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As I write this, I am in total shock that Thanksgiving is next week. Why does this happen to me every year?! It has been unusually cold and we even have several inches of snow already this year, so I was itching to get into the holiday spirit early. While I love Christmas, I don’t want to skip over Thanksgiving either. I searched for a thanksgiving activity for kids, but I didn’t want to make hand print turkeys…I wanted to put up my darn Christmas tree! A ha – the best of both words, enter the Thankful Tree.
Now, a Thankful Tree is the perfect thanksgiving activity for kids for several reasons:
- You get to put your Christmas tree up early. YAY!
- By digging the tree out of the basement, trying to find the stand, and the right extension chord now, you’ve eliminated the WORST part of setting up the tree NOW.
- When Christmas arrives, all the hard work is done and you get to focus on just the fun parts of trimming the tree.
- Oh, and you’re teaching your family to be thankful at the same time.
Alright, now let’s make ourselves a thankful tree.
How to Make a Thankful Tree
Step 1: Go dig that Christmas tree out of the basement and set that bad boy up. (Or make your husband do it. That’s what I did. He loved it.) If you use a real tree, I don’t know what to tell you here because it’ll probably die if you set it up this early. We got a real tree last year and it was the most overrated thing I’ve ever done. #fightme
Step 2: Once your tree is up, just put the lights on. No ornaments just yet. Now you’re probably thinking, how is this a thanksgiving activity for kids? Hang in there with me.
Step 3: Now, go dig in your scrapbook paper that you’ve had for 15 years and find some fall-inspired colors. Cut them in 1 inch by 10 inch strips. Make a good ol’ fashioned paper chain. This is something you can do with your kids.
Important Note: If your little brother tries to steal your thunder during your moment of fame, definitely push and kick him out of the way. This is a crucial step for any thanksgiving activity with kids, especially if those kids are siblings.
Step 4: Once you’ve made your paper garland, go ahead and put it on the tree! I also bought some yummy cinnamon pinecones from my local grocery store. I wedged them here and there in the tree and half of them had already fallen down by the next morning. Thanks, kids.
Teaching Your Kids Thankfulness
This thanksgiving activity for kids is a great opportunity to talk about the importance of being thankful. Think about important people in your child’s life, toys they like to play with, basic needs that are being met. It’s only November, but the incessant “I want X for Christmas” has already started. My kids have so incredibly already, so it’s SUPER important to me that they understand that and realize how much they have to be thankful for. Need some help coming with up ideas? Here’s a list that may help…
You can make your “ornaments” in any shape — circles, leavers, turkeys, etc. Have your kids start thinking of things they’re thankful for and writing them down. Let your kids decorate the tree once you’ve made your ornaments. Make some extra blank ornaments in case they think of other things they’re thankful for later on. We used cream colored cardstock and roughly hand cut things that loosely resembled leaves.
Then we drew a line on each leaf with brown crayon and my daughter painted them with watercolors. After they were dry, I punched a hole in the top and used bakers twine for the ties.
And because I’m a book lady, we also read The Thank You Dish which teaches kids to be thankful! It focuses primarily on being thankful for our food, where it comes comes from, gardening, and community. I’m on board with any book that talks about food, amiright?
I hope you enjoyed this thankgiving activity for kids. If you did this activity with your kids, I’d love if you could share on social media and tag Read It & Reap with Me!
Don’t Leave Yet…
Hey, thanks for being here. If you enjoyed this thanksgiving activity for kids, check out some of my other activities…
- What Are Germs? Fun Activity/Book Pairing
- Dino Egg Hatching Activity
- Shark Sensory Activity/Book Pairing