Fair   65.0F  |  Forecast »

A 'Hand'-some Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Have your kids make a crafty contribution to the table

In the flurry of football, parades and feasting, the deeper meaning of Thanksgiving can get a tad lost. Take a few minutes to re-focus on your family's bounty with a Gratitude Tree – an activity that, when complete, makes a fitting focal point for the middle of your dinner table.

Our centerpiece is inspired by FamilyCorner.com Magazine creator Amanda Formaro, who originally created the concept in 2-D form.

"Each year, I try to think of something new to remind my kids that we have plenty to be thankful for," says Formaro, a Wisconsin mother of four. "I really wanted to preserve their handprints to remember just how quickly they grow, and how time passes before your eyes."

Materials

  • Two or three twigs, about 2 feet tall with plenty of offshoots (gather then up while raking leaves)
  • Medium-sized wicker basket
  • Green, dried florist foam, at least 3 or 4 inches thick (available at local craft stores)
  • Decorative wood shavings
  • Construction or scrapbook paper in autumn-leaf hues (orange, brown, red, orange, etc.)
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Black marker
  • Paper or cloth ribbon and/or cornhusks (optional)

How-to

1. First, assemble your tree. Hot glue the florist foam into the base of the basket (foam can be carefully cut to size). Gently wedge the twigs straight down into the foam, clumping them closely to give the illusion of a single tree. Use wood shavings to fill in around the base. Note: If using paper or cloth ribbon and/or cornhusks to trim the basket, glue these items on first.

2. Next, create the leaves. Have each family member trace his or her hand on a piece of construction or scrapbook paper. On it, with the marker, have them write one or two things they're grateful for (if your family is smaller, simply create more). Then, affix the leaves to the tree with tape.

3. Display your Gratitude Tree during Thanksgiving dinner. Encourage your kids to present their leaves, talking about what they're grateful for and why. Parents and other family members can do the same. And when the day is done, glue the hands down onto a flat paper tree - Formaro's original craft (click here for details!).

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Family Picnic Recipes and Ideas

Head to the park or on a hike and make the great outdoors your dinner spot. Here are six ideas to help you plan your meal – from drink to dessert.

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Book Review: Three Fun Summer Craft Reads for the Family

Want a few simple, fun sewing ideas for the kids, projects to brighten up their rooms or maybe just tips for DIY tinkering? These authors have you covered.

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

Dad Claims African Land, Declares Daughter is a Princess

A father from Virginia claims a patch of desert in Egypt, calls it the Kingdom of North Sudan – just so his daughter can be the princess of this region.

Spray-on Sunscreen Warnings for Kids: FDA Investigates Safety

Spray-on Sunscreen Warnings for Kids: FDA Investigates Safety

Parents might want to think twice before using this alternative to lotion sunscreen as the Food and Drug Administration investigates its potential risks.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement