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Every year for Thanksgiving dinner at my family's house, I create a way for everyone to share what they are thankful for.  The completed thankful craft hangs on the kitchen door for everyone to see.  It's fun to read what everyone is thankful for....especially the children.  I know Thanksgiving is a busy day, but take time to sit down with your child and talk to him/her about what he/she is thankful for.  Older children can write their own, but younger children will need help.  Also, some people may be more inclined to write what they are thankful for than announcing it around the table.

Past crafts have included:

Turkey:  Everyone got a big construction paper feather to write what they were thankful for.  Each feather was added to a turkey body I made ahead of time using a brown paper bag and markers.  Instant door decor!
  • Turkey hand prints:  This is the classic trace your hand and decorate it to look like a turkey craft, but instead of where the feathers would be, everyone wrote what they were thankful for.  One turkey per guest = turkey farm for the door.
  • Cornucopia:  Everyone got a piece of "food" and added it to a big paper cornucopia basket with what they were thankful for.  I used a pattern I found online for a child's craft.
  • Fall tree:  Everyone got a different color "leaf" to add to the bare tree I made on poster board.  It was our thankful tree.

This year, I decided to use a little help with my thankful craft.  While at a family event this fall, there was a craft booth for children and one of the crafts was "The Thankful Tree" which I had seen in my 
Oriental Trading magazine.  Each child got a tree and 4-5 leaves to write what he/she was thankful for.  I was so pleased with the result, that I bought the kit to use this year with my family.  You can do this same thing at home by printing out bare trees or cutting some out of brown construction paper.  You could also print and cut out leaves or buy foam leaves at your local craft store. (Or try out one of my other ideas above!)

I did all of the gluing ahead of time since the focus is not on doing a craft, but on writing down what everyone is thankful for. Then, I wrote everyone's name on the tree trunk.  I always do mine ahead of time because I get busy with things and it serves as an example. 

I really like how these turned out.  I told my husband all of the thankful trees together will create a "FOREST OF GRATITUDE."  He thinks that is a bit corny, but I love the idea!  It will be so fun to "walk through the forest" and read how the Lord has blessed my family this year  I can't wait!


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