Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful Tree - My Favorite Thanksgiving Craft

One of my favorite crafts last year was our thankful/grateful tree.  I had seen it on a few blogs, and tried it with my about to turn 2 year old, without much hope that he'd really get it.  I was shocked by how much fun we had with it.  I basically just explained that we would be writing things that made him happy on his leaves, and he named such cute things.  (Our post about last year's tree is here).

I wanted to make sure I made the tree again this year.  I think it is a really nice tradition for our little family.  Because November is looking to be a very busy/exciting month for us, I took advantage of some downtime one afternoon last week to create our thankful tree.  We got a bit fancier this year, and made the tree and leaves out of felt.  I used some stick-on felt letters that I had left over from my Halloween costume to label it.  The whole thing is hanging on my quilting "design wall" (a fantastic gift from my husband one Christmas).

After a brief conversation about what "being thankful" means, I asked the Bibliophile to name things for me to write on the leaves.  (I tried a few different markers and pens, and nothing worked wonderfully on the felt but all are passable).  This was honestly his first answer:

"Mommy and Daddy"

My original idea was roughly one leaf per day, but self control isn't really either of our strong suit.  He ended up naming things in there with me for about an hour and a half!

Of course, he eventually decided that he wanted a go at writing, and that slowed things down a bit.

Here were his first answers:
  • Mommy and Daddy
  • going to the museum
  • scrabble
  • playing games
  • "that Dora book" - an invisible ink coloring/activity book.  I have to get him this Curious George one for his birthday, because he has been disappointed that his marker dried up.
  • changing your diaper
  • library
  • going to the meeting with Dada (He went to a meeting with Daddy once when I had a rare mom's night out!  Dad reports that he cried the whole time.  Apparently the Bibliophile remembers it differently).
  • Ladybug (his new stuffed animal)
  • fruit snacks
  • blueberry yogurt
  • riding my wooden bicycle
  • "saying thanks politely"
Companion Book:

This isn't about giving thanks, but it is about trees/leaves.

Leaves!  Leaves!  Leaves! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Leaves! Leaves! Leaves!This contains an impressive amount of information about trees, leaves, chlorophyll, photosynthesis, etc. at a young reader's level.  The science aspect was still a bit over the Bibliophile's head, but he particularly liked that Buddy the bear tells a corny joke at the end of each season description.  I think it might be worth owning, just for the educational value.

I will be linking this post up with ST+art, Crafty Soiree, ABC and 123Kids Get Crafty, Sunday Best, and Tot Tuesday.

Comment!  Do you have any favorite crafty Thanksgiving/autumn traditions? While you're here, don't forget to enter the two different give aways we have this week (see Monday and Tuesdays posts).

Disclosure: If you click on any links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with


Raising a Happy Child said...

Your thankful tree looks great, and I liked IB choices! I think we will be doing some variation of this craft -

Joyful Learner said...

We need to do this soon! Last year I got some branches and made a tree that way. I might have to look for some fallen branches again.

Emily said...

Such a cute idea!

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

This is an amazing project, I love it and I must have my head under a rock because I don't remember seeing one like this before around bloggyland. I will have to remember to spotlight it in a Thanksgiving craft post for ABC.

RedTedArt said...

Oh how sweet is this! And what a lovel insight into your child's mind! It will be a wonderful keepsake year on year. Beautiful! I want to make one now!

Thank you for linking up to Kids Get Crafty - very lovely to see this tree!!!


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love this idea. How wonderful that you came up with so many ideas in a short period of time!

Please stop by tomorrow and link to Read.Explore.Learn.

vanessa @ silly eagle books said...

This is awesome! He writes so well!

Our Homeschool Fun said...

I've never heard of this Fall book--thank you!

I really love the way you made your thankful tree. We make a thankful tree each year too, and save it. It's special to pull them out each year and look back at what we are thankful for.

This is a wonderful craft.

Christy said...

I love your tree and his list. I think we are doing a grateful turkey this year.

We just read Leaves Leaves Leaves. We enjoyed it.

thegirlwhopaintedtrees said...

We are doing a thankful tree too. With a branch and cut out leaves hung on thread.

Charlene said...

Such a great idea and I love the use of felt!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

How wonderful!!! Your tree turned out really well, and I love how as little as the bibliophile is, he really does "get it". Well done!