A classic but excellent genealogy activity for kids is the traditional family tree project, but with a twist. Kids are just as interested in where they came from as anyone is. You just have to make it fun for them to find out, so they will want to find out more. Kids have been making family tree projects for school for generations. This is something you can do at home with them, but with an interesting, modern twist that is sure to keep their interest, and spark their curiosity about their ancestors.
You can do this project with your kids or grandkids either on a traditional paper family tree chart or with online family tree software. The key is to start with the kids. Make them the primary people on the family tree. Do this by pasting photos of the kids at the bottom of the tree (or on the first page of the family tree software). With their pictures there, the kids will be able to physically see how they are connected to the other people on the tree, and will know exactly who came together over the previous generations to make the people who made them. Their pictures will make the kids interested from the beginning of the project.
Be there to help the kids put the tree together. Answer questions, and show them sources online that they will be able to use, according to their age and level of ability, to find answers to other questions and locate new ancestors. Let them check their work with you. When possible, help them locate (or give them) photos of their ancestors to include on the family tree, so they can see the people who they are connected to going deep into the past.
Show them where to find stories about the ancestors on their family tree by looking at old newspaper records, or directing them to older relatives who can tell them stories of people they themselves knew as children. Add these stories to each ancestor on the tree, either in the notes section on the software, or on separate sheets for each ancestor on a paper tree. Give them assistance in making voice recordings of the family members they interview, as well. You are assisting them in making an interactive, intimately personal family tree. This is a tree they can take pride in making.
When you have assisted them in doing the family tree for as long as you’ve planned (or as long as they want to, or as far back in time as you can easily assist them in going with online records), the fun modern twist is sharing it with the extended family on social media. You can either help them make a website to showcase the paper tree, photos, and voice recordings, or upload the entire thing with the extra media to a family tree site, then direct their relatives on social media to it so they can enjoy it, as well. Allow the kids, with supervision, to answer questions from other relatives about their ancestors. The kids will love showing off their work to the family, and will take a lot of pride in being the “expert” on the family tree in their online discussions.