This is a 6-week Bible reading plan to help your family focus on being thankful. Each week looks at one topic that we can be thankful for and provides Scripture along with other ideas (such as crafts, snacks, or videos) to emphasize that topic. You can use this any time, but if you are wanting to use it to help your family celebrate Thanksgiving this year, begin it the week of October 19 and it will be completed the week of Thanksgiving in the United States. (Then you can head on over to the Christmas Bible Reading Plan and continue your Bible reading!)
You might also want to check out my Thanksgiving Bible study for families. This would be a fun family Bible time that would go along perfectly with this Bible reading plan! Also, if you aren’t already a member of our facebook group, come join us, and, while you’re at it, click on over and follow me on facebook!
I hope you enjoy this Bible reading plan and that it helps you to grow in your thankfulness and expression of that thankfulness! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving season and keep raising your kids to follow Jesus!
NOTE: As part of this Bible reading plan and your expression of thankfulness for the next six weeks, I would like to encourage you to have each member of your family record what he is thankful for during the week. You can do this however you want . . . let me offer two possible suggestions.
1) At the beginning of the six weeks, make a large tree out of construction paper or butcher paper and attach it to a wall somewhere in your house. Cut out several leaf shapes and place them near the tree. Whenever someone wants to record something he is thankful for, have him write it on one of the leaves and then tape that leaf on the tree (or on the “ground” surrounding the tree). On Thanksgiving day, read through all the leaves before you eat your dinner! Click on the picture below to download a printable leaf template:
2) Make a “Thankful Chain” and tape it around the ceilings in your house. Cut several strips of construction paper and have them readily available. Whenever a family member has something he is thankful for, he writes it on one of the strips and then adds it to the chain. See how long you can get this chain before Thanksgiving Day. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, take the chain down and read all of them before you eat your dinner!
And now here is the plan . . . . you can print it off or scroll down and find it all right here!
Week One: I am thankful for Grace
___ Day One: John 3:16-17. This is what it is all about! Spend time today thanking God for the gift of JESUS! (Note: if you have not yet accepted this free gift, why not do that today?)
A craft: Make a cross to help you remember the most important thing you have to be thankful for – and use leaf rubbings to help you! Gather several small leaves, crayons, and white paper. Fill the white paper with colorful leaf rubbings, then cut out the shape of a cross! Glue the cross on a piece of construction paper to frame it. Just like the leaves die off in the fall, Jesus died on the cross for our sins . . . BUT . . . just like the trees grow new leaves in the spring, Jesus ROSE from the dead and is alive today! Thank God for His wonderful gift to us!
___ Day Two: Luke 7:36-50. The woman in this passage experienced the grace of God in her life and she was extremely thankful! How did she express her thanks to Jesus? Have you experienced the grace and forgiveness of God in YOUR life? How have you expressed that?
An activity: Light a scented candle and turn off all the other lights in the house. As you smell the candle, take time to thank God for all the ways He has shown you His grace. Want to take it one step further? Make your own scented candle.
___ Day Three: Ephesians 2:1-10. We were lost in our sins . . . but God came along and gave us a way out! Now we have new life in Christ – and it is all because of God’s grace!
An activity: Carve a pumpkin together! As you are pulling all the gunk out, talk about how we, too, were filled with gunk. We were filled with sin . . . just like these verses in Ephesians remind us. But God took away our gunk and has filled us with His spirit so we can shine for Him! Carve a happy face (or maybe you want to carve a cross), put a candle in the pumpkin and let it shine, too!
___ Day Four: Titus 2:11-14. God’s grace purifies you and makes you His treasured possession!
An Experiment: Try this experiment to show how God’s grace can make us clean and pure!
___ Day Five: Hebrews 4:14-16. Jesus knows what it is like to go through difficult times – He will help us and give us the grace that we need to overcome! This sets us up perfectly for next week, when we will look at giving thanks – even when life is tough!
An activity: Add a leaf to your thankful tree or a chain to your thankful chain thanking God for His GRACE!
Week Two: I am thankful – even when life is tough!
___ Day One: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. When do these verses say we are to give thanks? We are to give thanks in EVERYTHING . . . that means the good times and the bad times!
