Sunday, November 14, 2010

StC: Thanksgiving:101: Thankful Tree

I love being able to make concepts come more alive for my children. I've learned how allowing them to create something, truly helps make it stick in their minds more. For instance, we talk a lot in November about being thankful. But, this year, we're going to help them to see how much we really have. This is a simple object lesson that also doubles as a fun and interactive centerpiece.

Step 6: Be Intentional About Being Thankful

1. Find a small branch in your yard, and trim it down enough to place in a vase (I like how river rocks look at the bottom of my vase, and they also stabilizes the branch from shifting - you can find bags of them at the Dollar Tree). It can still have several small branches coming off of it, as it will only add to the display you're creating.

2. Have the kids help you cut out lots of "leaves" from colored paper. If you want to get exact leaf shapes, here's a free maple leaf template, or an oak leaf template. I like the more whimsical look, so we just kind of cut out what we felt looked like a leaf. You can use construction paper, or scrapbook paper...whatever you have &/or like. We punched a hole in the end of the leaf, to be able to use ribbons to hang them on the tree. However, you can also just punch an ornament hanger through the paper, and hang that way.

3. Place the leaves, crayons/markers, and ornament hooks nearby the tree.

4. Each morning or evening, take the time to ask each family member one thing they're thankful for. After they say (or write) what they are thankful for, hang that leaf on the tree.

5. Watch as your tree grows to be full of blessings.

6. Then, on Thanksgiving, take each leaf off your tree, announcing what the blessing was. This is especially sweet to all the extended family, that will get to hear what little ones have been thankful for.

I think this will be a fun tradition for years to come. It will be precious to save the leaves and be able to read them years from now. There is such a sweet faith in little ones, and many times it is only vulnerable and transparent for a short time. I'm soaking those moments up while I can!!

Speaking of awesome ideas, I found this blog, and she had so so many fun links to great Thanksgiving projects, I had to wrap up our Thanksgiving: 101 by sharing the goodness! This week has been so much fun. I hope you're feeling more excited about Thanksgiving than ever...without all the stress taking over.

I can't wait to see you tomorrow for our next giveaway!!


  1. I love this! Thanks for showing us what it looks like to be an intentional mom!!

  2. What a sweet idea. Your children will remember this and think how lucky they were to have you as a great mama!