Since Thanksgiving is almost around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time to write a post on making a gratitude tree and use it as a fun way to count our blessings.
MATERIALS YOU NEED:
1. CRAFT PAPER
It’s best to go with double shaded paper since it gives a more creative look. You can take paper of any color that you fancy, or if you want to go with the natural tones, just get brown and green papers.
2. SOME STRING
Any shades of the string will do. You need to cut the string into small pieces so that you can hang the leaves on the branches. If you have any yarn or strings leftover from your monthly subscription craft boxes for kids, now would be a great time to use them up.
3. A FEW TWIGS OR TREE BRANCHES
You can assemble a few twigs to give them a tree look or a tree branch will also work.
4. A PEN OR MARKER
You can write the notes on leaves using a pen or a marker. Make sure the marker doesnt bleed through the paper if you’re using pretty paper.
5. SMALL ROCKS
Keeping small rocks at the base of the tree adds stability to the tree.
STEPS TO FOLLOW:
Take a cut out of the craft paper in the leaf shape.
Use the craft leaf as a template for tracing the rest of the leaves on a bigger sheet.
Punch holes in the leaves tie a piece of string in the holes.
Add rocks to the base of the vase and stick the tree branch there so that it stands erect.
Ask your kids to draw or write about things that they are thankful for. If they are too young, you can write for them.
The Night before Thanksgiving, by Natasha Wing. One of our family’s favorite things to do each Thanksgiving is to bake a bunch of different pies. It is fun to read a book that has cute illustrations and mentions so many of the Thanksgiving traditions, from baking pies to watching the parades, and of course lots of family feasting.
The Littlest Pilgrim, by Brandi Dougherty. I am sure my youngest children can relate with this story. They often want to “help” in the preparation of our Thanksgiving festivities – and too often they get in the way or make a mess. This is a cute book about a girl who has similar struggles and learns to have a friend through the process.
Turkey Trouble, by Wendy Silvano. Ever think about Thanksgiving from the perspective of a turkey? This book is super silly. It had my kids giggling as the turkey dresses up to avoid being “caught”. It’s illustrated by one of my favorites, Lee Harper. We like his other book, Emperor’s Cool Clothes.
10 Fat Turkey’s, by Tony Johnson. This is a rendition of the 10 Little Indians, only it’s Turkeys, sitting on a fence. One thing I love about this book is that it helps early readers with repetitive words and rhyming.
Thanksgiving on Thursday, by Mary Pope Osborne. We have several dozen of the Magic Treehouse series of books. They are great for kids who are just starting chapter books. This story follows Jack and Annie as they travel back and relive the first Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Thanksgiving, by Wende Devlin. This is a re-release of a classic story of a Grandma and her granddaughter. Each Thanksgiving they invite someone who is lonely and/or poor over to share dinner with them. This year Grandma almost looses her secret recipe for Cranberry bread.
Thanks for Thanksgiving, by Julie Markes. Being thankful for the little things is a great trait to have. This story focuses on all the blessing that we have. The pictures are great for opening discussions of the things your child is thankful for, and there are blank pages so you and your child can list the things you are thankful for. THis could be a cute tradition, to add more items you are grateful for to the book each year.
If You Were at the First Thanksgiving, by Anne Kamma. Are your kids past storybooks but not quite ready for chapter books? This is a great resource non-fiction book for your shelves. It is part history book, part pretend-inspiration for a dramatic child. The book asks what your life would be like if you lives in the era of the first Thanksgiving feast.