An activity: Take 2 paper plates and draw a picture of a happy face on one and a sad face on the other. Hold the happy face in front of your face and take turns saying what you are thankful for in the happy times. Then hold the sad face in front of your face. Take turns sharing what you can be thankful for in the difficult times. Turn this into a game by randomly holding a plate up and having everyone shout out one thing they can be thankful for when they are happy or sad (depending on which plate is being held out). Have fun . . . and learn to be thankful in ALL circumstances!
___ Day Two: James 1:2-4. Trials are never fun – but we can still consider them joy. Why? How can these verses help us to be thankful in the difficult times?
A game: Set up your own obstacle course around your house (or outside). Take turns completing the obstacle course. How fast can you do it? Add even more “trials” to the course – for example, can you complete the obstacle course on your hands and knees? Backwards? Hopping on one foot? When you finish, discuss how important it is to persevere through our trials. Spend time thanking God for His help when times are tough!
___ Day Three: Romans 8:26-30. When life is tough, we often don’t even know how to pray. These verses promise us that the Spirit himself will intercede for us! God will help us in our weak times AND God will help good to come out of those times. What a great promise! Spend time thanking God for that promise today!
A craft: Make an apple heart painting by cutting apples in half and using them to stamp a picture of a heart. Be as elaborate and creative as you want. As you are making your picture, be reminded that God knows your heart and He loves you. He will help you through the difficult times!
___ Day Four: 1 Peter 5:6-12. This world is full of suffering. It is hard to be thankful when we see all the suffering around us – or when we go through that suffering ourselves. But be reminded that Jesus Himself suffered, and that we are blessed when we suffer for His name!
A snack: Roast marshmallows to remind you that, when you go through fiery trials for Jesus, you will come out even better . . . even if you look burned and scarred on the outside!
___ Day Five: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Is there a circumstance in your life that you have asked God to take away and He hasn’t? Spend time thanking Him for it – He is showing you that His grace is enough! Remember, God’s power is made perfect in weakness!
An activity: Add a leaf or a chain with a difficult circumstance that you thank God for today.
Week Three: I am thankful for God’s everlasting, unconditional love
___ Day One: Psalm 106:1, 107:1. God loves you and always will!
A craft: Make soap bubble art hearts! God’s love BUBBLES over in us!
___ Day Two: 1 John 4:15-19. God is love! Spend time today thanking God for His perfect love that casts out fear!
A snack: Make apple slices in the shapes of hearts to remind you of God’s love! Eat it with caramel to remind you to STICK to God’s love!
___ Day Three: Romans 8:31-39. Nothing can separate us from the love of God!!!!
An activity: Have fun trying to separate different items today! Choose some items and mix them together . . . then see how hard it is to separate them again. Can you separate flour and sugar? Water and oil? Food coloring and water? Salt and pepper? Some of those items were easy to separate from one another while others were more difficult. However, NOTHING can separate us from the love of God – and that is something to be thankful for! End this activity by combining sugar and cinnamon on a piece of buttered toast for a fun, delicious snack!
___ Day Four: 1 John 3:1. You are a child of God and He loves you!
An activity: Make an acrostic poem using your name. Come up with one way that God loves you for each letter of your name! Decorate it, frame it, and hang it somewhere to remind you that you are His child!
___ Day Five: Psalm 100. Spend time today thanking God for his everlasting, unconditional love!
An activity: Add a leaf or chain thanking God for His love for you!
Week Four: I am thankful for the hope of heaven!
___ Day One: 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. What do these verses say about our hope for the future? Thanks be to God . . . He gives us the VICTORY!
A craft: The trumpet will sound and we will be changed! Make your own trumpet today. Connect a paper towel tube to a small plastic bowl or cup, decorate and play!
___ Day Two: John 14:1-4. Some day we will be with Jesus in a place that He is preparing for us! This is something to be thankful for!
A craft: What do you think heaven will be like? Make a painting representing heaven! Be sure to include your room in the house!
___ Day Three: Revelation 21:1-4. There will be no more crying or pain or death in heaven! Doesn’t this make you thankful?
