This year, I want to start teaching him about Thanksgiving--not so much the historical events, but the action of giving thanks. I ordered a few story books that I'm
So a few weeks ago, an idea struck me and this week I was able to execute it.
I created this tree of gratitude. Each night, we will each write (or in Matthew's case, dictate) one thing for which we are thankful on one leaf and hang it on the tree. Matthew colors on his leaves while we write on ours and then I write his thanksgiving on his for him. At the end of the month, we should have almost 100 leaves--overwhelming for this little tree and demonstrative of just how rich and plentiful and overwhelming God's generosity is. We're only 3 days into November right now so our tree only has 9 leaves, but soon it will be full and bushy!
I made the trunk and branches out of excess Amazon.com packing paper. I tore and rolled and just sort of stuck it up there. I affixed it to the wall with Command Strips. I found a template online for the leaves (google it, there are tons) and rough cut them out of construction paper. I have a whole pile of leaves in our hutch next to our kitchen table and we do it before we sit down to dinner. We include prayer for the things we named in our dinner prayer time. Then we just attach them to the wall with FrogTape. Easy, peasy, and super affordable because I had everything on hand already.
Fall leaves that change colors are a foreign concept in Phoenix, and I realize oak and maple leaves don't grow on the same tree. However, Matthew seemed to get the concept well and I think it will be a powerful visual by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.
Then I can save the leaves if I wish and take the tree down just in time for Advent. I have some super-fun Advent recommendations that I'll post in the next few days.
Side Note: I introduced this by first talking about the month of November and how this month is special because it has Daddy's Birthday, and a special day called Thanksgiving. Then I said the next month is called December. I explained that December comes after November, and December is special because it has Christmas in it. Then January comes after December and it is special because January has Matthew's birthday. He was tracking with me until he hung the leaves, and then he said, "Ok, now it's December. Christmas time!"