Family Traditions

  • Time Length
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    < 1 hour

  • Mess Level
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    A Little Messy

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    Materials or Fees

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Question and Wonder:

  • What is a family tradition?
  • Who are the people in your family? Where did they come from?
  • How does where they come from shape your traditions?
  • Why do we have traditions? How do they evolve?
  • How does our history shape who we are and what we do?

Gather some family photos. Try to pick photos that show your family over many generations.

Imagine and Design:

  • Can you make a timeline with your photos? Which are the oldest? How can you tell?
  • What do you notice about the older photos? How are they different from the newer ones?
  • When were the photos taken? Are there more photos of holidays than other times? Why?
  • What story can you tell about your family by looking at the photos?
  • Can you discover some traditions from the photos? What are they?

Talk about the people in the photos. Where they came from, where they lived, how they lived, how their lives have shaped yours and your traditions. What are some family traditions you have developed over the years?

Test and Discuss:

  • What have you learned about your family?
  • Do you celebrate holidays the same way your grandparents did? Why?
  • What traditions are your favorite? Why?
  • Do you have traditional foods? Clothes? What do they represent?
  • What are some ways you would like to carry out the family traditions? How will they change?

Did you Know?

Family rituals tell children a story about who they are and what is important to the family, and it creates a connection that comes from feeling like they are a part of something unique and extraordinary. Psychologist Marshall Duke found that children who have intimate knowledge of their family’s history  are typically more well-adjusted and confident than children who don’t. They have higher levels of self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and better family functioning.

Here is a link to some fun traditions in other countries.

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