- Small corrugated cardboard pizza boxes, 1 per child
- Clear transparency sheets, 1 per child
- 7-in. paper dessert plates, 1 per child
- Chrome colored spray paint, amount varies
- Bright blue copy paper, 1 sheet per child
- Tan construction paper, one ½ sheet per child
- Bright green construction paper, one ¼ sheet per child
- Sea Creatures pattern (from pdf below)
- Clamshell Notes pattern (from pdf below)
- White copy paper, 2 sheets per child
- White copy paper, 1 sheet for every 30 children
- Ocean of Thanks Verse pattern (from pdf below)
Tools and Basic Supplies
- Office paper cutter
- Glue sticks
- Craft glue
- Transparent or masking tape
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Roofing nails
- Plastic knives
- Spray paint the back of the 7-in. paper dessert plates.
- Cut out the center circles of each painted plate. The
holes should be approximately 5-in. in diameter.
- Draw a 6-in. diameter circle on the lids of the pizza
- Make sure that when the closed pizza boxes are standing
up on the end that opens that there is a small open
slot at the lid hinge. This is where the clamshell notes
will be dropped into the boxes when they’re closed. If
there isn’t a slot, you’ll need to make one.
- Cut the transparency sheets into 7x7-in squares, 1 per
- Cut the bright blue copy paper into 8x8-in. squares (or
to fit the bottom of your pizza boxes), 1 per child.
- Cut tan construction paper into half sheets, 1 per child.
- Cut bright green construction paper into quarter
sheets, 1 per child.
- Copy Sea Creatures pattern onto white copy paper, 1
pattern per child.
- Copy Clamshell Notes pattern onto white copy paper, 1
pattern per child.
- Copy the Ocean of Thanks Verse pattern onto white
copy paper. Then cut out one verse for each child.
Show the sample craft and say:
We’re making an Ocean of Thanks Box today. It’s fun to
get into a habit before bedtime of writing down or drawing
one thing you’re thankful for and then putting it into
Let’s practice thinking of things we’re thankful for right
now before we start making our boxes. Turn to your neighbors and tell them something you’re thankful for. Do
I’m sure some of you said your parents, or food, or your
family, or your house. Did anyone think to say they’re
thankful that they’re a child of God? For those who are,
that’s the greatest thing to ever be thankful for! If you're
not sure if you're a child of God, take the time to talk to
your leader today about it!
Class Time Directions
- Using the nail, carefully punch holes along the line of
the circle on the top of the pizza box. The holes should
be about ¼- to ½-in. apart.
- Then take the plastic knife and “saw” through the nail
holes to cut out the circle. (These 2 steps should take
about 5 minutes.)
- Apply craft glue to the underside (non-chrome side) of
the dessert plate rim (porthole) and set aside for a few
- Open the box and tape the transparency to the underside
of the lid, covering the large hole.
- Glue stick the bright blue paper square to the inside
bottom of the box.
- Cut or tear the tan construction paper lengthwise for
the sandy bottom of your ocean scene. Then glue stick
to the bottom of the blue paper square.
- Tear thin strips of bright green construction paper for
seaweed. The strips should come to a point at one end.
Then glue stick the strips to the tan and blue papers to
look like seaweed rising from the sea floor.
- Color the fish and cut out. Then glue stick to the tan
and/or blue paper as desired.
- Cut out the verse and glue stick directly to the transparency
“window” or somewhere else on the box.
- Close the box and press the chrome colored plate rim
(porthole) onto the top of the box over the “window.”
- Cut out the clamshell notes so you’re ready to start
using your Ocean of Thanks box.
- Consider spray painting the pizza boxes in addition to
the dessert plates.
- You may want to pre-prep the hole in the pizza box
instead of having the kids do the punching and sawing.
A 6-in. hole saw (with a hand drill) or hand held jigsaw
works well for this purpose.
- Attach fish to the ocean scene with foam tape to create
a 3D effect.
- Sea creature stickers can be used instead of the Sea Creatures
pattern. Fun foam stickers are particularly fun!
- To save a little time and money, the clamshell notes
can be optional. Instead, the children can use their own
small note paper from home.
- Attach a small envelope to the back to hold the clamshell
Super Simple Idea
Try one of the following Oriental Trading Company craft
kits. (Call 1-800-875-8480 or visit www.orientaltrading.com.)
- “Give Thanks” Prayer Journal Craft Kit (IN-13660024)—Manufacturer does not recommend for children under 3
years of age.
- “I am Thankful For” Fall Cross Craft Kit (IN-48/4569)—Manufacturer does not recommend for children under 3
years of age.