A few weeks ago my son came home from preschool with a fall tree. It was a made from his hand/arm print as the trunk and branches, and fingerprints as leaves. Cute idea! I put it up on the clothes line that displays his art, and we enjoyed the color and decoration for a little while. I took it down the other day to make room for the winter themed stuff that was coming home, but when my son started asking about family connections I decided to utilize his tree as part of the lesson.
I used a paper cutting tool to make leaves (different “fall leaf” colors for each generation) and acorns (for my kids), and taped them to the paper with scrapbooking tape (it’s acid free and can be moved without damaging the paper.) Then I copied photographs of parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents and cut out the appropriate person from each. I taped the photos to the leaves and arranged the leaves on the tree to make a pictorial family tree. I added pictures of the kids and used acorns for their background.
Now we are able to look at the tree and see our family. It’s a great way for my kids to learn about their relatives/ancestors and understand relationships. Plus seeing the family everyday helps to keep them present in my kids minds. This will also help a lot as we prepare for holiday travel – now the kids will have a better idea of whose house we are going to and where they fit into the tree.
*** Alia Reese is the spouse of a US Marine and mother of 2 young children. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and used her experience raising children through her husband’s multiple combat deployments to create the award winning American Hero Books® series. For more information please visit www.heartstarpress.com or contact Alia at email@example.com.