Those who spend hours doing genealogy research typically find it to be fun and fascinating. Genealogists understand how all those pieces of information form a picture of an ancestor’s life. Children, however, may not be old enough to grasp that concept. Older kids might see your research as a lot of “homework”. There are some ways to get kids interested in genealogy.
Pick a recipe that has been handed down to you from an ancestor. Have your child help make that recipe with you. It could be a special type of cake that grandmother used to make. Or, it could be a meal that was commonly served in the country where your ancestor’s originated from.
While you prepare the food, share your own memories about eating this food when you were younger. Teach your child about the person the recipe came from.
Make a Coloring Page
ReallyColor can turn your photos into coloring pages. You can upload one family photo to ReallyColor for free. (After that, you will need to buy photo credits to add more photos.) Pick a family photo of an ancestor that you want your child to know about.
Let your child color the page. While he or she is coloring, you can talk about who the person they are coloring is. Bring up things like how that person is related to your child. Tell some stories about that ancestor’s life.
Magnetic Family Tree
Print out some photos of your ancestors onto “regular” printer paper. You can turn that portrait into a magnet by gluing it onto a piece of cardboard. Glue a magnet onto the back.
Attach a simplistic paper tree, with the appropriate number of branches, to your refrigerator. Your child can now play a game – match the ancestors to their spot on the family tree. This activity could help them understand how each person is related to each other. Add more ancestor magnets when needed.
Stickers on a Map
Some of your relatives might live in the same state that you do. You also might have relatives that live all across the country – or around the world. Kids can have fun learning about where their family lives by using stickers and a map.
First, you are going to need a map of the United States, or a world map. These can easily be obtained from bookstores and stores that sell things that teachers need. If all else fails, an old atlas might work.
Put the name of an ancestor on a blank sticker. Tell your child a little bit about that person’s life and how that person is related to your child. Point out on the map where that ancestor lived. Let your child place the sticker. This activity can be added to if your child enjoys it. Some kids might want to sit and look at the map after the activity is over.
Image by Justin Grimes on Flickr
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