Whether you have little ones already, you are a grandparent, or you have children in your life, Thanksgiving can be a really fun time together. Activities, crafts, and Bible readings can all help make a Thanksgiving more meaningful. I can remember going to my first Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family when we were dating. Over 25 relatives gathered, and the matriarch of that family had leaves at every place setting where we were to write what we were grateful for to put on her thankful tree. It might seem like a small thing, but it had a big impact on me. It revealed that this family valued thankfulness and wanted to show it creatively. Today, we are going to go through great resources for kids and grandkids for Thanksgiving fun.
1. Thankful Tree: My family did this one year, and it was so wonderful. We had a small homemade tree in our kitchen, and we would add our leaves of thankfulness to it. This is a great activity because it is not just done on Thanksgiving, but you can start it right now. Get red, orange, and yellow paper and cut out leaves. Then, hole punch through them, then have a stack for family members to write things they are grateful for each day and hang them on the tree made from sticks. You can create your own, or you can even buy pre-made trees from Target for $3. Then, on Thanksgiving, you can read all of the leaves named on the tree as a family.
2. Gratitude Jar: In a similar sense, there is also a gratitude jar. My mother-in-law gave us journals two years ago that went with the jars. We would write a number on a small stone with a sharpie and put that stone in the jar. Then, we would write in the journal that same number and what it represented that we were thankful for. A simpler way is just to write on a small piece of paper and stick it in the jar. Then, on Thanksgiving, you can read all of the things named in the jar as a family.
3. God Never Leaves Me Craft: This is an idea from Oriental Trading. You can purchase the activity or home-make it. Glue two brown papers together into the shape of a cross. Then in the middle, have your child write out, “God never leaves me.” Cut out leaves from colored construction paper, use leaf stickers, etc. On one or two of the leaves, write out, “The Lord your God goes with you: He will never leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6. Glue or tape them on the cross. Then, add the other leaves to the cross. It is an adorable play on words.
4. The Thankful Picture: On a piece of paper, have each child draw one person or thing that they are thankful for. Go around the table after they finish drawing and talk about why they each chose to draw this and how they can thank God for this gift.
5. The Gratitude Game: Have different colored pipe cleaners, marbles, or candies. Each color represents a question. For round 1, each child pulls one and answers the question associated with the color. i.e. Red = Name a person who you are thankful for, Orange = Name a place that you are thankful for, Green = Name a Bible Character who you are thankful for. You can do this multiple rounds the same way or mix it up and in the second round, have them act out their answer like charades and have everyone guess.
6. Thanksgiving Bible Trivia: How about some trivia fun with the fam? You can home-make this as well, or you can purchase a Thanksgiving Bible Trivia for your family to do. Test your Bible knowledge and try to answer multiple choice questions on Bible verses surrounding gratitude.
7. Thanksgiving Fish Bowl: Have you ever played Fish Bowl before? It is very simple. Everyone has three small pieces of paper. For this version, everyone would write three answers that are thanksgiving themed or that they are thankful for.
Round 1: Each player takes a turn to give clues, so their team will guess what they pull from the paper in the “fish bowl.” When the answer is guessed correctly, he moves on to the next and tries to get as many answers in a minute as possible. Then, the next person goes for his team. (Teams are divided based on every other person) The round ends when the papers are gone. Then total both teams’ points.
Round 2: The same thing happens; you put all of the answers back in the “fish bowl,” but this time only acting, no words. Then total both teams’ points.
Round 3: For the final round, put all of the answers back in the “fish bowl,” and this time, you may only give one-word clues. The round ends when the papers are gone. Then total both teams’ points. This can be a great game for multi-generational settings.
Psalm 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” However you plan on giving thanks this November, it is important to remember that this is a holiday that can spur us on into deeper spiritual conversations with loved ones. Whether it is cooking delicious dishes, sitting around the table, or walking the neighborhood, ask the Holy Spirit how to be intentional with your opportunities to share Christ this Thanksgiving.
May these resources for activities and crafts be platforms to share Jesus’ love with the next generation. God invented fun, so He is not opposed to us enjoying games, being creative, or doing crafts. Everyone is different, but these are some diverse options to incorporate into your holiday season with your loved ones. What a sweet time it is to cultivate an atmosphere of gratitude that we know comes from the Lord. Ultimately, He is the One who we are the most thankful for each day.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Filadendron
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.
LISTEN: A Prayer for Thanksgiving
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