Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thanksgiving Camping Craft- Thankful Tree

November is a great time to work on practicing thankfulness with our children. It's something that we often forget to practice. But, no more! Take that, ungratefulness! We have found several ways to keep our happy little camper-hold focused on what blessings we have been given.

The Thankful Tree is probably my favorite. It involves nature, so I automatically love it! Plus, it's free, family -oriented, and fun! What more could you ask for in a craft?



You will need a fairly large tree branch- mine is probably 2-3 feet high and about 18 inches wide. There's a family activity in itself... Go on a walk in the woods and find the perfect branch.

You'll also need a vase, construction paper, and some beads or decorative stones to put in the vase.
Cut out some leaf shapes in fall colors. You can find templates here, here, or here.  Or you can just cut them out by hand.
Place your branch into your vase. Fill the vase up with beads or stones to hold it in place. I just used a bag of  random mixed beads in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. I think it turned out really pretty.

Distribute leaves to everyone in your family and have them write or draw things they are thankful for. I cut out about 20 leaves per person. We did 4-5 the first night, then I left the leaves in a bowl for anyone to grab whenever they feel the urge to be thankful. They've added on quite a few leaves every day. Some of the things they are thankful for have really surprised me!

Along with our thankful tree, we have a charming Thanksgiving Countdown printable from Tip Junkie and The Letter 4. I think it was intended for use a few years ago, when Thanksgiving was on the 24th (there are 24 circles to cross off), but I just whited out the 23rd and 24th circles. Stick it in a cheap dollar store frame, and Presto! Thanksgiving countdown. We use a dry erase marker to cross off every day, and we take turns writing what we are thankful for each day. Well, really, it's more of a race to be the first one to get to write on it each day! But we are sharing our gratitude, and that's A-OK with me!

I love both of these options because they're easy, frugal, and don't take up a lot of space. Oh, and they help us intentionally place our thoughts on what we DO have, rather than what we don't have.
What does your family do to maintain the spirit of Thanksgiving? We'd love for you to share!

17 comments:

  1. I love your tree! The idea to use it as a way to express gratitude is fantastic.

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    1. Joyce- Thanks for visiting! I was really impressed with how cute the tree turned out. And even more impressed with my kiddos' sincere expressions of gratitude... sometimes those are hard to come by from the 'tweens! Thanks for stopping by! Your blog is adorable also! I follwed :)
      Happy Turkey Day!
      Lisa

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  2. I love BOTH of these ideas, and I want to do a tree for the whole family to do on Thanksgiving Day. I'm glad you shared this on Eco Kids! I'm pinning both ideas!

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    1. Becki- Thanks so much! Glad you found something you can use. I want to take it to Thanksgiving dinner and have everyone else add to it, but hubby says the rest of the fam may not "get" it... lol. Still up in the air on that one! Glad you came to visit.
      Oh my word- your blog header is beautiful! New follower to your blog.
      Have a great holiday!
      Lisa

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    2. Thanks! I hope that my family aren't all stick in the muds about the thankful thing! I'm featuring this on Eco Kids this week! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  3. I do love the "idea" of a thankful tree, but I need to come up with something that is less fragile for my crew (or wait another couple of years ;0).

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    1. Hi Susan! I'm enjoying that my kiddo are old enough to handle some of the more delicate crafts and ideas now. (Although I miss them being little. They are growing up way too fast!) Following you on Pinterest. Love your Homeschool blog! Thanks for coming by!
      Lisa

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  4. Next week on The CSI Project is the Thansgiving crafts, Food and Gratitude challenge. Come link this up and you may WIN!
    Www.thecsiproject.com
    Link up begins Wednesday. Tutorials Monday-Wednesday.

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    1. Great! Thanks for letting me know. Will definitely link up. I love the concept of your site. Glad you popped over!
      Lisa

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  5. I love the thankful tree. I will have to do one next year. Thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday.

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    1. Christy- So glad you visited my blog! You are so creative! Happy Thanksgiving!
      Lisa

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  6. wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

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    1. Katherine- Your blog is so beautiful! Thanks for hosting. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
      Lisa

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  7. Thanks for visiting my blog. So interesting that you are full timers! We've owned a few RVs over the years and drove to Alaska a few years ago.

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  8. Oh, I love your tree. We do a similar, but smaller scale tree. Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!

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  9. love the tree...Thank you for sharing on Hey Mom, Look What I Did at Adventures In Mommy Land!!

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