It’s important to teach kids about gratitude and showing appreciation for things. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to incoporate these virtues into a meaningful craft they can look back on someday. I showed my son the crafts I had pinned to my Thanksgiving Craft Ideas Pinterest board and he chose to make a Thankful Handprint Tree idea found via Crafts by Amanda.
How to make a Thankful Handprint Tree to Teach Gratitude
We drew our tree trunk , but Crafts by Amanda has a free printable tree template that you can use as well.
Here’s how we made ours:
- Draw the outline of a tree trunk on brown construction paper or use the free printable one.
- Trace hands onto colored paper. These will be the leaves.
- Cut all of the above out. To make it quicker, I stacked 4 pieces of construction paper so that when I cut each traced hand, it made 4 pieces. We traced each hand making it a total of 8 pieces for my son’s tree.
- Glue pieces into place.
- Write the things each child is thankful for on the fingers.
My son and I sat down together about a week before making this craft and wrote down all the thing he & his sister are thankful for. He is 5 yrs old so he was able to come up with everything by himself. He chose the exact way he wanted things worded; like “Playing Playdough” – makes it cuter to look back on one day to remember the way the used to talk when they were little! He decided that he wanted to fill every line in the notebook which resulted in 30+ things he was thankful for.
My little guy also wanted to help choose things for his one year old sister and came up with most of those by himself as well – too cute! We chose things that she plays with everyday, her favorites, and other activities she enjoys.
Thankgiving Books About Giving Thanks
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We also read these a couple of Thanksgiving books from the library about being thankful. Both are cute and rhyme in a song-like way and engaging for my preschool-aged son.
We read these several nights before bedtime in November since part of our bedtime routine is to pray to God about what we are thankful for that day. Since my son had just turned 5, he always has to come up with at least 5 things that he is thankful for that day. We started this routine with him when he was 3, which then he would name off 3 (or more things).
His little sister who was then almost 2, had just started to say some of her own things which usually always is something like “Thank you for doggie, thank you for doggie, thank you for ladybug, thank you for doggie.” Too precious! She sure does love all her doggies and her ladybug blanket!!!
This is the perfect Thanksgiving keepsake to cherish throughout the years. It will be so cute to look back on when he is older and remember all the things he loved this year…. especially all the unexpected things he came up!
Originally published 1/11/2013; Updated 11/7/2017