Are you looking for some fun, Thankful Activities for your kids that will help you teach them about contentment and thankfulness? You’ve come to the right place!
Let’s be intentional about helping our children learn to be thankful for everything God has done for us and blessed us with, no matter what the circumstances of life may be.
Below you will find a collection of resources that will help make Thanksgiving more meaningful for your kids this year.
THE GIFT OF GRATITUDE
Download The Gift of Gratitude Bundle for some printable activities to teach your kids about thankfulness and contentment.
THE CURE FOR DISCONTENTMENT = THANKFULNESS!
Read this BLOG POST to learn about the ROOT of our discontentment problem, as well as the SECRET to teaching your kids to be content! Learn practical ways to model thankfulness, encourage thankfulness, and experience thankfulness with your kids.
FREE EBOOK – GRUMBLING IN THE DESERT – A STORY ABOUT CONTENTMENT
Download this free ebook to read with your kids! In this story, Grumbling in the Desert, ten-year-old Ephraim and his family have been traveling in the desert for weeks, and he is sick and tired of eating manna every day. After his mom reminds him of all the ways God has blessed their family and taken care of them, Ephraim realizes the importance of being content with what God has given him. You can also listen to an audio book version of the story HERE.
THANKFUL ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
The following is a list of some fun activities that you can do with your kids to help teach them about thankfulness and contentment.
1. START A THANKFUL JAR
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Everyone in the family writes or draws something they are thankful for each day of November and puts the slip of paper in the jar. On Thanksgiving Day, take out all the papers and read them together, then take some time to thank God for all his blessings.
2. CREATE A THANKFUL JOURNAL
I Chronicles 16:34
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.”
At dinner each evening, go around the table and have everyone share something they are thankful for. Mom or dad can keep a list in the journal. Take out the journal each November and keep a running record of God’s blessings from year to year.
3. MAKE A THANKFUL BANNER
I Thessalonians 5:18
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
This is similar to the thankfulness jar, but instead of putting your slips of paper in a jar, hang a rope or ribbon across a window. Everyone in the family can draw or write things they are thankful for, then clip them to the ribbon using a clothes pin or paper clip.
4. CONTENTMENT SNACK
(Do this activity after reading the story, Grumbling in the Desert.)
“And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew. When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. And Moses told them, “It is the food the Lord has given you to eat.”
Lay out several beach towels or picnic blankets around your back yard. Spread oyster crackers (or krispy rice cereal, or corn flakes) on each of the towels. Give each of your children a cup or a small basket and instruct them to “collect” the manna for their snack. Remind them to be thankful for the snack you’ve given them, and not complain that they have to pick it up themselves!
5. CONTENTMENT ROCK CRAFT
Joshua 4:21-24 (NLT)
Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the river right before your eyes, and he kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up until we had all crossed over. He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.”
Joshua set up a pillar of stones so the Israelites would always remember what God had done for them. Collect a few stones from your yard or a nearby stream. After cleaning and drying them, help your kids to write the word “Contentment” on one of the stones. If you have more than one stone per child, you can also write the words “Remember” and “Give Thanks.” Then you can decorate your stones with paint, markers or nail polish. (Nail polish works great!)
6. REMEMBER TO BE THANKFUL ACTIVITY
Psalm 9:1 (ESV)
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”
While it’s great to encourage our kids to be thankful for tangible “things” and situations in their lives, this activity will help your family to focus on being thankful for some of the “intangible” blessings we have been given.
You’ll need a bowl full of small, edible items for this activity… jelly beans, goldfish, animal crackers, m&m’s, etc.
Ask each child to take a handful of objects out of the bowl. For each piece they have taken, kids have to share one thing about God that they are thankful for. It could be an attribute of God, or something that God has done for your family. Take turns going around in a circle. After the child shares, he may eat one piece.
Encourage your kids to begin their sentence with, “I’m thankful that God…”
- I’m thankful that God loves us
- I’m thankful that God knows everything about me
- I’m thankful that God always forgives me
- I’m thankful that God sent Jesus to die on the cross and take the punishment for our sins.
7. CONTENTMENT GAME
“I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
You’ll need 5 clothespins or paper clips for each child. (Hair-bands could work too). Give each child a set of 5 clothespins to clip onto his clothing. Every time you hear someone complaining or grumbling, they have to give you a clothespin! At the end of the day, whoever still has 5 (or 4) clothespins left gets a special treat.
- Set the time limit for just one or two hours, to give kids a better chance of making it through with all their clothespins.
- Give kids a second chance! If you ask your daughter to help with chores and she complains about it, say: “Would you like a chance to do this job cheerfully, or would you like to give up one of your clothespins?”
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