Friday, November 26, 2010

Fun Friday: Create a Thankfulness Tree

Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.

Earlier this week, I shared what I’m thankful for this holiday season. Our Thankfulness Tree gave the big explorer a chance to do the same. (This activity doesn’t have to be restricted to Thanksgiving, though; it’s a great way to celebrate the Christmas holiday and the end of the year, too.)

We started by creating a “tree” out of sticks the big and little explorer collected on recent nature walks (we even had a few acorns, too). We picked out a pretty vase to help make our tree feel extra special.

Using colored paper, we cut out a few different types of leaves, and even acorns, in a variety of colors then punched a hole in each and added string to create ornaments for our tree. (If you can’t do this freehand, a quick Google search for leaf templates will give you plenty of options.)

Now came the fun part: Writing down what we were thankful for on our leaves and acorns. I was surprised and touched by what the big explorer had to say.

Not that I doubted it, but he’s one special kid.

Take-Home Tips 
  • Involve the younger kids, too. The little explorer was more than happy to color leaves for our tree. I’m sure he would have loved painting some, too!
  • Choose your own ornaments. Change the shape of the decorations and this activity works all year long (stars for a holiday tree, hearts for Valentine’s Day, etc.)

More Ideas for Outdoor Fun
If you’re enjoying a long holiday weekend, there’s plenty of opportunity to get outside – even if the weather doesn’t seem very inviting. Why not bundle up, head outdoors and:
The best part? Enjoying some hot chocolate or warm apple cider when you head back inside!


  1. I like your idea of changing the decorations and using the 'tree' all year round. You've got me rethinking a yarn branch I made about a month ago!

  2. I absolutely love this idea! This is something I've got to remember to do next Thanksgiving with Shane! And I love how, with a little tweaking, it could work year-round as well!

  3. @Christie & Crystal: So glad you both like this idea. I'm such NOT the crafty person that I'm relieved to know this looks appealing to someone else! :)

  4. This is a lovely idea. I've seen trees like this used in Scottish pre-schools for parents and children to write ideas and suggestions about how to improve a facility or the equivalent. But the Thanksgiving application is neat too. Thanks for the link to my blog post. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. @Juliet: I'm getting the sense that this idea could be morphed slightly to work in many settings, which is cool. Thanks YOU for all the great ideas! :)


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