Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships
For a little while now I have been trying to explain to Monkey how our little family fits together. He can’t quite get his head round the fact that Nannie is Mummy’s Mummy and that Daddy is Nana’s son, just like he’s our son. When we visited Llantwit Major we drove past the old house I use to live in as a little girl. Monkey had terrible trouble in understanding that I lived there with Nannie and Grandpa (it doesn’t help that my parents are divorced and remarried).
He seems to be visual learner at least at the moment, so when I was offered the chance to try out The Giant Handprint Tree Kit by Baker Ross it seemed like an ideal opportunity to see if I could help him to understand our family relationships.
What the kit contains:
- One thick foam tree which slots together like a jigsaw – assembled it is 51cm high
- 30 pieces of foam in 6 colours – 5 of each
- Ribbon for hanging
- Self adhesive name plaque
In addition you will need:
- Pencil or pen to draw around people’s hands
- Sharpie to write people’s names or the family relationship
- Scissors to cut out the hands
- Glue to attach the hands to the tree
- We also used sellotape to secure the pieces of the jigsaw tree together on the back
Monkey had great fun drawing around everybody’s hand. The kit is really designed for a class of children so we did struggle with some of the gentlemen’s hands fitting on the foam, a couple ended up with shortened fingers. This wouldn’t be an issue for its intended purpose. Also I wanted to keep each generation as a colour to aid understanding, so we added some of our own red foam and didn’t use the other bright colours included in the kit.
Monkey is still learning to use scissors so although he helped by cutting some of the sheets and offcuts I cut out the hands. I then wrote each persons name on the hands with a sharpie. To make sure the names remain visible once they are on the tree I wrote the name towards the top of each hand:
Monkey then started to stick them on with PVA glue:
It didn’t take long to assemble the actual tree. Due to wanting to get a tracing of as many family members as possible the most time consuming part of our project was gathering the outlines of all the hands. The cutting takes some time, for an older child who can follow lines I guess the project would take about half an hour to forty minutes depending on how many family members they have.
We have put the finished tree in Monkey’s bedroom and he looks at it each night before bed. We then run through the names, expanding on each relationships as we go.
The kit retails at £5.99 and you can find it here on the Baker Ross website. This kit has been a real help in teaching Monkey about family relationships and I would recommend it to anyone looking to do try and do the same.
We were given the Giant Handprint Tree Kit for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are my own.