As we get closer and closer to the holiday season, it is easy to get caught up in the rush of things rather than stop to remember what holidays are really about. In much the same way, children can get caught up in thinking about what they want rather than what they have to be grateful for. My son is 5 years old and I really think it is important to instill in him a strong focus on the blessings in our lives.
He enjoys praying and thanking God for things like friends, and family, or the food on our table, but sometimes even his prayers sound like rehearsed speeches instead of genuine thoughtful gratitude. So this fall I wanted to come up with a way to make Gratitude a bit more tangible. Together we have made the only tree that will actually acquire more and more leaves this fall. :-)
We began with these items:
*Watercolor Paints (and water)
*Something to protect the table
You will also need:
*Hot Glue Gun
The first step of this project ended up turning into a really fun family painting night.
We really just needed to end up with color on the paper, it didn’t particularly matter what it looked like.
So we all started painting,
and when we hung everything up to dry, we ended up with a little makeshift art gallery.
Once the paint was dry,
I folded a sheet accordion style,
then cut out a simple leaf shape.
I used a few of our paintings so that I ended up with a big pile of leaves.
Next we trekked out to the woods and gathered some fallen sticks. I arranged the sticks in a vase,
and then we got around to the whole point of this project. Everyday each one of us will write something we are thankful for. We started a little late so we each did some extras the first day.
Then I used a small dap of hot glue to attach each leaf to the branches.
I am adoring seeing what things come to mind each time I ask my son what he is thankful for. The first leaf he wrote on showed that he has his priorities straight.
His second leaf showed that he is remembering to be grateful for the little things too. :-)
The tree isn’t very full yet, but we have already enjoyed thinking about and talking about the wonderful things in our life.
The extra leaves are sitting in a bowl at the base of the tree, and each day we add 3 more leaves.
As the leaves continue falling outside, this tree will continue to fill up. It will fill up with the many blessings that we can be truly grateful for, and my son will spend every day thinking about the joys in his life. He will think beyond the standard dinner and bedtime prayers and hopefully he will realize how many wonderful things he has to be thankful for.
For more great fall ideas:
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