Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tree of Gratitude

Here is an idea that I am going to be doing with my kids and grandson
this year in November. I am mentioning it now in case someone else
would like to try it with their kids. We are going to make a Tree of
Gratitude. At a newspaper office, you can buy the end rolls of
newsprint for a very low cost. At the office in Shawnee, they charge 25
cents per 1/4 inch of newsprint on the roll. I have never paid more
than $4.00 for a roll of newsprint. The rolls are wide enough to use as
table covering during craft projects. We have also cut the roll into
sheets of a usable size for the kids to draw and color on. An end roll
can last us about 6 months or more if only used for art projects.

Using a length of the end roll, I will be drawing a tree without any
leaves. This will be placed onto the wall using poster tape. Poster
tape is a double sided tape that holds very well but can be easily
removed later without damaging walls. Each day, the kids will each
write on a leaf something that they are thankful for. These leaves will
then be glued onto the tree's branches. By Thanksgiving, the tree will
be filled with it's autumn leaves.

The idea is to bring to the children an awareness of God's blessings in
their lives. This helps to lay a foundation in them to have an attitude
of gratitude for the blessings. If desired, a family can do this as a
part of their family devotions, praying and expressing gratitude each
day for the things placed onto the tree that day.

One of the most effective ways to help children recognize the Lord's
blessings is to make it personal. Isn't it that way even with us? In
our human nature, we have to know just how something applies to us
before we can understand or find a concept important to us. Our
children are no different. Making this tree will give the children a
visual display of what the Lord has blessed them with. Granted, being
kids are doing this, I fully expect things like their toys and our dog
to be listed. We can build on that though. Teach them that they have
those toys because the Lord blessed us with an income. That they can
play with the toys because they were given health and the ability to
play. The dog is a great companion and is a blessing because he brings
them joy and is also a protector when they play outdoors.

I hope that this idea is one that will bless other families. As we
approach the Christmas season, I will be posting ideas on how we avoid
the commercialism and keep the holiday season focused on Christ's
birth. Especially, there will be upcoming posts on how to teach
children to appreciate what they have and to focus on what they can do
for others in the holiday season instead of focusing on the "what did I
get" attitude.