Children today seem to be less and less interested in learning about the past. However, if you make it fun and meaningful to them, they’re more likely to participate. Try out any of these tips on how to get your kids involved and excited about learning more about your family’s history.
It is so important for stories of ancestors to be passed down to future generations. However, not all stories are exciting, so it is smart to tell them in a way that young people will find interesting and appealing.
Be descriptive about the scenery, about the people and their appearances, and include funny details. Use words they can understand. Make these stories a routine part of life; they do not need to be made into a big ordeal, just share at bedtime, on drives or at dinner.
Tell them over and over until your kids know them inside and out. Once they are in school and learning about history, be sure to share family stories that correspond to that specific time period. Those moments in history come alive when there are personal stories associated.
Family outings to important and significant places helps set the scene in young minds. Take them to your childhood home and show them the tree you carved your name in. Take them to your grandpa’s favorite ice cream store and get ice cream.
Visit the cities, states, and countries where your family once lived. Take time to visit grave sites and share a picnic and clean the surrounding area.
Be sure to attend your family’s cultural festival/fair. With a little help from the internet, you can find lots of fun things to do. These activities can even be included in family reunions.
Visit and Talk with Older Relatives
Hearing stories from the past help kids connect to what life was like then. This connection will help family ties grow stronger and make these important relationships last. Along with learning more about their family’s past, you can teach your kids to become more comfortable talking with older people.
In an ever-changing, media and entertainment filled world, we all know this is an important skill for a child or teen to have. Prep them with questions to ask along with follow-up questions like: Where were you born? grow up? Tell me about your siblings? parents? Who was your best friend? What did you like to do? What was your favorite sports team? music artist? How did you meet your spouse? Best piece of advice you can give?
Honor Ancestors with Their Hobbies
Including your children in fun things your ancestors once loved is a terrific way of celebrating them. If they loved the Yankees, head to a local baseball game or see the actual Yankees if possible. If they loved jazz music, find a jazz concert to enjoy. If they loved quilting, attend a quilt show. Take an art class, learn to weld, watch their favorite movies. Doing the things they loved can help you feel closer to them and closer to your kids.