by guest author
(Sue always has interesting articles on her blog - http://granitegenealogy.blogspot.ca/ )
I thought I would share a ward activity we held last week. Our Bishop feels strongly that a ward activity is just that — for the ward, including children. I put together a round robin of classes on Saturday beginning at 5:30 pm. That’s important because of the children.
I had 5 stops and each stop was in a different room at the church. I made rotating handouts so that we could start everyone at the same time but in different rooms. I tried to focus the families with small children into the (1) “food” room first and then move on from there. I had a class on indexing (2), one on using the Fan Chart and new FamilySearch (3), one on Involving children in genealogy (4), and one on the “gathering” portion of family history (5) (unique ways of gathering information from family and building your story). We only had 20 minutes each – so about 15 minutes in each class with a few minutes to change rooms. Two of the classes were taught by our YM and YW who I had been working with.
In every room I had a table in the back of the room with activities for the children of the parents who were attending the class. This kept the families together but the children were occupied. I also used YW to teach the various games in each room.
Our Primary President put together and taught the class on “involving children in genealogy” and also put together the activities for each room. All of them were family history related in some way. For example, one of the activities for the children was looking for things in the Where’s Waldo books. As each child found what they were looking for, she gave them a census record and had them look for a name. It was so fun. In her room she used the object lesson of brushing your hair without bending your arm at the elbow. This taught the children about using a proxy to get the job done.
What surprised me the most was the families that attended were mostly the young families with children! And they had the best things to say. They were so exciting to be able to learn about family history without having to worry about their children or chase them around. The whole activity was over in about 90 minutes. And the adults were so impressed that the youth were teaching.
The bishop later told me that he went home and discussed the activity with his children and he was so surprised at all the concepts they learned. Great activity.