By Cherie Werner
Supplies Needed: One Thankful Turkey Activity for each child
Hold up the turkey. What do you think of when you see a turkey? Listen to responses. I sometimes think of Thanksgiving. Do you know why we celebrate Thanksgiving? Listen to responses. One reason we celebrate Thanksgiving is to thank God for all the blessings that he gives to us and for all that he has done for us.
Today I want to talk to you about what it means to be thankful or grateful. Those are big words. Do you know what they really mean? Listen to responses.
When you are thankful or grateful it means that you are happy about something that someone else has done for you. You are happy and you tell them or show them that you are happy.
How do you feel when your mom and dad make food for you or help you get ready for school? It makes you feel happy to know they are helping you. When you say “thank you” to your mom and dad or give them a hug for helping you, you are being thankful.
Let’s listen to a story to see if we can understand thankfulness little better.
Amber was so excited! She had been invited to a party at school. There would be games, bouncy houses, special treats, lots of friends, and lots of fun! She couldn’t wait! Mom had to work that day, so Dad promised to take her. It was going to be the best day ever!
On the morning of the big day, her daddy woke up with a really bad headache. Sometimes when daddy got headaches, his head hurt so badly that he had to stay in bed for most of the day. Amber was scared. She wanted to go to the party so much, but she could tell her daddy was hurting. It took a long time but finally he got up and got ready to take her to the party.
“Are you feeling better, Daddy?” Amber asked.
“A little bit,” he said, but Amber could tell his head still hurt.
They went to the party together and Amber had so much fun! She jumped in the bouncy houses, went down the slides, got her face painted, and ate some cotton candy.
Amber was getting tired but she was having so much fun! She didn’t want it to end. She saw some of her friends leaving, but when she saw her daddy coming towards her with her coat, she ran away from him and hid in one of the bouncy houses. Soon her dad found her and told her it was time to leave. Once again, she ran away from him and started to cry. He caught her hand and walked with her to the car. The whole way home she kicked and screamed and cried.
How did Amber feel about going to the party? (She was excited.)
Why was she afraid? (She thought she might not get to go because her dad had a headache.)
Why do you think Amber’s dad took her to the party even though his head hurt? (Because he loves her)
Did she have a good time? (Yes!)
How did she feel when it was time to leave? (Sad.)
How did she act? (She got upset, screaming, crying, running away from her dad.)
Do you think Amber was showing thankfulness to her dad? (No.)
What could Amber have done differently? (Listened to her dad and thanked him for taking her.)
There are lots of things in life that make us feel sad, but part of being thankful is choosing to think about the good parts instead of thinking about the bad parts. Amber got to go to the party even though her dad was not feeling well. She had a lot of fun. She should have been very happy. Instead, she chose to be sad that it was over. She was not being thankful.
The Bible says that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17 KJV). That means that everything in your life is a gift from God. What are some of the blessings in your life? Listen to responses and then suggest some of your own. God has given you people who love you. God gives you friends to play with and a family to take care of you. God gives you food to eat every day and a place to live.
Most importantly, God loves you so much that he sent Jesus to die on the cross to take away your sins. That means that when you’re grumpy and upset instead of being thankful, God still forgives you and keeps on blessing you! Because Jesus forgives your sins, you can go to heaven and live with him forever. All of those things are reasons to be thankful!
I am going to give you a turkey to take home with you today. When you get home, write down one blessing from God on each of the turkey’s feathers. Then, you can put it on your fridge or in your bedroom. When you look at it, think of something good in your life, a blessing from God, and say, “Thank you, God!”
Let’s pray together: Dear God, you have given me so many good things! Thank you for my family, my friends, and especially for sending Jesus to die on the cross to take away my sins. Please help me to be more thankful for all that you have done for me. When something makes me sad, help me to think about the good parts and remember to say “thank you”. Help me to always remember your greatest blessing of all—forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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