4 Ideas for Including Kids in the Giving of Thanks

2020 has been hard on all of us. The Giving of Thanks can help restore our focus and contributes to our well-being – young and old, alike.

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Deborah Haddix

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2020 has been hard on all of us – including our kids and grandkids.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m seeing all kinds of posts and encouragements for the adults. Coming in the form of social media posts, blog posts, pins, and downloads, each reminds us of the importance of slowing down to give thanks. And this year in particular, they often point to the positive effects of gratitude on our well-being.

As we engage in some of these “thankful” activities, I think it is imperative that we include the children in our lives. Often overlooked, they are not too young to learn the importance of giving thanks. And it’s up to us to help them.

Most of the thanksgiving activities I have seen can be easily adapted to children.

Adapting Acts of Thanksgiving

Scripture Challenges –

  • Read the Bible passage to your child. Then in their own words, have them tell you what the passage means. (Providing assistance is absolutely okay!)
  • Have your child write the daily Scriptures out by hand. They can write them in a journal or on a sheet of paper to hang in their room. If the Scripture is too long for your child to write out, print it for them. Then have them add symbols and pictures to show the meaning.

Journaling –

  • In a special “Thanksgiving” journal, ask your child to write in as much detail as possible about one thing they are thankful for. Decide beforehand how often and for how long you would like your child to carry out this task.
  • For younger children, rather than writing sentences, ask them to list with words or drawings 3-5 things each day.
  • Take the journaling off the page. Give your child some dry erase or window markers and let them list their thanks on windows, mirrors, and whiteboards.

Crafty –

  • Have your children or grandchildren make a paper chain of things for which they are thankful by writing or drawing one thing they are thankful for on each link. Use the completed paper chain as a Thanksgiving dinner decoration.
  • Decorate your wall with a cut-out turkey. Over the course of a few days or weeks, have your children write what they are thankful for on individual turkey feathers and add these feathers to your wall hanging.

Just for Kids –

If you are not the crafty type and aren’t all that sure about taking the time to adapt the plethora of ideas out there for adults, you might want to consider My Thankful Journal for Kids. This book is a tool for helping children practice the act of giving thanks.

My Thankful Journal, presents readers with a Bible passage and then guides them toward making application of it to their lives by engaging their mind and their heart through thinking, journaling, and praying activities.

If getting crafty or finding the time to make adaptations is just too much, help the kids in your life slow down and practice with an engaging book written just for them.

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ephesians 5:20

My Thankful Journal for Kids

My Thankful Journal for Kids is designed to help children cultivate an attitude of gratitude through daily practice. Written in a kid-friendly, conversant style and using a consistent structured format, children are encouraged to think about the importance of giving thanks to God. Each of the twenty-seven daily activities points the reader to Scripture (Read), challenges them to think about the Scripture (Think), provides them an opportunity to reflect/respond (Journal), and offer thanks to God (Pray).Whether done individually or as a family, this book is a practical tool for helping children develop the healthy habit of giving thanks.

Comments

2 comments

  • Deborah,
    Joining you from the link-up at instaencouragements :) My children are grown, but I remember making paper chains and writing things we’re thankful for on the links. I think that’s a fun Thanksgiving craft that never gets old…my “kids” are 32 and 27. Maybe one day I’ll have grandkids with whom I can carry on some of these great ideas!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

  • Tabatha Hull

    Thank you for these unique ideas, Deborah! Yes, I completely agree that we need to be teaching our children about gratitude while encouraging them to dig into God’s Word. Thank you for sharing!

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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