A good way to show children who they are related to, is to make a family tree for kids. You can draw out the immediate family and whichever of the family members the children know. Make sure to explain the connection between each person listed. This will help the kids feel closer to that person.
Do not make the tree as lengthy as a full one would be. The kids could get confused. Only list as many members on it as you think the children can think about without becoming frustrated. Keep it age appropriate, or you will lose them.
A family tree for kids will help them figure out that grandma and granddad are your parents or daddy’s parents. This is a hard concept for some kids to understand. This is especially true when the children are real young like ages 3, 4 or 5 years old or younger. These age groups have a hard time understanding family relationships as we mentioned above.
This could be a great project for schools all you teachers out there. A great addition to history class could be tracing their ancestry. If the kids are old enough you can set this to go back at least 3 to 4 generations. Most families can trace this far back. To go back further becomes more difficult. It takes a lot more research the further back you go.
The kids could also include some point of interest that they have learned about each relative. Of course, their parents will have to help them collect this information. However, the kids can make their own tree and draw the relationships out on it themselves.
A family tree for kids makes them feel more connected to their family. You can tell interesting facts of how certain members came to this country if they were immigrants. Most Americans have some immigrants somewhere in there history unless they are full-blooded American Indian.
You can hang this tree on the wall and add to it as new babies come into the family or marriages happen. The kids keep learning about their heritage and family this way. Also the older the kids become the further back you can go with the family members.
Where to Research for Family Members
There are many resources to use when researching into your family members. Records of their births, deaths, marriages etc. can be used. Also voter registration records, sites online and town historians can help too. It takes time and patience to research into your ancestors. This is not a fast thing to do.
Where do you begin? You begin with what you know, and then you question all your living relatives on what they know. Take good notes and use the notes for further research. It is amazing what you can find out with enough research. So do a family tree for kids so that your children can understand who came before them and some of the events these ancestors were a part of.