Helping your child at home
Encouraging History at Home
You can develop and promote the child Historian within your own home. Here are some easy activities you can encourage your child to do:
- Interview a relative and ask them about the past.
Your child’s interests can guide the questions. If your child loves animals, ask the grandparent about the pets they have had throughout their life or encounters they have had with animals. If your child is interested in cooking, they can ask about family recipes or memories associated with food. To keep it simple for young children, they can ask about their grandparent’s favorite things (What is your favorite food, book, ice cream, song, etc?) This helps them to see what “favorite things” they have in common and how they are different. Some children might like to have the questions written on cards or on a list to use during the interview.
- Create a Family Tree.
Creating a family tree can help children visually understand that they are part of something greater than themselves.
- Solve a Mystery.
The object of the quest might involve finding an ancestor’s parents’ names, occupation, or date of birth, death or marriage. It may be helpful to give the child a mystery that you have already solved so you can guide them through the process and ensure that they can succeed and feel the excitement of solving the puzzle.
- Plan a family event with many generations attending.
A family reunion can be as simple as a family Zoom meetup, or as elaborate as an extended trip to a place where other family members live. It’s important to remember that family reunions aren’t just for the adults. Get the kids engaged and let them plan out the activities and games that get them curious about their family history.
Some great games include:
*Family Bingo: Place names and/or faces of family members or ancestors on the bingo board.
*Create a Skit: Turn a family story into a skit by having kids put on a performance. You can also record it to watch later and share with family.
*Dress Up: Dress up in old-fashioned clothes and take fun photos.
Go on a photo hunt.
Children can ask family members (grandparents, grandparents’ siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins) what family photos they have. The more people they ask, the more they will find. Ask for physical or digital copies.