Thankful Tree Centerpiece

With the Halloween candy overload and Christmas craziness already taking up 90% of the stores, it’s hard to keep selfishness at bay and have a grateful heart–even though Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And I say that as a 31 year old grown woman! If it’s hard for me, I know it’s even harder for my 5 year old! To help keep our minds focused on a season of thankfulness, our family made this FREE centerpiece and we add to it each day at family meals. It has been a great daily exercise for us to focus on what we are blessed with and not we think we are lacking.

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All you need is a vase (or empty oatmeal container  or skinny box), some long sticks from your yard or a park, and colored paper. I added the gourds around it because they were already there, but it’s optional! My daughter and husband had fun gathering the sticks. I think our dog even got in on the crafty action!

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While they were foraging, I found a leaf cookie cutter and traced some leaf patterns on fall colored construction paper we had. (If you don’t have a template, you could easily print out a leaf shape, use a die cut or cri-cut machine, or buy pre-cut leaves in the fall section of a craft or teacher supply store).

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My daughter helped me cut them out. It’s a great fine motor skill exercise.

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We arranged the sticks in the vase to look like a tree of sorts.

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Then we took turns thinking of things we were thankful for and wrote them down and hung them on our “tree.” Can you guys which ones were my daughter’s leaves?

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 The best part is you can add to it all month long so the tree gets fuller and fuller with leaves of thankfulness. We like to add to it at family meals when we are all together and can talk about the things we are thankful for.

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I pass through my dining room several times every day and when I see the thankful tree, it’s a great reminder to stop and reflect on my blessings. I think it’s helping our 5 year old have a grateful heart, but I think it might be helping me just as much!

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What are ways you incorporate thanksgiving during this season? How do you teach your children to have a grateful attitude?

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