One of the most important things a child can learn is information about their families. A child should be able to understand and acknowledge their relationship to family members from a young age. A good way to teach kindergarten students the basics of family relationships, and how to associate these relationship terms into their own families, is to do projects with them that will help them to understand the family structure.
Ask parents to send pictures of family members that do not need to be returned to school with their children. Have the students cut their family members out of the photos. Then have them glue the pictures onto pieces of construction paper or poster board. After the glue has dried, have the children write the names of their family members under each picture, such as "Aunt Sally" or "Grandpa Joe." When they have finished this, let the students decorate the collages. When the collages are completed, hang them up around the classroom.
Make a Tree
Gather tree branches with many different twigs. Place each limb in a flower pot. Hold it in place with clay. Cover this with mulch, sand or dirt. Cut leaves out of green construction paper. Give the students a leaf for each of their family members, and have them write the person's name on it. Make sure to give them enough leaves to include parents, siblings and grandparents. Punch a hole in each leaf, and use string or fishing wire to tie them to the different limbs on the tree branch. When your students are done making their family trees, display them on a window sill or on a table where they will not fall over or break.
Before you start the activity with your students, cut out tree bases, tree tops and apple shapes from construction paper. Have the students glue the tree together on a piece of poster board. After they have completed this, instruct them to take an apple for every member of their family. They should have one apple each for their mother, father and siblings. Instruct the students to write each family member's name on an apple. Have the children glue their apples on the tree. When they are finished with this project, you can send it home with them to show their parents.
Give students a genealogy worksheet with blank spaces for them to fill out the names of their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Send the worksheet home with the students to complete with their parents. The children will get a better understanding of words such as "aunt," "uncle" and "cousin" when their parents can explain it to them in relation to their own family members. When these worksheets are turned in and completed, hang them up around your classroom.