The autumn season signals a winding down of sorts, when trees shed their leaves, leaves change their colors, and the end of the year approaches. Making resolutions is an activity normally set aside for the New Year. But any time of year is a fitting time to take a moment to identify goals and wishes and step back and express your thoughts. This year, create a festive fall resolution tree with your child to celebrate the season!
What You Do:
- On the poster board or large sheet of paper, have your child draw a large tree trunk and its bare branches with a brown marker or crayon. (Make sure to spread the branches in all directions, all across the poster board or sheet of paper, as you'll eventually tape lots of paper leaves on them.)
- Help your child draw the outlines of leaves on pieces of different colored construction paper. They can be the same shape, or they can be different shapes. You might even want to take a walk outside with your child to look at some of the fall leaves to get some inspiration.
- Have your child create between 20 to 40 leaves, or as many as she can fit onto the tree’s branches. Add “veins” or any other details she might like on each leaf. Then cut all of the leaves out!
- Use a bit of tape (double-sided works well) to attach all of the leaves onto the branches to create a full, vibrant tree.
- Hang your fall resolution tree in a place of prominence in your home for the whole family to see. Anyone can contribute a resolution or wish of their own.
- Get the whole family involved! If someone wants to jot down any thoughts of the day or would like to make a note of a wish, need, or resolution for the fall, he can gently pull off a leaf from the tree, scribble down his wish, want, or pledge, and then place this fallen leaf into a bowl designated to hold the all the resolution leaves until winter (or the end of the school year maybe).
- When all the leaves have “fallen,” set aside an evening to sift through and read through the fall foliage. Share simple thoughts out loud, and discuss any wishes and needs you might have with one another.
Try this activity over the course of autumn as an exercise for family members to share feelings, worries, and desires. The point isn’t simply to accomplish goals or get needs met, but rather to practice expressing what’s on your mind!
Cheri Lucas has her Master's of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. She was a writing aid at Corte Madera Middle School for six years. She is currently working as a freelance writer in San Francisco.