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Mommy & Me: A time to be thankful

Everywhere you look on online you see people posting things they are thankful for, especially on Facebook! So why not take a few minutes and get your little ones involved in the season of thankfulness? For Mommy and Me Monday I took a few minutes with my daughter to discuss what being thankful means, we made a list of all the things that are important to her and what she is most thankful for...I have to say her list was quite detailed. It's amusing to see what things are truly important to them, especially at the age of 4.

My favorite one: " I am thankful when my mommy lets me have two pieces of Halloween candy".....what a little extortionist!

Today's activity is quite simple, we made a tree of thanks. After brainstorming all of the things she was thankful for I asked her to pick 8. She repeated them to me and I wrote them onto little sticker tags I found at my local craft store. I used glittery scrapbook paper in fall colors to trace a leaf and cut it out. She applied the stickers onto the leaves and I hole punched the leaves attaching a little ribbon to the top to hang from.

To make the tree I used really stiff scrapbook paper, just draw a tree with a few branches, cut a slit in one from the top about halfway down and on the other one from the bottom about half way up. Slide the pieces into each other making the tree stand up ( I glued mine together for added strength.)

Just hang your leaves from the branches on the tree. Hang them all at once or make this an ongoing activity and add one leaf each night at dinner time. This makes a colorful Thanksgiving centerpiece and will be a great conversational addition to any Thanksgiving table.
If you are planning a large gathering with family this holiday season this is fun to do as a placeholder on the table. Just cut out the leaves, add ribbon and write each name onto one side of the leaf. Use ribbon to slide over napkin or simply rest on top of each place setting. Leave pens at the table and encourage everyone to write what they are thankful for onto the back. Before you start your dinner have each family member share what they have written and then hang their leaf onto branches arranged on the center of the table. I like using a large vase, bucket or planter, fill it with dry beans and just add a few tree branches you find outside. (this is a great way for kids to help, send them outdoors to collect a few branches) It makes a perfect centerpiece for the holidays and once the leaves are added it is a colorful way to display what you and your family are thankful for.

There are so many things to be thankful for this holiday season. Make sure you take time out of the regular hustle and bustle of the holiday season to spend time with those you love. Just a few minutes of your undivided time means the world to little ones. They just want somebody to listen and validate what they have to say. They learn from the example you set, if you make it important, it becomes important to them...so spread the thankfulness!

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