Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are grateful for. Create a family thankful activity for your family using a real tree branch and paper leaves.

By Alice and Lois
Updated November 04, 2019

Practice gratitude and share the thankful season out in the open this year with this sweet and simple gratitude tree. This tree is a great family Thanksgiving activity to get everyone into a thankful mindset. Family and friends can write what they are grateful for and display it on the tree—we like the idea of making this a daily activity that happens around the fall dinner table. Defy nature and add leaves to this tree throughout the month while you watch them fall outside.

  • Working time 30 mins
  • Start to finish 30 mins
  • Difficulty Easy

What you need




How to do it

Step 1

Place and Trace

Download, print, and cut out our free template to start the leaves of gratitude. Grab colored paper and cut multiple leaves using the stencil you just cut out. We chose autumnal colors like red, orange, tans and browns for our tree. Remember that darker colors may be harder to write on.

Related: 7 Easy Ways to Teach Kids Gratitude This Thanksgiving

Get the free template
Step 2

Build the Tree

Venture into the great outdoors (or just the backyard) to find a small branch for this project. Place the branch into a vase, and add two or three smaller branches to the vase, allowing them to arch to one side. We recommend using branches with multiple small offshoots—this will give you more places to hang your gratitude leaves. Punch a hole in the top of each leaf and string a loop of twine through it; this is how you'll hang the leaf on the tree. Every day, write things you and your family are grateful for onto the leaf and hang them from the branches, or wait to do the activity together on Thanksgiving Day. Display for Thanksgiving on a buffet, as a DIY centerpiece, or on your mantel to showcase all you have to be thankful for.


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