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).

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

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

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

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.

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships  Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

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:

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

Monkey then started to stick them on with PVA glue:

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

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.

Teaching a Preschooler about Family Relationships

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.


  1. Pingback: 12 #FabFridayPost linky weeks = 24 #FabFridayPosts

  2. mudpiefridays

    We don’t have the added complication of cousins yet but hopefully at somepoint we will! X


    I really like this idea. I remembered vaguely doing this at primary school. I have a very big family and so does Ethan’s Dad. I think Ethan would enjoy this task very much. Love that Monkey love to draw all the hands out and sticking them onto the tree. 🙂 Thank you so much for linking up with me again. #FabFridayPost xx

  4. Ellie @ Hand Me Down Baby

    Oh we have the same table cloth! 🙂
    What a cute idea and activity.

  5. travelingchristie

    what a fantastic idea I just love it, what a great idea and perfect way to teach little ones about family x

  6. Kate Fever (@FamilyFever)

    What a gorgeous take on a family tree, perfect for teaching little ones where they came from. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  7. Emma T (@ETusty)

    That’s a good idea. We’re always trying to reinforce who is who’s son/daughter. He’s got my family sorted really – apart from knowing that old nanny is his uncle’s nanny as well as mine. But he gets confused that his cousins have another granny that isn’t his.

  8. .Sara. (@OoSerzoO)

    Oh!! This is such a lovely idea how to teach children about there family relationships! I have a huge family and it can be very confusing! I’ve not seen this kit before, I do love baker ross though! Lovely little activity, thank you for sharing. xx

  9. Ana De-Jesus

    What a fantastic idea sometimes children find it difficult to understand that I have four different families and an activity like this would really help.

  10. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    What a fabulous idea. Our family is very large and complicated – I struggle to write the tree from my parents down on a piece of A3 paper so not sure this would work so well for us but looks like a great way of helping children to understand family relationships 🙂

  11. You Baby Me Mummy (@YouBabyMeMummy)

    This is a wonderful idea! Our family is so small, it would be a rather sparse tree! 🙂 Fab idea if you have a more complex situation x

  12. Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks

    This looks like a great idea, we have no clue about family but I think it would also be a lovely visual remembering about family aid as an expat with family living so far away!

  13. Jade Priscilla

    A great idea, especially for children who have step and biological grandparents or parents. It can help ease the confusion for little ones and it looks like a great activity 🙂 x

  14. Emma Bradley

    That iis a great way for children to understand family relationships. It is a tricky concept to get.

  15. Erica Price

    I think it takes quite a few years for them to get this straight. My son has mostly got it now with the grandparents, but more difficult with the other relatives. This is a lovely idea for making it visual.

  16. Mum to a Monster

    Thats a lovely idea. This is something we need to try i think.

  17. MummyTravels

    That’s a lovely idea – my daughter is similar, I think. She ‘knows’ that granny is mummy’s mummy, in the sense we’ve told her and she’ll parrot it back, but I’m not sure she completely understands.

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