Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I tend to steer clear of the historical context for Thanksgiving, the whole pilgrims and Indigenous Americans story doesn’t sit right with me anymore. But I DO love the focus on gratitude. Every year I try to focus my journaling only on gratitude throughout the month of November.
This printable gratitude journal for kids has been a huge hit. It’s a GREAT last minute activity any time of year, but especially in the fall.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how I can help to instill gratitude in my own children, and I bet that’s a concern for you as well.
One tradition we’ve loved over the years is to create a gratitude tree. I’m sure you’ve seen this a million places before. I wanted to make it easier on you. So I’ve drawn a giant tree and some very simple leaves and all you have to do is print it!
I send ours to a local print shop and the big poster size only costs about $3! It’s around $4 for an engineering print at Staples if that’s your only option. (It’s probably a good idea to call/email your print shop first for an estimate, just in case).
Here’s the best part! I’ve drawn the leafless fall tree on the big poster and in a separate file you’ll also receive pages with illustrated leaves. You can print and cut out as many of those leaves as you need for your family or household. Each page includes 30 leaves, so you’ll just need to print one page for each member of your family to have enough leaves for the whole month of November.
We printed ours on autumn colors cardstock.
Side note: I designed the leaves to be as simple as possible. Would a lobed oak leaf have looked so much cuter for photos? Yes, for sure. But I don’t want to spend seven hours cutting out lobed oak leaves, and I’m fairly certain you don’t either. Simple = done.
We love to write one thing we’re thankful for each day at dinner and glue it up on the tree with a glue stick. If you want your kids can color the tree and leaves as well, but of course that’s not necessary.
Your kids will be so excited to add to their gratitude tree and this will become a meaningful tradition that you all look forward to! You can reprint this poster and use it year after year.
An alternative option would be to use this on Thanksgiving Day when you gather with extended family. Hang the poster on the wall and keep a basket nearby with cut-out leaves and pens so your loved ones can add their gratitude to the tree as you spend time together.
Make sure you take a photo of the completed tree, because those entries are precious. You’ll want to remember your 5 year old’s handwriting, as well as Great Grandma’s. If you find this is too sentimental to recycle after Thanksgiving is over, maybe consider rolling it up and storing it in a poster tube. You can pull it out the next year and hang it next to the fresh new tree that you print and hang the next Thanksgiving!
How it works:
Enter your email below and the file will be automatically sent to you. (Keep in mind, this is a zip file so it may not open on your phone.)
Send the file to your local printer (Staples costs about $4; our small local shop is less than $3) and ask them to print it.
Hang the poster on your wall!
Print and cut out the leaves (we used fun fall-colored paper, but of course you could use white paper as well) .
Add one thing you’re grateful for to a leaf and glue/tape it on the tree.
Share on Instagram! I would LOVE to see how you are using this Gratitude Tree at your house!