For Thanksgiving, let everyone wear a turkey name tag. Make the turkeys in advance or let each guest make his own by tracing around his out-stretched hand. The thumb becomes the head and the remaining fingers are the tail feathers. Draw and cut out the turkeys and give each person a "turkey" name by scrambling the letters of his or her name. For example: David could be Vidad or Divad. Review each name to make sure the letters don't spell anything inappropriate. The guests could vote on the best "turkey" name. You may also use the turkeys for the Devotions time described below.
"Why Stand We In Jeopardy?" ... I Corinthians 15:30
For Thanksgiving, we have a Thanksgiving Bible Jeopardy game. The Bible questions are listed under the following categories: Pilgrims (Bible questions about people who traveled away from home), Turkeys (Birds in the Bible), Family Time (Bible Families), Thanksgiving Feast (Foods in the Bible), and Be Thankful (Bible Verses About Being Thankful). Divide into teams and use this game to take turns answering Bible questions that are ranked according to difficulty.
“Enter Into His Gates With Thanksgiving...” Psalm 100:4
There are many of the dollar stores in my area that sell everything in the store for $1.00. During this time of year, I have seen many stuffed, colorful, toy turkeys. Some are really cute. I have also seen the cornucopias and plastic foods. These would make pretty center pieces for your tables and could be used as door prizes at the close of your gathering.
“Therefore Let Us Keep The Feast...” I Corinthians 5:8
Thanksgiving is a time when families come together for the feast. There may be some in your church who are widows or elderly that may not be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner. If possible, some in your group may be willing to help prepare a special meal for some special people. The youth and their parents could prepare and serve the meal.
“In Everything Give Thanks...” I Thessalonians 5:18
Using the questions, "Who, What, When, Where, and Why" use your turkey name tags to write down things you are thankful for.
"Who?" On the first finger write down someone you are thankful for.
"What?" On the second finger write down something you are thankful for.
"When?" On the third finger write down some time you are thankful for. It could be a special day in the past, or a time you are looking forward to.
"Where?" On the fourth finger write down a place you are thankful for.
"Why?" And on the last finger write down the reason we should be thankful.
After everyone is finished, let each person tell one of the things he or she is thankful for. Give Thanks
In grade school we always had to make as many words possible out of the word "THANKSGIVING". For a word puzzle using Bible verses to make those words, go to Thanksgiving. You may also wish to use the find-a-word using the words from Psalm 100:4. Birds in the Bible is a crossword puzzle that includes a word bank to make it easier for younger players.
If planning a meal for the elderly or widows and widowers is too much of a project to take on, some could get together in groups and do some holiday baking. That was always a fun part of the holidays when my children were small. We would bake all types of cookies and make candy to put in tins and give to special friends. It would mean a lot to the elderly to know that you thought of them in that special way.
“... He That Hath Two Coats, Let Him Impart To Him
That Hath None...” Luke 3:11
Many groups have the "Give A Kid A Coat" programs. There are probably many people in your group that have an extra coat they don't wear, or have outgrown. This is an easy fall project, and one that would be very helpful to others.
Our youth group visits a nursing home once a month and one of our young ladies wanted to do something special for the people we visit. We collected items and made gift baskets for the 41 people living in the home. The people were so thankful and it was such a blessing to see their smiling faces. For a list of items you may want to include see Gift Baskets.