Picture (1)

Thank you

A simple phrase that we love to teach our kids or students. It is a respectful response that should be used often.

However, thankfulness goes beyond the words and phrases we use. Instead, a thankful posture grows out of a heart of gratitude. Below are 5 ways to help your students or children mature in gratitude and move beyond a simple phrase into a constant state of thankfulness.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Prayer is a simple yet powerful way to teach thankfulness. The next time you pray with children, lead them in a prayer of thanksgiving. The format for this style of prayer is to have the child list something or someone they are thankful for and say, “God, thank you for ______”. You continue the prayer until the child has run out of people or items for prayer. For concrete thinkers (elementary age) give them a goal to reach, such as to thank God for ten people or things in their life.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1

Thankfulness Board

Grab a whiteboard or large sheet of paper and set it around your home, classroom, or church. Allow kids to write and draw pictures of what they are thankful for on this board. Incorporate the board in a weekly routine so that children are constantly engaging with their creative side while striving to grow in thankfulness.

Thank You Cards

Anytime your child receives presents for Christmas or their birthday, sit down with them and help them write thank you cards. As a Sunday school or classroom project, set aside some time to write thank you cards for police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, government officials and local businesses. Don’t have the budget to buy cards? You can print some for free on Greetings Island Thank You Cards

Gratitude Walk

The next time you take kids on a walk, go for a gratitude walk. As you stroll to your destination, have kids point toward objects around them and say “I am thankful for _____”. For kids that may have a harder time staying focused on this activity, make it into a Gratitude I Spy Game by stating, “I am thankful for something that is the color _____”. After a kid guesses the correct object, have everyone proclaim together “We are thankful for ______” (the object just guessed).

Local Thankfulness

Bake a tray of cookies and buy a simple box or bag from the dollar store that can be decorated by kids. Package up the cookies and take kids on a trip to a local business or government building. Go inside and have the children offer the gift of cookies to an employee by sharing how they are thankful for that person or business. It is a truly sweet moment when you can see the shock on an employee’s face at the practice of gratitude by a child. Several stores that have worked well for me in the past include: City Hall, YMCA, Recreation Centers, and Small Retail locations.

By putting some of the above activities into practice, you can teach children that thankfulness goes beyond a simple phrase and is a lifestyle that comes from a heart of gratitude.

Looking for another “No Mess” way to teach children about Gratitude? Check out our Gratitude Object Lesson Blog Post.

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10 Family Thanksgiving Ideas

25 Nov

1. Make a Gratitude Jar. Read more here.

Thanks Jar

2. Have some fun with the words Gratitude and Attitude with this simple object lesson.

3. Make a tablecloth using kid’s hand prints. Pull it out each year.

thanksgiving tablecloth

From homeplatefun.blogspot.com

4. Play charades. Each team writes things they are thankful for on small pieces of paper. The other team draws one at a time and acts these things out.

5. Have each child stand with a chalkboard (or paper) telling something they are thankful for. Take a picture. Keep the pictures in an album and add to it each year.

thankfulboard

6. Place a question by each table settting. During dinner go around the table and have each person answer the question. Some questions to ask:

>>What two positive words describe the person sitting on your right?

>>What is the most significant gift you have ever received?

>>Describe your most memorable Thanksgiving.

>>If you could ask any Bible character to Thanksgiving dinner, who would it be? Why?

7. Make a photo booth with Thanksgiving props. Have fun taking pics. Free downloadable props here.

Thanks to thedatingdiva.com

Thanks to thedatingdivas.com

8. Keep kids busy by weaving placemats. Find instructions here along with other craft ideas.

From saratogamama.com

From saratogamama.com

9. Go turkey bowling. Just make these bowling pins and roll a football toward the turkeys.

From makeandtakes.com

From makeandtakes.com

10. Make a gratitude journal. Each year add to it. Nothing fancy, just simple lists of what each family member is thankful for.  Think how much fun it will be to read this in the future.

From pennywiseblog.blogspot.com

From pennywiseblog.blogspot.com

Interested in more ideas? Read this or this. And find more ideas on our Pinterest board.

What have you done creative to make Thanksgiving memorable in your home?

Preschool Thanksgiving Lesson and Activities

21 Nov

 box

 1.   What’s in the box?

Preparation: Place a band-aid in the box.

What do you think is in the box? I’ll give you three clues:

1.  Part of it is sticky.

2.   Sometimes your mom or dad will put this on you.

3.  You use it when you have hurt yourself.

Open the box and take out the band-aid. This is used when you get hurt. It helps to protect your “owie” until it heals. Do you feel thankful when you need a band-aid and someone puts one on you? (Allow the kids to tell their stories of getting hurt and a band-aid being put on them.)

 2.   Bible Story:  The Ten Lepers, Luke 17

action figures

 

Supplies: 10 building blocks or action figures

 Today’s Bible story is about someone who chose to be thankful even when those around him were not thankful.

One day Jesus was entering a village. There were ten lepers that stood far away from Him. A person who is a leper has a disease that changes their skin. Leprosy was a terrible disease to have. In Jesus’ time, those who had this disease had to stay away from those who did not have it. It was lonely way to live.

Let’s line up 10 (blocks, action figures) and pretend these are the lepers.

The ten lepers started crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Jesus looked at them. He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”

They did as he told them. And as they went on their way, their leprosy went away. Their skin was good as new. They were healed!

Let’s turn the lepers around and have them go to the priest. Can you help me?

But one leper stopped when he saw he was healed. He turned around and came back to Jesus.

(Take one leper and have him turn around and come back.)

He shouted, “Praise God!”  Can you say that with me?

He feel to the ground right at Jesus’ feet and thanked him for what He had done for him.

Jesus said, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?”

Jesus then said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Which man was thankful for what Jesus had done? (The one that came back.) Why do you think the others did not come back and thank Jesus? (They were too concerned about the good thing that had happened to them, they forgot about Jesus, they were not grateful.)

Let’s make the choice to be thankful. We can be thankful to Jesus for loving us.

3. Prayer

Thank Jesus for each child and for loving them. Allow individual children to say a prayer of thanks.

4. Circle Time:

Have the children sit in a circle. Go around the circle and ask each child what he/she is thankful for.

5. Bible Memory Verse:

Give thanks in all circumstances.  1 Thessalonians 5: 18

Have the children repeat the verse after you.

What does it mean “in all circumstances?”  That means always. For instance, it means being thankful when someone gives you a cookie even if it is not your favorite kind.

Let’s do motions with this verse to help us learn it.

Give (hold out hand as if giving something to someone)

Thanks (fold hands in prayer)

In all circumstances (hold out arms with palms up and sweep to the side to show the idea of all)

6. Game: Thankful Tag

Play tag. When tagged, each child must say something he/she is thankful for.

7. Craft: Thankful Turkey Hands

turkey

Supplies: Crayons, paper

Trace each child’s hand with the crayon. Write what they are thankful for on each of the fingers. Draw a turkey face on the thumb. Finish coloring.