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Memory Tree

Suggested Group(s): Young, Middle & Teen

Purpose: To assist the group in remembering and preserving memories

Task/need: Acknowledging the reality of the loss, converting the relationship…to one of memory

Activity Setup Ideas:

  • Talk about the fear that some children have about forgetting the memories that they had with their family member who died. Discuss the idea of capturing these memories now so that they won’t be lost.
  • Ask the children to think of the memories that they had around their family member who died. They can be happy or sad memories that included or were impacted by their family member.


  • Small tree branch
  • Bucket of sand
  • Wide smooth ribbon
  • Permanent markers — fine point (use cautiously with younger groups)

Description: Before starting the activity, put the small tree branch into the bucket filled with sand to create a “tree.” Use ribbons to represent memories, allowing the children to use one ribbon to represent each memory that they wish to share. Use permanent markers to write or draw memories on the ribbons to be tied to the branches of the tree.

Activity Wrap Up Ideas:

  • Stand back and admire all of the memories that it took to make the tree complete.
  • Thank the group for adding their memories to make it a special tree.
  • Allow each member to share one or more (as time allows) memories with the group, making sure that each child has the opportunity to share if desired.