Many churches and fellowships mark certain holidays with exciting outreach programs featuring plays and skits. However, there are always that group of children that can’t or won’t come to practice and then you are left trying to figure out what to do. You don’t want to leave anyone out, especially new children but at the same time, you can’t very well hand out parts in a play to someone who has not rehearsed.
If you are looking for last minute Thanksgiving program ideas to fill in gaps in your schedule to include new kids, we have some ideas that may be helpful. I have used these ideas successfully myself in the past and would recommend them to you too! Some require some printing and artwork so don’t use them too last minute.
Spell THANKSGIVING! Print the word “thanksgiving” one letter per sheet of paper. Glue the paper onto cardstock or cardboard. Line the kids up and instruct them to keep the blank side facing the audience. Play a special song in the background and then ring a bell, ring once for each letter. As the bell rings, have the child flip the card over to show the letter. Tell the kids to look at you and you will point to who should flip their cards next. When all the cards are shown, ring the bell a bunch of times and have the kids shout in unison, “Happy Thanksgiving!”
Narrated Scenes: Narrated scenes really come to the rescue when you’re in a pinch. Start by choosing Bible characters who were noted for being thankful. For example, Jonah. Read chapter 2, emphasizing the part where Jonah reached dry land and began to thank God. Tell the child to act like he’s swimming and then landing on shore. He should then shout, “Praise the Lord! Thank you Lord!” Next bring out another thankful character like the leper who was healed. According to Luke 17 all then lepers were healed but only one came to thank the Lord. Act that scene out! Have them all see that they are healed but they all leave except one who stops to thank God. There are plenty more characters like Moses, the Mary the mother of Jesus and the father of the prodigal son who make great scenes for narration. You do the reading and let the kids act.
Interview Kids: Before the program, ask kids to write down what they are most thankful for this year. Tell me they can only say one or two things. Collect the answers and read them aloud to the audience. Play a thankful song in the background like, “Give Thanks” and show pictures of each child as you read their answers. It’s so powerful!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.