Want a good laugh? Watch your child’s expression when grandma says she is your mom and they reply, “No you’re not. You’re grandma.” Little kids can’t grasp the idea that their parents were once children and that grandma was once a baby too. Displaying a family tree with heirloom photos helps kids see their lineage more clearly.
Creating a family tree is easy. Just start with your family….mom, dad, and kids. From there, add both sets of grandparents, then great-grandparents if you can. Siblings can be added as well if you have space, which helps kids see how cousins became cousins!
Some trees use names only. Some contain names and dates, or photos and names. The format used isn’t the important part. It is the family names and photos that matter most and teaching your kids about their own family and ancestors. There are plenty of design ideas on family trees, but here are a few of my favorites:Simple yet colorful bird with feathers listing names of family members from My Tree & Me. A great family tree for younger children. Help them add photos of each grandparent, frame, and hang in the playroom or bedroom. Paint a tree on the wall and add names of each member of the family to one of the birds. Kids will love the colorful display. Another family tree variation from My Kirkland’s. Ready made frame with cutouts in the mat. All you do is add photos and hang on the wall.
More size options for photos in this contemporary family tree from Bed Bath & Beyond. Would look great in a nursery or teen girl bedroom. This tree is one of my favorites! Frames are arranged to draw the eye in while branches move your eye from one photo to the next. Another favorite family tree. Creative way to display framed family photos on a shelf. Definitely will get kids to notice….and probably rearrange the family at times!
Wooden cut-out tree is another way to display family photos or just add names and dates. Give kids copies of family photos and real tree branches to create this family tree. Use a non-breakable container for smaller kids and do without the water. Might not get as much attention but if you have your artist in residence put this tree together, they will definitely remember names of family members.
An elegant version of a 5-generation pedigree chart. Use this idea to design your own chart to hold photos, names, or a combination of both.
Simply beautiful family tree from Jill Means Design. Since every family is different, this tree is a custom creation. Be sure to notice the background…it is a map.
A large tree to gather in many names and dates of grandparents for generations back.
Kids love family photos and as they get older, the names will come to mean more. There is something special about knowing where you came from and those who paved the way before. It gives kids roots to cling to and strength as they grow and mature. Using heirloom photos to create family tree is a visible reminder of generations of influence in their lives.
(For more information on family history research, click here.)
Other posts in the Teaching Kids Family History with Heirloom Accessories series:
- Heirloom Accessories: Using Family Photos
- Heirloom Accessories: Using Vintage Toys
- Heirloom Accessories: The Family Tree
- Heirloom Accessories: Baby Clothing as Art
- Heirloom Accessories: Antique Kid’s Furniture