Make a Gratitude Tree for Kids – Learning to Be Thankful

Today we have a really lovely gratitude tree craft that the entire family can enjoy together. While we are making a gratitude tree craft during the Thanksgiving season, this could work all year long for kids of all ages at home or in the classroom. This thankful tree is a simple way to start conversations around blessings and gratitude.

finished gratitude tree craft - tree branches with things people are thankful for written on paper leaves hanging on the tree set in a vase with rocks
Let’s make our own grateful tree!

Gratitude Tree Craft

Thanksgiving is one of the most significant celebrations as it doesn’t only involve a scrumptious meal, but is more about expressing your gratitude towards someone or some things you are really thankful to in your life.

Related: Our Thanksgiving tree is another version of this fun gratitude craft

Making a thankful tree can prompt, start and continue conversations with kids around our blessings in life and to recognize and be grateful for everything that we have.

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Gratitude tree craft supplies needed - string, paper
This is what you will need to make a gratitude tree – make thankful leaves to add to your tree!

Supplies Needed for Gratitude Tree

  • Craft Paper – It’s best to go with double shaded paper since it gives a more creative look. You can take paper of any color that you fancy, or if you want to go with the natural tones, just get brown and green papers.
  • String – Any shades of the string will do. You need to cut the string into small pieces so that you can hang the leaves on the branches. If you have any yarn or strings leftover from your monthly subscription craft boxes for kids, now would be a great time to use them up.
  • Hole Punch – Punch a hole in the paper for the string ties.
  • Twigs or Small Tree Branches – You can assemble a few twigs to give them a tree look or a tree branch will also work.
  • Pen or Marker – You can write the notes on leaves using a pen or a marker. Make sure the marker doesn’t bleed through the paper if you’re using pretty paper.
  • Small Rocks – Keeping small rocks at the base of the tree adds stability to the tree.
  • Vase – Choose a vase that is large enough to support your twigs or branches.

Instructions to Put Your Gratitude Tree Together

Step 1

Take a cut out of the craft paper in the leaf shape.

If you would like to use a leaf template <–click here to download.

Step 2

Use the craft leaf as a template for tracing the rest of the leaves on a bigger sheet.

Step 3

Punch holes in the leaves tie a piece of string in the holes.

Step 4

Add rocks to the base of the vase and stick the tree branch there so that it stands erect.

Step 5

Ask your kids to draw or write about things that they are thankful for. If they are too young, you can write for them.

Child placing leaf on the gratitude tree craft finished
Let’s add our grateful leaves to the gratitude tree!

Step 6

Tie the leaves on the tree branches.

Our Experience with Gratitude Tree Craft

It’s a pretty straight forward project. My daughter mostly likes to scribble on the leaves. For the remaining leaves, I asked her what she’s thankful for and wrote it on the leaves for her to hang.

My daughter might be only 3, but she is getting used the idea of giving thanks every day since it is something we talk about as I tuck her into bed. I haven’t told her yet, but I actually write down the things she’s grateful for so I could use it to create a photo book of her 3rd year including cute things she’d said and her favorite things.

I think it makes such a wonderful gift and I’m sure she’ll really treasure it when she’s older.

Yield: 1

Thankful Tree Craft

Image shows a Thanksgiving gratitude tree from Kids activities bog

This thankful tree craft makes a really lovely Gratitude Tree that can include the entire family including kids of any age. Make a thankful tree and add all the things you are grateful for to the hanging leaves for a craft with meaning to display at your home or in the classroom.

Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $5


  • craft or scrapbook paper
  • string
  • twigs or a small tree branch
  • small rocks
  • vase - large enough to hold the tree branch or twigs
  • (optional) leaf template


  • hole punch
  • markers
  • scissors


  1. With scissors, cut out leaves from scrapbook paper or craft paper. If desired, use the leaf template page mentioned in the article or make a leaf freehand then use it as a template.
  2. Punch a hole at the stem portion of the paper leaves.
  3. Tie string to the holes and leave enough string length to easily tie the leaf onto the thankful tree.
  4. Add rocks to the vase and stick your twigs or small branches inside the vase filled with rocks making sure the twigs are securely standing up.
  5. Everyone can write or draw what they are thankful for on the paper leaves and then tie them onto the gratitude tree.


How did your gratitude tree activity turn out? What traditions of thankfulness do you have in your family?


  1. I am actually sharing our gratitude tree next week! We set ours at the dinning room table and at dinner time, write what we are thankful for. Yours is beautiful!

    1. Oh how fun! Can’t wait to see it.

  2. This is a touching reminder that would work well in senior living communities, too!

  3. I cheated. I used the paint samples that are already cut into these shapes. They are thick and colorful and worked perfectly!

    1. That’s a wonderful “cheat”!

    1. Oh good! I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!

  4. Yours look very pretty! Great idea to make paper leaves for a real tree. Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

  5. I really love this idea and am featuring it this week on the After School Linky. Thank you!

  6. What a fun hands on way to gather as a family each day to share what you are thankful for 🙂 Thank you for linking up and sharing this week on the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop!

  7. I saw someone else do this–we are already doing some printables this year, but next year this would be the perfect thing to do! Thanks for linking up at the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I pinned this to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board and to my personal boards!.

  8. This is a great idea for my preschooler! Plus I need a centerpiece!

  9. This is so great for a new family tradition. Thanks for linking up to Tickled Pink Times Two. xoxo

  10. Little Lotus Preschool says:

    We will be doing this on Monday. Great idea and thank you

  11. Greenhall Leonard says:

    The idea of teaching children to show gratitude through a tree is a wonderful concept. I am 75 years old and many years ago when my children with very young I would spend time with them asking them to give thanks for anything in their little lives. They would give thanks for the cat food and a tree or a flower or friends etc. For me I wanted them to go through life with a sense of thanksgiving and gratitude and so they have.

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