Thanksgiving is coming! (In America, that is.)
Regardless of where you live, though, it's always a great time to teach kids about giving thanks. Here are a couple activities from GO! Curriculum to help you do that.
HAVE A "THANKS" BALL
Ideal for: Both older and younger kids
Supplies: Beach ball or any type of ball (1 per group), permanent marker
Preparation: Write on the ball different "categories of thankfulness" for the kids. Ideas can include: Food, Family, Items, Friends, Clothes, House, Games, Toys, Etc...
Say: Jesus is so amazing! He gives us so many wonderful things. Let’s play a game that helps us say, “Thank you!” to Jesus for all of the amazing things He gives us.
Directions: Sit with the children in a circle. Begin passing the beach ball around the circle while singing the rhyme below to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus." (For older kids, you can skip the singing. Instead, have the leader close their eyes and simply say "stop.") When the rhyme is finished (or when the leader says "stop"), stop passing the ball. Have the person who is holding the ball look to see which word their right hand is closest to (ex. family), then have everyone shout, “Thank you, Jesus, for my family.” Next, ask the person who is holding the ball a corresponding question for that category. Continue playing until everyone has had a turn holding the ball.
Rhyme for Younger Kids (to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus"):
The children in the room say, thank you Lord, thank you Lord, thank you Lord.
The children in the room say, thank you Lord.
All through the day.
Examples of questions to ask:
Food: What is your favorite food? Where is your favorite place to eat?
Family: Who are all the people who live in your house? What do you like most about your [insert family member]?
Clothes: Do you have a favorite shirt? What does it look like? What do you like to wear most often?
Friends: Who is your best friend? What do you like to do with your friends?
House: What does your room look like? Where do you spend the most time in your house?
Games/Toys: What is your favorite toy to play with? Why?
Items: What is something you couldn't live without? Do you have an item that you always take with you on vacation?
Ideal for: Younger kids
Directions: Teach the kids the following verse: "Give thanks to Lord, because He is good!" Psalm 107:1. Practice the verse together several times. Next, choose two children to form a “bridge” by facing each other and holding hands in the air. Tell the other children to get into a line and walk in a circle under the “bridge.” As the children march in a circle, sing the following words to the tune of “London Bridge Is Falling Down.”
Can you say our Bible verse, Bible verse, Bible verse?
Can you say our Bible verse?
It’s your turn!
At the end of the tune, have the two children forming the bridge lower their arms around the child who is under the bridge. Encourage the child who is trapped under the bridge to say the verse aloud. When finished, have the “trapped” child replace one of the children making up the bridge and repeat. Continue until everyone has had a turn saying the verse.
You can find more great small group activities like these when you subscribe to GO! Curriculum. Every elementary lesson comes with 3 activity options and every preschool lesson comes with 6 options.