This week I have compiled a fairly involved project, one that the kids will need to invest a few days into, but the results are worth it. It is probably best for kids age 10 and over, but my toddler helped with some parts of this project. Making a family tree ropes in the whole family, and brings about great opportunities for sharing stories and remembering extended family you may not have seen for years.
For this family tree mobile you will need some sturdy card, I chose some sturdy 600gsm white board from Officeworks. You will need some skin-coloured paint, a roller, sturdy and soft wire, and some pens or collage for faces.
Start by mixing your skin-coloured paint – consider that you may need various colours mixed for different family members. Paint your card with a paintbrush, or even better, a sponge roller. Draw a face shape on the back of some scrap paper, one larger for adults, and one smaller for kids, make sure it is small enough that you will fit enough family members onto your card. Trace around this as many times as you need on the unpainted side, and then cut out your shapes carefully.
For the faces you can do drawing, painting, collage, or silly googly eyes like me! Either way, before you start making the faces it helps to have some photo of your family around for reference. Add in the small details, freckles, glasses, and tailor the nose and eyes for each one. Hair is lots of fun, search the house for wool, string, twine, anything – colour it with textas or watercolours if need be. Cut short or long lengths to suit your faces and glue down with a layer of PVA.
When you are ready to assemble, PVA glue small wire loops on the back of the faces, top and bottom. This will need to dry overnight. I used thicker wire for the top to hold the thing together – a coat hanger would work well for this too. Thinner wire can be used to attach the faces onto one another vertically.
This mobile is best hung against the wall, and can continue to be added to as the family grows! A nice way to also explore multi-culturalism, and also the prejudices that can surround skin colour.