The Giving Thanks Tree

Thanksgiving can be a particularly hectic holiday for the family.  There are plenty of things to keep an eye on, including, but not limited to, preheated ovens and the kids running around with their cousins.  However, Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to take us beyond our everyday pleases and thank yous and to draw up in our minds those things that have such positive impacts in our lives.  This fun craft is a great catalyst for having the family gather around and reflect on all that they have to be thankful for.

The Giving Tree in Total

A Tree Full of Thanks.

The Giving Thanks Tree


  • Large, brown cardboard box
  • Construction paper in yellow, green, red, and orange.
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie


  1. Cut manageable, large panels out of the cardboard box.
  2. Have your child draw the outline of a tree in pencil, complete with big roots, a trunk, and strong branches, on the brown cardboard.  *Update*: Here is a printable template of the tree outline we used.  When you print out the two-page template, we suggest you orient it horizontally (Landscape setting) and reduce the top and bottom margins. Fill in any gaps created in the outline by the scan, according to what looks natural to your eye.

    Click the image to print.

  3. Cut out the tree.
  4. Trace around the new tree cutout on another panel of brown cardboard, and cut out the duplicate tree.
  5. Tracing out

    Trace and cut out a duplicate tree.

  6. On one of the trees, cut a slot up the center from the bottom of the tree and ending an inch before its top.
  7. Cut about a one-inch slot down the center of the other tree, starting from its top.
  8. Combine the two trees by sliding them perpendicularly into the slots you’ve made.  The root bases should end up solidly on the surface you’ve been working on.  Adjust your slot cuts if you need to even-out the lengths.
  9. Perpendicular Layout

    Set up the tree trunks perpendicular to each other.

  10. Cut out leaves from the construction paper and have the family write down what they are thankful for on each of the leaves with the Sharpie.
  11. Leaves of Thanks

    The JumpStart Team's items worthy of thanks.

  12. Adhere the leaves to the branches with the tape.
Adhere the Leaves

Tape the leaves to the tree branches.

When completed, the Giving Thanks Tree can act as a truly eye-catching and thought-provoking Thanksgiving decoration for a mantel, coffee table, or centerpiece.  Here at JumpStart, we’ve had a blast filling out the leaves for our Giving Thanks Tree, and we’re certainly thankful for your viewership.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!Much To Be Thankful For

Tell Your Friends About the Giving Thanks Tree and How Thankful You Are for Them

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11 Responses

  1. Loved this idea!

  2. This is a great idea. I just wish there was an easy way to print it. Could you add a “print” feature?


  4. I can’t even tell you how awesome this is?? I need like a template for that thing tho.. pretty please??!!!!!!!!

  5. I have a cub scout den, this is going to make a perfect craft for them. LOVE this idea! Thank you!

  6. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I know my boys will love it too. We are definitely going to do this. Thanks so much for the idea!!!!

  7. I love this!!! I do crafts with my kids almost daily and we have a “thankful” can that we start from thanksgiving until Christmas and then read aloud on Christmas day. But this is a wonderful new way to display what we are thankful for!!! Thank you!!!

  8. Very cool. I will be using this for my Cub Scout dens meeting next week. I wanted something they could use for a centerpiece that showed what they give thanks for. This is perfect!! Thanks.

  9. I love this idea, too! We just happen to have a bunch of cardboard, too!

  10. This is wonderful! What a great, fun idea. Thank you!

  11. uh carrisa, they have a template for u to print in the desription, did u not see it? its shaped like a white tree

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