A snack: Make your own sour patch grapes for a fun and sour snack. Can you eat them without crying? This is a fun activity, but let it remind you that there will be nothing SOUR in heaven – everything will be sweet and joyous!!
___ Day Four: John 10:27-29. Jesus is our shepherd and no one can snatch us out of His hand!
A craft: Make a handprint lamb craft as a reminder that Jesus watches over us and He holds us in His hands for all eternity!
___ Day Five: 1 Corinthians 2:7-9. We cannot even begin to comprehend all that God has prepared for us! Be sure to say “Thank you” to Him today!
An activity: Add a leaf or chain to your tree or chain thanking God for the hope of heaven!
Week Five: I am thankful for God’s peace!
___ Day One: Philippians 4:4-7. No matter what is going on in the world around us, we do not need to be afraid or anxious – we can have peace! This is a peace that those who do not know Jesus simply do not understand. Aren’t you thankful for the peace that God gives in the midst of chaos?
A craft: Draw a picture to represent God’s peace in your life.
___ Day Two: Isaiah 26:3-4. God is our rock . . . our stability when everything else is falling apart.
A craft: Find a huge rock and paint it or decorate it to remind you that God is your rock and can give you peace. For even more fun, make your own rock candy.
___ Day Three: John 16:33. Life in this world will not be easy – but Jesus has overcome the world and He will give us His peace and help us overcome it, too!
An activity: Play “spin the globe”. Spin a globe around and then pray for the area where the globe stops. Pray for the Christians in that area to be strong and to experience the peace of God in their lives! Find an online version of “spin the globe” here.
___ Day Four: Colossians 3:15-17. Let God’s peace rule in your heart! What is ruling in your heart today? Is it God’s peace . . . or is it worry and fear? Spend time today thanking God for His peace and asking Him to help you learn to live in it!
A craft: God certainly filled the early pilgrims with His peace . . . and they also learned to live in peace with the Indians around them! Make personalized Pilgrim or Indian place holders for Thanksgiving day! Take a picture of every member of your family. Have each person cut out his head. Then have him glue it to a toilet paper tube and then add construction paper to make either a Pilgrim or an Indian. Save them for decorations for your Thanksgiving dinner!
___ Day Five: Isaiah 41:10. Why should we not fear? How can knowing that God is with you give you peace?
An activity: Add a leaf or chain thanking God for His peace in this crazy world!
Week Six: I am thankful for what God has done for me!
___ Day One: Psalm 9:1-2. God’s works are AWESOME! What works of God are you the most thankful for?
A craft: Make a thankful book today and fill it full of pages that tell of the wonders of God!
___ Day Two: Exodus 15:1-3. What were the people thanking God for in these verses? What miracle had God done for them? What has God done for you lately? Spend time thanking Him for it!
A snack: Make a “crossing the red sea” snack using jello and teddy grahams!
___ Day Three: Matthew 6:25-34. Why should we not worry? God always takes care of His people . . . and He will take care of YOU. How has God provided for you and your family in the past? Spend time thanking Him for it! (For a cool collection of stories on God’s provision, click here).
A craft: Make a candy corn ornament craft to help you remember what God has done for you! Each time you put a candy corn in the ball, say one way that God has provided for you! Enjoy your time thanking God for His provision for you!
___ Day Four: Luke 17:11-19. What did Jesus do for the people in this passage? How did they respond? Only one actually went back and said “Thank you”. Be the one to say thank you for all that God does for you!!!
An activity: Act out this passage using legos, toilet paper tube people, teddy grahams, family members, or any thing else you have on hand! For added fun, record and share it at the “Raising Godly Kids” facebook page.
___ Day Five: Philippians 4:10-20. Have you learned the secret of being content in any and every situation? Remember . . . God will provide all your needs!
An activity: Add a leaf or chain thanking God for what He has done for you!
The Pilgrims learned a lot about how God provides for them. Today would be a great day to take a look at that first thanksgiving and the way God provided! Check out this fun video to help with that:
Now that you’ve completed the Thankful Bible Reading Plan, why not continue on with the Christmas Bible Reading Plan or choose another one of these Bible Reading Plans for your family? And, if you want a more detailed Bible study for your family, check out one of the studies below: