Understanding the past can help us unlock the future. When studying your own ancestry, you engage with history in a personal way. It can be difficult to make children excited about these topics, even though it is important for them to understand their cultural history. However, there are many ways you can get your kids excited to learn about their genealogy.
Start a Coin Collection
It’s no secret that children love playing with tangible objects. Starting a coin collection with coins from your ancestors’ countries of origin will allow your kids to hold a piece of history in their hands. This can really help them feel more connected to the past. You can even have them put themselves in your ancestors’ shoes by encouraging them to imagine what people might have used the coins for. This will help make the history come alive for them.
Visit a Museum
Getting kids excited about history is all about relating it to their lives. If there’s a nearby museum exhibit about the country or time period of your ancestors, spend an afternoon with your family wandering around it. Not only will it be educational, but it’s a fun way to get out of the house and away from technology for a day. Make sure to relate the things you see back to your own family members. This experience will be more memorable than just reading history in a book, and you never know what artifact will pique their interest.
Create Family Portraits
Drawing is an excellent way for children to learn about the world around them. You might not have any pictures of your relatives, so encourage your children to draw them. Allow them to guess what they think each ancestor looked like and what kind of clothes they wore. You can even have them draw what kind of houses they think they lived in. After everyone has finished their drawings, create a family tree out of the portraits. Your children will feel a sense of pride every time they look at it.
Take a Trip
If you really want to foster a love of genealogy in your children, take them on a trip to see important family locations of the past. This can be as simple as driving by the old house you grew up in, or as major as flying to another country. Experiencing life in a different place will help put your family’s history in context for your children. Look for opportunities to experience life in the same way as your ancestors would have, like attending cultural festivals or trying local cuisine. As a bonus, you’ll also have the opportunity to do even more genealogy research while you’re travelling. It’s a win-win!
Genealogy is one of the most interesting things you can study, but it can be hard to get kids excited about history. By thinking of creative ways to engage them, you can make history come alive for your children while fostering a life-long love of learning.