Gratitude Tree

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The holiday season is the perfect time of year to teach your children about showing gratitude. Before getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of planning for Thanksgiving, we took some time to talk about the blessings our family has received in the past year. Teaching my children that showing thanks goes beyond gift giving is a valuable lesson. We explored the ways they can show they are grateful by giving back to the community and thinking of others.

Each night, before bed, my children share with us what they are thankful for. We took this activity one step further by creating a Gratitude Tree.

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

  • Vase

  • 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.

This post was originally published at on November 4, 2013.



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