A few years ago, our neighborhood got together for dinner. I thought I’d surprise my neighbor with a simple gift. I love giving gifts and was excited to see what she thought.

As she unwrapped the gift, I kept watching her face. She didn’t smile and honestly I can’t remember what she said. I just knew that gift wasn’t anything she wanted or would ever use. I felt my insides drop.

We usually tell our kids, “Say thank you” or “Be thankful for what you have.” But what we don’t do as often is help our kids understand what happens to someone when they say thank you and are really grateful.

Thankfulness makes people’s heart sing! Thankfulness makes God’s heart sing (or in the object lesson below, bubble over with excitement)! When he gives your child a gift or does something special, he watches their face, excited to see how he or she will react.

So give these fizzing Thanksgiving pumpkin surprises to your kids. Then use them to show them what happens to God’s heart when they’re thankful.
(Talking points for the devotional are below)

Fizzing Thanksgiving pumpkin surprises


To make the fizzing thanksgiving pumpkins*, all you need are a few simple supplies.

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 T. yellow and 1/2 T. red liquid water color or food coloring
  • 1/3. cup water
  • green pipe cleaner
  • (Save 1 c. vinegar per pumpkin and dish soap for later)
  • (round cake pan and cookie sheet for later)
Look for food coloring in the baking or party aisle. Can’t find any? Just create white pumpkins.


Mix the food coloring into the baking soda with a whisk. Add the water a little at a time until the mixture is crumbly but still can be molded into six medium “meatball-size” pumpkins. (If the mixture is too wet, just sprinkle in a little more baking soda.) Cut a small piece of pipe cleaner and wrap it around your finger for a curly effect and stick into the top of the pumpkin. Set on a paper plate.

Note: Food coloring stains, so wash your hands off right away or use gloves.

It’s best to use a glass bowl. Whisking in the coloring takes a minute so be patient!

Make those pumpkins fizz!

As you talk through the devotional points below, have kids drizzle a little dish soap onto the bottom of a pie plate or round cake pan. Set one pumpkin on the pie plate. Then set the pie plate on a cookie sheet.

Put the cake round on a cookie sheet to catch all the fizz and bubbles.

Devotional Talking points

Have you ever given somebody a gift?

You go to the store and pick out the perfect __________(teddy bear, nerf gun, Lego set). You take it to them and you can’t wait to see what they’ll think. You’re super excited to see if they’ll like what you give.

How would you feel if they liked your gift?
How would you feel if they didn’t like your gift?

When they open it and love the gift, it makes you feel happy inside. You’re SO glad they like the gift you chose.

That’s exactly how God feels when we thank him for what he does and what he gives. This is what happens:

[Slowly have your child pour the 1 cup of vinegar over 1 pumpkin and watch it fizz!]

It makes him happy and bubble over with excitement inside.

When you’re thankful for…
the weather,
Your brother or sister,
the air you breath everyday
the sunset God created
It makes his heart happy.

What else could you add to the list above?

God loves a grateful heart because he puts so much thought and care into everything he does. Saying thank you means you saw his gift and liked it. Saying thank you means you trust him to care of him, even if what is happening is a bit different than you’d like.

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7

See how it works here!

© 2020 Carol Garborg

*Thanks to https://leftbraincraftbrain.com/ for the fizzing pumpkin idea adapted for this lesson.

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