Family trees are fascinating for children of all ages. They enable children to see the relationships between members of their family and to begin to understand the concepts of cousins, uncles, aunts and immediate family. Be creative and build a family tree with your child using craft mediums such as paper, mobiles and three-dimensional trees.
Family Apple Tree
Apple trees can be a backdrop for a family tree craft. Using washable paints, paint your child's arm brown from hand to elbow. Have your child open his hand and press the arm and hand on a sheet of paper. Let this dry and then sponge green leaves onto the hand-arm tree trunk. Have the child dip the thumb end of a fist into red paint and transfer the print to the paper to create apples -- one each for Mom, Dad and siblings. When this is dry add everyone's names. You can expand this project to include grandparents on each side of the family, aunts, uncles and cousins.
3D Family Tree
Children will enjoy making a family tree that looks like a real tree. Find a stem or branch with several twigs attached. Place a lump of modelling clay into a paper cup and insert the branch. Press the clay around it to ensure it is in there firmly. Cut leaves from green construction paper to represent family members. Write the name of each member of your family on a leaf and punch a hole at the ends of each. Using ribbon or string, tie each leaf to the branch. Add pictures to each leaf as well. Decorate the cup with paper, paints or photos. Another option is to use clay flower pots and let your child paint the pot beforehand.
Create a family tree that also serves as a keepsake. Draw a tree trunk and a few branches on a sheet of paper using brown marker or crayon. Place your child's hands into green finger paint and make the tree's foliage using hand prints and let the paint dry. Write the names of family on green paper leaves and glue these to the tree's foliage. Make sure that some hand prints are still visible. Older children can arrange leaves by age, relationships or gender. Add a photo of your child to the centre of the tree. You can add photos of family members as well on each leaf.
Family trees don't have to be firmly rooted in clay or on paper. Create a family tree mobile with family pictures on hanging leaves. Find a long branch to use as the mobile base. If your family is large, you'll need a good length. Use a wooden dowel or a clothes hanger if a branch is not an option. Cut leaves from construction paper and punch a hole in the top of each leaf. Glue a picture of each family member onto each leaf. Using ribbon or string, tie the family leaves onto the branch. Alternate lengths of string or ribbon and arrange so that they are distributed all over the branch. Tie a different colour of string in the middle of the branch and hang your child's leaf with picture to that one. Make this leaf a bit bigger than the rest.
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