How To: Make a Thankful Tree

By Amanda Crowe, Assistant Educator
Follow-up to Story Time in the Galleries on November 21, 2013
Bridging language connections to art-making deepens a child’s understanding of and appreciation for literature, the arts and the world they live in.  Carry out the message from our reading of “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble,”  by author William Steig, through creating “thankful trees” at home.
Paper, cut into small, individual pieces
Ribbon or shortened pipe cleaner
Small terracotta pots
Small Styrofoam ball to fit snugly inside the pot
Cotton batting to cover the Styrofoam
Artificial pine branches or floral sprigs with spreadable branches
Hole puncher
Embellishments to decorate the tree: buttons, pony beads, ribbon, foam shapes
Fabric scraps to decorate the outside of the pot (watered-down glue or Mod Podge is a great collage medium)

  1. Place the Styrofoam ball into the pot.
  2. “Plant” the artificial pin branches or floral sprigs in the Styrofoam and cover it with the cotton batting (will look like snow in the pot).
  3. (Optional) Decorate the tree and pot.
  4. Ask your child what they are thankful for.  Write down their thoughts on small, individual pieces of paper.  Hole-punch each piece and tie a ribbon through it, or simply use a shortened pipe cleaner.
  5. Tie your child’s notes of thanks to the tree’s branches and celebrate a moment of gratitude!