October 20, 2009

How to: Make A Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree With Your Kids

Every family has their own way of expressing thanks at the beginning of their Thanksgiving supper. In our family, we go around the table, and each person shares something they are thankful for before enjoying the meal. But depending on the number of guests, this may take a while! That is why this Thanksgiving Gratitude Tree is a lovely tradition to start this year. As your guests arrive, have the paper out and ready for them to write what they are thankful for. Then you can have them hang it on the tree. It is a clever way for everyone to express heartfelt sentiments, while creating a rustic, meaningful centerpiece for your meal. Additionally, creating a gratitude tree and adding something your thankful for each day leading up to the holiday will really help kids understand the sentiment behind Thanksgiving.

Materials you will need:
  • A vase, pot, or any type of container
  • Twigs and branches collected outdoors
  • Autumn Leaves (You can always create paper leaves from scrap paper as well)
  • Ribbon, string, or yarn
  • Anchor for your twigs, ( I used popcorn kernels) you can also use rice, stones, etc.
  • An assortment of construction paper
  • Pens, scissors
  • Glue stick, hole punch
  • Family pictures, quotes

1) Put your popcorn, rice, or whatever you are using to anchor your twigs, in your vase or pot.

2) Arrange twigs in the vase.

3) Cut squares, hearts, or any shapes you desire out of your paper. Use one color as a frame, then cut another piece of a differing color and use your glue stick to mount it.

4) Punch a hole in each leaf, and tie your ribbon through it so you may hang it on the tree. You can glue pictures, write quotes, or write whatever you are thankful for.

5) Have extra cards ready, so as your guests arrive they can write what they are thankful for and hang it on the tree.

Fashioning a Gratitude Tree is a wonderful way for your kids to get involved in eco-friendly craft making while learning the importance of expressing thanks. It needn't be Thanksgiving to create one of these trees -- we could all benefit from having one as a focal point year round!

1 comment:

Kirsten@Nexyoo said...

That's a beautiful idea. I like the idea of having it year-round, too, and changing the branches to reflect the seasons...