How to Interest Kids in Family History


Tonight my boyfriend and I are babysitting so his cousin can have a night out.  We are watching two kids – “G” who is 20 months old and “A” who is 5 years old.  Both kids absolutely love looking at pictures and learning the stories behind the pictures.

I was showing G pictures of my family that I have posted on Facebook.  He wanted to know everyone’s names.  I noticed he especially liked pictures of babies and toddlers with an adult.  The more I showed him, the more he could identify the basics about the each family.  “Baby” he would say as he pointed to each picture of a baby.  He would point at the adult woman in the picture and ask if she was a “Mama” or a “Grandma”.  We pointed at the pictures of the pets and talked about the sounds the different animals make.

While “A” is also interested in the pictures she wants to know the full story.  “Who is that?” she’d ask.  She then wanted to know how they met and what their wedding was like and who their kids were.  She wanted all of the good details and had lots of questions to ask.

Pictures got both kids interested and while it was only understanding the basics of their family, it plants a seed that will last a lifetime.

Plus it keeps them quiet, distracted and from destroying the house.

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5 responses to “How to Interest Kids in Family History

  1. My son is 20 and is a real military history buff. I frequently point out the connections between my genealogy research and historical events in an attempt to personalize it and interest him in genealogy. Your evening sounds like a great way to interest young children. As a child, I loved to hear childhood stories of my parents and grandparents.

  2. Photographs are always a great way to interest children and even adults in family history. I am glad to hear this worked out well for you. It sounds like you had a good time too.

  3. My almost-five-year-old is my youngest blog reader…because she likes the photos of people from “the olden days.” I’ve also been reading her a chapter from a Little House on the Prairie book each night.

    So far my plan seems to be working…she’s asking more about “her people” from the “olden days” every day. I can’t wait until she learns to read so I can put her to work!
    .-= Kerry´s last blog ..Got Doctors in Your Family Tree? Then You Need This. =-.

  4. My 29 year old Army veteran nephew (but still a “kid” to me LOL) was part of the initial invasion of Iraq after 9/11. Last Christmas, I gave him a framed copy of a photo of my 2x gr-grandfather (his 3x grgf) in his Civil War Union Cavalry uniform. I wrote several pages about this man’s personal history and service and put a copy behind the picture and gave my nephew a copy as part of the gift. Nephew was absolutely blown away (I think especially since there is a strong physical resemblance between the two at that age). The picture hangs in a place of honor in his living room and he loves to tell visitors about “George”. Now every time he sees me, he begs for more family tree stories and is always peppering me with questions. I’ve become a “cool” aunt LOL. Moral of the story: It’s never too late to get “Kids” excited about discovering their family tree.

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