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Thanksgiving Tree

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Thanksgiving Tree

The festive season is approaching! So before we get caught up with all the planning and rushing around I wanted to take some time to remember to be thankful for all we have in our lives and to share fun times with our family.

And what better way to do that than with some crafting activities!

It seemed appropriate to be inspired by nature this year and with that, I bring you the Thanksgiving Tree kids craft. You’ll probably have the paper and a few items at home, but if not they are easy to buy. You’ll also need a branch or two to make your own tree! Use this time to take a stroll around your neighbourhood or local park to collect small branches while brainstorming with your kiddo what you’re grateful for.

You can make this type of tree again for other occasions for example gold, silver, red & green shiny leaves for Christmas, Mandarin orange tree for CNY, heart-shaped leaves for Valentine’s Day and flower blossoms for Easter/Springtime.

I created this activity and shared it with our friends at Sassy mama earlier this week. Be sure to check out their other fab contributors for fun holiday ideas.

This activity is easy to setup and has a low “messiness” factor!

So let’s get started!

What you need:

  • A small tree branch or two
  • Paper in Autumn colours
  • Pencil, scissors, hole punch
  • string or thread) to hang leaves
  • Tall vase or container for branches
  • tall vase or container for branches
  • Scrap cardboard for leaf stencil (optional)
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If you don’t have sheets of paper in Autumn colours you can make the leaves with plain paper and colour them in.

Step 1: Make your “tree”

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Break-off or cut-off any long bits to make a nicely shaped “tree” from your branches. (Make sure the ends aren’t too sharp for little hands!) Position it securely in your vase or container.

Step 2: Make your leaf stencils

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Make a leaf stencil from cardboard if you don’t’ want to draw free-hand. Leaves can be any shapes but just make sure they are big enough to write a word or two on them. Use a pencil to trace around your leaf stencil or draw your leaves free-hand.

Tip: Fold over the paper once or twice so you can cut out 2 or 3 leaves at the same time

Step 3: Cut out your leaves

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This is also a project you can do over a few days or even weeks. You can start with a few and then add a leaf each day. Write down something you are thankful for that day!

Step 4: Punch a hole in your leaves

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To extend the activity, we made leaf rubbings. (My hubby’s idea!) We placed leaves over different textures and rubbed over them with wax crayons. They looked great!

Step 5: Ask “What you are thankful for?”

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Talk about different things that you are thankful for. Write one thing down on each leaf. Get the whole family involved! It’s fun to discuss and explore the different things we are thankful for. If your child is still too young to write themselves, they can trace over your word or draw a picture. Or you can write words for them.

Step 6: Attach your string

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Now cut your string into pieces to attach your leaves. Each piece needs to be long enough to tie the knot and still hang on branches. Repeat for each leaf you plan to make. You can also just tie a leaf directly to the branch.

Step 7: Now make your Thanksgiving Tree!

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Carefully place your leaves on different branches. You can even glue or staple 2 or more leaves together to make a bunch of leaves. Store leftover leaves in a bowl next to your tree.

Tip: If the tips of your branches are really thin, you can put a leaf on through the punched hole without using string.

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