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Family tree activities are fun for the whole family. Today I have 15 styles of Printable Family Tree Templates for you as well as some fun family tree themed activity ideas for you to use in your classroom, home or church.
Why Learn About Family Trees?
Many elementary aged kids have a family tree project assigned to them in school. This is a creative way to help kids share more about themselves and their families.
Why should we learn about and study our family history? I think knowing your personal history is not only a fun activity, but also a wonderful way to make personal connections to extended family. Our genetics shape who we are, whether we want them to or not!
Our personal history matters, even if our memories and experiences are not the best. We can still learn from these experiences. Yes, family trees can get complicated, especially when divorce or adoption are involved in families. But even the complications should be recorded!
I love learning about our family heritage, history and culture. I also love the idea of keeping a personal family history for future generations. Another term for family history is genealogy.
It’s wonderful for kids to learn how to create their own family tree. There is something special about knowing the names of their older relatives and ancestors. Knowing about your family history and culture can bring a deeper meaning to your life. It can help you understand yourself better.
Creating a family tree can be tied into social studies lesson plans, too. Learn more about the different cultures and countries where your family members originated from.
Learn about the family history of others with this awesome book: Famous Family Trees.
Family Tree Symbolism & History
The tree symbol has been used for thousands of years to represent connection. The branches and the roots symbolize how a family grows yet still remains connected over time. With each new branch a new life of family member is represented binding our ancestry to us.
It seems to stem back to Isaiah 11: 1 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”
This is about Jesse, the father of King David. Christ came from this lineage.
The first family tree may have bee in the 11th century when this verse was created through art with Jesse’s family as the branches. This became known as the Jesse tree. During medieval times, nobility began to use the tree to represent their lineage. The term family tree seems to have become common in the 18th century.
See Also my Post on Family History for Kids where I share a Family Tree Game using craft sticks. I also share our 5 generation family photo frames, and some books we enjoy about family history for kids in this post. I also shared there my story of learning about my family heritage by visiting the country of my paternal grandfather’s birth.
How To Make Your Own Family Tree:
A family tree starts with yourself on the tree trunk and moves upwards branching out to parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on on the various tree branches. The tree branches out in the different family units. It can include the family information of just direct lines, or have siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.
You can make a family tree with a picture of a family member in each place, or with just a person’s name. Do you have a box of old family photos lying around? Make sure you know who everyone is in those photos! It’s great to add their date of birth and death dates (when applicable) to the family trees to keep record of people. You can use one of my printable templates, or draw your own trees.
Making a family tree is a great DIY project! It also makes a wonderful gift for parents or grandparents on special occasions. You can make a family tree in various styles.
- Make a simple and adorable family tree with a child’s hand print. The wrist and arm is the trunk of the tree and the fingers of the hand are the branches. Glue it onto a contrasting colored piece of paper. Cut out some little leaves with green paper to add a few more names of family members.
- You can get beautiful family tree art custom made online! They can be hand drawn or painted. There are even ones made of metal or wood.
- Hand sew a family tree and embroider the names! My sister made one of these for my mom and it was so beautiful & meaningful.
- Kids can draw a large family tree on a poster board to display for an oral presentation or school project.
Learn more about family stories and family traditions of older generations, your ancestors and relatives with this Family Interview I created.
This printable family history interview is great for young children or older children to use when interviewing grandparents or parents, but can be used for any members of your family. I used it to interview both my parents and grandparents. I videoed them to preserve it!
This interview is awesome to learn about their memories of major historical events they may have lived through. Were they alive in World War II? Did they go to a Beatles concert? What other cool things can you learn?
Download my Printable Set of Family Tree Templates Now!
I have a set of 15 different styles of family tree worksheet or templates styles. There are 5 diagram style trees or pedigrees without a tree background and 10 styles with a tree background. Some are 3 generation, some are 4 generation and some are 5 generation. A few are in color, but most are in black and white. Print these out on white paper and fill it in with each of the names of your family members.
How to Find your Ancestors
If you are new to family history, and there is no record of your family, there are many online resources to help you find your people. I promise it will test your research skills, though! It can especially be difficult if your family tree extends back to different countries and the records are in a foreign language.
I love using a website called Ancestry to do genealogy research. On this site, you can find pictures, census records, immigration records, birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, pictures of head stones, and more! You can visit historic sites, cemeteries, or family history centers around the country to learn more as well. I love doing ancestry research on this site!
I also love another site called FamilySearch. Here you can create your own family tree, add family pictures, stories of each individual, and connect generations of people. You can research and find people who have already been discovered and connect them to your tree. This website was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But, it is free to use by any who have interest in learning about their ancestors. They have printable versions, too.
Take some time to preserve your own history. Your family will be glad you have that record! Talk to the older family members in your life while you still can, before their memories are lost forever.