Thanksgiving is a child therapist’s ideal holiday. The month offers the opportunity to introduce to our children the practice of gratitude. As research has suggested, this important act aides in improved wellness and life satisfaction for all ages.
The Giving Tree
It is important to me to teach my children this important life skill. So, once the Halloween decorations are put away, I introduce the concept of gratitude by reading the story, “The Giving Tree.”
I invite the conversation of The Tree giving his friendship gestures to the boy in exchange for the tree’s happiness.
I explain to the children their ability to also improve their own happiness by engaging in kindness acts and being mindful of what in their life makes them grateful.
My Giving Tree Craft
I have the children then create their own personal giving tree with examples of what they are grateful for, how they show gratitude to others, and/or kindness acts they commit to practicing throughout the month. Once their giving tree is complete, the children share their personal examples. They are encouraged to gift their tree to someone special or display in a location where reminders of self-care will be helpful.
- 1 paper bag
- Green construction paper
- Sharpie or markers
- Optional: Paper, Tape, Glue, Ruler
Start by cutting 3 inches off the top of a paper bag and then cut 3 inches of strips from the top of the bag. Flatten the bag before you write, “My Giving Tree” on the front of the bag.
Next, take out your green construction paper and cut 3-inch strips on the right side. Use a marker to write what you are grateful for or how you show kindness on each strip. Use as many separate pages of green paper as you need.
Then, place the construction paper inside the bag with the left side facing down. Gently squeeze the neck of the tree and tug the green strips in between the brown paper bag strips.