In the article What Does Your Child’s Self Esteem Have To Do With Family History? We learn how children’s self-esteem can increase through family history. Research has found that children who know their family stories have a higher self-esteem, stronger self-control, lower anxiety, fewer behavioral problems, and function better in a family.
The study pointed out that it’s not just knowing family history that’s important. It's the process of talking with adults and learning the family narrative that leads to these positive outcomes.
Family history not only bridges children to the past but also shapes your child’s future! How can you get creative in having open conversations about family stories? Here are 21 fun family history activities to get the conversation rolling!
1. Make an “About Me” collage out of pictures from old magazines.
2. Watch the video: Preserve Your Photos and Family Memories
3. Decorate your home with the colors of your ancestors’ flag. If you have Italian ancestors, use green, red, and white.
4. Celebrate holidays like Mother’s Day or Christmas by making presents that were popular during your grandparents’ time.
5. Discuss and plan to plant a heritage garden with flowers and vegetables your grandparents might have had in their gardens.
6. Create a calendar with birthdays of special ancestors. Celebrate with a party and tell stories that demonstrate some of their personality traits.
7. Dress up and act out family stories to help bring ancestors to life.
8. Learn about a distant relative's homeland, including the area’s history and traditions.
9. Learn about games and music that were popular when and where your ancestors lived and try them out with your children.
10. Keep a photo record of family traditions you’re creating now. Remember, building family unity is what family history is really all about.
11. Invite two or three families from church to your home for ice cream “Sundays” and talk about your ancestors' favorite Sunday traditions.
12. Use Google Street View Maps and show children the street their grandparents or great grandparents lived on. Show them what the house looked liked and discover stories about what they did for fun.
13. Discover some of your grandparents' talents and set some goals to help you develop that talent.
14. As a family, design a crest, emblem or logo that reflects your family heritage, then display it on a family banner. When it is complete, unfurl it during family home evenings or other special family occasions.
15. Make a scroll story about a favorite family story with butcher paper and two sticks.
16. Make a favorite personal family story come to life with a shoebox diorama.
17. Make a family storybook: Everyone picks a memory, draws their version of it, and writes a short summary about it. After all family history starts with us!
18. Choose a picture of an ancestor, copy the photo then cut it into pieces to make a puzzle! Have fun talking about this ancestor while putting it together. Mount the photo on heavy cardboard with rubber cement. The smaller the pieces the harder the puzzle is. Store it in a box.
19. Take a walk down memory Lane: Watch old home movies, with great-grandparents and relatives in it.
20. Learn about the traditions and foods eaten by your ancestors. Find a meal you like & have fun making and sharing a meal!
21. Have a story swap. Each member of the family must have a story of courage or valor to swap about a relative. Group the older children with the younger ones.
These ideas and more can be found in “1000+ Activities to Enrich Your Sabbath” eBook found on www.tencowsinc.com.
Lead picture from Getty Images
Lesley and Phil are the husband and wife team behind Ten Cows, Inc. The idea for the site came when they were trying to find Sabbath-appropriate activities for their young son and they decided to develop a kid-friendly app that provided easy access to uplifting videos. Since then they have also written 250+ Activities To Enrich Your Sabbath Day, a free eBook full of ideas for families trying to keep the Sabbath day holy.