Thanksgiving Craft: A Simple and Delightful Thankfulness Tree

Thanksgiving crafts that are just as much fun for the adults as for the kids are a super win in my book. These thankfulness trees are just that.

children holding thanksgiving crafts

I wasn’t sure what our set up would be like as far as putting everything together, but what ended up happening is I think a large part of what made this thanksgiving craft such a delight.

Before we did the craft, we talked about who we should be thankful to (the Lord), and about whether we should thank Him for only big things or big things and little things. The answer was echoed in the printed-out verse we also put on our papers: “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I gave each child their “sky” paper and their tree trunk. They glued their trunks onto their sky papers and then I had them take turns saying what they were thankful for. I had the leaves already cut out and just wrote their answers down as they said them, one at a time, and had them come and get their leaf to glue on while their friends took their turns. These kids were mostly 6 and under so the timing worked out perfectly.

Their sweet answers about what they were thankful for touched me almost every time. I liked that all the other children heard each thing their friends were thankful for as well. And the finished product is very pretty (no matter the skill level of the child) and a fantastic reminder and keepsake.

I have to share the kids’ trees and what they were thankful for. Just too sweet. (Excuse my while I gush.)

thanksgiving craft-1

N is thankful for:

  • Turkey
  • House
  • Alex
  • Daddy
  • Luis
  • Auntie Shifrah
  • Ivan
  • Daddy (again)
  • Mommy
  • Isabelle

thanksgiving craft-3

D, who spent half of craft time going potty ;), is thankful for:

  • Pictures
  • Rides
  • Daddy
  • Feet
  • House

 

 

 

thanksgiving craft-5

T is thankful for:

  • Zeko
  • My attic
  • Mommy
  • Isabelle
  • Daddy
  • Turkey
  • The Lord
  • My house
  • Circus
  • Myself

 

R is thankful for:thanksgiving craft-2

  • Sisters
  • Brothers
  • Daddy
  • Mommy
  • My family
  • Rides
  • Toys
  • Food
  • House

 

E is thankful for:thanksgiving craft-6

  • Mommy
  • Isabelle
  • Whole family
  • Thanksgiving
  • House
  • My art things
  • Doggie
  • Mommy’s albums
  • Beach
  • Art

J is thankful for:

thanksgiving craft-4

  • God
  • Ivan
  • Philip
  • Car
  • Colors
  • Mommy
  • Danny
  • Mommy
  • Family

Make Your Own Thankfulness Trees

What you need:

  • construction paper — consider blue for the sky, brown for the tree trunk, and fall colors for the leaves (although of course anything goes)
  • scissors
  • gluesticks
  • marker

What to do:

  1. Cut out strips of construction paper in the leaf colors and then cut leaves from these strips, making sure they are big enough to write on.
  2. Cut out tree trunks from the brown paper. You can do two per sheet of construction paper.
  3. Print and cut out a verse if you are going to use one.
  4. Pass out the sky papers and the verses and tree trunks for the children to glue down.
  5. Have the children take turns saying what they are thankful for, one at a time, and write their answers, one per leaf.
  6. Have them glue each leaf on.

Done! Beautiful!

For more construction paper crafts, check out:

Shredded Paper Snowmen

Strip Mosaic Stained Glass Window

For more crafts in general, check out:

 Pine Cone Bird Feeders

Salt Paintings

Tissue Paper Stained Glass Windows

Salt Painting

completed salt painting

With summer in full swing, having easy, not-too-messy kids crafts in mind (with materials on-hand) is, for me, essential. Salt painting was one activity I’d been ruminating and it was as fun and engaging as I’d hoped. I particularly appreciate art activities that involve the children in multiple hands-on steps that they can do themselves. Throw in color, texture, and the fact that the only way to preserve this art project is through taking pictures (no storage dilemma!) and this activity was a total winner.

