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Fall Family Craft: How to Build a ‘Thankful Tree’

Looking for an easy, fun fall craft to do with your kids that helps reinforce the message of gratitude this season? Each year, our family creates a “thankful tree.” My daughters look forward to writing their own messages of gratitude each day through Thanksgiving Day.


Here’s what you’ll need to build the thankful tree:

-Brown butcher or wrapping paper (long enough to make the trunk and branches)

-Green butcher or construction paper (crown of the tree)

-Foam turkey or pumpkin-shape cutouts (already pre-cut for easy application). Usually available at your local craft store, or you can pick up extra orange/brown construction paper and cut your own.

-Tape or removable glue dots

-Sharpie or washable marker



What to do:

-Measure/estimate the area where you’ll place your tree (keep the tree in a central location, such as a kitchen or family room)

-Cut the paper lengthwise and wide to make the trunk

-Use the leftover brown scraps or remaining paper to create the smaller branches

-Trace and cut the crown of the tree on the green construction paper

-Adhere each part of the tree to your space

Remember to allow your kids to help put the tree together – even if it’s a bit crooked. They made it, which is what’s most important about the process.

After the tree is ready to go, place your cutouts, pen and tape/glue dots in a basket nearby for easy access. This will encourage the entire family to share their thoughts of gratitude each day. Encourage family members to write their “gratitude” for that day using a few key words or phrases.

Hopefully, your family will have a beautiful thankful tree that will be the talk of the table at Thanksgiving. Now that’s gratitude.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.
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