Keeping Thanks in Thanksgiving – Telling Others Thank You


God deserves all our praise and thanksgiving, but He also wants us to have a grateful spirit toward others. God says in Matthew 25:40 that when we do something for others, it is like doing it for Him.  So lets use this Thanksgiving season to not only deliberately express thanks to God, but also to show gratefulness to those He has placed in our lives.

Everyone needs to feel appreciated. Tell others how thankful you are for them, what they do, their attitude, their smile, their words, etc.

Make thank you notes for people in your life that you don’t normally think of thanking, such as the mailman, doctor, teacher, grandparent, the men who pick up the trash, your waiter, the paint mixer at Lowe’s, the UPS delivery man, your children, your spouse.

Be specific and creative.  Lead the whole family to participate in making cards or expressing thanks in some way.

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”- William Arthur Ward.



Teaching Preschoolers Contentment

Giving thanks produces contentment.  Read the suggested passages for Bible stories or thoughts and tell them in your own words.   Do one each day along with a suggested activities.  Put the Bible verse on the fridge and repeat it often.


(Choosing to be happy with what you have)

Bible Verse: In everything give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Bible Stories:
Hebrews 1:15 – God wants us to give Him thanks more than anything. He would rather us tell Him “thank you” than to give Him money. He would rather us tell Him “thank you” than give Him presents. God likes to hear “thank you”.

Psalm 119:1 – David thanked God for everything God did. He thanked him for the good things. He even thanked God for the bad things that happened. David thanked God even when he was hurt because it helped him to learn God’s Word. The bad things that happen to us can help us learn more about God when we go through the hurtful things. God wants us to thank Him when good things happen and not so good things happen.

John 6:1-13 – One day Jesus was teaching a lot of people and they were all hungry. Jesus took what food was given to him by a little boy and thanked God for the food. God made enough food from that to feed all the people. Jesus gave thanks for His food and so should we.

Luke 17:11-19 – One day 10 sick men came to see Jesus. They asked Jesus to help make them well. He told them how to be healed. When they obeyed him, they were healed. All 10 were healed but only 1 came back to thank Jesus.

Psalm 139:14 David thanked God for making him. He said, “I will thank God for making me wonderfully” David thanked God for making all of his body – eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hands, feet, stomach, etc. Thank God for making all of you.

Prayer: Help us focus on things we do have, not on the things we don’t have

Thank God for someone special and make a card for them.
Make a ‘thank you box’ and find pictures of things to put in it.
Paste picture of foods (favorite and not so favorite) on a paper plate and write the Bible verse on it. (John 6:1-13)
Make paper cut outs of the 10 sick men and act out the story. (Luke 17:11-19)
Play ball together and thank God for each part of the body as you use them. (Psalm 139:14)


A Thankful Song




(This is another lesson from Here a Little, There a Little, a compilation of Bible activities I created to use with my preschool children. It was designed to spend a week memorizing the verse and reinforcing it through Bible lessons and activities.)

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” (William Arthur Ward)  Share this quote with your children and teach them that since everything comes from God, we need to express thanks to Him for everything.  We should also express thanks to those God leads to give to us.


Bible Verse: James 1:17  Every good present and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father who made the sun, moon, and stars.

Bible Stories:

1. Psalm 127:3 The Bible says that children are a gift from the Lord.  Every good gift comes from God. God gave Mom & Dad a very special gift (age of your child) ago.  We are so thankful God gave us the special, special gift.  Do you know what that gift was? – It was (child’s name)!

2. Psalm 68:19 Praise God who daily loads us with benefits The Bible says God daily loads us up with blessings.  Blessings are anything God gives us just because He loves us.  Can you name something God gives us every day? (Jesus, food, sleep, sunshine, happy times, smiles, hugs, water, love, friends, air to breath, etc)

3. Genesis 1 In the beginning of the world God made everything.  He made the animals, trees, blue sky, water, stars, sun, clouds, birds, plants, etc.  After He made His beautiful world, He made Adam and Eve.  He gave all He had made to them to enjoy.  God also gives all He has made to us to enjoy.  Thank you God, for your good gift of your beautiful world.

4. Philippians 4:10-19 Paul had need of something.  He was locked up in jail for preaching about Jesus.  The people in the church in the city called Philippi decided to send some gifts to Paul.  They loved him and wanted to help him.  Paul knew that it was God who had helped them to give the gift.   Paul knew that every good gift comes from God.

5. Philippians 1:1-5 Paul wrote a thank you letter to his friends in Philippi while he was in prison.  He told them that he thanked God for them every time he thought of them.  His friends cared about him and Paul was grateful for their friendship.  He knew they were a gift from God to him.  We need to thank God for our friends and those who help us.  We need to tell others we are thankful for them.

Prayer: Thank you God for all the gifts you have given us.  Help us to always be thankful to you and to others.


1. Look at baby pictures  and express your gratefulness to God for giving you your children.

2. Cut out pictures of things that God gives us.  Put them in a a ‘thankful box’ and pull them out regularly and thank God for them

3. Play out in God’s beautiful world and sing one of these thankful songs.

4. Find or draw a picture of Paul in jail and talk about what gifts God might have led his friends to send him.  Do you know of someone that has a need that God could be leading your family to give to like the Philippians gave to Paul?

5. Train your children even now to always be quick to thank those who give to them.  This should also be those who give of their time to them. Help them write a thank you, complete with art work, to someone God has used to bless them (grandparent, pastor, s/s teacher, waitress, sales clerk, doctor, mailman, etc).