Hooking the Younger Generation on Family History

20/02/2017
Are you using Family Day to work on your family history? Or are you taking a break to spend time with living family members, and maybe even share some family history stories with them?  It can be a challenge, though, to pry the younger members of the clan from their social media screens long enough to interest them in the exploits of past generations.  Here are some suggestions for catching their attention:
 
For the very young, stories about families and intergenerational bonds will increase their awareness of the importance of family, and give you a starting point for telling them about people in their own family tree.  At OPL, several branches have held "Family Tree" storytimes this month, with books and crafts that illustrate the importance of all kinds of families. Our reading lists suggest titles you can borrow to read with your own young relatives:
 
If your family includes pre-teens and teens, Janet Few's book Harnessing the Facebook Generation: Ideas for Involving Young People in Family History and Heritage will give you lots of ideas for activities to engage this age group.  
 
And many genealogy websites and blogs include sections on activities for young people. Some of my favourites are  Lorine McGinnis Schulze's posts at Olive Tree Genealogy about some very creative efforts to involve her grandchildren in genealogy, and Janice Nickerson's article on 7 Fun Genealogy Games for Kids.  FamilySearch.org, a go-to for any kind of genealogy question, includes a page called Involve Children and Youth in Family History.  The blog Family Locket provides a useful Web Index of Family HIstory Ideas for Children and Teens.  These and other websites cover a wide range of activities, from online and hi-tech to "old-fashioned" crafts, games, and outdoor activities.  One of the coolest ideas of all, in my opinion, comes from a Family Tree Magazine article on How to Make a Genealogy Coloring Book from family photos.  Along with Batman and Disney princesses, why not colour pictures of Great Grandpa in his army uniform, or Grandma and Grandpa's wedding day?  
 
All these ideas may be so much fun you won't have time for genealogy research!
Image: Harnessing the Facebook Generation

Harnessing the Facebook Generation

Ideas for Involving Young People in Family History and Heritage
By Few, Janet