A family tree, apart from being a good way to pass the time and a great project for kids to make, is also a great way to get the kids involved with the immediate and extended family. By involving kids in making a family tree, they get to understand the study of genealogy. They get to go back in time and pay a visit to family members they never knew existed. They learn about distant cousins who stay nearby and about immediate cousins who live far away. They have a whole new perspective towards the word family and discover and rediscover new things about it in the course of making the family tree. This AptParenting article will give a new twist to the traditional family tree by giving your kids some unique ideas to represent your family in.
Paint the Wall
If your kids are fans of the Harry Potter series, then they're sure to love this idea. Give them the liberty to pick one wall from their room for the family tree. Before they begin with the actual paining of the wall, make sure that they have a final draft on paper. A perfect one with the correct and accurate dates and names. All they have to do is replicate it onto the wall. Give them the paints and all the equipment that they require, leave them in the room until they finish it and go have a look when it's done. Let them explore their creativity and create a beautiful tapestry of sorts.
For all the kids who are good at molding and making objects, here's a good idea. Find out all the names of all the family members, from both the sides of the family. Write them down, along with their most distinguished physical characteristic mentioned next to the name. Now, hand this list to your kids and ask them to make small clay models of all the family members, using the notes about the physical characteristics mentioned. When all the models are ready, arrange them neatly, according to their age and the side of the family inside a big box.
Another idea that you can make your kids use is a suspended tree with paper mache figures. Tell them to make a tree using small but strong plant branches and twigs. Pay attention to the number of branches. There should be enough room for all the members. Now, with the list of family members ready, ask the kids to make small paper mache figures to represent kids and big ones to represent adults. In the heads of the figures, make small holes through which you'll be putting string. Once all the figures are ready and named, put the strings through their heads and hang them from the branches according to where they belong.
The heritage theme is basically a great way to get your kids further connected to their roots. Tell them all about your heritage, your ethnicity, and your ancestors, dating right back to the earliest days. Then, ask them to decide on a theme based on this rich heritage and ask them to design a tree accordingly. For instance, if your family is Native American and had a lot of shoe makers, they can make a tree that has little shoes with the traditional Native American headdress on them. They look cute and speak about the roots as well.
Banyan Tree Bonsai
Here's another idea, that takes the term family 'tree' quite literally. Take your kids bonsai shopping. Ask them to choose a nice Banyan tree Bonsai for the project. Once they choose the tree, take it home and begin planning the 'family' part. Gather pictures of all the family members from both sides of the family. Get them in black and white and reduced to a standard size. Then, on the branches of the tree, have them place all the pictures according to where each family member belongs.
The ideas mentioned above are simple when you read them, but only when you actually make them will you realize their true beauty. So, involve your kids in this fun art project, educate them about your family and its heritage, and have a blast depicting this heritage in a beautiful family tree!