“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I decided to make a thankfulness tree with my family leading up to Thanksgiving this year. After all, thankfulness is the word of the week in our character development series. I hope you will check out all of my other ideas for teaching kids to be thankful. You can hover over the character tab to reveal all of the character traits we are working on with our kids. A thankfulness tree is easy to create, and I’m sure you will have most of the things you need to make it at home. It is a great way to build up to Thanksgiving, but it really could be a fun staple in your house year round. My thought is that we each add a leaf to the tree at dinner every night leading up to Thanksgiving.
I first collected some sticks from our yard. These are from a beautiful Japanese maple we have.
I had these card stock papers on hand left over from our Thanksgiving Wreath with paper leaves from last year.
I made a leaf template and traced it a bunch of times on one piece of paper.
I then stacked all four papers together and cut out the leaves.
Here are all the fall colored leaves cut out.
The next step was to punch the holes in the leaves.
Side Note: I just did a talk at a MOPS meeting in the area. Someone asked me when I prepped all of my stuff. I didn’t have a great answer for that because it’s always different. Today I was prepping it while the kids were across the table having lunch. Sometimes it’s at night when they are in bed. Sometimes it is when they are pre-occupied. Sometimes I just do it on the fly, and they hang around helping or watching.I took this picture just to answer that question for this project. They were having their smoothies and playing with play-doh.
That said, when Kenzie saw I was prepping something she could potentially help with, she was right at my side asking to help. She did the hole punches in the leaves.
I had this hemp string on hand that you can buy in the jewelry section of the craft store. No need to go out and buy things though. You can use yarn or string you have on hand. Hey – You could even use dental floss if you don’t have other string options.
Kenzie helped me cut all the twine to length.
She also strung the leaves on the string.
I tied all the knots to finish off the hanging leaves.
The girls started to brainstorm what they were thankful for so they could start adding leaves to the trees.
I let them write a few initially to start to decorate the tree, but the plan is to add one leaf each to the tree every evening at dinner.
I let them decorate the tree with a bunch of leaves so we could get some good pictures, but then we stripped it again so we could work on it more organically this week.
I love that “mom & dad” was the first leaf that Abby wanted to write.
I decided to store the blank leaves in one of our salt dough leaf bowls we made this year.
I would love for you to check out some of my other ways to focus on giving thanks: