How to Make Your Family Wish Tree
Our goal is to help children cultivate a deeper understanding of how every person has the power to help. During this month of the Great Sprout Tuck-In Season of Giving, focus a little extra energy around the idea of gestures of giving.
Throughout the month, talk with your children about a time you did something nice for someone but never told that person. Some kind gestures go unnoticed, but they are still kind gestures! Reinforce these lessons at home by introducing these lesson-filled activities.
1. Giving Checklists
In addition to donating books and pajamas, parents and children can make a list of other ways to be helpful to people in need, whether around the holidays or anytime during the year. The act of creating a checklist can act as a reminder to children about how sometimes giving a gift or a helping hand can feel just as good as receiving one.
How to make a Giving Checklist:
Using whatever materials you have around the house, gather your family together and collect fun and creative ideas to help others in your home, your community, and beyond.
What kind act did your child add to the list?
2. Give Your Family a Wish Tree
New Year’s traditions exist around the world. In Bangladesh, people celebrate the arrival of the new year with a special tradition. They use flour to create designs in the spaces in front of their homes. They place earthen pots in the middle of the flour designs and place a mango tree branch (which must have five twigs) in the pot. This very special tradition symbolizes good fortune or luck for the family. Start your own family New Year’s tradition by making a tree full of thoughtful wishes.
You will need:
• Oatmeal or coffee cans
• Pebbles and/or sand (or some other fill)
• Tree branches
• Dark colored construction paper (large sheets)
• Glue and markers
• Swatches of fabric
How to make your family Wish Tree:
- Encourage children to sketch designs on large sheets of dark construction paper. Have them cover the designs with glue and sprinkle them with flour. Assist younger children with each of these steps. Set these aside to dry.
- Decorate a coffee or oatmeal can using whatever art materials you have at home. Fill the can with pebbles, sand, or other fill material.
- Insert a branch into the can.
- Spend time as a family writing down New Year’s wishes on the fabric swatches and tie them to the branches of the tree.
- Place the completed tree on the flour designs to create a display and reminder to your children of their New Year’s wishes.
Pass the tradition on by encouraging holiday visitors to write good wishes and add them to your tree throughout the holiday season.
What wishes did your child come up with? Tell us in a comment below.