Posted by Ancestry Team on July 1, 2016 in In The Community


My name is Carissa and I love family history! Being a young mom takes all my energy. Most days, I feel like I can’t even get the dishes done let alone do anything for myself.

Doing family history was so far off the radar, I wasn’t even considering that I would have time for it until my kids were all grown.  I had plenty of family already working on it so my focus would remain on my present family. I’m sure many of you can relate! However, after my grandpa passed away two years ago, I felt a small little fire of interest burn to start asking questions and writing them down. I quickly found that there wasn’t as much work done as I previously thought and with apps and technology I was able to search, preserve, and share all from my home. I’m so excited about all the ways I’m involving my young kids in their history.

Here are a couple summer boredom buster activities you can do to get talking about your history with your kids,

1. Get out the old photos and paint! We grabbed photos of my grandparents and tried to paint their portraits.

Getting them doing something while I shared stories about what was happening in the photos made for a memorable experience that lasted much longer than I anticipated. It was a very fun way to talk about the people in the photos as they tried to paint what they saw. We talked about The Great Depression, why little boys wore girl hats sometimes and why all the old photos were in black and white.


Obviously, the more skilled the artist the more realistic the art can be! I’d also recommend you use some sort of cover to protect from paint getting on your priceless family photos or you may prefer making copies of your precious family memories.


2. If you like spending time in the kitchen with your kids, make grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookies or another family favorite recipe and talk about the history of the recipe. My mom used to make the same basic recipe for any cookie and then just added in what cookie they were going to be that day, like oatmeal raisin, or chocolate chip.


I told my kids about what it was like to come home from school and see a plate of cookies ready to munch on as we discussed our day and if they wanted to continue that tradition. I also shared how making these exact cookies was the very first recipe I learned to make completely from scratch by myself.


And of course we had fun eating them together!


3. One of my kids favorite activities was painting themselves as a peg doll!



We used this time to talk about how much we love being a family and what family activities we should do this summer. We talked about why we live here on earth and how blessed we are to live in a family. Many of our blessings come as a direct result of the sacrifice of our ancestors so we could have what we have today.


If you want more ideas be sure to check us out on Instagram @familyhistorymodernized and get more craft ideas, like the peg doll painting kits at Family History Modernized.

Ancestry has joined forces with the creative gals at @FamilyHistoryModernized and our friends at Chatbooks to offer the best cure for summer boredom…family history!

Throughout the month of July, we’ll be asking you to share Instagram photos of your family memories, snapshots of heirlooms, photographs or family history research you’re doing – all in hopes of inspiring others. 

Visit our Instagram page, @Ancestry for entry details and your chance to win!


  1. Shelley

    Loved this! Thank you. I keep “intending” to do a family recipe book but in the meantime how wonderful to just make the family recipes with my grandkids and tell them stories about their great great-grandmother!

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