Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Playgroups: My Family Tree

We had another great playgroup last Friday! Moving along in our theme of self and others, we talked about our families.

We started out with two books about families:

The kids loved turning the pages in this book to help the baby chick find his mom!
The colorful illustrations in this book were a fun way to talk about how all animals have parents and siblings, too.

Next I showed photographs of my own family, and introduced our craft--family trees!

Here's the example I made beforehand.

You'll need the following materials to make your own finger print family trees:
  • White construction paper
  • Brown crayon for tree trunk
  • Green finger paint for leaves
  • Pen for writing names
  • Popsicle stick and paper plate (for our large group, I distributed a small amount of paint to the kids on a paper plate using a popcicle stick. It was quick and efficient for our big clan!)
  • Wipes or wet cloth for clean up

Here are some of the kids showing off their work:
To save time, I drew the trees beforehand for the kids, but depending on the age of your kids, they may enjoy drawing the trunks and branches themselves!
And just in case you are thinking this activity is too complicated for your young ones, here's a family tree done by an 18 month old and her mom. Finger paint is fun at any age!

For our snack, I had the kids try one of my family's favorites-- apples and cheese! It's a quick, simple, and healthy snack I loved to eat after school. All you need is apple slices and cheese slices; just combine them and eat! I didn't get a good closeup of the apples and cheese, but here is our UVU helper Britia modeling the delicious snack.

Some of the kids were unsure about tasting this interesting combination, but the moms thought it was great! Give it a shot--it might surprise you!

Focusing on our family members made for an enjoyable playgroup! One area that people may not consider when describing their family is health history. People who share genetics, lifestyles, and behaviors can often be at risk for similar things. Recognizing this can help us prevent the same conditions in ourselves, and help us develop healthy lifestyles to protect our children as well.

For example, from my family tree, I know that I am at risk for skin cancer. My dad had some cancer removed from his lip about ten years ago, and rather than let myself worry about someday developing cancer, I know that there are steps I can take to decrease my risk. I can wear sunscreen and protective clothing to avoid sunburns that can potentially lead to skin cancer.

Our families support and protect us in many ways, and health is definitely an area worth reviewing! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a tool called "My Family Health Portrait" to help families collect health history. It is an online form that can help you keep record of health conditions and diseases of family members, which can be helpful in understanding health risks and preventing disease in individuals. After the form is completed, it can be saved, sent to family members, and printed to be given to health care providers. Click here to start your own!


Thanks for stopping by!

Information taken from the CDC's webpage on Family Health History found here.

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