Thankfulness is so powerful! It really does change how we see our lives, and encourages us when things are tricky. This activity is a way of identifying, focusing on and being thankful for the good things in our lives.
You could make a thanks jar at any time of year, but I especially like starting ours on January 1st and reading them all out on 31st December as a celebration of our year.
You will need a large, empty, clean jar. You can decorate it in any way you like. We decorated ours using ribbons stuck onto double sided tape them stuck onto the jar in stripes.
Cut up lots and lots of little pieces of paper and hole punch through them all. Thread them onto a ribbon or elastic band and tie it around the top of the jar. (If you’re doing this for a group, a guillotine would be handy for this and it will be easier if you do this in advance, at least 20 for each child, and put them in an envelope with their name on it.)
Make a label for your jar and write some instructions on the back, for example:
‘Thanks Jar: Spotted something GOOD in your life? Draw it or write it down, put the paper in here and thank God for it.’
Or you might like to put this verse on it:
Philippians 4:8 says: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”… and draw or write them on a piece of paper and put them in this jar!
When you’ve created your jar, invite everyone to write or draw something which good in their life. It could be something they’ve done this week which they enjoyed, someone they love, something they enjoying doing, or a simple experience they love. Explain that the Thanks Jar is to collect notes about good things in our lives. This will help us remember them and thank God for them.
Encourage everyone to add things whenever they want to. You might like to add this as a mini-ritual to your family times together, or during a particular meal you eat together once a week. Some families like to read what’s in it each month. We like to get them all out on 31st December and celebrate all the good things we spotted this year.