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Inside: How to make your own gratitude tree / thankful tree for kids. Plus the 5 best gratitude trees from around the web for inspiration.
This is the perfect fall / Thanksgiving activity.
It’s called a gratitude tree, and I absolutely love it!
I saw a few of these trees on some crafty mommy blogs (see below) and I thought we would try it out.
Please keep reading for full instructions on how to make a gratitude tree, along with 5 of my favorite gratitude trees for inspiration.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is when we express appreciation and thanks for the good things in our lives. We can be thankful for the things we receive, the people who surround us, and the fun things we get to experience and do.
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Why is Gratitude Important for Kids?
We all know gratitude is an important component of our lives (and mental health), there is even scientific proof that gratitude decreases stress and negative thinking, which in turn increases happiness.
- Gratitude improves our relationships
- Gratitude is good for our body and mind
- Gratitude turns negative thoughts into positive ones
- Gratitude leads to positive actions
But here’s the thing:
It’s hard to teach our kids the importance of gratitude.
They often lack the wisdom at their young ages to truly grasp these complex concepts.
We can repeat over and over, till we are blue in the face, the importance of appreciating the small stuff, but it often falls on deaf little ears.
So instead of becoming blue in the face, why not do fun activities together that will help your kids foster an attitude of gratitude?
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Through activities, we teach our kids to appreciate the small stuff, the people, and blessings in life. We can also teach them to think outside the box.
It’s a nice reminder for adults, too.
If you’d like a full guide on how to teach gratitude to kids along with the 15 best gratitude activities, click here.
Our kids often get stuck in a spin, they might feel negative, dwell on inconsequential things, and forget to look around at everything beautiful in their life.
It’s all a little whimsical, but it’s true.
There is so much to be thankful for, we just need to tune in. Parents and kids.
My son and I set out to create our own gratitude trees. Keep reading to exactly how we did it.
Gratitude Tree Craft Instructions
My son just turned 4 and I think he was the perfect age to start this exercise.
This will become an annual tradition on Thanksgiving weekend in our household.
Here’s is what we gathered up to make our trees:
(Note: I went to Micheals craft store and purchased most of these supplies, it took about 10 minutes.)
- Colored paper
- twigs or branches
- a vase or container
- decorations such as hearts, pictures, stars, stickers (whatever embellishments you might want for your tree)
Pretty simple right?
1. Cut your leaves out.
We started this exercise by cutting out leaves from colored construction paper.
I simply cut out ovals from construction paper, and I think they turned out really nice. (see below)
Tip: You could also use personal pictures and craft a visual gratitude tree.
2. Have a discussion about the meaning of gratitude
My son is four, so he was completely unaware of the concept of gratitude.
I told him that being thankful meant appreciating the things that make us feel good, things that make us smile, and feel happy.
I gave him lots of examples. To my surprise, he caught on quickly and soon started reeling off a list of things he was thankful for.
He picked out every word on his tree (of course I wrote the words for him).
He said he was thankful for his bunk-beds (oh my heart) his teachers, mommy and daddy, food, and chocolate bars.
It was a ton of fun.
Now you try it.
3. Write the things you are grateful for on your leaves
Write down all the things you are grateful for on your leaves. Some examples and ideas are:
- Each other
But remember gratitude can be anything. It can be a beautiful sunny day, the scent of a flower or the song of a bird, a warm fireplace, and a cup of hot chocolate or tea.
This is my son loving this exercise. He was so excited to make our trees. It was his first lesson on being thankful.
4. Construct your trees
After we had all our words written on our leaves, we put the tiny rocks in the miniature holders to support our tree branches.
Now for the fun part!
Time to attach our leaves to the branches. We used tape, you could also punch a hole at the top of each leaf and loop a piece of string through each or use glue.
I’m no pro photographer, but check out our gratitude trees below. We each made one and I think they turned out lovely.
Gratitude Tree Inspiration From Around the Web:
4 Fantastic Thanksgiving Tree Ideas from Amazing Mommy Blogs
1. Christina @ The DIY Mommy does a fabulous tree that inspired my own gratitude tree. It’s simple yet colorful and eye appealing.
2. Shaunte @ Crafts Unleashed added photos to their thankful tree, and I love this one. I think this one will be our inspiration for next year’s tree.
3. Elizabeth @ FrugalMomEh.com does a simple, yet classy tree.
4. A bigger thankful tree from Emily @ SimplyVintageGirl.com this one is a little more detailed, but if your child is a little older, it might be a nice option.
I’d love to see some photo’s of your own gratitude tree or any fall crafts in general.