Avoiding the GIMMIE GIMMIE’s

How do you help kids develop an “Attitude of Gratitude?” Every holiday seems to get derailed with the wrong focus. Christmas is about getting presents and Easter is about candy – and Thanksgiving can end up being about FOOD!

MANY many years ago I wanted to develop a game for my students at church that would help them focus on being thankful, but in a fun and engaging way. I also had the issue of it being a low attendance Sunday with families traveling and as a result I often was short on volunteers. What to do?

I ended up creating a large group game that became so HUGELY POPULAR it became an annual tradition. The game has been available on Kidology.org for over ten years in my “home made” version – but we finally decided to create a “real” version worthy of the FUN that it creates and make it available for wider use!

If you have ever played Parker Brother’s classic card game of PIT – you will already know the basic rules – and get a mental image of how fun the game is. But instead of just a few players yelling out, “One! One!” or “Three! Three!” around a card table – picture a room filled with 100 kids milling around all calling out, “Two! Two! Two!” or “Four! Four!” or “Oh, no! I got a Gimmie!”

For you see, instead of collecting commodities, the kids are collecting things they are thankful for! And instead of inserting a “Bear” or “Bull” card there are some “Gimmie! Gimmie!” cards that must be avoided at all costs. Once kids have collected a set of one item they are thankful for, they sit down. The goal is to not be the last kids left stuck with the “Gimmie! Gimmie!”s.

In the end, everyone is a winner – and the chaos turns to a short but fun lesson on how important it is to be thankful for what we have, and to avoid the “Gimmie Gimmies” – that attitude of focusing on what we can GET instead of what we can GIVE (or already have.)

If you are looking for an easy and FUN activity for this month in Kids Church or even with your family – check out Kidology’s new downloadable game, “GIMMIE GIMMIE!” It comes in full color or grey scale and includes customizable playing cards so you can modify the game as you wish! Full game instructions included.

Available Now for only $5.99 (for Kidology Members) or $7.99 regular.


I’ll send a free one to the best thanksgiving story in comments – tell me how you have taught your kids to be thankful, either in your home or classroom!

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  1. We attended a group Thanksgiving Dinner with strangers last year, to gather with those away from family for the holiday. It was also an economical way to bring one dish yet eat a whole meal! As each person amongst the 30 or so shared something they were thankful for, my comment was gratitude for food. While readily passed over for attention in the midst of more eloquent expressions of gratitude, our season of food shortage made our simple expression of gratefulness deep.

    Our appreciation for what we have is heightened when we have to go without. Our family faced a situation we thought we’d never endure and went from being the givers, to the ones waiting in food lines at the food bank. My children have had to wait an hour or more in line at a “food church” …though difficult for them, they thankfully did not understand the magnitude of our desperation and just knew that they had food to eat every day regardless of where it came from. We truly have experienced being fed by ravens as God sustained our family in crisis.

    Not wanting our children to have an attitude of entitlement- and to appreciate the small provisions as well as the great provisions of Providence, we celebrate thanksgiving to God all November long, in the hard years and in the abundant years. Each day of November at dinner we place a little pom-pom turkey at each person’s plate (it doesn’t really matter what the object is; substitute any item like a kernel of corn, grain of rice, feather from the craft store, paper fall leaf, etc.) As we eat we share something we are thankful for and put the turkey in a small basket in the center of the table. We record each one’s contribution in a family journal daily and will be able to use this as a memory and a memorial of Jehovah-jireh while growing our attitudes of gratitude as a way of life.

    This year we will be able to provide a very simple Thanksgiving meal on our own and give back to the food bank to help others in need. We are so grateful for life’s essentials and out of our lack these verses have taken on new meaning…

    Philippians 4:12-13
    12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

  2. We have a “Thankful Box.” Everyday each of us has to write down one thing we were thankful for that day and put it in the box. On Thanksgiving, we open the box and read all of the blessings we had to be thankful for in the past year.

    It has really taught our children to have an attitude of gratitude. We all look forward to opening the box. It is a great reminder of how much God blesses us and how much we truly have to be thankful for

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