|One of my favorite children's stories!
The trees are very easy to make, and you only need a few basic supplies:
--a brown paper lunch bag (I used the larger size)
--autumn colored cardstock, cut into leaf shapes
--a hole punch
1) Open your brown paper lunch bag and set it on the table.
2) Grab your bag around the center and twist in one direction, while keeping the bottom of bag (your tree base) pressed firmly on the table. While twisting center of bag, be sure the base will stand upright. If you wish, you may tuck the corners of the bag so they are not visible, making it look round, instead of rectangular.
3) Fan open the top of your bag and make about 8 vertical slits with your scissors, down toward the center of your "tree trunk". These strips will become your tree branches. They should be approx. one inch wide and 4 inches long (this craft is very forgiving so don't stress over counting and measuring!)
4) Scrunch each strip with your hands, twisting tightly in any one direction to form your tree branches. You may wish to shape them by giving them a bit of a curve, like a real tree branch. This is the fun part!
5) Once all of your branches are formed, be sure to twist the tips of each branch very tightly, so that your paper leaves will be able to slide onto the branches easily.
6) Cut some simple fall leaf shapes from your cardstock. Punch a hole in the top of each leaf.
7) Write various ways to give to others on each leaf.
8) Marvel at the simple beauty of your Giving Tree...and then get givin'! :)
Here's a quick at-a-glance reference of each step:
That's all! Easy, right? They look really pretty placed in a group together (like a forest!), and would make a beautiful centerpiece for a kid's table on Thanksgiving.
And, of course, you must read The Giving Tree together, to make this activity complete. :) And, for my Catholic friends, if you wish to incorporate this activity with St. Elizabeth of Hungary's feast day, the Loyola Book of Saints (a wonderful book which arranges saint stories by theme!) has a lovely story about her life of giving, and Charlotte from Waltzing Matilda has a beautiful coloring sheet that you could use as well.