Thanksgiving is approaching and I like to use this time of year to help to teach my kids how to be more thankful for the stuff they have and the things people do for them. Being thankful can be hard for kids, especially ones who (thankfully) don’t want for much. I didn’t grow up with much and thankfully now my husband and I have worked hard to that our kids don’t know what it’s like to actually want. Oh sure, they want all sorts of things, but they have everything they need plus a lot more. I wouldn’t call the spoiled, but they have lots. This time of year, I like to help them be reminded that there are plenty of kids around the country and the world that don’t have it as lucky as they do, and to teach them how to happy and grateful for things that can’t always be bought. I wanted to find a simple way for them to help show their appreciation and thankfulness all November long, so then on Thanksgiving, we can share these moments, so this DIY Thankful Tree was born.
This tree is so simple but the meaning behind it is a powerful one. I printed out lots of paper leaves and am encouraging my kids, and Dad and I as well, to write down little moments that we are thankful for all month long and hang them on the tree. Maybe they got a new book they were so excited for, or maybe their brother let them have the last bowl of cereal, or maybe a friend at school gave them a compliment- all of these little moments can be written on individual leaves and hung on the tree. My plan is that by the end of the month, we will take all of the leaves off of the tree and read them to one another during Thanksgiving dinner, so we can be reminded at all the happy moments we had that make our family so special.
To make this tree, you only need a few things:
some branches from outside
mini clothes pins
You can use any vase for this tree and it can be clear or painted like mine. To paint a vase, it’s easy: just pour some acrylic paint inside the vase and swish it around so some of the sides are covered and then flip it over so the paint drips down the sides and covers the whole vase then let it dry. I used a pretty copper paint to match some of my other fall decor, so it would not only be a meaningful piece, but a pretty one too! The branches were just found outside in my yard and I used a few so it was more full. You can start off with some but add more if you wanted if you were feeling extra thankful and needed more space!
The leaves aren’t perfect and if you had access to a die cut machine or a cricket then yours would probably look much better but I don’t mind- you can even have your kids help cut them out too for a fun craft project for them. If you need to make some like I did, just find a leaf printable template online and print them onto thin construction paper and cut them out. Easy peasy.
We already have a few things on our tree and I am excited to add more. I plan on putting our tree in an open space so everyone will remember and I will be encouraging my kids to write down at least one thing every day, but they can certainly add more if they want! I think this will be a fun Thanksgiving tradition that everyone will have fun doing and also get a lot out of. I hope it’s one they want to do year after year, and maybe even do with their own kids some day.