Salt Painting: What You Need

what you need for salt painting

  • rimmed baking sheet
  • fine table salt
  • glue
  • paper (thick black paper works best, I think; cut it into smaller pieces to save paper if your kids like to make multiples of projects)
  • food coloring
  • paint brushes
  • bowls
  • water

kids salt painting, applying glue and salt

Salt Painting Instructions

how to make salt paintings

  1. Prep by adding liquid food color to water in bowls. Keep color pretty concentrated for best results. Try to use a separate brush for each color to keep colors bright.
  2. Draw “paintings” with glue on paper. Thicker lines are better.
  3. Sprinkle with salt. Doing this over a rimmed baking sheet contains the mess.
  4. Shake excess salt off of the glue.
  5. Touch wet paint brush to the wet salted glue and watch the color spread.
  6. Repeat with more colors. Experiment with colors mixing where they run into each other

 

adding color to salt painting

salt painting-6-2

salt painting-8

Once these punchy, colorful salt paintings dry to a certain point, they start to sort of disintegrate; they aren’t keep-able. Take pictures and enjoy the easy and complete cleanup. I loved this project.

Aren’t you excited to try it?

 

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

I’d been meaning to make bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls with the kids when I saw Dana’s picture of her five-minute bird feeders on Instagram. Pine cones are much more beautiful than toilet paper rolls for spreading peanut butter on and rolling in birdseed. Agreed?

pine cone bird feeders

And it was perfect because I already had a couple baskets of pine cones that we’d collected in the fall.

I hyped up the project to the kids and took them with me to get the bag of birdseed. I love their excitable-ness at this age.

The project itself is very easy and perfect for young children. Also, I think I should start ranking a project’s engagement level by the amount of concentration tongue it elicits. 😉

concentration tongue while making pine cone bird feedersElora made several pine cone bird feeders, but with Danny, after the novelty wore off, things degenerated fast.

boy eating birdseed

Yes, that’s my boy eating the birdseed off the cement. (This, of course, alternated with sticky peanut butter licks.) Eating art projects is nothing new for this little guy. I’d also like to point out that I take no responsibility for that outfit. 😉

Meanwhile, back in the land of productivity, here’s how to make your own pine cone bird feeders:

What you need to make pine cone bird feeders

  • Ribbon, yarn, or string for tying the pine cones onto tree branches and scissors to cut it with.
  • Pine cones
  • Peanut butter
  • Knife or other spreader. In hindsight, I realize a spatula would have been safer for the kiddos.
  • Plate for spreading the birdseed out.

How to make pine cone bird feeders

  1. Tie your ribbon around the pine cones. Tying a loop lets you hang your pine cone bird feeders easily.  It’s best to do this before the pine cones are sticky. Otherwise, your ribbon will get all goopy, as pictured below. Live and learn, my friends, live and learn. clean pine cone and finished pine cone bird feeder
  2. Pour some birdseed into a plate.birdseed for pine cone bird feeders
  3. Spread peanut butter generously all over the pine cones.spreading peanut butter on pine cones
  4. Roll the peanut-butter-covered pine cone in the birdseed.rolling pine cones in birdseed
  5. Set them out to dry a bit if you like, or hang right away.pine cone bird feeders hanging on tree

Just last night, as we dined al fresco, Elora-Belle asked what happened to the pine cone bird feeders. I noticed that they weren’t hanging on the trees anymore and assumed Dear had taken them down; he hadn’t, but they were definitely gone.

His theory: squirrel thievery.

Elora’s theory: “Maybe the birds took the pine cones off of the trees and brought them to their nests for their babies.” I like her thinking.

 

Construction Paper Crafts: Shredded Paper Snowmen

Another easy construction paper craft, thanks to Pinterest: shredded paper snowmen. kids crafts, shredded paper snowmen on display

We added a few of our own elements: sequins for colorful “snow,” and pipe cleaner scarves (Elora’s idea).
kids gluing shredded paper onto their craft

boy using sequins as snow in his craft

The project is pretty self-explanatory.
What you need:
  • shredded paper
  • construction paper — background, black hat, orange carrot nose
  • glue
  • googly eyes
  • sequins
  • pipe cleaners
  • marker
And when we were done, we hung them in our kids artwork display frame.
kids crafts on display