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Displaying Thankfulness with a Pumpkin

Displaying Thankfulness with a Pumpkin

Welcome to Smarts-n-crafts, where you’ll find smart activities to do with your children—no matter what age—and fun craft projects for rainy days or just for giggles. You’ll be provided with step-by-step instructions, a variety of use ideas, approximate time of activity, and an age-tested skill level. Let’s get started! We’ve got just 18 summers to create lots of memories with our loved ones.

This month, our focus shifts to people and things we’re thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving on November 23rd.  Today, we’ll create a simple but meaningful centerpiece for our holiday table that’s sure to be a hit with friends and family who are gathered around our table.

What you’ll need:

  • One or more pumpkins (try to find ones with a smooth skin)
  • Two Sharpies, medium point
  • Bible

Skill level:

Little Helping Hands, ages 2-5: Smaller hands will enjoy picking out the pumpkin and sharing what they’re thankful for.

I’d Rather Do It Myself, ages 6+: Older children will also enjoy picking out the pumpkin. In addition, they can set up a table for the pumpkin signatures on Thanksgiving.


20 minutes


  • In early November, enjoy this activity as a family; writing what each person is thankful for on the pumpkin. (The Dig Deeper section focuses on your family activity time.)
  • On Thanksgiving, as guests enter, ask them to write something they’re thankful for on the pumpkin (displayed near the door). Place the pumpkin in the center of the table once everyone has signed it. Take a few moments after the meal to go around the table asking what each person wrote and why.

Dig Deeper:

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

  • “…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”


  • When is it easy for you to give God thanks? When might it be harder to give Him thanks?


  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that God wants us to give thanks for everything. Sometimes this is easy but sometimes it’s hard. We can give thanks to God in everything, because we know that no matter what, God loves us. So He wants us to have grateful hearts, even when it’s not easy.
  • Think for a few minutes about the people and things you are thankful for and then write three of those on the pumpkin.
  • Share how your family will invite Thanksgiving guests to write their own displays of thankfulness on the pumpkin (or ask the child to write it for the guests, depending on the age.) Ask for your child’s help in setting up the table with the markers and pumpkin and/or inviting everyone to participate.

**Consider taking a picture of the pumpkin on Thanksgiving once everyone has signed it and share it on social media! (Tag @Just18Summers for bonus points!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Cathy Baker @ Cultivating Creativity ( Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach and Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains. Visit Cathy’s site to download your free e-book, “Praying In Each Room of Your Home.”

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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