I have decided that Fridays are going to be dedicated to the more creative side of family history and genealogy. Sometimes I will go with a family recipe based on an ongoing prompt from Geneabloggers and sometimes, it will be a craft with a prompt of my own creation…Friday’s Family History Craft. Today, marks the first of these prompts and I hope that this post inspires you to get your little ones involved in family history early on. Oh and FYI if you think that this post looks familiar, you may have seen it over at my other blog Musings from Mommyland. My 3-year-old son and I did this family tree craft a few months ago, but he still loves to go up to it and talk about all the leaves on his tree.
The Boy Child and I had a great time putting this craft together. He has a blast painting and it was a really good chance to talk about our family too. And now that it is done, he loves to look at and point out which leaf is mommy or daddy or grandpa or grandma.
What you need:
- Posterboard or foamcore board…something on which to paint. I opted for a large piece of foamcore because I have found with little kids, bigger is usually better.
- Paint…greens, blues, and browns
- Scrapbook paper in various shades of green
- Scissors and glue
- Black marker
To start out, I drew a really loose outline of a tree and grass just to give him a place to start. Then I squirted some paint onto a tray and let him go to town. I did stick to one color at a time just to avoid a blobby brown mess. To give him a few more options, I put out a couple of shades of each color though.
“Noodle” had a blast painting…yes it is a bit messy, but worth it. It was great watching him screw his face up in concentration.
While the paint is drying, depending on the age of your child, either you or them can cut out the leaf shapes from the scrapbook paper. I just found a really simple leaf template online and used that to trace what I needed. One little hint…don’t get too dark of a shade or green or something too busy other wise it won’t be as easy to read the names. Once all the leaves were cut out, I let Connor pick out which one he wanted for each person. We used 14 leaves all together. I put his and Lily’s name on the trunk as a place to branch from.
The next part is more for you to do. Take the twigs and arrange them on the board to make the branches of the family. Two for mommy and daddy and then two coming off each of those and then two more coming off of those. We went back to great-grandparents because Connor and Lily are lucky enough to still have 3 of their living. You can go as far back as you want. If you are going further back, I would say make the leaves smaller though. It gets crowded fast.
After the twigs are glued on, glue the leaves on and there is your family tree!