The Sweet Side of Life

The Thankful Tree | Teaching kids to be Grateful

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The Thankful Tree and Teaching Kids to be Grateful. Thanksgiving Traditions for kids. Teaching Gratitude. Thanksgiving Thankful Tree. Holiday Traditions for kids. Thanksgiving Activities for Kids. So this year for the whole month of November {we may have started eariler} we decided to start a new tradition called The Thankful Tree. The idea behind this tradition, or activity really, is to teach our kids the importance of being grateful for the people, things, and places in our lives. When we started The Thankful Tree we sort of just let the kids spout off anything they thought of at the time and wrote it on the leaf. But now that we’re a few weeks in we’ve built even more structure to it and I must say I like where it has taken us.

The Thankful Tree and Teaching Kids to be Grateful. Thanksgiving Traditions for kids. Teaching Gratitude. Thanksgiving Thankful Tree. Holiday Traditions for kids. Thanksgiving Activities for Kids.

The Thankful Tree

First, you have to build your tree. I took the boys right outside into our yard and they helped me pick up a few fallen sticks. We did this in October, but you can do it right after Halloween if you want. I had this big beautiful Apothecary jar already from my candy bar rental inventory {thank you GEG!} We filled it with rocks and moss to weigh it down and make it their own. Next came the leaves. I used my leaf punch from The Vintage Event where we make the confetti. You can order some too if you’d like and if you want the holes punched in them you can just leave me a “Notes to Seller” at checkout. Say, “Holes for a Thankful Tree, please!”

The I bought the hooks on Amazon, of course. You can link through to those HERE. You can also grab your own Leaf Punch if you want to go totally DIY.

The Thankful Tree and Teaching Kids to be Grateful. Thanksgiving Traditions for kids. Teaching Gratitude. Thanksgiving Thankful Tree. Holiday Traditions for kids. Thanksgiving Activities for Kids.

How it Works

We put The Thankful Tree in the center of our dinner table. Every night the boys pick their leaf and tell Billy what to write on it. We decided to use this prompt sign I made for three repeating things: Someone, Something and Somewhere. This way, no matter when you start your tree you have a well-rounded pile of leaves. You can download my sign for $1 through my Etsy Shop if you don’t want to make your own.

You could start your tree on Nov 1st or the week of Thanksgiving. However big your leaf pile gets as leaves “fall” off the Thankful Tree is how many you’ll have to read on Thanksgiving.

The Thankful Tree and Teaching Kids to be Grateful. Thanksgiving Traditions for kids. Teaching Gratitude. Thanksgiving Thankful Tree. Holiday Traditions for kids. Thanksgiving Activities for Kids.

How to Talk about it

As the leaves begin to pile up I like to draw attention to all the things we’ve written down the night before. I like to remind them how much we have and how lucky we are for all the people in our lives, all the things they have and how fortunate they are to have been so many places already. Some of the first few to fall off the tree were, of course, Disneyland this year and the Davenport Cabin. We talk about how not every little boy gets to do those things and that they should each take to heart what they are given, and mostly, the hard work their family does to provide these things for them. We hope that they appreciate us as parents and that travel isn’t free. Then again, we also want leaves to fall that is, “Grandma’s house, Mommy’s lap, Daddy’s garage” and the more simple places that they really enjoy and appreciate.

The Thankful Tree and Teaching Kids to be Grateful. Thanksgiving Traditions for kids. Teaching Gratitude. Thanksgiving Thankful Tree. Holiday Traditions for kids. Thanksgiving Activities for Kids.

When to start your tree

I think it really helped us to start early. Beginning on November 1st gave us a great cushion to get all of those superfluous things out of the way. By week 2 we were paying much more attention to the small things and really important things to be grateful for: The roof over our heads, the shoes on our feet. Wyatt actually realized that the light up shoes he has are special and someone {Aunt Kelsea} chose to give those to him. He was not entitled to such a luxurious thing, but he has them. And now… he’s much more thankful.

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Thanksgiving

Finally the big reveal! When Thanksgiving arrives, we’ll get to read all of the leaves as they’ve accumulated over the month. We’ll remember each thing we were grateful for and think of a few more that we’ve left out. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with the leaves this year… recycle them? keep them? Put them in a shadow box? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.





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