This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.Psalm 118:24
As we approach the special time of year when families and friends gather for thanksgiving, let us prepare thankful hearts by rejoicing anew in each day of Creation! To this end, we’ve pulled together seven quick hands-on activities for you to share with your families to remember and reflect on God’s work during each day of Creation.
Activity 1: Colors of the Rainbow
I’m THANKFUL for the gift of light
Did you know pure light holds within it all the colors of Creation? Jesus describes himself as the Light of the World (John 8:12) and the Apostle Paul reminds us that all things–including all the colors of Creation–were made through Jesus and for His glory! (Colossians 1:16)
Our first thankful hearts activity comes from our Five Gifts science curriculum. Practice telling God “thank you” for each color you add to the rainbow on this fun coloring page.
Activity 2: Cloudfinder
I’m THANKFUL for clouds in the sky
Sometimes clouds in the sky will catch our attention because of their color or because they share the likeness of a familiar object or animal. Don’t miss an opportunity to thank the Lord this holiday season for the function they play as an important part of the mechanism God created for purifying water to support life.
Our second thankful hearts activity is rooted in God’s separation of the sky and sea on the 2nd Day of Creation and can be found in our Stormchasers science curriculum. Cut out the center of our cloud finder and practice giving thanks to God for the cirrus, stratus, and cumulus clouds you can find in the sky.
Activity 3: 4 Ways to Describe a Leaf
I’m THANKFUL for the different kinds of leaves God created
One of the remarkable features of autumn is the beautiful changing colors that decorate the hills and byways on our seasonal travels. Deciduous trees like maples, ash, and poplar trees respond to the shrinking number of daylight hours by halting their production of chlorophyll–the chemical agent that keeps leaves green and fuels growth through photosynthesis. God created these amazing plants and their perfectly-designed functions on the 3rd day of Creation.
Let us add thankful hearts for God’s creativity to our awe of these amazing leaves by attending to the intricate design of deciduous leaves with our third thankfulness activity–a leaf description guide we originally used in our Science on Site events.
Activity 4: Constellation Finder
I’m THANKFUL for the dependable constellations that mark the seasons
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing.Isaiah 40:26
Astronomers estimate there are approximately 200 septillion (that’s 24 additional zeros) stars organized into 125 billion galaxies. Our Milky Way galaxy alone has approximately 20,000 nebulae, only 3,500 of which have been named and measured. Not one goes unnoticed or unnamed by the God who placed them in the heavens.
Our fourth thankful hearts activity comes from our 4th Day Science curriculum about the Sun, moon, and stars. As you use these pin-hole constellation finders, thank the Lord for holding each star in its place so that even in the dark of night, we can still find our way around God’s world.
Activity 5: Bird in Flight Animation Flipbook
I’m THANKFUL for birds that inspire us to take to the skies
Look out your window, spend time in your backyard, or visit a park and you will likely see a variety of different types of birds soaring through the sky. Our fifth thankful hearts activity–making a bird in flight animation flipbook–comes from our Mysteries of Flight science curriculum and harkens back to the birds God created on the 5th Day of Creation.
Today we can take to the skies and travel across states and countries to join our families for thanksgiving with the help of airplanes. Let us thank God this holiday season for his original high flyers–the birds–as they inspired engineers and inventors like the Wright brothers that pioneered the path for our modern planes, helicopters, and gliders.
Print the template provided on cardstock and cut along the dotted lines. Use the numbers to stack each card in order and staple or paperclip the sections together. Allow this fun flip book animation to inspire and encourage you to share your thankfulness with the Creator of the birds and all the flying creatures.
Activity 6: Grasshopper Popper
I’m THANKFUL for grasshoppers that jump across all the biomes of the world
Have you ever been surprised by an unexpected grasshopper leaping out in front of you?
In fact, grasshoppers can jump a distance that is 20 times their length. God created a special pair of muscles and gear structures in the grasshopper’s rear legs that allow them to accomplish this amazing feat.
Our sixth thankful hearts activity comes from our World in His Hands biomes science curriculum. Use the pieces of our template, a small plastic bathroom cup, a pipe cleaner, and a polymer popper to make your own jumping grasshopper. When something unexpected happens in front of your very eyes, practice expressing your thankfulness to the God who is never surprised (Psalm 95) and who might be at work behind the very object of your surprise.
Activity 7: Sabbath Paper Spinner
I’m THANKFUL that in rest, I can count my blessings more clearly
The fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy, or set apart from the rest of the week.
What is the Sabbath?
Sabbath means to stop, cease, or rest. We first learn about the Sabbath during the creation story when God dedicated the 7th day of Creation to rest. Each day’s creation ends with God saying that it was good. God made rest to be good. Later when God provided the people with manna, He reminded them about how He provides enough to keep the Sabbath holy and set apart (Exodus 16:4-5). Sabbath is a gift supported by science.
We all know how important rest is when you are sick but did you know that your kidneys cannot clean the blood in your brain until you are sleeping? We rotate crops because even the soil beneath us needs rest to stay productive.
The problem is that to remember the Sabbath, its not “just” about stopping. We remember the Sabbath and set it apart as holy by stopping and remembering, stopping and resting, stopping and worshiping, and stopping and hoping, or getting excited about what God is going to do.
Our seventh thankful hearts activity comes from our Science of the Sabbath special event resources. Print and complete the template provided. Then, add a looped string through the center. As you spin the disc and pull the strings outward, you will barely be able to see what you are thankful for. It’s not until you allow the spinning disc to slow to a stop that you will be able to see the things you are thankful for.
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Dr. Kenneth Fleming manages Science Between the Pages–a science learning resource helping Christian homeschooling parents exercise creative ways to bridge the fun of hands-on science with capturing the aha moments of scientific discovery in a way that proclaims the excellencies of God’s brilliant handiwork.