Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to work on teaching your children to be thankful for what they have. Before we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season it is nice to relax and sit down as a family to talk about the blessings your family has received in the past year and give thanks for all that you have. Take this time to teach your children that showing thanks goes beyond gift giving, and explore the ways they can show they are grateful by thinking of others. This year, our family created a Gratitude Tree. My children are accustomed to giving thanks as we speak about their day every night as we get ready for bed. My little ones are grateful for kind teachers, lollipops, and their favorite dollies while my older ones are thankful for a good quiz grade or the opportunity to participate in a fun after-school activity.
We gathered our supplies and set to work. Not only would we be giving thanks, but our tree will become a beautiful centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table.
How to Create a Gratitude Tree
- Colored paper
- Tree branches
- Rocks or marbles
- String or ribbon
- Hole punch
You can use any type of paper you have available. I used thick scrapbook paper with different colors and patterns. This paper was nice since it was blank on the opposite side, so it was easy for my children to write on them. If you have children that are too young to write, you can have them draw pictures on their leaves instead. Don’t forget to add a few leaves for yourself.
- Make a leaf cutout to serve as your template for the other leaves. If you choose, you can cut leaves of different shapes and sizes.
- Using your template, draw the shape of a leaf on the colored paper and cut them out.
- Punch a hole at the top of each leaf and loop a string or ribbon through each.
- Put the pebbles in the vase and stick the twigs in it.
- Have your children write about the things they are grateful for on the leaves.
- Hang the leaves from the branches.
My children enjoyed helping create our family’s gratitude tree. I plan for this to become a tradition that will carry on each year.