Activity

Our Family’s Belonging Branch

What You Need:

  • A branch found from a nature walk with your family
  • Tempera paint (a variety of colors)
  • Paint brushes
  • Styrofoam trays or paper plates to hold paint
  • Brown packing paper or various colors of construction paper
  • Newspaper to protect the surface where you paint
  • Twine or thread
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch

What You Do: 

  1. Bring your family together in a comfortable space.
  2. Discuss what it means to “belong” somewhere. Explain to your child that when we belong, we feel safe, loved, and heard.
  3. Explain to your child that you are going to create a very special belonging branch today.
  4. Get out the branch you found during your nature walk.
  5. Explain that the branch is important because it helps you remember a special memory you had with your family.
  6. Cover a flat surface (e.g., table or floor) with newspaper and place the following materials on the newspaper: branch, tempera paint, paint brushes, trays, and brown packing paper.
  7. Allow your child to choose their favorite colors to paint the branch.
  8. As the branch dries, help your child paint their hand with the paintbrush and tempera paint and create their handprint on the brown packing paper. 
  9. Do the same with every member of your family. Assist your child in washing their hand(s).
  10. As the branch and handprints dry, cut out varying sizes of string. Encourage your child to help cut the string if they are able to do so safely. This improves their fine motor development. Guide your child.
  11. Once the branch and handprints are dry, allow your child to help write the names of the family members on the handprints.
  12. Cut the handprints out and use a hole puncher to create a hole at the top of each handprint.
  13.  Encourage your child to assist you as you put the twine through the handprints. Tie knots to keep the handprints in place.
  14. Next, hang the handprints on the branch.
  15. After your belonging branch is complete, discuss some of your favorite things about each member of your family (e.g., Harper is kind, mommy makes me laugh, etc.).

Extension Ideas:

Get creative. Have your child thread beads and add them to the belonging branch. If you have access to a small drill, a grown-up can drill through old bottle caps and wine corks. Next, your child can assist you in threading these items to hang as well.

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