Learning the structure of a family tree is an important foundation for future scientific learning, as it teaches kids to look for connections in everyday life. This hands-on science activity for kids will show your little ones how their family members are related and point out physical similarities that such relationships can cause.
Print out pictures of each of your children’s family members. Only use family members whom the children know to make the idea easier for them to grasp and, as they progress in their understanding, add more family members to the tree.
After printing the pictures for the tree, create the tree by cutting a trunk and many leaves out of brown and green construction paper. Adhere the trunk and leaves to the wall with tape. Make sure that the tree is large enough to hold all of the pictures you plan to use.
With your little ones, place each family member on the tree. Start with their picture in the bottom middle, near the trunk. Then add their siblings, parents, and grandparents. Show how these people are connected by taping pipe cleaners between the pictures.
Your kids, noticing a pattern, may ask about family members not on the tree. Use this opportunity to tell your kids about where these people came from and what they did (i.e., they came to America from England and owned a small shop in New York City).
- Pictures of family members (use copies, as they may be damaged)
- Pipe cleaners
- Brown and green construction paper
Understanding how people are related will help your children grasp their heritage. Additionally, it will teach your kids to look for important connections in other aspects of life, which is a key scientific capability.