Friday, November 5, 2010

Families are important. If you didn't think so, you probably wouldn't be coming here for FAMILY home evening ideas. There are many family trees out there. I love this idea from a creative blogger. Have your children help pick out the materials for the tree, set the tree up take the picture, and then help them fill in the bubbles. Explain how a family tree works, going into as much depth as you feel appropriate for your children. Most importantly, have fun! And don't forget to sing, " Families Can Be Together Forever" from the children's Primary Song Book.

How to Make a Unique Family Tree
Taken from

Families fit rarely into ready sablons, so when I tried to fill our family tree for Mila's baby book I noticed it would be better to make our own tree. Then you can make it as wide as you like, or just choose those closest relatives.

You need:
- blanket or other fabric to be a tree trunk and grass
- 3-4 colored paper napkins for leaves.
- Paper plates, as many as close relatives. Tip: if you like ornaments a lot, use white paper lace!
+ what ever you like to decorate your tree. Is your family tree full of paper hearts, real fruits, candles, or personal items to symbol your family members.

The building tree is easier if you make a first draft to paper. Use just names and list them in a form of tree. Start from to top of tree and put there the baby, then parents, grandparents etc. Add siblings. Just like you would draw a mind map.

When you are building an actual tree, notice that you can use the bigger plates for close relatives and smaller ones for the siblings. If you have a huge family, aunts and cousins don't need a plate, you can use smaller symbols, or cut smaller round circles from light colored paper/ paper napkins. Make tree leaves from napkins. Just twofold them and cut from the fold half of leaf, so you get multiple leaves from one cut when you separate the layers of napkin.

Photo example with teddy bears
After taking your photo, you may adjust color & lighting and add names or photographs in the picture by photoshop. If you use elliptical marquee-tool, you can get round headshot cut out from pictures. In my version those bigger plates are good for about 85x85pixels photos and smaller ones 60x60pixels. Pictures don't have to be perfectly round. You can also print photo out and add relatives by hand writing.

Example with photoshop names.

And voilĂ , personal and unique Family Tree is ready!
PS you can also add ancestors in the "roots" if you like. Just make a rocks or little signs there to make a space for the info.
In our family tree there would be many Viking kings from Norway, King Gustav I of Sweden, Jaakko Ilkka, Finnish leader of the Peasant Rebellion and from my side there's just a big bunch of simple farmers from North Karelia. Well, maybe few of my greatgreatgreat uncles and distant cousins have been artist and painters, but that's it. And probably there has been some finnish pagans before northern crusade. So I began to feel that this great offspring of noble savages has stolen this simple Karelian maid, and history still repeats itself...haha.


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