Every Thanksgiving, we make a Thankful Tree. I have seen other trees where you stick a stem into something and then hang the leaves off it, and I like that idea. But, my kids really enjoy the one we originally started with. It is very easy to make and because we make it so big, it can handle tons of Fall colored leaves :)
I will post pictures later. I had every intention of making this yesterday, but we had an impromptu visit to a new video store in our area and I got side-tracked :)
First, decide where you want your tree-on a door, on a big window, a wall in your house, etc...and decide how big you want your tree to be. You can either use paper bags or large sheets of brown paper (I just happen to have some from some things I ordered online) and cut out your tree shape. You might have to use a few paper bags if your tree is going to be big. Tape this to your designated tree area.
Then, if you are very artistic, or cretive, cut out leaf shapes. Or, you can take a small walk and find some to trace onto nice Fall-colored pieces of construction paper, then cut out. Or, you can print off some leaf shapes, and if you want the Fall colors, trace them onto construction paper. Card stock would work as well, and hold up nicely year from year, but we just go the frugal route here. And, yet another idea for leaves, let your kids trave their hands-almost like those hand turkeys we made as kids :) They can actually sort of look like a maple leaf and you have all these different shapes and sizes of leaves-as well as the memory if you keep your leaves of what your child's hand looked like that year and what cute things they were thankful for!
Here are a few sites with leaf patterns;
Free Fall Leaf Pages These are large leaves. If you made a really large tree, these would come in handy
Maple, Oak and Variety Leaf Patterns
Family Fun-Turkey and Leaf Patterns You could use the turkey-maybe make one for each member of the family and put them at the base of the tree
Be sure whatever way you decide to go with the leaves to have a good stash of them on hand. Let your child, or whoever, write their thankful item on one side and their name and date on the other. Use tape to hang the leaves on the tree, under the tree, or even in such a way that makes it look like it just fell off the tree and is gently floating down to the ground :) This is rally meant to be a project that lasts all month long.
If you are hesitant about using lots of tape or hanging things on walls/windows, you can also turn this idea into a Thankful Wreath. You can use an actual wreath (foam, pine, etc...) and attach your leaves whichever way works best (pins, raffia, glue, etc...) or you can let your child make a wreath shape by cutting out the center of a paper plate. Glue or staple the leaves as the child makes them onto the paper plate. Hang it for all to see.
You can let family/friends add leaves too. It's just a fun project that is meant to instill thoughts of what we are thankful for this time of year.