“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
Teaching children the art of gratitude creates a habit of mindfulness and does wonders for their health and well-being. With holiday gatherings on the horizon, and extended visits with family and friends, this time of year provides a subtle reminder to pause and give thanks for all the things in our lives, both big and small.
In a world obsessed with more, we find it helpful and eye-opening to compose a gratitude list with children. Begin by asking your child to think about something for which she is grateful. Put simply, what is one thing (place, person, etc.) that makes her heart happy?
Once you’ve compiled the list with your child, turn her ideas into a Thankful Tree! Simply find a large branch (or a collection of smaller branches) and anchor it inside a mason jar using small rocks or glass beads. Then write each item from the list on a piece of heavier cardstock or watercolor paper that has been cut into the shape of a leaf. Paint over top of the leaves, punch a hole at the top, and string each one onto a branch.
Want to get the whole family involved? Hand out leaves to friends or family members and ask them to add their own special leaf to the tree.
For our online members, you can find the My Gratitude Tree printable (and many more) in our Gratitude thematic unit. And if you’re a Do-It-Together Kit subscriber, the materials for your own Thankful Tree are included inside your box.
You can also use our printable version below. Simply print out the tree background and leaves and write one thing you feel grateful for on each leaf. Even the youngest writers can dictate to you and participate!
Glue the leaves onto the tree and hang as a reminder throughout the year. Turn it into a fun collage activity by adding in loose parts and natural treasures.
Resources and Inspiration (members only):
We hope you are able to pause for a moment with the ones you love and reflect on all that you are grateful for these next few months. It’s not too late to create a special moment with your little ones!