Thankful Thanksgiving Tree All Year Round
Thanksgiving is only days away and then Christmas will be here before we know it! We have been working on a little Thanksgiving project with the kids and finished it up this weekend. We didn't get to do as many craft and fall activities as I would have liked to do with the kids this year since we've been so busy but at least we were able to complete our Thankful Thanksgiving Tree. This tree is actually going to be a tree we keep up all year and work on consistently to remind us to be thankful everyday for all our blessings and not just during Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is a great time of the year to teach our kids about what the holiday means and how gratitude is important. It shouldn't be the only time of the year, of course, to give thanks and be grateful. We created this Thankful tree to think about our blessings and the important things to us that we appreciate in our daily lives.
I like the black, gray and white neutral color tones of the tree so that it isn't just for fall or Thanksgiving. The pot on the right symbolizes the leaves (gifts and blessings) that grow on the tree. Then, they fall off the tree but we collect them instead of forgetting about them. We remember what we are grateful for and acknowledge them by placing them in our flower pot.
What's Growing In Our Flower Pot...What We Are Thankful For
We all wrote down something we are thankful for to place in our flower pot. The writing may be a little hard to read.
My hubby said he is thankful for his health and family.
My son said he is thankful for Mommy's recipes.
My daughter said she is thankful for sleep. (I'm pretty sure she gets the most sleep out of everyone in our house)!
I am thankful for family.
How to Make A Thankful Thanksgiving Tree
If you'd like to make your own Thankful Thanksgiving Tree with your kids, this was a simple project to make and you can substitute the paper for other paper you may have around the house.
What You Need:
Heavy black cardboard poster
Scrapbook paper in various patterns and textures if you like
2 paper straws
2 small flower pots or you can even paint yogurt cups or paper cups
Stickers for decorating
Marker or pen for writing on leaves
I cut up the white scrapbook paper to create the trunk of the tree and branches. I then cut up another scrapbook paper that was made from vellum material for the leaves that have swirls on them. I used another scrapbook paper made of textured hearts to cut out individual or doubled hearts. The front side of the paper was gray and the back was white so we mixed it up on the tree.
My daughter helped to glue them on since her favorite thing to do with arts and crafts is either paint or glue.
I didn't want to glue the pots on the board so I just used clear packing tape to tape it on. The paper straw is taped inside of the pot. I had a round brown sticker that I used for the middle of the the flower. The pot and straw create the 3D effect so they are popping out of the board. We glued the leaves around the straw.
Another idea is that your kids can make the pots and give them to someone as a thank you gift, writing the things they appreciate about that person on the leaves.
For Christmas, I'd like to add some small ornaments, snow and maybe actual lights on the tree.
Ways to Teach Our Children About Gratitude
- Talk about the meaning of gratitude and why it's important.
- Teach them to always say thank you every time someone does something kind for them, no matter how small it may seem.
- Show them how to write thank you notes or to make or draw a thank you note.
- Give thanks at the table before meals and at bed time.
- I believe giving to others is another expression of gratitude so I like to tell my kids to share their blessings and gifts with others who may be less fortunate. Take them to a Goodwill or to your local church to donate belongings you no longer need to teach them that giving to others in need is another way to show that you are thankful you have enough in your own life.
- Teach them not to expect things to be given to them, that they should be grateful for even the smallest things.
- The best way to teach our children is through example. I'll admit that I don't always remember to send thank you cards or I'll write it but never send it. Nowadays, it's becoming more acceptable to send thank you's through text message, email or even a photo of your child holding their new gifts and then sending it via social media to the sender. I think that's a great idea to do that and it will show your kids that it's important to be appreciative. I still believe in snail mail, however, and there's some things that should formally be sent with physical notes and letters. The key is to show our kids gratitude in action and to remind them that taking time to show gratitude is appreciated by everyone.
Quotes and Printables on Gratitude
I made these printables that you're free to print out through Canva and the quotes are from Brainy Quotes. Just click on the image to enlarge it.
What are you most thankful for this year? Please share and let me know in the comments below!
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