Activity of the Week
Gratitude TreeBy , Caring.com contributing editor
It's easy to complain. Remembering to be grateful needs a nudge. Studies have shown that being grateful boosts the immune system, curbs depression, and even contributes to a better night's sleep. Creating a gratitude tree is a perfect family craft; it's something everyone can add to, and it's an easy way to bring nature into your home.
What you'll need:
- A tree branch
- A pot filled with dirt
- Small rocks or shells
- Slips of paper (or construction paper cut into leaves)
- A marker
- Optional: a small strand of lights
Why it's great:
- Being grateful reminds us that although we may have our challenges, life is still good.
- There's something to be thankful for every day.
- Every person's list is different.
- You get to know your family and friends in a new way by understanding what they value and appreciate.
- You take the idea of gratitude with you wherever you go.
- It's a wonderful table decoration (especially at Thanksgiving) that can be added to by everyone who sees it.
- It's fun for all ages, from toddler to centenarian.
How to do it:
- Go for a walk and choose a small limb with lots of branches.
- Consider spray-painting your branch. Match a room, or paint it gold or silver during the winter holidays, red for Valentine's Day, or even orange for Thanksgiving.
- Repurpose a pot or wicker basket. Fill with whatever items you have: dirt, sand, rocks, or shells.
- Cut out or buy small items such as leaves or hearts to write on. Keep your markers in the pot as part of the decoration.
- Create a tradition. Do you write your gratitude item as part of dinner? Is it something you do first thing in the morning?
- Spruce up your limbs with bows, small Christmas ornaments, birds, lights, or other decorative items.
- When the tree is filled with gratitude tags, take them down and place them in a large bowl. What better way to document your family than to display what you're all thankful for?