Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thankful Tree

I know it’s December 1 and everyone is ready to move on to Christmas, but I have one more Thanksgiving thing to share. This year my family created our own version of a Thankful Tree. It’s a really simple, cheap, and fun fall craft for the whole family. It’s a great way to think about and share all the things for which you are grateful. You might want to consider making one with your family.

First we ripped brown paper bags (grocery and lunch bags) down the seams to open them. Then we rolled and twisted them to create the tree trunk and branches. We used packing tape to adhere the twisted pieces to the sliding glass door creating a tree form. (You could do this on a wall or on a poster board, too.) Then we printed fall leaves on colored construction paper—yellow, orange, red, green, and brown. We cut out the leaves, and each family member wrote one or more things for which he/she was thankful on each leaf. This gives younger children an opportunity to practice writing, and even the littlest ones can draw pictures. The kids added the leaves to the tree with scotch tape.

We had lots of duplicate ideas on our leaves—friends, family, food, shelter, clothing, health, freedom, etc. We kept our leaves for next year so we can add some of the little things for which we’re thankful—ice cream sundaes, naps, rainbows, hummingbirds, etc.

Cute, huh? I have to tell you that the entire family looked at me like I was crazy when we started this project, but by the end they all loved it. My husband even said that it was his favorite fall decoration.

You could easily adapt the idea for other events. How about a snowman made of snowflakes with wishes for the New Year? Get creative!

Find new ways to get your family thinking, creating, and writing. If you create something like this or have a new idea, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment!

I found the inspiration for our tree on Tip Junkie {one of my favorites}, which had a link to My Insanity where Kendra gave instructions for creating a Gratitude Tree. I used an autumn leaf template from Holly at Creating Cupcakes. Thanks for the great stuff, ladies!

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