Scrapbooking is an excellent and fun genealogy project for kids, and it allows them to spend some quality time with the grownup genealogists in their lives, too. It can also be an activity kids do on their own, to keep them entertained while giving them downtime from the online world while also encouraging an interest in genealogy. Putting together a genealogy scrapbook is a wonderful summertime or school holiday activity, and is one that kids of all ages are sure to enjoy, since it allows for the expression of a lot of individual creativity.
There are a number of themed genealogy scrapbooks that you can arrange for your child or grandchild to assemble. Scrapbooks about them, their immediate family, their extended family, their more recent ancestors, and their distant ancestors are some themes. Doing scrapbooks on ancestors who lived during different periods in time, famous ancestors (whether worldwide or locally famous), and ancestors who lived in certain states or countries are other ideas. You can also get really creative and go outside of your own family by encouraging your child to put together a scrapbook on the family of their favorite celebrity, a historical figure, or even the genealogy of their favorite fictional character (when the character has established relatives, they can be used, and the child can use his or her imagination to create a family for them beyond the ones that are known in the story).
All you need to get started is a commercial scrapbook from a hobby store, or even some blank sheets of paper and a three-ring binder. You will also probably need some tape or glue, scissors, and markers or colored pens or pencils. If you want to get really creative in the artistic department with your kids, you can include scrapbooking accessories like stamps, borders, buttons, stickers, bows, bells, yarn, divets, and other types of scrapbook decorations.
Keep a laptop or tablet nearby, where you can help the child research the family of the person they are scrapbooking (or just let them use their imaginations for fictional characters…though you may want to keep a computer nearby to look up facts on that character). Begin on the first page with the subject of the scrapbook. Include photos where available, or have the child draw a photo of what they think that person or character would look like. Write in little facts about the person on the page in creative places, using interesting writing styles of script. Subsequent pages should go back one generation each, following as many lines of the family as you want to. It can be just one line, or all lines, if you are ambitious. To protect the pages, put them in archival quality sheet protectors. This will also help them fit in the binder without having to use a hole punch on the paper.
With creative placement of pictures and decoration of the pages, the scrapbook will be fun for the child to make, offer the two of you a chance to spend quality time together, and will be something he or she will be eager to show off to others when it’s all put together.