Most people can point to a time in school when they had to do the class genealogy assignment. Usually this is in grade school, or possibly middle school, and for many, the experience doesn’t last beyond finishing the assignment. However, for some, this can start a life-long love of genealogy, and often of history in general.
So how can you get your kid interested? This series will offer suggestions on activities you can do with kids of many ages in hopes of fostering that love.
Today’s activity is for preschool children aged three and up.
Supplies: Standard posterboard, markers, pens or pencils, family pictures, glue stick or photo adhesive, map & stickers (optional)
* Create a title at the top of the posterboard with the child’s name—”X’s Family Tree.”
* Draw out a blank family tree by tracing around a photo. Make one spot for the child, plus one for each of their siblings. There should be enough space for up to four children on a standard piece of posterboard. Make one more for each parent, with lines connecting the boxes to each other and to the children. Above each parent, do two more boxes, one for each of their parents.
> Tip: It’s best to keep this as simple as you can at this age, so you don’t need to include the parents’ or grandparents’ siblings, as that would require more space than most posterboard would be able to provide.
* Under each box, you should write blanks for their name and birth information, as well as their specific relationship to the child.
* Find pictures for all of the relations to be placed in a tree—this might be fun to let the kids help with. They’ll enjoy going through the pictures with you.
> Tip: If you have your photos on the computer, printed out photos are great, but do make sure to let them dry at least a day before so that the ink is less likely to run or smear.
* Give the child the posterboard and photos, and help them place each photo in the appropriate square
* Once all photos have been placed, help them write out the name and birth information (date and location) of each person in the blanks provided.
* For extra fun, print out a map and let them place stickers on the locations where each person was born so that they can see where they lived in relation to each other.
Once you’re done, your child will have a family tree they can hang in their bedroom or playroom, and will have a better grasp of how their family interconnects.