The recent Church News article “Kids and the ties that bind” describes simple activities you can do with your children to help them learn about their family history.

Here are a few easy ways that parents can integrate stories from their family history into fun activities:

Journal Writing

Parents can create questions or topics to discuss with their children that will help them write about their lives. Help children use their imagination. The prompts and questions can get deeper as children get older.

For example, ask them to explain an experience, ask who their hero is and why, or ask the child to share a time when he or she struggled with a choice and made the right one. Prompts could also include goal setting and plans to achieve those goals.

Leaving pens and paper in a visible place can serve as a reminder of an activity to do during free time.

Coloring Pages

Sharing a family story that coincides with a coloring page is an easy way to help children learn about their ancestor while having fun. Parents could draw simple images that represent family traditions, objects, or places important to your family. Then the children could color them.

Puzzles and Games

Online resources make it easy to create or customize word games, like word searches, double puzzles, fallen phrases, letter tiles, cryptograms, hidden messages, and crossword puzzles. These could be created using family names and places.

A maze could be used to tell a story of when someone was lost or an adventure an ancestor experienced.

You could recreate toys that your grandparents played with, such as whirlygigs, cup and ball, button dolls, kites, paper dolls, flip books, paper airplanes, and panpipes.

Family games could include traditional games like checkers, kick the can, red rover, or marbles.

Family Story Books

Create a book on a specific topic, such as a person, place, or period of time. This can be less intimidating than trying to create an entire family history. Write about a family member who served in the military, create a family cookbook, or write about family vacations. Each book can be a way to document important elements of a family history in a shorter, easier way to read.

A family dictionary can be a fun way to explain expressions and words that family members use.

Technology and Communication

Technology can be a powerful tool. Connect generations using face-to-face storytelling via Skype or Facetime. Record these sessions so you and your children can watch them again.

Learn more in the article “Kids and the ties that bind.”


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