1. Anytime Activities and Games
Overview: You can experience the joys of family history ... on the go, in the car, in the air, at family gatherings and mealtimes, or simply when you need comfort or courage. Learm more about the benefits of family history wherever you go.
- The Family History Fun Basket—
1. Find a basket, jar, or hat to use.
2. Look for "no-prep" activities and games on this page and select the ones that your family will like.
3. Write down the activities on slips of paper and put them in the container.
4. When it's time for a family history activity, have a family member draw an activity slip for the family to do.
5. Have the container ready for use at any given time and enjoy spontaneous or planned family history time.
- Share Stories—
Use the AlltheStories app on FamilySearch. Learn more here. Or, use stories you've recorded or ones in FamilySearch Memories, Ancestry, MyHeritage, etc.
- Google Maps/Google Earth—
View and share memories of family history sites, travels, missions, houses (countries, counties, etc.) where family members have lived (or now live), etc. Try Google Earth here.
Also, check out this creative approach: Street View Stories.
- Autobiography Game Night—
Help your children learn storytelling skills, with 20 Storytelling Activities for Kids.
- Ancestor Look-Alike—
Have an Ancestor Look-Alike activity.
- Childhood Photos, Part 2—
Recreate childhood photos, like in these examples.
- Ancestor Skits—
Re-enact your ancestors' stories Home Movie Challenge.
- Home Movie Challenge—
Take the Home Movie Challenge to make a home movie about your family history.
- Create and Share Family Recipes—
See the Share Your Family’s Food Story blog post on FamilySearch.
2. Plan-Ahead Activities
Overview: These activities take some planning and preparation, but they are well worth the memories that can be created for your family members.
- Ancestor Guessing Game
1. Decide on the ancestors whose stories you want to include for the game. You can find stories from your personal collections, or sometimes online. As a shorter option, you can study just the vital facts for the ancestor.
2. Study the stories or vital facts for the ancestors.
3. Draw an ancestor's name out of a hat.
4. When it is your turn, act out something (using words is OK) that person would do or say.
5. The person who guesses who it is gets to portray his or her ancestor next, but only after the actor tells more of the story about the ancestor portrayed.
6. Optional: Capture the portrayals on video for more fun!
- Field Trips—
Here are some suggestions for planning and taking a successful family history field trip.
- Family History Discovery Center—
Learn about the new Discovery Center in Salt Lake. Many other family history centers have smaller interactive centers as well.
- Reunion Video—
Check out this video to see how one family incorporated family history into their family reunion.
- Family History Reunions—
Here are 10 great ideas for your next family history reunion.
- More Reunion Ideas—
10 more ideas, courtesy of the Lisa Louise Cook website.
3. Making Family History
Overview: One of the joys of family history is making it personal to your family. These activities help you put your own stamp on your family history and make it memorable.
4. Documenting the Past
Overview: Now is the time to capture memories from the past, for the benefit of current and future generations. Modern technology makes this easier and a lot of fun!
5. Social Media Activities
Overview: Social media can bring a family together in ways never thought of in years past. It is an excellent tool for finding family members and making connections, keeping in touch, sharing items such as photos, printed materials, and videos, teaming up for research, and much more. See how these ideas can help you go digital!
- Social Media Ideas—
Here are four ways to use social media with family history activities.
Create a family Pinterest board.
- Family Hashtag—
Establish a family hashtag with tips from this article.
- Create a Facebook Family History Page—
Follow the steps in this FamilySearch blog post to create your own Facebook page for family history.
- See Project 7, Goal 3 in The Family History Guide for more information about using social media in family history.
6. Service Activities
Overview: Helping others connect with their family history can be a rewarding and fun way to serve others. One act of service may inspire another, especially when it involves family history. Here are some examples of what you can do:
- Cemeteries and smartphones—
Organize an activity to capture cemetery information with smartphones and the Billion Graves website.
Learn more here.
- Give the Gift of Family History—
Here are five ways to share family history with others.
- Do a Family History Interview—
Record, transcribe, and post the interview in FamilySearch Memories. To get started, read this Facebook post on holding family history interviews.
- Story Room—
Visit the Story Room at a local family history center. For a list of locations, click here.
- Index as a Family—
Do indexing as a family, so others will be able to find their ancestors in the records you index. To get started with web indexing, see Project 5 in The Family History Guide.
7. Activities for Research
Overview: In this era there are some great aids available to help you do your family history online.
- The Family History Guide Tracker—
Use the Online Tracker or Word Tracker sheets to help you keep tracking of your learning progress as you do research. Invite family members to check off what they have learned to do, and work toward goals.
- Add to Your Tree—
Add family member information on FamilySearch, MyHeritage, Ancestry, or Findmypast.
Use The Family History Guide to discover your Learning Path.
- Use Mobile Apps—
Read this article for tips on doing your family history on the go.
8. LDS Family History Activities
Overview: Family history activities make fun memories while establishing connections to the past. Enjoying them together can bring families a sense of purpose and unity in doing family history work. Family history activities can and should help lead families to the temple. (See Mormon.org.)