Thumb Print Family Tree

The holidays are a great time for families to pull out a family album or scrapbook. Spend some time with your child looking through the pictures and telling stories. The time spent together focusing on family will help children learn about their heritage. Every family is unique and special and it is important for children to learn about family members and how they are connected, regardless where they live.

To help children remember their own family tree, you can Create a Thumb Print Family Tree with your children or at an upcoming 4-H Cloverbud meeting.

Materials: white cardstock paper (cut into 8” x 10” rectangles), washable brown and green paint, Styrofoam plates, paper towels, paint brushes, black or brown permanent markers, one 8” x 10” frame per child (optional) and wet wipes.

Tip – To save time during the activity, cut the cardstock into rectangles ahead of time. Ask parents to provide a list of family members on both sides of the family of each child if they won’t be attending the meeting.

Family trees are a fun way to learn about our family members. This is a great multigenerational activity for families to do together.

What to do: Paint a blank tree (including the stump and multiple branches) big enough to cover your page from top to bottom. Allow to dry.

Squeeze green paint onto the Styrofoam plates. Show children how to dip their thumbs into the paint, and then gently onto a paper towel to remove excess. Then, have them press their wet thumbs onto the branches of the tree to create leaves for each family member on both sides of the family. They can use different colors of green to create depth. Place the thumb prints accordingly, so that families are represented in clusters.

Once the paint is dry, write family names onto the leaves.

Optional: frame the artwork and hang it in common area for the family to enjoy.


Source: The Big Book of 4-H Cloverbud Activities. Valuing Family, Page 143

Giving, Spending and Saving

Teaching children that money is not just to spend is an important life lesson, one that starts early. Learning to give to others is also an important early learning concept. Parents can serve as role models in helping teach the concepts of giving, spending, and saving.

 There are rewards for incorporating these skills into a child’s life. Giving helps them recognize the needs of others and the value of giving to those less fortunate. That giving might take the form of money but can also be of time, material items such as clothing or food, or a skill or talent. Saving will allow you to buy something in the future because you do not have the money to buy it now. Saving has value as money earns interest in a bank or credit union account. For a young child, that savings might be used to purchase a wanted toy or educational resource. Spending is using some of their financial resources to make a purchase or using resources (money) now to trade for things.

Young children are capable of learning simple spending concepts. Work with children to identify categories for spending plans and ways to save money.

Resources and tools:

The Ant and The Grasshopper:

EconEd Link, a premier source of classroom tested, Internet-based economic lesson materials for K-12: