Maegan Kasteler | Nov 14, 2018

Family History for All Ages: Family

This is the fourth blog in a series of 4 blog posts designed to help you find fun ways for those of all ages to get involved in family history. Read the post for kids here, teens here, and adults here.

Closing off our series Family History for All Ages, here are some activities you can do as a whole family to make family history fun.

Make a Family Crest

The first thing to do is pick a shape. You can go with the traditional shield or be creative. Maybe your family crest is a diamond, or a circle, or even a square.

From here you can choose to decorate it as a family or split the crest into sections, so everybody has a section that represents themselves.

Next, sit down as a family, discuss what things are the most important to your family unit, and create a family motto if you don’t already have one. You can even take your family motto, use a tool such as Google Translate, and translate your motto into your ancestral language. Your surname and motto should feature prominently on your crest.

After developing your motto, you can move on to decorating your crest. Again, think about those things that are important, brainstorm ways those can be graphically represented, and then think of the colors you want to use and symbols you might want to include.

Once it’s done you have a great heirloom to hang proudly in your home.

Create Home Videos

It's that easy! Take out the camera and film. Nothing is too mundane or unimportant. The day-to-day happenings of your family can be a great addition to your family history. You can even let your kids turn the camera on you.

Use these opportunities to showcase your family and everything that makes you unique. For fear of sounding like a broken record, make sure you back up your videos in case your originals are destroyed.

Celebrate an Ancestor’s Birthday

Everyone loves a good birthday party, but have you ever had one for an ancestor? Use it as an opportunity to do some research, find an ancestor’s birthday, and get to planning. Look for ways to incorporate your ancestor’s history into your celebration. Perhaps you can create a traditional dish your ancestor may have enjoyed, you may even find one of their recipes. You could try dressing up like your ancestor would have dressed, you can even use the chance to tell stories of your ancestor and their family.

Host a Fun Family Reunion

That may seem like an oxymoron, a fun family reunion when they are known for being awkward and stale. But, believe it or not, it is possible to have a fun family reunion. Here are some ideas to put the fun back in your family reunion:

  • Play ball! Pull out the bocce ball set, and have a tournament. Play softball or soccer or cricket, but whatever you do, get out and play.
  • Host a family talent show.
  • Turn a popular game show into family history trivia.
  • Play family reunion bingo. Create bingo cards that have facts and characteristics instead of traditional numbers. Once the reunion is started, distribute the cards, and while everyone is mingling and catching up, they can look for people who fit those facts and characteristics. Each square can include things like: owns a cat, has danced on a stage, has traveled to Europe, can wiggle their ears (they must show you), has freckles, or dislikes clowns.
  • Host a cooking contest. You can also use it as a chance to compile an extended family cookbook.
  • Create a time capsule.
  • Record oral histories.
  • Create skits of stories from your family history.
  • Play minute to win it games.
  • Take a family photo.

Have other ideas to get the whole family involved in family history? Share with us on Twitter! Tag @RootsTechConf.

Maegan Kasteler

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