Gratitude Tree Activity for Families (Free Printable Leaves and SVG File)
I love a good holiday craft as much as the next person, but a gratitude tree is no ordinary craft. It holds a special secret! Practicing gratitude can help you survive the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and serve as a reminder to count your blessings. In this post, I’m sharing my best gratitude tree activity for families, along with free printable leaves and an SVG file for Cameo or Cricut.
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What is a gratitude tree?
A gratitude tree is a visual expression of thanks that reminds us to have a grateful heart. It’s a great way to involve the whole family in a gratitude practice during the Thanksgiving season and beyond.
What is the point of a gratitude tree?
Money may not grow on trees, but happiness can! A recent Harvard Health article suggests gratitude is “strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.”
If you don’t believe Harvard, check out Dr. Brene Brown’s 3-minute video on the relationship between joy and gratitude. Her research on courage, vulnerability, and gratitude will blow your mind. She’s kind of my hero.
Have you ever found yourself feeling like things aren’t going your way or that you’ll feel happy once you achieve/obtain/buy…? Practicing gratitude can refocus your attention on what has gone your way instead of what you lack. Nurturing gratefulness in kids will also set them up for happiness down the road.
Gratitude Tree Activity for Families – Supplies
For the gratitude tree activity, you’ll need the following:
- Scrapbook paper
- Brown gift wrap or craft paper
- Painter’s tape
- Optional: Silhouette Cameo
Gratitude Tree Activity for Families – Instructions & Free Printables
Step 1: Download leaves to print/cut
First, download your free set of printable leaves below. If you own a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut machine, you have the option of downloading an SVG cut file.
- Printable Leaves (Print & Cut Download): Single leaf pattern
- Printable Leaves (SVG File): Two leaf patterns
Note: For the Silhouette Cameo, you’ll need the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition or Business Edition to import SVG files. With the Cricut, you’ll want to import your files as a vector upload.
Step 2: Create the tree trunk and branches
Unroll a long strip of brown wrapping paper and rip the top edge into long “trunks” as shown below. Then, crumple the paper to make your tree look gnarly before attaching it to the wall with painter’s tape or another wall-safe adhesive.
Don’t fret about making it look pretty…it’s all about practicing gratitude, not perfectionism! You’ll notice my boys left a little painter’s tape peeking out behind the leaves. Adds character, in my book!
Step 3: Get thankful!
With a routine that works for your family, begin writing your grateful thoughts and comments on each leaf. The key is consistency.
Here’s what surprised me about this activity. My pre-school boys jumped on this gratitude train without much prompting!
A couple of their leaves talked about thankfulness for material possessions, but most had to do with special people or experiences in our lives. The tree really works!
Here’s a closer look at our tree (blue painter’s tape and all). As we go through the season, I’ll post an update of our finished tree.
10 Ways to Practice Gratitude Beyond the Tree
- Pray or meditate each day, starting with, “I’m thankful for…”
- Keep a gratitude journal or download a gratitude app.
- Send thank-you notes.
- Set a daily gratitude calendar reminder.
- Say what you are thankful for at family mealtime.
- Thank a co-worker or friend with a small gift.
- Listen to a podcast or music about thankfulness.
- Read a book about gratitude.
- Read books about gratitude to your kids.
- Have a family contest to count your blessings!
More Fall Crafts
If you’re looking for more fun activities to keep the kids busy this fall, try making this fall pennant banner or painting foam pumpkins from the dollar store.
I also have a tutorial to make easy decoupage pumpkins where the kids can use scrapbook paper or tissue paper to create patterned gourds.
Pin it for later!
Enjoy practicing mindfulness this fall!
More Fall Crafts and Decor
Welcome to My Fall Home Decor Tour 2020
Get ideas and inspiration for fall home decor this season.
How to Paint Foam Pumpkins with Great Results Every Time
Get a simple farmhouse look with this painted pumpkin tutorial.
How to Make Your Home Lovely for Fall
Get tips on styling your home for fall with these special, elegant touches.
A Simple and Affordable DIY Fall Centerpiece
Make a neutral DIY fall centerpiece using a cloche and a few other accessories for the perfect farmhouse look.
This looks so simple and is so beautiful! I love the colors of autumn and I also love to think of everything I am blessed with each day. Brene Brown is one of my faves! 🙂
Thanks so much, Carrie! We’re counting down the days until we get to read our blessings at Thanksgiving. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!
The tree is such a neat idea! We all have so much to be grateful for, and it’s important to be reminded of our many blessings. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for that. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Kim! I couldn’t agree more. We are so blessed, and it’s good to remember that. 🙏🏼
Beautiful project with such an important meaning. I love the video by Brene Brown. Since my middle name is “joy”, I’ve been fascinated with the topic since I was a little girl…and studied it lots, too. “Practicing gratitude” – so good!
Thanks, Rita! I agree gratitude is so good for the soul. I’m glad you stopped by for a visit!
Cute! Great idea for Thanksgiving 🙂
Keys to Inspiration
Thanks, Christene! I’m enjoying reading the “tree leaves” this season. 😊
I don’t think words can express how much I love this. The colors, the creativity, and the GRATITUDE most of all! Pinning to a couple boards, love it.
Awww, thanks SO much, Marissa! I can’t wait to fill up the branches. I’m a very visual person, so this is a very effective exercise for me. Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s a good lesson to teach kids to recognize how much they are blessed and have compassion for others that are not as lucky. Love the post!
Thanks, Michelle! ❤️ I completely agree. I have to admit, this is as much for me as it is for the kids. I realized I could do a better job of counting my blessings to set a good example for them.
Love this tree, and the whole idea! Our family and friends, for many years, filled a box (in my sister’s home) throughout the year with notes of thankfulness. At Thanksgiving breakfast, we would read them out loud with the extended fam! It was always a blessing! thanks for the printable!
Thanks, sweet friend! I realized I needed to practice gratitude more myself, and this has been a great reminder. The kids are really into it, too! I thought it would be fun to read the leaves at Thanksgiving like your family did. 😊