The Thankful Tree
The Thankful Tree
Most of us want our children to be thankful for what they have. Most of us as adults want to better remember to be thankful too! I know at times I simply forget how blessed I am and how much I truly do have to be thankful for. A few weeks ago, my twin sister had major oral surgery. She won’t be able to eat solid foods for at least 6 weeks and maybe up to 3 months! Until that happened, I had never even thought to be thankful for the simple fact that I can eat whatever I want! (Ok, I do have to live with the consequences of eating whatever I want–like gaining weight–but at least I’m not limited to smoothies for 3 months!)
The truth is that, even though our world certainly isn’t perfect, most of us do have so much to be thankful for even though we don’t often stop to think about it. So today’s project was created for that purpose–to help each of us, children and adults–take the time to really think about all of the blessings we enjoy on a regular basis. We call this project a Thankful Tree, and we hope you enjoy making yours and adding to it throughout the fall or Thanksgiving season!
You don’t need many supplies to make your family’s (or your classroom’s) Thankful Tree. And you probably have most of these things already. So gather what you need and let’s get started!
paper towel roll
fall craft leaves (You can use silk ones or paper ones–or make your own with cardstock.)
First, you’ll use your brown paint to paint the entire outside of the paper towel roll. You’ll also need to paint the inside of the roll about 1/3 of the way down from the top. Then set aside the paper towel roll and let it dry.
While the paint is drying, use the marker to write one word on each leaf. The word should represent something or someone you are thankful for. (You may leave some leaves blank if you like, but I’ll bet you can think of enough things to be thankful for to fill the entire Thankful Tree!)
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to make this an ongoing project in which your family takes time each evening (for example) to write down something each person is thankful for and add it to the tree, you can do that! Just have each person take a leaf and write down a word representing what he/she is thankful for and add those leaves to the tree. The next day, you’ll do the same thing again. Just keep adding leaves to your tree as you go! What do you do if you run out of room? That’s great! It means you have a lot to be thankful for! All you need to do if that happens is take the supplies you already have (plus one more paper towel roll) and make another Thankful Tree! Or you may want to make a separate Thankful Tree for each family member. Do whatever works best for your family.
After the paint is dry, cut thin strips (down from the top of the paper towel roll) in varying lengths for the branches. (Don’t cut lower than the top 1/3 of the roll that you painted.)
Glue one or two leaves with words onto the ends of each branch.
Fill in the branches with the blank leaves. All done!
Thankful Trees make great centerpieces, gifts, family projects, classroom projects, or community/group projects! Whether you choose to make your Thankful Tree all at once or as an ongoing project, I hope it helps you to be more aware of all the things you have to be thankful for–from the ordinary things to the extraordinary!
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3 Ways to Encourage Thankful Hearts in Your Children
Thankful Turkey: A Fun Thankfulness Activity for Families