How to Teach a Child the Family Tree

Teaching children about their family tree is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for the whole family. Sharing stories, memories, pictures and mementos are just some of the ways you can share the gift of heritage with your children. Here is how to teach a child about the family tree.

Set aside a special time each month or so to focus on your family tree. This will give the children something to be excited about and the time of sharing will certainly make them want to have another "focus on our family" day.

Visit living relatives together with your child and let your older relatives tell them stories and talk about their experiences first hand. This is much better than going to the library for story hour because this is something that is part of the child's life and heritage.

Make a scrap book. Attaching pictures to names makes the child remember stories much better and gives them a richer picture of what life may have been like for their relatives.

Minimize the use of diagrams in your family tree. Complicated family tree diagrams may be exciting for family history buffs, but it is the details of the specific person's life that is more meaningful to a child. Just call "Great Great Aunt Kate through marriage" simply "Aunt Kate."

Do a small study on genetics. Let the child know they are a unique individual that has descended from some other unique individuals. Also let them know some of their characteristics, such as their hair color and even their temperament, come from the family tree.