I come from a big family and am lucky enough that I’ve known most of my friends for so long that they fall into the family category too. The only drawback? Many of my favorite people are scattered all over the U.S. and we don’t get to see them nearly as often as we’d like. For my kids, this is super confusing. Which name goes with which face? Which kid belongs to which parents? And where the heck do they live? This activity helps kids visualize the answers to all of these questions and provides the opportunity for a healthy dose of visual motor and fine motor work too! You’ll definitely want to add this to your list of fun family tree project for kids!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Map (I got mine here), stickers or sequins (we used heart sequins to represent the people we love, but make it according to your style and taste!), mini photo album (or create your own by stapling pieces of construction paper together to make a little book, taping photos inside), photos of your closest family and friends, marker or pen
WHAT TO DO: Purchase or download a map that represents where all of your favorite people live. Tailor this to suit your family and friends: are they spread out all over the world? You’ll need a world map. Throughout one state? Just a map of your state will work. You get the idea. Make a list of your closest friends and family members. Then, start plotting out your loved ones on your map by placing sequins on the cities where they live and numbering each one. Once your map is finished (it makes a really cute piece of art for your home, by the way :), find photos to represent each of the people on your list and fill your photo album, putting pictures in the order of your numbered sequins. Place a numbered sticker or piece of paper on each photo in your album that corresponds with the numbered stickers on your map. This way kids can compare them.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Have the kids do as much of the process as possible! If they’re old enough to write, have them write out your list of family and friends and write the numbers on the stickers themselves.
-Draw dots on your map as targets for where the stickers or sequins should be placed so kids can put them on independently.
-Have kids put the photos in the album independently.
-Use your finished product as a memory or matching game! Can your child remember where Uncle Max lives? Point to a numbered sticker or sequin on the map and have your child find the photo in your album that matches.
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Fine motor skills, visual motor integration, visual perceptual skills, grasp, cognitive skills, social skills
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.