First we picked out a fallen branch, devoid of leaves, and interesting in shape. Then we found an empty pot in our garden shed and put a handful of rocks on the bottom to weight the pot and create a foundation for the branch. While I held the branch, Emagene shoveled some potting soil around the stick helping it stand up straight. We didn't have a bag of play sand at this time, so we just used whatever "clean dirt" we found in the shed. (Funny concept, eh? Clean dirt.) We set a few more rocks on top to help keep the soil from spreading all over my house and brought the "tree" indoors.
We gathered some fallen leaves of various colors in our felt turkey basket (I found it in the dollar bins at target) and then set Emagene to work decorating. The cardboard turkeys taped along the outside of the pot were a craft project from another day and super easy. They involve circles of various sizes and glue.
While she was busy poking holes and using tape and whatever other way she could figure out to keep leaves on the tree, I cut out paper leaves from construction paper.
We refilled the empty basket with the paper leaves and a sharpie. When we sat down for Thanksgiving dinner, we required everyone to write on a leaf something they were thankful for before filling a plate with food. This meant when we went back for seconds, we had to fill out a second leaf. In reality, we just sat around writing until we ran out of leaves.
I love it! I may keep the set up and turn it into a winter wishing tree, replacing the cardboard turkeys with paper wreaths, unless someone knows where I can find scrap evergreen boughs in Texas...