|   Posted: October 23, 2023

Make the most of your holiday time together with activities designed to increase your family’s thankfulness.

4 Thanksgiving Activities to Grow Your Family’s Gratitude

Make the most of your holiday time together with activities designed to increase your family’s thankfulness.

gratitude journal

Your kids will have fun making their own gratitude journals.


Maybe your home will be filled with extended relatives this Thanksgiving, or maybe it’s just you and your kids trying to figure out what to do over fall break. No matter your situation, you’ll want to make the most of the time you have together for the holiday.

Here are four activities your family can do together, especially if you have young kids in the home.

1. Make a Gratitude Journal

Counting our blessings reminds us of God’s goodness. It also helps children realize how blessed their family is. Studies show that when we grow in gratitude, we grow in happiness.

To get kids on board with counting their blessings this Thanksgiving, we turned it into a fun activity! Check out this craft tutorial for making a mini gratitude journal. You can print out our template, which includes prompts for kids to write or draw about people and things they’re thankful for. You can also learn to make your own out of a blank sheet of paper.

2. Pick Out Life-Changing Gifts Together

gift catalogue

The Compassion Gift Catalog is unlike most catalogs your family will flip through this Christmas season. Instead of listing items you can buy to satisfy wants, it features charitable gifts you can donate to help children living in poverty.

Your family can order a printed copy of the gift catalog or shop our gift catalog online to see all the life-changing items you can donate. Here are a few of the more popular items you can give to families in poverty through the Compassion Gift Catalog:

  • Bibles.
  • Emergency Food Packs.
  • Goats.
  • Mosquito Nets.
  • Vegetable Seeds.
  • Water Filters.
children smiling holding animals

Shopping the Compassion Gift Catalog will help your family keep your eyes on loving your neighbor as we enter the season celebrating Jesus’ birth. Even if you don’t end up donating through the catalog, browsing it is a great way to broaden your perspective and grow your family’s gratitude!

3. Make an International Recipe Together

food on table

A fun way to broaden your family’s perspective is by learning about other cultures. Food is a practical way to help children taste life in another child’s country.

Your kids can help prepare a recipe from a country your family is particularly interested in. And while the food cooks, they could do some research about the culture it comes from. Food also offers a way to talk to children about poverty. You can ask your kids to imagine what it would be like if your family could afford to eat only one small meal a day. Or what if they had to eat only beans and rice for every meal like some kids around the world do?

While you pray before eating the meal, everyone can take turns asking God to provide for children who live in the country your recipe is from.

To give you some inspiration for what to cook as a family, download "Around the World in 12 Recipes", our free cookbook that connects cultures, faith and food.

4. Pray for People Living in Poverty

At Compassion, we believe prayer is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty. We also believe that prayer brings families together and reminds us how blessed we are.

Your family can make a point of praying specifically for people living in poverty this Thanksgiving. You can read specific prayer requests and praises from children in Compassion’s program, staff members, church workers and volunteers around the world in our monthly prayer calendar. Not only can you rejoice with those who rejoice, but you can also petition God on behalf of your neighbors living in poverty.

You can also read praises and share your own on our praise wall. See what other Compassion supporters like you are thanking God for today and let them know you’re rejoicing with them!

No matter which family activities you do together this Thanksgiving, we hope they remind you that God is good all the time and that they grow gratitude in your heart! And thank you for helping God’s global Church give children in poverty so much to be thankful for.

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Child looking into shadow box

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