Five ways to get children into family history

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28 September 2018
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child-76279.jpg Family Tree Live children and genealogy
Let's encourage the younger generation to get into genealogy with our top tips on family history for kids.

Let's encourage the younger generation to get into genealogy with our top tips on family history for kids.

 

With the potential for allowing children to create and tell great stories, as well as expressing their creativity and computer know-how, family history is a hobby which can prove really popular with kids. Read our top tips for advice on how to get children into family history.

 

1. Think of a great angle

Light that family history spark by thinking about what interests your child. Do they have a passion for sport or a talent for cookery? Maybe they’re fascinated by wartime stories or love the outdoors.

Your own research should hopefully provide an ancestor who fits the bill and you can use this person to get you started. Talk to your child about the ancestor in question, where that person lived, their profession, any children they had. Don’t feel you have to present everything in one go – a few facts about a hand-picked ancestor will spark that interest and hopefully encourage more questions.

 

2. Find some family history props

Think creatively here and try to find some visual props which will help tell the story of your family’s past. Perhaps you have a military medal or a special piece of jewellery. An old photo or school certificate can help start a conversation about a particular ancestor.

If your child’s studying a particular period in history at school (even the 1970s!) you can relate what they’re learning to events from their own family tree.

 

3. Get creative

There are so many ways to present family history, and again, you can use your child’s skills and interests to help get them involved in a project. Take a look at Pinterest and see how other people have displayed their family tree. Try Scrapbooking for a visual and creative way to display your findings.

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4. Take it online

There are some great resources online, including The Acorn Club, run by Devon Family History Society – aimed at younger genealogists; as well as plenty of family history activities for children from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

 

5. Use the power of storytelling

People of all ages enjoy hearing about other people, so never underestimate the power of storytelling when it comes to family history. You could start with funny or quirky stories from your own childhood and then work in information about older members of the family, going backwards in time with as many interesting facts and stories as you can.

 

Any other ways?

Bring your under 12's along to Family Tree Live for free and let the experts take them on a journey through time. With activities for all ages your child will be given tasks, such as treasure hunting, to show how truly fun family history can be. Once the day is over, why not ask them what they learnt and if there's anything in particular, about their family history they would like to know. If you don't have the answer ask our experts for some help at our workshops and maybe you'll be able to work alongside your child to discover even more.