All Autumn long I am excited to teach about Thanksgiving, as its themes are always relevant and great lessons for us all. Talking about family, thankfulness, reunions, comparing the harrowing American journey of the Pilgrims to our own lives, and the importance of hosting and making food and crafts for others are all ways that we can reconnect to the essential meaning of life.
My favorite Thanksgiving theme is, naturally, Gratitude. I love the challenge of coming up with new ways to teach this concept to the next generation. More than just saying “thank you,” gratitude is a positive feeling about the “gifts” most important to us in life. The children are always so excited to think about the items, places and people for which they are thankful, and how important it is to show our appreciation for all that we have, everyday. It is this appreciation that makes it easy for parents, teachers, friends and those whom we count on in life to want to do more for us! It also serves the selfless purpose that gratitude is always the right attitude, leading to a positive, happier way to be for all of us.
Wreaths have long been symbols of gratitude for the Fall harvest in different cultures throughout history. The circle itself is a symbol of the cycle of life and the changing seasons are a perfect match for this visual. We just can’t get enough of the beautiful Fall foliage around here, as the leaves continue to surprise us with their dance of colors. These beautiful paper leaves are the perfect way to pay homage to the beauty of this special time of year.
How wonderful to incorporate the theme of gratitude into a show-stopping wreath to hang as part of your Thanksgiving décor! With just Kolorstix TM craft spoons, bright shape leaves, ribbon, glue and a marker, your students can create a beautiful welcome wreath for your students’ home celebrations, and a colorful reminder of what we are really celebrating.
- Hygloss Bright Leaf Shapes (2 packages per wreath to use specific colors)
- KolorstixTM Colored PopstixTM Craft Spoons
- Ribbon Rainbow
- Stapler and Scissors
- Glue or Double-sided Tape
- Dark-Colored Permanent Markers
- To create the ring on which the leaves are affixed, take 20-30 craft spoons and create a circle at least 12” in diameter (we made ours 15” in diameter). Overlap the spoons’ ends and staple them together (with adult supervision). You now have a sturdy ring on which to hang the leaves.
- Take the packets of leaves and choose which colors you would like to decorate the wreath. Arrange the leaves in the color pattern of your choice. We used an “ombre” pattern with fall colors which go back and forth from red to bright yellow and back.
- Affix them to the ring in a slightly overlapping manner, using glue or tape.
- Cut three lengths of ribbon to 6” and adhere them to the back of the ring so that they hang into the center from the top.
- Glue or tape three matching leaves to the ends of the ribbons so that they hang at slightly different lengths into the center of the wreath. Cut off any excess ribbon from the top of the wreath.
- Write on the leaves in a bold marker the things for which you are most grateful.
- The wreath hangs easily on a nail or hook on a front door or the wall beside your Thanksgiving table. It’s also a welcome greeting when hung on your classroom door!
Skills: Fine Motor (stapling with close supervision, cutting, taping), matching colors and creating patterns, concrete thought.