Thanksgiving is just around the corner. We want to offer you a game to be more intentional with your family’s faith this holiday season. Start with this simple game designed to help younger children articulate giving thanks. This can be done during any mealtime the whole family is present.
- Gather the family together before sitting down for the meal to enjoy a game designed to emphasize why we give thanks.
- If you own the game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos,” get it ready. If not, create your own version by placing about 20–30 marbles on a large paper plate or plastic tray. Give each player a spoon with which they will pick up the marbles.
- As the children anticipate starting the game, pause and invite the oldest child to read I Thessalonians 5:16–18: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- Afterwards, ask the following questions:
What is God’s will for us? (to give thanks)
Why do we give thanks? (to experience joy)
- Tell the children that one of the most important ways we fill our hunger for joy is to give thanks for the blessings God has given.
- Now play several rounds of “Hungry, Hungry Hippo” or “Marbles and Spoons” where the children try to gobble or pick up as many as they can. The winner is the person who has the most marbles at the end of the round.
- Now, turn each child into a real “winner” by inviting them to share one thing for which they are thankful for each marble they retrieved. Emphasize that the more thanks we give the more our “joy tanks” fill up! Play as many rounds as you can until the meal is ready.
- Memorize together: “Giving Thanks—Fills Our Joy Tanks!”