The Family Tree

Tis’ the season for football, food, friends and family… It’s the season for “Thankful Hearts” – which hopefully prepares way for a season of giving and not greed…


8×10 printable worksheet

How do you keep your family’s hearts on the “reason for the season” in a world filled with mixed messages? In a world dependent upon media, many find it helpful to go back to “simpler times.” Research how the Pilgrims and Indians balanced wants and needs and how they survived without a computer! Try turning off the tv and heading outdoors for such life lessons.


(take along envelopes or bags to collect leaves. write up a scavenger hunt – or take pics of tracks, bugs and other sights you want to remember)

Take a hike and discover the world of the wild animals and how they survive the winter.  What do the animals eat in your neck-of-the-woods…what could you eat? How would you build shelter among the trees?  What is the purpose of the leaves covering the ground? You could spend days through “leaf learning” activities. Investigate the leaves.  Separate leaves by type, color, size… What are the parts of a leaf?


 Why are there so many different types of leaves and trees? Nature teaches us about science, math, language, social studies, geography, history…  Each leaf, each tree is unique and has it’s own story. This can lead into teaching such subjects through your own family trees. Family trees create a sense of self – of belonging.  You can go beyond names and dates and learn about the lives of your ancestors.  Where were they from, what languages did they speak, what jobs did they do, what traditions have been passed down…? The subject of family is important to children no matter what family dynamic they are living in.  Researchers feel that providing kids with that sense of connection may prevent some from “going astray”… Discovering genealogy helps validate stories, preserves culture, builds legacy, traces medical conditions…  Whether it’s a happy or sad part of the tale – it’s a part of your story – and it’s important to understand and create context to your past, present and future.



Tis the season for FAMILY so your turkey time challenge is to spend time as a family – learning about your family. What holiday traditions does your family have? What festive foods do you serve on holidays? What do your kids remember most about past holidays?  Find reasons you are thankful for your family and write them down! You can write it in a family journal, or use it as a thanksgiving decoration.



Tell us what you are thankful for, share family time ideas, turkey time recipes… Share your thoughts in the comment section below: (and subscribe for more articles by clicking on the upper right side!)


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