Gratitude Activities

1. Learn the songs “Thank Thee, Father,” “I Love to Pray,” and “Can a Little Child Like Me?” (Children’s Songbook, pp. 24, 25, and 9 respectively). Have the children name the blessings they are thankful for that are mentioned in the songs. Write the blessings on separate cards. Pass a card (or cards) to each class and have the children draw pictures of each blessing. Then sing the songs again and have the children show their pictures as each blessing is mentioned.

2. Tell the story of the ten lepers, having the children role-play the different parts. Discuss the gift of healing with them. Have children who have received special blessings tell about them and how they showed they were thankful. (Be sure to make the children sensitive to the importance of appreciating our blessings and expressing thanks for them.)

3. On separate cards, write situations where a blessing was given or a service was rendered, and put them into a box. Have the children choose a situation from the box, read it, and discuss how they would respond. For example: David was very ill. His father gave him a special blessing. David got well. What should he do? (Possible answer: Thank his Heavenly Father for granting the blessing, and his father for using the priesthood to pronounce the blessing.)

4. Read “Grateful Heart” by James E. Faust (Friend, May 1994, inside front cover). Invite older members of the ward or branch to talk about how their hearts have been made happy because of simple, daily blessings. Help the children realize that each day we receive many small blessings for which to be thankful.

5. Display a large heart. Discuss activities that make a happy heart (for example, saying our prayers, making a new friend, helping with a family project, learning a new skill). As the children provide answers, draw simple illustrations on the heart that represent the ideas. Give each child a small paper heart, and have him draw something that makes him happy. Take turns sharing these with the other children.

6. One week ahead, assign each class a word or phrase from Articles of Faith 1:7 (tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues). Have the class prepare to teach the meaning of the word/phrase to the other children. The Primary children could then memorize this article of faith.

7. Search the scriptures to find references about some of the gifts our Father in Heaven gives us (Job 32:8, 1 Ne. 10:17; Moro. 7:16; D&C 14:7; D&C 18:32; D&C 46:11–26). Display pictures of children who are demonstrating some special gifts they have (treating an elderly person with respect, helping a younger child with homework, showing kindness to animals, etc.). Have each child spend a moment thinking about a special gift he or she has. Leaders may need to help point out these gifts. Have the children share some of their gifts with the others and talk about how these blessings from their Heavenly Father help them to be happy.

8. Have the children draw pictures to illustrate the following terms to add to their “My Articles of Faith Word Book” (see Sharing Time, Friend, January 1995, page 36): gift—an ability or power given by our Heavenly Father to each of his children; to heal—to make a sick person well; thanks—expression of gratitude to someone who has done something kind; service—doing something kind or helpful for someone else.

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