I am thankful to know that we are all children of God.
Week 1 "I am thankful to be a beloved child of God."
* Make a poster board picture of a well. To be "beloved" is to be deeply loved. Here is my thought and I don't know if I'm explaining it really well. At carnivals they have the go fish game where a child will take a fishing pole and throw it over a wall to get a prize. So if you get a small bucket, attach a string and throw it over the picture of the well then they can get little hearts with various scriptures, songs and questions about gratitude as an activity for sharing time.
John 4:14 "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
* This idea might be a little off the wall, bear with me. Is there someone in your branch that knows how to knit? Invite them in, with all their knitting tools. Mosiah 18: 21, "And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another." Have the children answer questions on gratitude, read scriptures, say nice things about each other... and as they do so, have the knitter make 2 notches for each answer (or more if it's really a good answer) Have a completed scarf or blanket to show the children. Emphasize again that when we have our hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another, great things will happen and marvelous miracles will occur. Heavenly Father loves us and we show our gratitude to Him by loving others.
Week 2 I am thankful for my body. I know my body is a temple.
What We Put on Our Temple
What We Do to Our Temple
What We Do with Our Temple
* Invite 2 children up to the front. Blindfold one and ask him to take the hand of the other. Tell the blindfolded child to lead the other one across the room.
D&C 19:40-41 "Or canst thou run about longer as a blind guide? Or canst thou be humble and meek, and conduct thyself wisely before me? Yea, come unto me thy Savior. Amen." What does this scripture mean to the children? Talk about being an "example".
* Have a child come to the front and write with his toes his name on a piece of paper. Have another child come up and try to write their name with a pen in their mouth (please be careful... thank you law suits...) The point: We are grateful for our arms and hands! Every part of our body was carefully designed. Not everyone has a body that works perfectly though. Why? Sing CS 140 I'll Walk With You. We are all children of God. Make a small slide show or power point with different pictures of children to the music of I'm trying to be like Jesus.
* Dramatize the following with the children: ( I would make little signs like "leper" or "palsy" for the diseased, have simple sheets to put on angel and Jesus and a blue blanket for the water) John 5: 4-9, "4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath."
Do we put our needs before others? How can we be like the angel and move the water for others? We can help heal in many different ways by showing respect and kindness.
* Have 3 ziploc bags full of jelly beans or smarties (I personally would do smarties, because you are what you eat!), different amounts in each bag though. Give them to 3 different children (Choose the children wisely). Explain that the children could keep the bags all for themselves or they could share with everyone. Brigham Young and other church leaders helped to establish the "United Order" (See Church History in the Fullness of Times Manuel pg. 402-404) Elder Cannon said this order would bring in a time, "When there shall be no rich and no poor among the Latter-day Saints, when wealth will not be a temptation; when every man will love his neighbor as he does himself; when every man and woman will labor for the good of all as much as for self"" (Church History in the Fullness of Times Manuel pg. 402) We may not be asked to start up the United Order again right now and give everything we have, but we should look for EVERY MOMENT when we can show kindness and respect to all of God's children. (D&C 92, 104)