Use this Children’s Message about being thankful during Thanksgiving season—or any time of the year.
Give each child a deflated balloon.
(Children under 8 years of age can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons for children. Discard broken balloons at once. Balloons may contain latex.)
Say: Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all the awesome things we’re thankful for. Let’s take turns calling out things we’re thankful for. Each time someone names something, add a puff of air to your balloon. Ready?
Let kids name things and add puffs of air to their balloons. After everyone has had a turn, say:Wait, wait, it’s my turn! Call out something unpleasant such as, “Getting sick” or “My car broke down.”
Say: Hmmm, I’m not sure everyone added air for that one. When good things happen we’re all full of praise—like our balloons are now. But when bad things happen, it’s more like this.
Have kids release their balloons, letting them fly everywhere and land, deflated.
When Bad Things Happen
- Why aren’t we thankful when bad things happen?
Read aloud Ephesians 5:20.
- Why would God want us to thank him for everything—meaning the good things and bad things?
- Tell about a time you experienced something good right in the middle of something bad.
Begin by sharing your own story to give kids time to think. For example, you might talk about a time you got a flat tire but were encouraged by the kindness of someone who helped you.
Say: It’s easy to thank God for good things. But we can remember to thank God for hard things because he often uses those bad things for good. Let’s fill up our balloons so they’re nice and full of our praises—for the good stuff and even the not-so-good stuff.
Let kids inflate and tie off their balloons. Help kids tie their balloons as needed.
Lead kids in prayer, thanking God for his blessings of good times and even thanking him for the hard things we face. Then let kids bat the balloons around as a celebration and praise to God.