Each year we have a tradition of making a gratitude tree. Sometimes I draw a big tree outline on butcher paper, and the kids write things they are grateful for on leaves and tape them on. Once we made a sculpture tree. We even used real leaves one year.
The main idea of the project is to reflect on all the things - big and small - that we are grateful for, and produce a piece of art that shows our gratitude.
This activity is a fun way to put an art history twist on this family tradition. We combined learning about Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life painting with our annual gratitude art activity.
I have a printable in the Learning Library so you can make your own version at home!
Take a look at Gustav Klimt's painting, The Tree of Life. Ask your kids to describe what they see, what they think, how it makes them feel, and if it reminds them of anything.
Invite them to design their own tree, or use the template here. Once the background is done, they can fill in the swirls with all the different things they are grateful for. We did one as a family, but it would also be fun for each kid to make their own. My kids were grateful for things like friends, family, tea parties, balls, origami, cats, balls, and dancing!
I love doing a different version of this same activity each year, and looking back to see how the things they are grateful for are changing as they grow older.
A special invitation!
This month in our membership – The Studio – we’re taking a look at the way three different artists represented trees in their paintings! One of the artists we’re studying is Gustav Klimt. The membership is closed for public enrollment until early 2019, but as a member of the Art History Kids community, I’m inviting those people on the waitlist a chance to join this month during a flash-enrollment for black Friday.
If you’d like to explore trees with us this month, and Kandinsky’s sensory abstract art next month (which will be amazingly fun for tactile kids), be sure to add your name to the waitlist, and then keep an eye on your inbox during Thanksgiving week!
How did your kids like this activity? Come join our Facebook and share photos of their masterpiece!