There are so many ways to bring family history alive to your children! Here is a list of 15 different art project ideas to do with your children of all ages.
Create a stained glass window
Use different coloured tissue paper pieces, first glued onto waxed paper, then removed when dried, creating a single page. Cut into a shape and glue edges into a window-shaped frame made from paper. Keep it simple for younger ones, or for older children find a photo of an ancestral church and copy the design and shape of the window.
Church Mosaic floor design
Choose one of your ancestral churches (where christenings and burials took place) and create a mosaic tile floor design. Use ripped paper for your mosaic pieces, and glue onto black paper.
You might also like to collect up old plates from an op shop, break into small pieces (sand the edges beforehand if they’re a little sharp in places), and create a mosaic floor design using a single floor tile and plaster.
19th Century Etching
Locate an image online of a church, historical building, workhouse, or 19th century scene, print, and sketch a copy in the style of an etching.
Take photos of local people, places, historical places of interest. You may like to choose a single subject or person of interest. Display as a collage or create a book to print off with a description under each photo. Remember not to cut up originals, always make copies.
Mixed Media Collage
Create a collage of a family group which could include copies of photos, letters, newspaper clippings, and anything else you might have in your record/memory boxes, and decorated with scrapbooking embellishments and newspaper scraps. Get creative with how you present it!
Newspaper Front Page
Choose a date in history and include articles and photos of things happening at the time in local and world history, and also in your family’s history. You could call it the ‘Smith’ Family Chronicle (or whatever surname you are using), or use the place of interest in the title (eg. The Essex Enquirer). Include advertisements for popular items of the time period, or situations vacant for historical jobs (eg. weaver, wheelwright, and rope-maker).
Make a Family Tree Poster
Create a large family tree poster with a giant tree in the centre and include ancestral relationships up the branches (include parents, grandparents, great grandparents).
Make a Puzzle
Print a photo on cardstock and cut into a puzzle. If you have more than one child, you might like to print the same photo for all of them, and depending on their age, cut into anything from 5 pieces to 50 for your older children.
Create an Activity Book
Include maps, colouring pages, a quiz, a word search and crosswords.
Make a Recipe Book
Compile a family recipe book with favourite recipes from your childhood, your family’s, and recipes from the ‘old country’.
Let your children put together a visual timeline or collage on PicMonkey, Pixlar or Canva. Upload the photos for them to choose from, so all they have to do is put it all together and experiment with the different display options. Print off the final result and mount onto card.
Create Your Own Coat of Arms
Draw up a shield shape and draw dividing lines for 6 places to draw. In each, let your children put 6 things that are important to them: Family? Friends? A special hobby? A character trait displayed?
Create a Word Search
Create a word search of relevant names and places for your child to solve.
My Favourite Things
Create a word art poster, filled with your favourite things. You could include favourite colour, food, places, people, books, hobbies, music and art.
Make an Old Letter
Start with a plain piece of paper, and ‘age’ it using charcoal or cold tea or coffee to give a stained affect. Research how people used to write (choose a time period) and use a fountain pen or an ink and quill. You may like to find some writing online on how the characters were written. For younger children, this is a great way to practice their cursive writing.
I’d love to hear some of your ideas as well!