Involving our families in family history can sometimes be a challenge, especially for children. However, the great thing about genealogy work is that it can be approached from so many different angles. Create a fun environment where family history for kids becomes fun!
Bring the past to life by sharing the stories behind old photographs and family heirlooms. Having something tangible that your child can look at, hold, and relate to will engage their senses. Make an adventure out of exploring the attic, basement, or closet for family heirlooms, or create your own.
If your family is fond of cooking, try digging out those old recipe books from when you or your parents were kids. As you make the dishes together, you can share stories from the past and other memories that involve the dish. Food is a great bonding tool. Once the meal is made, your entire family can sit down together and create more memories as they talk about their day.
Or, consider collecting your child’s favorite old (and current) recipes. Together, you can compile them into a cook book that your child helps decorate. Then, your child can have a piece of history to call their own.
Family history includes family members from both the past and the present. Help your kids record their own histories! Let children choose their own journal, photo album, or scrapbook, and then help provide them with the materials they need to record memories. Buttons, ribbons, and stickers make great embellishments for personal histories, while the easy access of camera phones means anyone can take pictures! For older children who already have a large store of electronic photos, consider creating a photo book online. MyCanvas.com provides free templates with themes and embellishments that make crating personal histories fun and easy! Access those templates in the photo book section. Or, if you or your children have an Ancestry.com account, simply log in through MyCanvas to download your history automatically, then decorate with electronic embellishments, or expound on details by including your own text narrative!
Older kids may enjoy the satisfaction of getting started on family history work by indexing. Indexing is a fun, easy way to record histories from all over the world by using a computer to transcribe old documents into an electronic format everyone can access. To learn more, see this Indexing Overview.
How do you involve your kids in family history?