How to draw a family tree for children

Creating a family tree is an excellent way for children to learn about their relatives, especially those family members who are no longer living. Researching information about your family can provide a unique bonding experience with your child, as well as a real-life history lesson. It can help to emphasise the importance of family and educate children as to how families are connected. Depending on how many generations you would like to include, making a family tree can be an easy and fun learning activity.

Do your research. Help your child make a preliminary list of relatives. This will let the child know how large to draw the tree. Begin with the immediate family and move to extended relatives on the maternal and paternal sides of the family. Search for pictures of each relative to be included on the tree.

Write the names of the relatives on index cards. Each relative should have his or her own card. Include any details known about each relative, including full legal name, birth date, date of death (if applicable), place of birth or nickname. Leave a space on the index cards for any pictures that are available.

Attach the pictures to the corresponding relative card. Use white glue to securely fasten each picture.

Draw the tree. Use a pencil to draw the trunk of the tree. Add two branches on either side of the tree to create a maternal side and a paternal side. The total number of branches will correspond to the number of relative cards that were made. Use brown marker to colour the trunk and two branches.

Add the relative cards to the tree as you continue to draw the tree. Use white glue to attach the cards after each branch is coloured with marker. Begin with the immediate family, attaching the mother's card to one side of the tree and the father's card to the opposite side. Draw a branch in the middle of them to add the child's card and branches on either side for any siblings. Continue to build the tree by adding the cards of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents on the appropriate side of the tree.


Create smaller cards for life events, such as marriage, to attach to the poster board between names of spouses. Include the wedding date, if known, and year of divorce, if applicable.

Things You'll Need

  • Poster board
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Index cards
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Family pictures
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About the Author

A mother of three and graduate of the University of Texas, Mary Evett is the online pregnancy expert who contributes to and CBS Local. Her passion for DIY projects is showcased monthly on the craft blog, My Crafty Spot. She is the author of the blog, Just Mom Matters.