family tree

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simple family treeIf you're looking for a fun family activity over the holidays, why not consider making a family tree? This activity can be a great way to learn more about your family and can be made as simple or as complicated as you would like.

As with any activity, success often lies in the planning. So, please give some thought to your choice of materials and your level of detail before you begin. A quick and easy version could be a tree-stick drawing with handwritten names of children, parents and grandparents. From there, your imagination is the only limit!


For our family tree, Madi and I decided to use papercraft materials. Our decision was mainly guided by the cost and skill level required. However, we were amazed by the beautiful cardstocks that are available today. We had so much fun simply picking out colours and finishes for the activity. To make the tree more interesting, we used different colours of paper for the various family branches and genders. We also added citizenship flags and some photos. Over time, we will add even more embellishments...

Like many families today, we discovered that our tree becomes large and complicated rather quickly. So, I had to make some decisions as to how much detail would work best for us. My understanding of geneology is poor, so I used a "relationship chart" to help me understand the relationships. In the end, our tree starts with Madi and shows parents, aunts/uncles, and first cousins (1st level); grandparents and great aunts/uncles (2nd level); great grandparents, great great aunts/uncles and first cousins once removed (3rd level); and second cousins, second cousins once removed, and first cousins twice removed (4th level). The tree also includes important people and friends (5th level). 

We still have more work to do, but the following photo will give you an idea of where we are at with the activity. Madi was able to help with spelling out the various names and placing the name cards on the tree.

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One day, when Madi is older, I am hoping that we will be able to redo the entire project together using beautiful fabrics and materials. Perhaps after she has started her own family...

Enjoy! And, please let us know how your family tree turns out if you decide to make one...