Make a family tree with your baby's handprint

Oct 8, 2009 at 1:53 p.m. ET

Adding a baby to your family adds another precious leaf on your family's tree. And your family's history is an important part of your baby's life.

Baby HandprintCreating a family tree is a wonderful way to archive your family's lineage. Not to mention that a family tree is a good way to help keep up with grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. Creating one that's personalized by using your baby's handprints makes this family history lesson extra special.

What you'll need:

  • A piece of poster board or a tri-board
  • Non-toxic ink pad
  • Waterproof markers or pens
  • Pencils
  • Ruler or straight edge

Getting started:

Draw a large tree on the poster board, leaving at least one third of the top of the board open for leaves.

Place your baby's handprint in the middle of the tree, halfway up the tree. In the middle of that print, write his name and birth date. Place another handprint stamp centered above (or as close to center as possible) his pinkie and one above his index finger. Write your name and birth date in one hand and your spouse's in the other. Draw a line from your print to your spouses to indicate you're married. 

(Tree tip: list the date of your marriage as well as dates of your parents' wedding and other marriages in your family.)

Continue with prints to fill in the names and birthdates you know of your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. 

(Tree tip: you can show your siblings by placing them on the same side and branch, or level, of the tree that you're on. Then draw a line off of your parent's prints down to you and any sisters or brothers. Repeat this for your parents' siblings and so on.)

Continue until you can no longer find names and then fill-in your spouses' family.

Once you've stamped as many prints as you can fill in with the information you have, ask relatives to help you finish your tree. (Tree tip: If applicable, you may want to list dates of death on the tree, too.)

Take it one step further -- on a separate page or the back of the tree (once it dries) -- jot down a little-known fact about each person. That way, when your baby is older he can read all about his family and take pride in the tree of which he's such an important part.

Creative additions:

  • Use one color ink for all of your child's blood relatives, and another for those he's related to by marriage.
  • Use baby's right handprint for all the leaves on the right side of the tree, and his left handprint for those on the left.
  • Use blue ink for all the males in the family and pink for all females.

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