Our Thanksgiving Tree – A Yearly Tradition

Thanksgiving Tree | Apron Strings & other things

For several years now, our family has “grown” a Thanksgiving Tree. I think it was our oldest daughter who first came to me with the idea. We created a large tree trunk from
brown kraft paper, taped it to the wall and then she traced the hands of everyone in the family onto various colors of construction paper. We helped the children cut out their handprints. Soon they each had a stack of handprints ready and waiting.

Thanksgiving Tree | Apron Strings & other things

Each day during the month of November we take a moment at mealtime or bedtime to jot down things for which are are thankful onto everyone’s handprint-leaves. By the time Thanksgiving Day arrives we have a beautiful tree for everyone to see, reminding us of our abundant blessings. One thought per leaf. One leaf per person. 10 leaves per day for 25 days equals 250 leaves. That makes for quite a tree!

Thanksgiving Tree | Apron Strings & other things

Do you have special ways to teach your children how to have a thankful heart? What traditions does your family enjoy during this time of Thanksgiving?

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  1. What a great idea. We do something similar for Thanksgiving. My husband draws a tree onto a paper that fits on a door in our house (the drawing is quite the tradition in itself with lots of supervision and suggestions from all the littles). We then cut out leaves and once a day everyone says writes what they are thankful for and glues it to the tree. πŸ™‚

    • How fun it must be to watch Daddy and the Littles creating the tree! What a blessing that your family is able to build this together, this will be a tradition in your family for a long time to come, I’m sure. Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

  2. We have a Thankful Tree…very similar to your Thanksgiving Tree, except ours are just card stock or construction paper leaves. We also give leaves to any guests that we have in November. And of course, on Thanksgiving Day, we give one to each one at our table(s). It is such fun to look back on them from year to year.

    It is a wonderful thing to tune the heart toward thankfulness!

    • I love how you incorporate your guests, Cheryl. Do they take their leaves home? or add their own Leaves of Thanksgiving to your tree? I’m seeing variations on this idea in many families and I’m inspired by them all. So glad you popped in today. May your day be blessed.

      • Our guests add their leaves to our tree. No one has ever asked to take their leaves home, although I’m sure I would say ‘yes’ if they wanted to do so. πŸ™‚

  3. I have thought of doing this so many times, but I have no wall space! Now that the girls are old enough to write their own I guess I should try to come up with an alternative.

    • Your kids would have a lot of fun with this! You don’t have to do it on a huge scale like I did, though. You can put on a closet door or put a stick in a flowerpot and tie on paper leaves with their ideas written on them. Or draw a tree trunk on paper and use their fingerprints for leaves (Mom can write a word or two on each).

  4. Linda, what a wonderful idea! I am fascinated with visual lessons for kids and think this is a perfect and wonderful example of such a lesson! Love this and thank you for sharing it!

    • Thank you Stephanie πŸ™‚ I am a very visual person so using activities like this helps me as much as the children! So glad you stopped in for a visit. Have a blessed weekend!

  5. Hi! I just started a Thanksgiving tree this year {actually yesterday}! I blogged about mine a bit and took pictures too! I love what you’re doing to teach your children. I’m doing mine for the same reason! Thanks for the post!

    • Good for you, Angela! I hope your Thanksgiving tree tradition brings as much joy to your family as it has mine. Thank you for your sweet comment and joining in my enthusiasm!

  6. This is such a cute idea! I am featuring this post on the Hearts for Home Blog hop this upcoming Thursday. Have a great week!

  7. That’s such a beautiful tree and idea! We never seem to get around to doing projects like this one!

    • Thanks, Sylvia. It seems we never can get to all the projects we’d like to. I know you stay plenty busy in your family without adding in extras. Than you for taking time to visit and to comment, and for hosting your link party every week!

  8. What a wonderful family idea, your tree looks beautiful.

  9. Oh this is such a lovely idea – making gratitude a daily habit and fun and beautiful too! I used to ask my children when they were little, before they fell asleep, what was their favorite thing that happened that day? What was the best thing. It helped them, I hope, look for those “best things” each day, knowing they’d be asked about it at night. Some nights it was hard for them to pick just one – and that made it all the richer.

    stopping in today from Lisa’s Grand Social.

    • Barbara, what a wonderful, daily tradition!
      Congratulations to you on the arrival of twin grandbabies! I hope and pray their parents carry on this special tradition with them πŸ™‚

  10. How sweet! I love this idea. Our Thankful Tree consists of twigs with little paper leaves that we hang on it. This is pretty cute!

    • Thanks, Gabrielle. I love your twigs and paper leaves. My children still at home are ready to move on to something a little more grown up than handprint leaves, so we may be adapting your idea next year!

  11. What a cute idea! I sent this to my granddaughter. She and I were looking at craft ideas and she had spotted a turkey where the tail feathers each had something to be thankful for written on it. I think this would be a lot of fun and Mommy, Daddy, Grampy and I could add “leaves” to the tree, too! Thanks!

    • Yes, Kc! It would be a wonderful family activity for you all to join in together. We have had visitors add their handprints to our tree at times. Makes it even more of a special blessing.

  12. Fun idea. May have to find a smaller way to add this into our days.

    • We have done this on a small scale, too, Lori – easily adaptable to whatever space and materials you have available! Thanksgiving Blessings to you and your family πŸ™‚

  13. What a neat idea!!!

  14. We used to do this each Thanksgiving! I loved seeing all that my boys were thankful for each year. They often surprised me with their answers.


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