Teaching Gratitude with an Easy Thankful Tree for kids.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with my kids. It’s all about such an important concept- being thankful! I am trying to teach my children to have an attitude of gratitude.
But how do you do that? The biggest thing we do is talk about being thankful and all the things we are thankful for. I found that having a visual reminder is so helpful with this as well.
So this year we are making a Thanksgiving decoration all month long to celebrate all that we are grateful for. We are teaching gratitude with an easy Thanksgiving tree.
How To Make Your Thankful Tree
While I wanted to do something fun and cute, I didn’t want it to take forever. This is quick and easy. You need a paper bag and some construction paper. The bag is the trunk. I taped that to the wall. Then I cut out a bunch of leaves from the construction paper. No stencil, just free hand.
On each leaf, I write something I am grateful for, then pop it into the trunk. Every few days at dinner we pull out the leaves and read them over. Then we tape them up to build our tree. It is that simple!
As Ben, Ali, and Sammy are still so young, I am doing most of the leaves. But I am having Ben tell me things he is grateful for. He loves adding leaves to the bag. Ali and Sammy don’t fully get what we are doing yet, but they are listening when we discuss gratitude. And they can see the tree being built as we get closer to Thanksgiving.
This activity gives three ways to work on thankfulness.
1. The kids get to see us as parents express our thankfulness.
Kids model our actions more than our words. If we as parents express gratitude our children will be more likely to express it as well. Hopefully, this will create an attitude of gratitude my children can carry with them every day.
2. The kids get to practice expressing thankfulness.
It can be a simple concept, being thankful. Kids can understand being happy they have a fun toy or a cool shirt. But can they dig deep and find blessings that aren’t so surface level?
Doing this activity for a few weeks encourages kids to really think about what they are thankful for. Basic things like having a roof over their head can come up. It is a good chance to remember that we can be thankful for something overall, even if they aren’t thankful every second. (Think things like siblings. They might not always like them, but overall they are grateful to have them.)
3. The kids see a visual reminder of all that we are thankful for every day.
By putting this up on the wall you create a visual reminder to be thankful every day. We have our sin the living room, so it gives a continuous reminder to think about gratitude.
This helps parents because we have a constant reminder to talk about being thankful, something that is very important in the busy holiday season.
Additional Gratitude Resources
There are some great children’s books that help kids understand what it means to be thankful.
I also love this list from Mommy’s Little World. So many great books to choose from!—> 20 Best Thanksgiving Books for Preschoolers
I can’t wait to see how big our tree can get! Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to really focus on having a grateful heart, and I think our Thankful Tree is going to be so helpful in working on that message.
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