Tree of Thanks
Crayon or Marker
This is a favorite tradition among so many of our "Little Acorn Learners"!
Place branches that you find with the children outdoors into a vase. The branches should be large enough and have smaller branches to hang your Leaves of Gratitude on. When you have completed, place your tree in your nature place. You may wish to label your vase ‘Tree of Thanks’.
Next, cut leaf shapes out of various colored construction paper. Punch a hole in each leaf and have children help you tie string to each one for hanging. Make enough leaves to use until it is time to put Autumn behind and prepare your Winter nature place.
Each day, beginning with today, ask each person that enters your home to write one thing they are thankful for on a leaf and hang it on the tree. For young children, they can draw a picture on a leaf or you can write the word for them. Putting the person’s name and date on the back of the leaf is a good idea for future reference. Extra leaves and a marker can be left in a basket near your tree.
When it is time to take your tree down, consider saving the leaves of this year to reflect upon years ahead. You can even paste them into your nature notebooks or make a special scrapbook. If you are a daycare provider, you can create a book out of each child’s leaves this season and send them home for parents to see.
Caregiver Meditation: Gratitude
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ― Melody Beattie
How often do you look at your life and all of the things in it with gratitude? Often, we find ourselves focusing on how things could be better in our lives or on what we are lacking rather than the good that is surrounding us. What an amazing purpose you have in this world! It is no mistake that these little souls have been placed gently in your care. They were led to you for guidance. You are here to show them all the beauty and good the world has to offer. You were chosen to be their guide. Be grateful for this wonderful responsibility and remind yourself daily how special the work you do truly is.