July 16, 2007
Ancestor Cards for Children
Recently I've been mulling over how to present the genealogy I've done on our family so that it would grab my 9 year old grandson's attention. My good friend Illya of Genealogy Today suggested I use a baseball or hockey card format with one ancestor per card.
I loved the idea and created cards 6 cm x 9 cm. Each card features one ancestor's picture or a picture representing that ancestor. The back of each card has ancestor stats - their relationship to my grandchildren, date and place of birth, date and place of death, spouse's name, parents' names and a tiny blurb about that person (hopefully something unique or of interest to an 9 year old!)
After laminating the cards, I presented them to my grandson and granddaughter (who is 7) when they came for their annual summer week long holiday with us. They loved them and not only read every bit of information about each ancestor, they began figuring out who was the oldest ancestor.... who died at the oldest age... who died at the youngest age... which parents went with which ancestor.. and so on.
Then they decided to play a game, which we called simply "Ancestor Game". They each chose an ancestor card and played it, with whoever had the furthest back ancestor winning both cards. The next day they begged me to make more cards!! I now have 48 cards made for them with many more to go. To add even more interest I also created cards that were not direct ancestors, but had some small claim to fame or something historical or interesting to a child. Thank goodness for my Family Tree Maker Genealogy Program which tells me if a person is a 3rd cousin 5x removed or something else!
We decided I should also make double cards wherever possible, that is, two cards for one ancestor but with different photos or representative pictures on each one. Then they can play "Go Fish for Ancestors".
It was a genealogist's dream come true - for 5 days they asked for "more ancestor stories please Grandma!" and "Can you make us more Ancestor Cards?" When their mom called to see how they were doing, the first words out of my grandson's mouth were "Mom, you won't believe about one of our ancestors!" and he proceeded to quote from the Ancestor Cards.
I thought I'd like to share this in case you are looking for something to capture your little one's interest, because it was fabulous and my grandchildren loved it!