Thanksgiving is always such a great opportunity for families to refocus on what really matters. One of our favorite ways to do this is to create a gratitude tree – they’re fun to create and serve as a decorative reminder of everything you’re most thankful for.
There are many ways to create a gratitude tree. One of the simplest ways is to make some leaf shapes out of paper and write notes of thanks that you can pin up on a board or affix to the wall as a decoration. Subscribers to our craft kit program loved the leaf template that we printed on the back of one of the instruction sheets. (Click here for a printable version.)
This year though, I was really inspired by this post over at Crafting A Greener World and thought that it would make a great Thanksgiving decoration and teaching tool, plus it gave me an idea for turning the same tree into a holiday activity too!
What’s great about this idea is that it’s beautiful – it really does look so nice on your wall or pinned up to a bulletin board. But, what makes it even more special is that you can make the leaves deep enough to hold notes of thanks. Our family just hung this up and we are challenging ourselves to write down something we’re thankful for every day from now until Thanksgiving, and then we’re going to read them all when our bellies are full with turkey, or in our case Tofurky, and mashed potatoes. I can’t wait!
My longer term plan is that after Thanksgiving, we continue the idea but instead of writing notes about what we’re thankful for we write down a holiday wish… in my imagination, these wishes would consist of things like “I wish for world peace” etc, but I’m sure we’ll have a few notes in there about Elmo and train sets.
Making the tree and leaves was pretty simple. For a detailed how-to, visit Crafting A Greener World. I made a few changes when making mine with our daughter:
- We used a paper bag instead of cardboard, mainly because the scissors were hurting my fingers when I tried to cut the box. Since we were planning to post ours on a bulletin board it worked out just fine though.
- Instead of hot glue or school glue, we used a glue stick (our favorite is Coccoina) and then just reinforced it with a bit of clear tape on the back.
- We also used the glue stick to affix the leaves onto the tree itself.
To make sure that we stuck to our plan, I also created a super-simple holder for paper and pen using the macaroni and cheese box from dinner and some duct tape. It took all of 2 minutes to make but I think it’s the biggest reason why this is sticking! (We also used the macaroni and cheese box for the backing of some of the leaves too.)
Since we hung up the tree, it’s been so great to watch my daughter and husband take a few seconds of the day to be thankful, and I’m finding that it gives me more perspective all day long. Not to mention that I am just so excited to unroll the notes after Thanksgiving!
Have you ever made a Gratitude Tree? We’d love to hear about your holiday traditions — please leave a note in the comments!
From , post Holiday Crafts for Families: Gratitude Tree
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