It seems important to me to remember in this time of turkeys and pilgrims, pumpkins and indian corn, to remind ourselves and our little ones that the whole idea behind THANKSgiving is thankfulness.
For us, a daily add-on crafty-type activity helps accomplish that best.
For the last three years, Dale and I have made a turkey, adding a tail feather a day with something he is thankful for written on it. On really creative years the tail feathers have come from a paper chain counting down the days until Thanksgiving.
(Complete instructions and pictures for one of our Thankful Turkeys can be found here.)
Since Alan is old enough to understand thankfulness this year I decided to go with one activity they could share. Ok, so they could have shared a turkey, but I was itching for something different.
So we are making a thankful tree!
First, I cut two identical tree shapes from a tall cardboard cereal box. Free-handed the first one and traced it for the second. Now that I have made one, I know that as long as the bottoms halves are identical, there can be some variation in the tops. Oh well - identical works too.
Next, I cut straight down from the middle fork of the top to about halfway down one tree, and straight up the bottom about halfway up the other tree.
Then I painted both sides of each piece with brown acrylic. I had help for this step. :)
I gave the shiny side two coats and what had been the inside of the box only one coat. Some of the lettering still shows through a little, but it gives it character. :) And I didn't want to soak my cardboard!
Once both pieces were completely dry, I slid them together using the slits I cut earlier. We now had a 3-d tree!
For the thankful part, each boy names one thing each day he is thankful for. We stop where we are and pray, thanking God for that blessing, then write it on a leaf and glue it to the tree.
I also write who said what, since it is fun to go back and look at previous years' blessings from your kids' perspectives. Our first two leaves were green, but the rest will be red, orange, and yellow. By the time Thanksgiving day rolls around, we will have a pretty fall tree for a centerpiece, and a host of blessings we have taken a moment to be thankful for!
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