Sunday, May 1, 2016

FamilySearch for 8-year olds

Did you know that children (ages 8-12) can have their own FamilySearch account with a parent's permission?  

Owen is 8-years old. This afternoon he said, "Mom, can I do some family history on the computer?" Ummmm, I said yes. (Eight is a fantastic, inquisitive, impressionable age ... When your 8-year old asks to do family history, you drop everything and show him how great his idea was.) We went straight to FamilySearch, since our family's tree is there in abundance. Here are some fun Family Tree activities for the young ones (and certainly, a parent will want to guide the experience):

Look at your tree and explore the different views (fan chart is our favorite, but the picture pedigree is also a cool visual experience).

Are you named after an ancestor? Try to find the ancestor you're named for! Owen found his great, great grandpa Owen Allphin.

Click through your tree to see how far back it goes -- any royalty or cool titles? 

Read stories and look at pictures in "Memories."

Add photos or stories. Have fun scanning photos together then upload, title, and tag to the tree.

See if you can find your ancestor in a record! Use the hints or links to partner websites like

*Note: This whole idea may give some people heartburn ... You mean kids can get into the Family Tree and press buttons??!!  Let me add my two cents to FamilySearch's open/collaborative tree vision: we can't learn to use a tool that we're not allowed to touch. Sometimes I let my kids have full access to the kitchen to make cookies. They may spill ingredients and leave a mess. But they learn to make cookies. The mess can be cleaned up. Do I leave the house while they're at it? No. I supervise. I help. I TEACH. They couldn't learn to make cookies without access to the kitchen. They can't learn to be family historians without access to online genealogy tools. Thank you, FamilySearch, for recognizing this. We're big fans. #familysearch