Providing experiences for the children in our programs to love and know God is an incredible goal. We want kids to live strong lives with the character traits of God. As a result, our efforts can focus on kids absolutely knowing that, as part of God’s family, they will also emulate these character traits.
The Bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by the God who knows all about us and loves us completely. God delights in our very being and this is a reason to celebrate and be grateful.
What does it mean to be grateful? The simplest definition is to be thankful, to appreciate what you have. This might include things, relationships, or experiences. Through relationship with God, we want the children we serve to know fully that God absolutely knows them and loves them. We can surely celebrate this wonder by sharing our gratitude with both God and others.
Helping kids to identify what they are grateful for is a great first step. Encourage your families to connect with their kids, or you can bring them together as a group during your time with them at church.
Simply go around the group and ask everyone one thing they would like to thank God for in their life. You might choose to write these down or just keep things conversational. As people share, ask them why they appreciate these things. Encourage discussion. Let them know that their lives are full of reasons to be grateful.
Crafts Full of Gratitude
These crafts will help get kids thinking about everything they are grateful for. Some are specific for Thanksgiving time, and some can be used throughout the year.
- This fun Thanksgiving tree allows kids to add leaves to the tree as they think of things they can thank God for. We love this activity because it helps kids visualize all the gifts God has given them. Excerpted from Big Book of Bible Lessons for Crafty Kids.
- Here’s another Thankful Tree craft that uses only a few simple supplies!
- Gratitude stones are a good activity for any time of the year, but you can easily transform this into a Thanksgiving craft by using them to teach kids what it means to be thankful.
- This garland will help your children count their blessings as they thank God for everything He gives to them. Here are the instructions excerpted from HeartShaper Holiday Helps.
- This “Thankfulness to God” Wreath Craft Project is a fun craft to make with kids while also discussing thankfulness.
- Gratitude turkeys offer a fun way to get kids to think past the common friends, family, and health answers to the question, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?”
- Thankful turkey boxes are a great idea that you can use throughout the month of November, so kids can share thanks all month long. Get the instructions to make these thankful turkey boxes here.
- Create this fun placemat and add to the list of blessings each time you sit down to eat a meal. Excerpted from HeartShaper Holiday Helps.
Grateful All Year
While fall—specifically November—is the time of year that our hearts lean toward being thankful, gratitude can be identified and practiced all year long. When kids, and in turn families, learn to recognize the things they are grateful for each day, their lives will be even more full with the wonder of who God is.
It’s a true blessing to introduce kids to the gift of gratitude.