Family History Fun!
Goal: Get to know your ancestors and learn more about their lives.
The Adventure: Interview a grandparent, parent or other older relative and record what you learn OR choose one or more of the family history activities provided by Family Search and enjoy them together as a family. A few of my favorites are included below.
Turn this Adventure into a fun 'date night' with grandparents and take the kids on a special outing for your interview, or create a special environment at home to go with the interview. Make it FUN for the kids!
Compliment the kids on how they conduct the interview, their write-up of the interview, or whatever positive thing you can find about how they handle the interview.
Let your kids choose which activities they want to do, and let them take the lead.
Show a sincere interest in your child, their interests, and what matters to them.
Provide lots of positive feedback about the things you learn about your child and notice how they have grown and changed over time.
Eat what they ate . . .
Walk where they walked . . .
Touch what they touched . . .
Hear what they heard . . .
Genealogy Day is a great time to interview a grandparent, parent, or other older member of the family to learn about, and record, their life. Remember to go beyond just the key events and dates (which are important!), but also try to capture the heart and soul of the experiences they talk about:
- How did they feel?
- How did these events impact their decisions and dreams?
- How have their experiences impacted you and your life, and the way you think about things?
Of course, this is just one of many different ways to enjoy family history and learn about your ancestors. Here are a few of my favorite ideas from the FamilySearch website:
Do you know your family members as well as you think you do? When you can show that you know your family members, it’s a sign that you care about them.
- As a family, select a couple of the questions below. Have everyone answer the questions for themselves then make guesses on how other family members would answer. Then take turns revealing each person’s answers.
- My favorite thing to do for fun is...
- My favorite food is...
- My favorite song is...
- My favorite movie is...
- My best friends are...
- Something I’m really good at is...
- My biggest accomplishment is...
- Have a cousin or friend answer these questions, and then see if you can guess his or her answers.
Eating the same foods your ancestors ate is a great way to connect with them and to experience in one small way what their life was like.
- Make your favorite meal. What about this meal makes it your favorite? Do you know your family members’ favorite meals?
- Cook a favorite family recipe. Talk about the story behind the recipe: where it came from, why it is part of your family story, and how and when you enjoy it.
- Eat a favorite food of one of your ancestors or a food from a place your ancestor is from. Consider eating an ancestor‘s favorite food on his or her birthday.
- Who is the oldest person in your family? Ask him or her if he or she has any family recipes to share.
- Take a picture of the meal you made (your own or your ancestor’s) and put the photo and recipe on FamilySearch as a Memory.
You can do your part to help with family history by starting early to record your own history. The benefits don't stop there-- knowing who you are can help build your confidence, and learning more about your interests can help you decide what kind of person you want to be.
- Find a small box and divide it into squares of different sizes.
- Next put things in it that represent who you are and things you like to do, one per square.
- Find objects that represent things you want to accomplish or who you want to become and add them to your box.
- You can also invite family members to put things in the box that remind them of you. Ask them why they chose those things?
- Take a picture of the objects inside your box. Upload the photo with a short description of why you chose each object to FamilySearch.
- Try doing the activity again next year or even in 6 months. Did your interests change since last time?
Everyone has weaknesses, but weaknesses can become strengths. When you learn stories of how others overcame weaknesses, it helps motivate you to work on turning your weaknesses into strengths.
- Ask a parent or other family member about a time when something that they struggled with became a strength, and how they did it.
- Think about something you struggle with, but want to get better at and then consider these questions:
- What are ways you could practice and improve?
- Ask a parent or a leader to help you as needed.
- Is there anyone else that might be able to help you?
- Write, or record, your family member's story with their permission. Then capture your own experience. In the future, reading or listening to your story again will help you. It will also help those that follow you.
Take your family history adventure to the next level by inviting extended family members to join in on the fun. This can be done in person with family that lives close by, or you can plan an online event to include family that lives far away. It can be as big or little as you want. The point is simply to involve other family in your family history activities.
You could also take it to the next level by introducing a friend to the family history activities and help them get started on their family history!
Take a picture of yourself enjoying whatever you choose to do to celebrate your family history and post it to your social media sites with the hashtag #familyhistory