Ideas for Family Tree Projects

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Amy Davidson

    About the Author

    Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.

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    Family tree projects can be a fun way to learn about your history. With so many ways to present your family tree, it can also be a creative opportunity to display your heritage. Play around with some ideas to find out what type of family tree expresses your clan best.

    Family Trees

    A family tree is a documentation of your family’s past genealogical data and can be a wonderful learning tool about you and your family. Depending on the depth you wish to go into, family trees can document hundreds of years back, but require a lot of research. Family tree projects are also excellent for children to do because it's a creative and fun way to teach your kids about their heritage.

    Sources

    Many websites offer services that grant you access to genealogical records for a small fee. There are also sites and businesses that, for a larger fee, will do the documentation and research for you. Your local library may also carry a limited amount of records that can help you. Talk with grandparents and older family members to help you begin creating your family tree. When documenting your tree, you can present it starting either from the most recent members and progressing backward, or from the earliest documented family member and progressing forward.

    Displaying Your Tree

    The most basic way to display a family tree project is via poster board. It’s simple to do and is also easy for the viewer to read and follow. Decorate the board with photos or drawings. For a more personalized tree, discover your family crest and use that as the backdrop of your board.

    Book It

    Making your family tree into a book is another great way to tell about your family’s history. With a book, you can add more history to your family tree with little tidbits and stories to go along with the names. This type of family tree is easy to transport.

    Hang It Up

    A hanging family tree can be a fun project and creative display of your heritage. Using a coat hanger and string, attach small pictures or cards for family members and cascade down your family’s history. For an extremely large family tree, you may have to hang your tree rather high, but the display will look great.

    Make a Tree

    If you want a really fun and creative family tree, make an actual tree displaying family members' names going down the branches. The best way to do this is via papier mache with a foam base for the tree trunk. Coat hangers wrapped in papier mache are great for tree branches. Once you’ve made your tree, simply paint a base coat and write in your family’s names using a contrasting color.

    Photos

    Photos of family members are a great way to personalize your project and make it visually engaging. Use photos instead of, or along with, names to liven up your project. A fun trick is to cut the heads of loved ones out of photos, and draw in cartoon bodies.

    References