19/07/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Family history for kids

1d1654a4-9594-473a-b6cd-a6e9512b5d9b

Get the children in your life into genealogy with our tips and tricks for involving your child in discovering their family history.

As family history enthusiasts, many of us are only too keen to share our research findings with anyone who’ll listen, keeping family and friends entertained and updated with the latest snippets and scandals from our family tree.

Join the Family Tree community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter
Discover Family Tree magazine‚Äč

But what about younger members of the family? Might they also be interested in hearing about their ancestors if we approached the topic from a different slant?

Ignite that spark of interest

There’s no point in spending hours preparing a family history for your child if they hardly give it a second glance. A little preparation beforehand can mean that the project will go down a treat. Think about the interests of the child in question and which ancestor might appeal. Do they love the outdoors? Or perhaps they’re a big fan of baking? One of your forebears should prove a match, perhaps through their profession, location or military service. You don’t have to present all of your findings in one go – consider telling the story of just one ancestor to begin with.

Use props

To foster an interest in the family’s history, talk to your child about their ancestors in the same way that you would about living people. Use a memory or an old photo album to spark a conversation and take it from there. The more natural it feels, the more likely it is that the story will go down well.

You could also find out what period of history your child’s studying at school and see if there are any links to your own family’s story. The Industrial Revolution, World War I… even the 1970s are now considered as history for school kids. By telling related stories, your child will start to realise that their ancestors were part of the history they read about in books and on the internet.

Get creative with your family history

If you decide to write up the family’s story for a child, don’t feel that you have to ‘dumb down’ the history, just make it as visually appealing as possible. Photos, drawings, postcards and small boxes of text will draw a child into the history, just as they would an adult.

If you’d like to include a family tree, consider using a chart designed for children to show the relationships between the generations in an attractive but simple way. You can find some great examples at Family Tree Templates.

Family history for kids - top tips

  • Use the power of storytelling to encourage your child to think about the family’s past
  • Don’t feel confined to a chronological approach – highlight whichever ancestors will prove of most interest
  • Include humorous and quirky stories wherever possible – family history is fun!
  • Type ‘family history for children’ into Pinterest for great, visual ideas on presenting your family’s story
  • Genealogy for Children on the Genwriters blog
  • Family tree fan and pedigree charts at Scholastic 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image copyright Jimmy_Joe)

Back to "Family history tips & advice" Category

19/07/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Nothing compares to meeting blood relatives

Anne Wilkinson from Stonehewer to Stanier Society talks to us about their One-Name Study. ...


Taking research further: Suffolk FHS

Howard King, Chairman of the Ipswich branch of the Suffolk FHS tells us more about helping people take ...


Reaching & serving the community

Alan Thwaites from Hastings and Rother FHS (HRFHS) tells us how they help people with their family history ...


New name, new future

Jackie Cotterill talks about the future for the previously named Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy ...


Other Articles

Out and about: Northern Ireland FHS

Maeve Rogan from the Northern Ireland FHS talks to us about the events the NIFHS participates in. ...


Learn more: Ormskirk and District FHS

Kate Hurst from Ormskirk and District FHS tells us how the society helps their members learn more about ...


Learning from each other- Guild of One-Name Studies

Paul Howes talks to us about the Guild of One-Name Studies in this expert blog ...


At work in a society research centre

Sue Bond from Devon FHS tells us about working in a society research centre. ...