Family tree projects for kids allow children to learn about their roots, their family relationships and something about history. Once children learn the history of their own family, they may begin to take an interest in history in general. The family tree activity can bring your entire family closer together as you learn about your common roots.
Get Your Child Interested
Make the family tree project into a game to get your child interested. Have her pretend she is a reporter or a detective. She can choose to take notes or tape record her relatives to find information. She can interview her grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles and your older siblings.
Questions to Ask
Help your child with his interviews for the family tree by offering some questions he might want to ask, suggests the Family Tree Kids website. He can ask where the relative grew up and what it was like growing up there. Your child can ask the relative the names of her siblings and parents. Your child can find out where this relative was in the birth order–youngest, middle or oldest. Your child might want to ask what the relative’s parents did for a living, what the relative did for fun and how she met her husband. Your child can conclude by asking his relative if she has any photos or family papers that she could share.
Map It Out
Diagrams exist online that you can print to use for basic and extended family trees. After your child fills out the tree, she can decorate it with pictures of the family member. She can also color it with crayons. After she fills in the tree, she can write a history from the information she gained from her interviews.
Using Online Resources
Older children can dig further than interviews with relatives. Many genealogy websites help people locate unknown family members. They provide assistance on how to find ancestors using census bureau information or international and passenger records, for example.
Blended Families and Adoptions
Children from blended families might want to make two separate trees–one from mom’s side and one from dad’s. Or, your child may want to just make half a tree, only using mom’s side, for example. It’s OK if your child includes “common law” marriages or boyfriends or girlfriends in the family tree, according to the Teach Net website. If you adopted your child, he can make the family tree using your family. That way he can learn more about the family who is raising him and can start traditions when he raises his own family.
- family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from Fotolia.com