Ask Holly: The Grateful Tree and Other Grateful Projects

Following October’s mountains of Halloween candies, and preceding December’s holiday season, November comes with its gentle suggestion that we take time to slow down and reflect on everything for which we can be thankful. While we are revving up for the December holidays, I have these simple fun projects that might be a way to get your kids and friends into a thankful mood. My 3-year-old didn’t quite get what “grateful” meant, so I asked what made him happy, to which he responded “smiley faces, hot nuk (milk) and Gordon’s tenders.”

This is what you will need:

Fall colored scrapbook paper (available at AC Moore or Michael’s,) leaves, scissors, tape, a pencil, a pen (I used a gold paint pen to write on the leaves.) If you are wiring the leaves to branches (see below) you will need wire. I used two  9 ft. rolls of 24 gauge copper wire at beading stores or at the stores named above and a hole punch.

Trace leaves, cut out and fold in half.

I had my 7-year-old draw a trunk and branches. We cut them out and  taped them to the wall. Then we wrote the things we are grateful for on the leaves, as well as drew pictures on the leaves, then dated the backs. (See the decorated tree in the first photo.) We will be doing one or two leaves a day until Thanksgiving.

For another version of a Grateful Tree, collect some branches in an urn or vase. Make some leaves like above. Invite guests on Thanksgiving Day to each write something they are grateful for on a pre-punched, wired leaf. Make sure they put their name and date on the leaf. Save the leaves and re-attach them year after year. The kids (and you) will love looking at the things they wrote in previous years.

You could also make a wreath…..

or a turkey who is way grateful for those who are chowing down on Tofurkey this year!

I am beyond grateful for all of the e-mails, texts and shouts across playgrounds I have received in the last month from those of you who who have enjoyed my articles!

Questions? Just Ask Holly.

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