If you’re like me, you saw the gratitude tree in the Target dollar spot and grabbed it for a fun fall activity! But now that fall is over, are you wondering what to do with that gratitude tree for the rest of the year? I was too! To stretch out the lifetime of your tree (and save some room in your closet!), check out these 5 ways to repurpose your gratitude tree for your school counseling office!
Write encouraging positive affirmations on leaves and place them on the tree. Put the tree on a table in front of your office so that students or faculty members can take an affirmations whenever the need a pick-me-up. If you’re out of the sticky leaves that came with the tree, don’t worry! Just grab some mini clothes pins and make your own leaves for the affirmations.
Career Family Tree
When you’re doing individual career planning, help your student create a 3D career family tree to explore career patterns in her family. Write the names of family members and their careers on the leaves. As the student constructs the tree, talk about what she knows about the careers. Then, identify potential patterns in the family tree. For example, are there a lot of family members in helping professions? Are there quite a few family members in STEM careers? Notice the patterns and talk about how the student feels about and interprets this information. Finally, talk about her interests and how they may relate to potential careers.
Self Esteem Tree
Have your student write things he loves about himself and his qualities that he values on leaves and place them on the branches. Use imagery to talk about how the way we feel about ourselves is like a tree: when we feel good about ourselves it shows like lush leaves on a tree! When we feel badly about ourselves, it also shows and is like a bare tree. We can change the way we talk to ourselves and think about ourselves to help grow beautiful, lush self esteem.
Goal Progress Tree
If you’re working with an individual or a small group that’s working on a big goal, use the leaves and the tree to measure progress! For example, if you have a student who has set a goal to remain in class every day this week, put a leaf on the tree each time she does! This would be a great activity for a check-out as you discuss how the day went with your student.
Use your tree for a kindness project! Write acts of kindness on the leaves and let students choose a leaf for a secret kindness mission!
Gratitude trees are a great way to help students recognize the amazing things and people in their lives, but they don’t have to be a seasonal accessory! With a little creativity and repurposing, your tree can teach important lessons all year long. What other ways are you repurposing your gratitude tree? Let us know in the comments section!