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Fun and Easy Family Projects

Often it's the little things that we remember most...

Help Your Children Develop an Interest in Genealogy: Here are some ideas that are fun and Family History oriented:

Celebrate an ancestor's birthday: Learn all that you can about your ancestor and what life was like during the period of their life and share it with your children while you celebrate. Find a map of the world: Mark each place that you know that your ancestors once lived. This would work well on a map of the United States as well.

Go to the local library: Ask the children's librarian to help you find information on toys and games that children played in America, or in a country from which your ancestor's immigrated from, 100 years ago.

Teach your children how to cook a dish that you may have learned from your parents or grand parents. Let the little ones help too. Tell them what things were like around the time that you learned how to make it.

Start a New Family Tradition

You might think about Holiday traditions at first. I love mom's traditional holiday dishes or our family outings to get the Christmas tree and look at the lights on the way home. I remember my father throwing gravel on the roof while ringing sleigh bells.

He would race into the house to be sitting casually in the chair as if nothing had happened when I ran down the hall yelling "I heard Santa on the roof!" He would have to fight to keep a straight face.

After I grew older I would play along with him for my younger brother and sister. Yes, it was silly. But it sure was fun. I'll do the same thing to my children the first chance that I get. These are some of the "traditions" in my family. They are simple but truly treasured memories for me.

But, it doesn't have to be a holiday to make a family tradition. What are your habits, hobbies and interests? Maybe you like to grow tomatos in your garden. You might make the traditional "Family Salsa" with your children or spouse. Be sure to tell them that it's an "official" tradition.

Think of any activity, any season, or anything that is special to you and yours that you really enjoy. Make it a tradition. Do it each year and enjoy the time spent with your family. What you do may be passed down for many generations to come!

Brighten Someone's Day Day: In today's busy world it's hard to keep in touch with loved ones. Maybe you live near aunts, uncles, cousins or friends that you don't see very much. Get your family together and make or buy a thoughtful inexpensive gift. Bake cookies, pick something from the garden or make a home-made card. It doesn't matter what the gift is. Just make sure that the whole family has a part in helping to make or think about who to see and what to give.

If your family wants to send small gifts and tokens of love to distant relatives you can make this a home project and it will be great! But, it is really touching to visit with your loved ones when you "brighten" their day. Especially for younger children.

Pick a day and time when you know that most of your loved ones will be home. You might want to call first and explain that you will be stopping by for a very quick visit. Just give it to them on the doorstep if you want. The key is to visit as many as possible. If you have someone to visit for longer than a few minutes, you put them on the end of the list.

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