Getting your kids involved in family history and genealogy can be a bit tricky. If you missed part one of our tips on involving your children in the fun, be sure to check it out here! Today, we’re offering a few more tricks on how to help your kids get excited about genealogy and their family’s history and heritage.
Share the Heirlooms
Sharing heirlooms and photos that once belonged to family members can be very exciting. These things help the past feel real and come alive. Young children and even teens love to see how things have changed, what clothing styles were once popular, what hairdos used to be all the rage, and what people used to do. Display these items in your home to remind your kids of your family’s past. Be sure to tell your kids any stories associated with the heirlooms you have.
Build a Family Tree
Take some time to map out your family on a tree chart with your kids. Starting with your youngest child, make your way up as far as their knowledge or chart will allow. Let your kids do as much of the labeling before stepping in to help them. Charting out your family on paper is a great visual for kids to see where they fit into your family.
Honor Them with Food
Food is a really great way to remember the past. Certain dishes may be incredibly nostalgic and can immediately take you back to a different time. Let your kids experience that. If you have a meal, dish, or treat that makes you feel this way, be sure to share it with your children. If your grandma used to make special cookies each time you visited, make those cookies for your children or make them together. Share stories and memories as you eat the food together. You can honor your family’s heritage by preparing food from the different places your family used to live. Search for recipes online if you need ideas on what dishes to make.
Make Their Own Histories
Encourage your kids to write their own personal histories. Give them a journal to write in, help create a picture or scrapbook, and have them write their favorite stories from their own life. Let them take pictures with the family camera, print them out, and teach them how to add them to their albums.
Playing games is a great way to make anything fun and genealogy is no different. You can buy genealogy board games to play as a family or you could make up your own games that are specifically about your family, like a jeopardy trivia game or a memory game with photographs. Be sure to share all the stories you can along the way. Invite your kids to help make up the games. Try a game that uses technology to help your older kids and teens get excited about learning about their heritage. Set up each of your kids with a computer and see who can find certain details about family history events and people first.