FamilySearch has a new feature where you can download and print a decorative family tree. You can also find some coordinating handouts with questions here: "4 ways to make your family history come to life." I was asked a couple of months ago to help create something for our home and our children using this new keepsake. It was a fun to contemplate what I wanted to do and decided that I wanted to create something that could be used as a teaching tool. I always want to have something fun and creative to teach my children and in the process I just played around with the download creating some different options.
The keepsake family tree is wonderful and so simple to use. You sign in, decide who you want on the tree and then with a click of your mouse it creates the chart for your to download and print.
With a few mouse clicks I created a blank tree and a sheet blank leaves. Originally I had left the names in the leaves, but I decided to let the children fill them in to help them remember who they are and it allowed me to share the download with each of you. I enlarged the tree to be printed on a 16x20 poster and I printed the poster at Costco (poster board option: it's a little more expensive, but it's more durable and with my family we need all the extra strength we can get) and the leaves I printed at home. The leaves were a little darker, but it didn't bother me. Loaf was a great help in cutting all the leaves out.
I also created a coloring book page from the graphic.
One Sunday after church while Whitney and Samantha were visiting teaching and John was working on his latest blog post (which is so wonderful I can't wait to share it) I had the younger children pull out their family history folders (see this post for instructions and download. This one as well.) and we started working on our coloring book trees. Some of the children filled in the names of their ancestors and others just colored while we talked. A little sample of our conversation....
After filling in the leaves with our family names I had the guys help me add the leaves to the right spot. We were able to fill in the tree with extra leaves and that made it fun. It was another way to help the children understand the family relationships.
After a long week of work, school, and getting ready for AP tests sometimes just simple coloring helps. The leaves were too small to add all the information so we printed off our fan charts and included them in our family history folders. This project is going slower than I anticipated, but I'm okay with that. Working on this projected helped me formulate some new ideas and remember some thoughts about what I want to include within it's pages.
Now remember that I did not create these images. I manipulated the tree that I found on FamilySearch, changing the colors and saturations. I have not printed all of these yet, but I think they would be lovely with the soft watercolor feel. So the downloads include both an 8.5 x 11 color tree (6 color ways; see the bottom of the post), 16 x 20 tree (in 6 color ways and leaves), and an 8.5 x 11 coloring book option.
Download Akimball_familyhistory_chalkandcoloring (zipped jpg files)
Download Akimball_familytree8.5x11coloringbook (pdf)
Download Akimball_familytree_a (zipped jpg files)
Download Akimball_familytree_b (zipped jpg files)
Download Akimball_familytree_c (zipped jpg files)
Download Akimball_familytree_d(zipped jpg files)
Download Akimball_familytree_e(zipped jpg files)
These require a little more work filling them in, so remember that you can use the automatic feature at FamilySearch keepsake to create you own ready to use family tree. It's been fun to see the different ways that people have been using them.