Involving your preschooler in family history work can be fun, simple, and very rewarding! Here are three simple ways to involve your preschooler in family history!
Thank you to BonCom Influencers and FamilySearch International for sponsoring this post.
Growing up, my mom was always very involved in family history work. If you aren’t sure what that is, family history is exactly what it sounds like; the history of your family. It is searching for the records and stories of your family members who have passed on, and then recording that information so others can find it, too. For my mom, this meant lots of hours on the computer and in libraries looking at microfilm, and for us, long road trips to old cemeteries so my mom could find graves of long-lost ancestors.
I never really “got it” until I got older and realized how important my own family is, and how much fun it is to learn about your ancestors. My grandparents all passed away before my children were born, but my husband’s grandparents are all still alive and have been able to spend time with our kids. I want to start teaching my kids about the family members they never got to meet now so that they will always have a desire to learn more about their ancestors who have passed on.
Today I want to share three ways to involve your preschooler in family history work, as well as talk about a very special worldwide event that is taking place this weekend that you can all get involved with, too.
First, let’s talk about involving your preschooler in family history work. It definitely doesn’t have to be complicated and obviously your preschooler isn’t going to be doing any researching on the computer, so what can they do to get involved? Here are three ideas of things you can do with them:
1. Create a family tree. I’m not talking about a family tree with names and dates and lots of words. I’m talking about a simple picture family tree! I decided to put together this fun little printable for you guys (personal use only). All you have to do is put pictures of your own family members in the squares.
I wanted my son to see how big his family really was, and talk about parents and grandparents, including ones who have passed on. He loved looking at the pictures and following the lines to see who was connected and what moms and dads went with what kids. It’s a very simple thing to make, but it is a great way to show your preschooler a basic family tree that they’ll understand.
2. Show them pictures of family members who have passed on. Like I said, my grandparents all passed away before my kids were born. My son knows all of his paternal great-grandparents, but none of his maternal great-grandparents. So my mom kindly sent over a bunch of pictures and my son and I looked at all of them together and talked about each person. I showed him my dad’s parents and my mom’s parents, and let him really study the pictures. It was sweet to see him looking at the pictures because some of the people he had never seen pictures of before! And it helped him to see that he has a lot of great-grandparents who love him, even if they aren’t alive today!
3. Tell them stories about their ancestors. The activity I enjoyed doing the most with my son was telling him stories about the great-grandparents and one great-great-grandma he hadn’t met. He loved hearing that his Great-Grandpa Allred was a bus driver and loved baseball and that his Great-Grandma Allred was a painter. He also loved that his Great-Grandpa Clement used to lay bricks and build windows and that his Great-Grandma Clement loved to read books and was a nurse. I also told him about his Great-Great-Grandma Sampson who used to let my sister and I eat whipped cream out of the container by the spoonful. Telling him about each family member helped him to connect to them more, even if it was just a little bit.
Getting your preschooler involved in family history work can really be a lot of fun. I know it sounds kind of intimidating and maybe even boring, but it was a really sweet experience and I can’t wait to do more of it with him as he gets older.
Since FamilySearch was introduced in 2008, volunteers have made over one billion historic records searchable online, and the demand for indexed records continues to grow as millions of historical records are added every year. If you’re looking for a way to make a difference, something to do for a few hours, or even a fun date night idea, join 72,000 teammates in saving the world’s records. You won’t regret it, and you might even find you have a knack for indexing records!
To learn more or to get started, visit https://familysearch.org/worldsrecords today!
And don’t forget to start getting your preschooler involved with family history now!