A Child's Thanksgiving Tree

by Amanda Formaro


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Just mentioning the word "Thanksgiving" often conjures up memories for many. Traditions are relived and new ones are born on this joyous family holiday. Why not start a new one with your children with this fun and simple activity.

To make your own Thanksgiving Tree you will need the following materials:

  • sheet of white poster board
  • pencil
  • tempera paint, markers or crayons
  • construction paper in red, yellow and orange
  • markers
  • scissors
  • glue or tape
  • glitter glue (optional)

Variation: This project can also be easily adapted to a cork board (see photo) by simply using colored push pins to match the leaves. Use brown construction paper to make the tree trunk. You may draw the tree trunk freehand or print out a template.

At the top of the posterboard, entitle your tree "Smith Kids Thanksgiving Tree", inserting your family surname in the title.

With a pencil on poster board, draw a basic tree with a branch for each child in the family. If you only have 1-2 children, it might be fun to include two or three branches for each child.

Using tempera paint, markers, or crayons color the tree trunk brown. On red, orange, green and yellow construction paper, trace 10 copies of each child's hand. Cut out and give each child their "leaves".

Each child writes one thing that they are thankful for on each leaf (grown ups can help if needed!). You may decorate the leaves with glitter glue if you like. Next, tape or glue the leaves onto their designated branches.

This makes a great activity to keep kids happy during a large family gathering. Hint: Make the base ahead of time for quick start up.

Hang up the Thanksgiving Tree where the whole family can see it. Makes a great conversation piece! Later, after dinner, have the children present their tree to the family gathered around. Each child tells what they are thankful for and why.

For added fun, make additional posterboard bases up ahead of time so that the rest of the family can add their leaves as well. Have supplies at the ready!


Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She and her husband live in southeastern Wisconsin. She is also the owner of FamilyCorner.com Magazine. Subscribe to her free holiday newsletter, Family Holidays, by sending any email message to holidays-on@mail-list.com or by visiting her website at http://familycorner.com Copyright 2000 Amanda Formaro

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