What You’ll Need
Fabric (one medium piece and several small strips)
Large coffee can (empty)
Bare tree branch
Pebbles or dried beans
What to Do
Use tacky glue to glue fabric around the coffee can.
Hold a bare tree branch upright inside the can. Fill the can with pebbles or dried beans to hold the branch in place.
Tie strips of fabric onto the branch.
Cut leaves from colored paper. Punch holes in the stems of all leaves but one.
Write on the un-punched leaf “We are thankful for…” and glue this leaf to the can.
Ask each Thanksgiving guest to write on a leaf one thing he or she is thankful for.
Tie the leaves onto the tree with yarn.
Extend the Fun
Younger kids: Count the leaves on the tree with your child. How many are there all together? Count the different colors of leaves. Are there more reds or browns? Then count how many leaves are people and how many are things. Are there any repeats?
Younger and older kids: Ask your children to pick out one leaf from the tree. Then have them write brief letters explaining what they’re thankful for and why. (Have your younger kiddo dictate it to you.) If they were thankful for a person, give the letter to that person (with your child’s permission, of course).
Older kids: Talk with your child about how people show they’re thankful. Ask your child how she shows she’s thankful for things. Tell her how you show your thankfulness. Discuss the different ways that people express gratitude. Then look at the leaves on the Thanksgiving tree. Pick a few leaves and talk about how both of you show (or could show) gratitude for what’s written on the leaf. Together, brainstorm how you will continue to show your thankfulness.