I've always enjoyed Thanksgiving. Getting together with family, eating good food and taking the time to reflect on the things we are thankful for.
Unfortunately, with the excitement of Black Friday Sales, stores putting up Christmas decorations in October (I even saw some in September this year!) and radio stations playing Christmas music earlier, Thanksgiving often gets overlooked.
But not in our house! 🙂
Items Needed for a Thankful Tree
- A Tree – You can use brown construction paper or poster board
- Leaves – Draw and cut out your own or purchase paper leaves. Example of leaf cut outs here
- Something to stick the tree and leaves to the wall. We used a combination of Duct Tape and Adhesive Poster Putty
Tip: When I was searching for example of the supplies you would need I found this Classroom Bulletin Board Tree that would be perfect to turn into a Thankful Tree at home.
How to Create a Thankful Wall Tree
Step 1 – Grab your brown paper and sketch the outline of a tree without leaves. I wanted a large tree so I used two sheets of poster board taped together. Then carefully cut out the tree and hang it on the wall.
Tip: Drawing a tree without leaves that looked right, was much harder than I anticipated. To start, do a Google image search for tree without leaves for some examples. Doing so was a HUGE help.
Step 2 – Make your leaves or use the ones you purchased. Each day, have each member of your family take a leave of their own and write one things they are thankful for.
Tip: We also had each person write their name and date on the back of the leave. This makes a great keepsake, especially to preserve the little kid handwriting with backwards letters.
Step 3 – Put the leaves on the tree and enjoy how full it will start to look after a few days. It's a great visual reminder of all the things to be thankful for.
Tip: Let the kids have fun with the placement of the leaves. Ours put some high in the air above the tree (the wind was blowing) and some near the base of the tree (because they had fallen off).
Why we are “Thankful” for Our Thankful Tree
- We use the tree for the full month of November, and coming up with 30 different things we are thankful for has challenged us to think past the “typical” things.
- It's been a source of great conversation in our family, especially with some of the great things the kids come up with.
- We saved our leaves from last year and had fun looking through them again this year and reminiscing about some of the items listed. Plus it was fun to see how much the kid's handwriting has improved over the last year.
- It's a great visual reminder to take a moment to really appreciate all the blessings we've been given.
- It's helped us keep the focus on being thankful versus getting caught up in all of the holiday commotion.
Other Thankful Tree Ideas
Maybe you don't have enough wall space or you don't have the time to make the tree and get the leaves. Here are some other simple ways to have a thankful tree.
- Gather some fallen branches or cut a few from your tree, put them in a vase and use string to tie your leaves on like ornaments.
- Draw a tree on a piece of white paper then glue your leaves on. Or simply just write directly on the paper. Save time by printing a tree with or without leaves coloring sheet (do a quick Google search and you will find countless options)
- Skip the tree idea and just use a plain sheet of paper or notebook. Spend a few minutes each day writing down the things you are thankful for.
What special things to do you in your household to celebrate Thanksgiving?