What’s On Your Thanksgiving Tree?

Posted on November 9th, 2013 by Denise | No Comments

What’s On Your Thanksgiving Tree?

By

Denise Koonce OTR

Finally, you wake up and there is crisp coolness in the air when you go outside!  I love this time of year because you can finally be outside and not melt or ooze from one air conditioned area to the next.   It is also an indicator that fall is truly here and the final holidays for the year are on their way.  So, while surfing the internet for fall craft ideas, that had wonderful therapeutic valve, I found several worthy candidates.  However, I kept being drawn to a concept of thankfulness in a craft idea for Thanksgiving.  The concept of revealing thankfulness, that I was drawn to, can be done in a number of themes, however I like two in particular.  Neither of these are new craft ideas but both can be created using easily accessible supplies and in various ways.  The crafts are adaptable but can work on fine motor skills such as drawing, cutting, gluing, and writing.  It can also work on expressive and receptive language, color determination, and letter recognition.  The activity is also a good tabletop activity while working on head and truck control.  The concept is to have your child consider, verbalize, and then write what they are thankful for in their lives.  It is not a topic or a question we tend to ask our children, family members, friends, or ourselves on a regular basis.  However, I believe it is healthy to visit what we are thankful for at least once a year and what better time than Thanksgiving.  The activities I am referring to are a Thanksgiving tree and a Thanksgiving turkey. 

Thanksgiving Tree

The Thanksgiving tree has a bare tree trunk and branches that can be cut from construction paper, a brown paper bag, a cardboard box, or a real tree branch secured in a pot.  The leaves can be the shape of leaves or the tracing of your child’s hand.  The leaves can be made from construction paper of fall colors or can be premade foam leaves.  I prefer the construction leaves for the child who is working on scissor skills or has already achieved them.  That way they are contributing more to the craft itself.  If the child is too young to use scissors then the foam leaves are a great option.  The leaves for the tree are then adorned with the words that denote for what your child is thankful.  If your child is able to write, then have them write what they are truly thankful for on the leaves.  As an alternative to writing, stickers can be used or if they use a computer or augmentative devise, print what they are thankful for and attach to the leaf.  The leaves are then attached to the tree. 

Thanksgiving Turkey

The same concept applies to the turkey with thankful feathers in that the turkey’s body can be cut out using brown construction paper, a brown paper bag, or cardboard.  The turkey does not have to be one dimensional and there are several creative ways to make a turkey, with the commonality for the turkey being the feathers carrying the message.  The turkeys can be made from toilet papers rolls and white paper plates or stuffed small brown paper bags for the body and add construction paper head and feet.  Therefore, depending on where you want to place your turkey, such as the table, fridge or a wall, will determine the base of your turkey.  The feathers can be made of construction paper or foam cut outs but real feathers can also be added as decoration if desired. 

Both of these thankful craft activities can be done in one sitting or you can have your child add a leaf/feather every day until Thanksgiving.  Our family is going to do it together with everyone’s own hand cut outs and write the aspects of life for which we are most thankful.  There is something, however, that can come unexpectedly with an activity like this, and that is the poignancy of a child.  I love to be amazed at what will sometimes come from their mouths.  If you do this craft at home and want to share one of those amazing statements your child makes, please do so.  We would be grateful!

Here are some examples of what a Thanksgiving Tree and Turkey can look like.  Again, there are numerous ways to show your creativity. 

thanksgiving tree2thanksgiving turkey

Examples from chestercountymoms.com and littlefamilyfun.com

thanksgiving tree

 

 

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