Perhaps you’ve done projects akin to the hand-shaped turkeys and the turkey shoes for several years running (or more!) and you’d like a fresh take on Thanksgiving Day.  Check out these wonderful Thanksgiving ideas to teach an “Attitude of Gratitude”!

New Twists on Thanksgiving: Ideas for Teaching an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Therapeutic Value of an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Therapists, personal achievement coaches, and success mentors across America have one. The message, having an “attitude of gratitude” sprung up in the language of positive thinkers more than a decade ago, but it’s just becoming public knowledge lately that this attitude promotes better health, both mentally and physically.

In America, where we have so much to be thankful for, an “attitude of gratitude” should be part of daily living. If we instill the “attitude of gratitude” in kids from a very young age, they may turn into happier, healthier adults who remember to thank God daily. The giving of thanks can lower stress and fatigue and reduce heart problems, according to many experts.

The Simple Things; the Simple Projects

You can have an easy time this Thanksgiving teaching children how to give thanks for all those “little things!” Bring in your pet hamster, guinea pig, cat or dog and have children admire the softness of his fur, and his kind eyes. (Get permission first!)

Nature walks are still beautiful in many areas. Offer praise or even prizes to children who can express beauty about even the smallest things: God’s rocks, a pine cone, and handful of rich soil. Teach them that all God’s brush strokes are things to be grateful for in a world that is on stress overload.

The “Glad Game” still makes a great homeschool or Sunday school activity, especially during Thanksgiving.  Present children with seemingly terrible situations and ask what they can find to be glad about. Perhaps they’re struggling with a challenge in their own lives.   Help them play the Glad Game, thereby learning, “In everything give thanks”¦” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)


Scriptures on Thanksgiving make great memorization games

Great Thanksgiving Scriptures

Other scriptures that teach the importance of giving thanks include the following:

Psalm 100:4 — Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

1 Chronicles 16:34— Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever

1 Chronicles 23:30— stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening….

Psalm 177:7 — Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God …

Colossians 3:15 — And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Other Thanksgiving Ideas

An important way for children to show their gratitude is by giving to others, who will in turn be thankful for their services. As four-day holidays don’t bear out as many vacationing families what with the down economy, it might be a great time to involve kids in a charity marathon, visit to a nursing home, or to help out at the local food bank. (Parents may be grateful too!)

Many teachers/parents love to incorporate the favorite foods of Thanksgiving into their lessons. Here are some ideas to help with that, plus other thoughts:

  • Coring out the insides of pumpkins can be compared to our need to “empty ourselves” so that Christ can fill us (with candy or candles)
  • Pumpkin seeds are like the seeds of wisdom we get each day as we learn. We take the seeds God sews and eat them (as a yummy snack!), and slowly our souls grow into spiritual strongholds.
  • A green bean or stalk of broccoli makes a great example of how to thank God that even his everyday vegetables are beautifully colored and wonderfully made. Discuss the nutritional value of each; examine their beautiful colors and other fine details, then make a yummy snack with dip!
  • A great song to add for Thanksgiving is the Johnny Appleseed Blessing song, often used for grace. Look it up on YouTube and you’ll sing it for days.
  • Cornucopias might not only contain the precious seasonal fruit, but words of thanksgiving about each item!
  • Set your goals to have children learn the health and nutritional values of giving thanks as well as the spiritual values. Help them to know the importance of giving thanks in good or bad situations. Tell “Pollyanna” stories, about people who changed whole towns or school districts just by having an attitude of gratitude and affecting others.

Our country needs more joy. What a great opportunity Thanksgiving can be to start your kids on the path of being great providers!


Looking for more great lesson ideas that teach an “Attitude of Gratitude”?  Then be sure to check out our Bible Lessons area!  And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter and Come Hangout with Us on Google+!