Want to get the little ones in your family interested in genealogy? We’re introducing part three of our weekly series for the month of October in honor of Family History Month with creative ideas to engage the little ones in your family about family history.
If you have a future journalist on your hands or an older child, challenge them to capture interviews with different family members. This lesson in family history extends beyond your family and also shares valuable lessons on history local to your town or even the world.
For interview questions, visit our handy PDF with suggested interview questions to use when interviewing your family members. We would recommend recording these interviews so you have them forever; there’s nothing that can replace the sound of a grandparent’s voice.
If you’re looking for clues on relatives who have passed away, consider having them answer these questions to help piece together what their ancestors life was like.
- What kind of clothes and hats did they wear in those days?
- What kind of houses did people typically live in at that time?
- Did they have electricity, indoor plumbing, appliances?
- What games did they play when they were young?
- What was the main entertainment? Circus? Plays?
- What did people eat? (Asking about dessert can have surprising answers!)
- What kinds of toys did kids play with when their ancestor was young?
- What kind of music or dancing was popular?
- Who was president when that person was born? Who did they first vote for in a presidential election? What historical events happened when they were young?
2. Family Board Game
This is the ultimate activity for family game night! This personalized board game uses multiple trivia questions on game cards for each family member and a board game template, just like Monopoly or Candy Land. You can find this creative idea at Photo Gifts and Ideas, which has helpful how-to instructions on creating your very own board game + FREE templates you can download.
I plan to create a few of these and play with my family at our next family reunion.
3. Create Personal Timelines
This was an exercise my history teacher had us do in Middle School and I found it so valuable that I’ve saved it all these years. We were instructed to add our personal timeline to one side and include important historical events on the other side. Since I was only 13, you can see that I added the most important events in my life at the time like my little brother being born and getting my first dog. Creating my personal timeline helped me pay attention to current and historical events at a younger age, but the best part now is that I have this adorable timeline that I hope to show my kids someday.
What fun or creative activities are you doing with the children in your family to get them excited about family history? Tell us in the comments below!