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Do you want to tell your kids the history of your family in a way that wouldn’t render them bored to death? There is a way to do it that they would find interesting and rewarding. Make a family tree with them! This activity will not only engage them but will also be just as educational. Aren’t quite sure how to make a family tree? No worries, because we have a comprehensive guide that will help you. Let’s have a look at it.
Make a Thorough List
Let’s start at the very beginning. Sit down and compile a list of every ancestor you can remember – their names, their occupations, every other little detail you can dig up. If you fail to remember everyone, then contact your kin to see if they have more information.
As you gather the data, decide with your kids what information you are going to use for your family tree. Would you limit yourself to just the name and the dates, or would you also put down a few interesting facts about your relative? In case you fail to find enough information through your relatives, you can always turn to specialized services like Find My Past.
But before you go any further with your tree, there is one thing you need to do. You have to decide whether you are going to incorporate every member of your family into your tree. Undoubtedly, there are families with a few dark secrets and relatives they don’t usually speak of. So it’s up to you whether you want your kids to be informed of them.
Dig Up Pictures
Now that you know the people that would be featured on your family tree, it’s time to prepare their photos. While some forebear pictures might be in your own family archives, others might need to be retrieved from your relatives.
Once you have all the photos at hand, you have to make sure that they are fit to be used. Sadly, most old photos easily succumb to age and poor storing conditions. If any of your pictures have tears, creases, or stains, you will have to fix them before you can move on.
One of the easiest ways to do that is to scan your pics and then fix them with photo restoration software like PhotoGlory. With just a few brushstrokes, you’ll be able to erase all the imprints of time and restore lost colours. Once you patch up your old photos, you can print enhanced copies of them to use for your family tree.
This is where the fun begins. First of all, you need to make sure you have all the material handy. This is what you are going to need: a piece of cardboard, scissors, glue, paints, pencils, a sharpie, and you restored pictures, of course. Next, draw the tree on the cardboard. Do not attempt to make a perfectly authentic tree, since you’ll need to shrink the trunk so that all the pictures can fit on the tree’s crown.
Once you’re done, use a template to cut the faces of your ancestors from the pictures. Then, glue the picture to the tree. Place the younger generation at the bottom and work your way to the top with older generations. After that, use the sharpie to write down everyone’s name, their relation to you, and whatever you have decided to feature on your tree. If anyone in your family is good at drawing, have them draw delicate frames around the pictures to give your family tree a bit more flair. And this is it – you’re done!
Why It Matters
You might be wondering – why is it so important for the younger generation to be aware of the ones who came before them? There is a perfectly reasonable explanation behind it. There’s been research that showed that children with stronger family connections and deeper involvement in their family narrative enjoy better emotional health. Thanks to knowing the life stories of their kin, they feel more in control of their own lives and have higher self-esteem.
So if you want your kids to enjoy these unexpected but much welcome perks, talk them into learning about their forebears through the creation of a family tree.