Getting kids interested in family history can be easy or hard depending on the child and their interests. There are a couple of simple things you can do to grab their attention.
- Tell Stories
Find a way to work the past into an everyday moment. You donâ€™t have to relate ancestral tales of adventure although sometimes that helps. In second grade, my son was fascinated by an ancestor who protected a New England town from wolves. He ran to school to tell his teacher and friends. My daughter on the other hand, likes to compare her life to the other women in the family.Â
- Childhood Fun
Do you remember the colors in the Crayola box from when you were a kid? Itâ€™s a great conversation starter as you sit down with a child to draw or color. One thing leads to another. Begin by chatting about your memories of art projects and before you know it youâ€™ll be passing along facts and memories of your own childhood as you color within the lines.Â
- Give and Take
In addition to talking, youâ€™ll be listening as your child or grandchild joins in the conversation. Kids are curious about all aspects of life including their predecessors. All it takes is a few moments of time to join them in an activity of their choosing. The last time my Mom visited she sat on the couch next to my son as he played a video game. Within moments he was explaining to her how to work the controls and she was sharing stories of the things she liked to do when she was his age. There was a lot of listening going on.
Take a few moments to share your interest in family history with a child by looking at photographs, telling a tale, or playing a game. If youâ€™re looking for ideas check out the age appropriate activities on the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Youth Committee website, Future Genealogists.Â
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