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How to Make a Gratitude Tree

Gratitude Tree
Gratitude Tree

In the U.S., Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. We remember the hardships of the Pilgrims during their first year in the New World, and the friendship and generosity of the Native Americans, who were instrumental in the Pilgrims' survival.

November is a month where we all reflect on the things we have and the people in our lives. Across the nation, people express gratitude in a variety of ways. This is the perfect time to reiterate to our children the importance of having and practicing gratitude everyday.

Every year, my son and I make a Gratitude Tree and our whole family participates in a fun 30-day gratitude practice. Every morning, on a small slip of paper, we each write a person's name for whom we are thankful, or one thing for which we are thankful, and then hang it up on the tree. It's a simple craft that creates a lifelong habit and teaches an important lesson.

Materials Needed:

  • Large and medium branches
  • Leaves of assorted colors
  • A container, vase, old teapot or coffee pot
  • Old newspaper, ads, or magazines
  • Twist ties and/or rubber bands

Materials needed to create your own Gratitude Tree.
Materials needed to create your own Gratitude Tree.

Part 1 — Assemble Your Gratitude Tree

  1. Go outside and collect large to medium sized branches for your tree. While you are outside, you will also want to collect an assortment of leaves.
  2. Pick out a unique container for your Gratitude Tree. I've used an old family teapot.
  3. Gather your branches and begin to arrange them in your container.
  4. Crumple newspaper or ads to place around the branches in your container. This helps hold the branches in place.
  5. Use twist ties or rubber bands to help hold two or more branches together.
  6. Once you have your tree created, arrange leaves around the branches to hide the paper.

Now you are ready for Part 2.

Gather your branches and group them however you would like to make your tree.
Gather your branches and group them however you would like to make your tree.
Crumple paper and arrange around your branches to help hold them in place.
Crumple paper and arrange around your branches to help hold them in place.
Use twist ties or rubber bands to help hold two or more branches together.
Use twist ties or rubber bands to help hold two or more branches together.
Arrange leaves around the branches to cover the paper.
Arrange leaves around the branches to cover the paper.
Leaves around the branches.
Leaves around the branches.

Part 2—Materials Needed:

  • Blank paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers in the colors of your choice
  • Tape
  • Thread or string

Materials needed for second part of your Gratitude Tree project.
Materials needed for second part of your Gratitude Tree project.

Part 2—Finishing Touches

  1. Cut a piece paper that will fit on the outside of your container for a label.
  2. Write the word, 'Gratitude' on it with your markers.
  3. Tape your label to the outside of your container.
  4. Cut the remaining paper in half a few times to make small to medium sized squares or rectangles. These pieces are for writing daily "gratitudes" and will be hung up on your tree each day.
  5. Find a spot to set your Gratitude Tree. I chose the Buffet in my dining room. You may wish to place a table cloth or other linen under your tree. You might also want to make your Gratitude Tree a part of your household decor for the month of November.
  6. Once your tree is in place, arrange the remaining leaves around your container. Place your paper squares or rectangles nearby, along with your thread or string. Add a pen or two and your Gratitude Tree is complete and ready for use!
  7. Set a time each day to gather around your tree as a family and have each member write down one person for whom they are thankful, or one thing for which they are thankful. (At my house, we do this activity first thing in the morning.)
  8. Cut a small piece of thread or string and hang up each gratitude.

That is all there is to it!

Optional: You could take down the slips of paper on Thanksgiving and read all of the them aloud. If you are hosting Thanksgiving, you might like to invite your guests to participate and write down something or someone for whom they are thankful, and hang it up on the tree. You could also just leave the Gratitude Tree as is, and let it be a nice decoration and reminder of gratitude for the entire month of November.

Write "Gratitude" on a rectangular piece of paper.
Write "Gratitude" on a rectangular piece of paper.
Tape your Gratitude label to your container.
Tape your Gratitude label to your container.
Cut paper in half.
Cut paper in half.
Continue cutting paper in half to make small to medium sized squares. These will be used to write daily "gratitudes" and hung up on your Gratitude tree.
Continue cutting paper in half to make small to medium sized squares. These will be used to write daily "gratitudes" and hung up on your Gratitude tree.
Completed Gratitude Tree.
Completed Gratitude Tree.

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2 comments

Happymommy2520 profile image

Happymommy2520 5 weeks ago from East Coast

I totally loved this Hub. I have been looking for something like this to do with my kids. It's a perfect time of year to do it. Beautiful Hub! You have brightened up my day!


Alyssa Nichol profile image

Alyssa Nichol 5 weeks ago from Ohio Author

Thank you for your kind words! I hope you and your children enjoy the Gratitude Tree!

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