This year, I decided to start a Thankful Tree at my Nanny Family’s house. It’s so easy to take what we have for granted, and for kids that have everything they need and most of what they want, it’s that much easier. I think November is a great month to reflect on what we have and be grateful, since it’s the month of Thanksgiving and is right before the gift-giving season.
Putting together a Thankful Tree is pretty easy. It can be 2D or 3D, but the idea is to have bare branches, then have each kid (or each person in the family) write down on fall-colored leaves something that they’re thankful for. Help the kids understand what it means to be grateful, and express how fortunate they are to have so many things that other people don’t. You can guide them with phrases like, “Who do you love?”, “What do you have that makes you happy?”, “What places do you enjoy going to?”, or “What do you have in your life that you wish everyone had?”. Try not to give them answers, though, and don’t judge or discourage their answers. Miss 4 told me she is thankful for Florida. She couldn’t tell me why exactly, but if she would like to be thankful for Florida, that’s just fine with me. Have them put at least one leaf on the tree each day, but don’t stress too much about it. Being grateful shouldn’t be a chore! And if they want to put more than one a day, that’s great!
I made my thankful tree out of construction paper, and put it on the wall with painter’s tape. It looks something like this one:
I am thankful that my kiddos are excited about their Thankful Tree. 🙂