Happy first day of November and welcome to the month of paying extra attention to all things we are thankful for! Our family, like most families, tries to teach thankfulness all year round, but there is something special about this time of year of Thanksgiving, and families gathering for the holidays that help us to pay a little more attention to what matters most.
I decided this year to do a thankfulness activity in our family to help reinforce the concept of being Thankful. While this activity is a bit over the heads of my 2 year old and 8 month old, it's perfect for my 5 year old (& us parents too). Younger kids may not grasp the concept quite yet, but they can help with the coloring and hanging of thankful leaves/acorns (as we used on our tree).
There are lots of ways to do this activity, so I'm sharing the way we went about our Thanksgiving Tree! I stumbled upon a super cute fall home decor tree in Target and the plans took off from there!
6. Fine point sharpie for writing items Thankful for.
7. Scissors for cutting out leaves, acorns.
8. Fat sharpie (optional) for labeling tree - see additional photos below. (This step is optional). If you want to use the same tree each year you could not do this step or leave off the date.
9. Gallon Ziploc bag (see additional photo below) to store supplies, as you'll use them throughout the month.
Now you're ready to begin!
Once you have all the supplies, the rest is simple.
For our first day, Ava and I did this while the boys napped and it was nice mother-daughter quality time, & especially since she had been picked up from school with a fever and cough. She had some honey milk when she got home, I put the boys down for a nap, and then we started our Thankful tree together. It took her mind off of being sick and coloring is always a winning activity in our house!
Ava colored a page of the leaves and acorns while I gathered supplies and got set up.
While she colored we used this time to talk about being thankful. I asked her some of the below questions:
*Do you know what it means to be thankful?
*What are some things you are thankful for that you think will be good to put on our tree?
*Are we only thankful in November?
*Are we only thankful for only things like toys, clothes, and food?
*Can we be thankful for people, places, and things we do together?
For Ava's age group (elementary school age), asking these types of questions that are open, but specific, are great ways to have conversations about topics that can sometimes be abstract and hard for younger minds to conceptualize. I also shared my own answers and Ava and I had a nice conversation about being thankful. Her main question to me was "Mommy are you thankful for me?" - I'm pretty sure you all can guess what my answer was!
After that, I cut out one leaf and acorn for today's tree additions. I asked Ava what she was thankful for to put on our tree, and I answered the same question. Here were today's first items of thankfulness for our tree.
I taped a piece of ribbon to each item and we hung each one from a branch on the tree. I labeled our tree at the base. Since this is our first year doing this, I thought it would be a nice piece of memorabilia for our family. Here's what our tree looks like to start. I can't wait to see it fill up this month!
After we finished I packed everything up in a handy dandy Ziploc bag, so we're ready to go each day to add to our tree!
Whether this activity suits your family or not, I hope you find a way to explore Thankfulness with those you love.
I, myself, can get pretty stressed and distracted with daily life and lose sight of all the wonderful people, things, & experiences I am fortunate to have. So I'm loving this activity already as a way to not only remind myself of all that I'm thankful for, but to also help teach my children about being thankful. I'm not a perfect mother, but I am striving to raise thoughtful, kind, generous, & thankful human beings. I think this activity (and various forms of it) are helpful and fun tools to do just that.
I hope you've enjoyed this post! If you have and think others would too then please share my Blog on your social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). I would be so thankful for it!