Creative Family Trees for adoptive foster blended families - Page 1

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Age-Specific Ideas for Families and Schools

Creating a family tree chart, drawing, or diagram can be fun, creative, and a great idea for a family day together, and family tree projects are frequent school assignments. However, traditional charts and drawings do not accommodate adoptive and foster families. Fortunately, there are many resources available for children of all ages, and for adults who want to create a special remembrance, gift, or keepsake.

Family trees should be as accurate as possible. Encouraging a child to fantasize about biological family members isn't a good idea. Adoptive and foster families have varying detailed knowledge about their children's biological origins, so here are several suggestions for your family, from ideas for kids, to pre-printed parchment forms suitable for framing.

For Families and Schools

Since family tree projects are often assigned early in a child's school life, families may want to preempt the class assignment, and start as early as age 3. Teachers can use these ideas as well.

AGES 3-6

My Home:
Children draw a house frame and, inside, draw and name the people they live with.

Loving Tree:
Draw a tree with heart-shaped fruit. Children's drawings of themselves go on the trunk, and the faces and names of people they love go inside the hearts. Alternatively, cut hearts out of red paper and paste them on a bigger drawing of a tree.

Caring Tree:
Like the Loving Tree, this is a simple trunk with branches. Instead of filling in hearts, children draw heads of the people they care about at the ends of the branches and tell how each person cares about them For example, foster mom fed me bottles; teacher helps me learn, dad cooks me dinner, birthmom reads me stories, etc.

Using Leaves:
In the autumn when leaves are on the ground, gather different colors and varieties and paste them onto a tree drawn on a poster board, naming them in the same way as the Caring or Loving Trees.

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© Nancy Ashe

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