Church is over. Sunday dinner has been served. The kids are restless. Now what? One of the best ways to keep the Sabbath Day holy—and to keep the kids from driving each other crazy—is to focus on family history. It may not be something you do every week and it may last only an hour or so, but the Spirit of Elijah that comes with turning our heart to our ancestors will bless your home in a very real way.
Here are some ideas for how to make family history part of your Sunday.
For the Younger Crowd (3–11)
Use simple visual games and activities to engage your little ones.
Family Tree Craft Time
Get out the glue, scissors, and construction paper. Help younger children cut out and create family trees, leaving spaces for photos and names. The final product can be posted on the refrigerator as a reminder of your family heritage or sent to Grandma, or you could do both if you snap a photo and upload it to Family Tree.
Ancestor Photo Memory Game
A simple memory game can help your children connect with their ancestors as they try to match photos. There are commercial companies that can make you a matching game set (check Google), or you can make your own game set using a layout or word processing program and photos you find in Family Tree or photos you have on hand.
For Youth (12–17)
Involve your youth in doing simple activities that take advantage of their expertise with technology.
Have a family indexing challenge. With a computer for each team, choose an indexing project with enough batches so that each team has a similar task. Set a time limit, and the team with the most names indexed wins. Even new indexers can be up and going in no time. Learn more at the FamilySearch indexing website.
Older teens can lead a visit to a close relative such as a grandma or grandpa. Once there, they can use their smartphones to record audio of precious memories for generations to come. Download the Family Tree app (iOS or Android), navigate to the relative’s page, and add a recorded memory that will be preserved for generations to come.
As you bring family history into your home in small and fun ways, you’ll not only bring the Spirit of Elijah into your home, but you will also bring the promised protection of the blessings that come with it. Try it next Sunday, and start a new family tradition!