Teaching my children thankfullness is important to my husband and I. We have struggled with ways to remind our sons to be thankful. To us being thankful is not as simple as saying thank you when someone does something nice. It is genuinely appreciating and recognizing that a person does not have to do things but they chose to. We teach our children yes be thankful for the big things but to recognize the little daily things.
For me as a mom I am most thankful for my family and my tribe. It reminds me that I may not be a perfect mom but I put effort in and I do my best and when I am stressed I have a tribe of friends who help. My youngest son says he is most thankful I know how to make bacon. Each person is thankful for different things. Recognizing that we are thankful differently is important to being able to respond to each persons efforts.
One of the best ways we have found to remind our children of thankfullness was a thankful jar. It is a jar that you place papers in that you have written what you are especially thankful for on. We add to it things we were thankful for during the week and when we are feeling down can pick out something to read. I decided to make a festive thankful jar and that’s where our thankful tree came in. It was a super simple craft and took more time looking for sticks than actually making the craft.
- Dead Tree branches or something that looks like branches
- Mason Jar or Vase
- Optional fake leaves or any other object to write what you are thankful for on.
- Paint brush
- Collect Small thin tree branches
- Print out leaves or whatever shape you decide and cut out
- Paint jar whatever color you want inside of stencil to be
- Allow paint to dry
- Tape stencil to jar
- Paint over and around stencil whatever color you want jar to be
- Allow paint to mostly dry
- Carefully remove stencil
- Touch up edges of stenciled area
- Write in sharpie whatever you want the jar to say
- Hang remaining leaves from branches
- Whenever you are especially thankful take a leaf and write on it and replace leaf
- Read leaves whenever you need a pick me up