In May, so many people found the joy of family connections while doing this experiment with their family!
This is another opportunity to connect with your family and them with you!
*All activities with a * require a FamilySearch account to participate in that activity.
If you don’t have one please set one up with a tree or find another activity for that day.
Games are a great way to connect with your family! Play some of your family’s favorite games today. Start an ongoing tournament!
*Tips: Want to connect with the past too? Try playing a game of Geneopardy as a family and learn about your ancestors as you play.
You’re My Cousin!*
Today let’s explore who you’re related to in the experiment. Visit Relative Finder and join the “Connections-Experiment” group (no password required).
Write a message to some of your new cousins in our Facebook group. Ask them which plan they’re working on, and tell them about your experience. You could even coordinate working on one of the challenges together
Set up a family journal, where everyone can participate. You can use an app like Marco Polo, WhatsApp, Group Me, etc… Use a list of questions (i.e. #52Stories from FamilySearch) to pick your favorite question and ask it in the group. Be sure to download any good responses to your phone’s library.
Tip: If you enjoyed this activity, be sure to return and do it again, even daily while your family has fun answering the questions. There is no right or wrong way to preserve your memories.
How long would you last?
Watch this IKEA Commercial. How long would you have lasted at the table? As a family talk about how important you are to each other. Ask how you can connect better with one another. Is there a time you can set apart just for talking with each other?
Tip: On Day 5, 12 and 18 we will be having family dinner activities. If you can’t get together for dinner set aside another time for these activities. It could be a snack or dessert before bed time. It could be during breakfast or on a car ride.
Do You Know?
Read this article. Tonight at dinner, choose a question or two to use as a conversation starter. You can use one from our list or use these cutouts. Ask the question and enjoy the family conversation.
“Please keep in mind that it is not the knowledge of these specific facts that is important – it is the process of families sharing stories about their lives that is important.” —Robyn Fivush Ph.D.
Log into your favorite genealogy site and use their record hinting system to attach a new record to an ancestor. If you have time, do another, and another…. Did you learn anything new about your family? Share your experience with a family member.
Tip: On Ancestry it’s the green leaves. On FamilySearch it’s the record hints.
Take a Tour
“Traveling leaves you speechless, then it turns you into a storyteller.” -IBN Battuta
Many historical sites and museums have virtual tours available online. Choose a location that your family is interested in and take a virtual tour as a family.
Learn about The Spanish Flu*
“…when you have a connection to someone who went through such a tragedy, the circumstances are much more real and relatable. And if the people of the past are real to us; this means we are not so different from them. This means they have much to teach us.” – Libby Copeland
Connect with your past family today by relating to those of your ancestors who were alive during another pandemic: The Spanish Flu. Visit this FamilySearch timeline and filter by “Spanish Flu Pandemic”, then explore your ancestors on the map to learn what they were doing during the pandemic.
Have a dance off through the decades! Pick a song that has some popular dance moves, learn the moves and dance away! Or make a playlist of the top dancing songs for the decades, just dance! Point out what decade the song is from and what family members, present and past, were alive during that decade.
Tip: Use this history of music webpage to find some decade specific songs.
Take the Happy Family Quiz
“When faced with a challenge, happy families, like happy people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming the hardship.” -Bruce Feiler
Today we invite you to take the Happy Family Quiz by Bruce Feiler. This 19 question quiz will help you discover power in different relationship, communication, and parenting styles. You might be surprised by some of the answers, but you’ll learn a lot about interacting with your family along the way.
How Family Stories Help Us Cope*
“Family stories also build connections among family members—physical and psychological attributes that tie us to each other in tangible ways.”-Robyn Fivush Ph.D.
Read: This article here. Have everyone pick a story from their life; stories of anxiety or hardship, laughter or joy. Go around and share the stories you picked with each other.
All About Me!
“Beginning around age five children develop the tools to describe past events, but these skills must be practiced. The family table is the perfect theater.” -Bruce Feiler
Tonight at dinner, ask each member of your family to think of an eventful experience to share. This can be from that day or the past. Make sure to ask open-ended questions after, like Who? What? When? Where? Why? These help build memory. Also, supplement the story with additional details and give positive feedback.
Deciphering Ancient Records
One way to help old documents to become searchable is to index! This is when you read the words written on an old document and type it into a form so it can be searchable! As a family you can visit Ancestry and FamilySearch who both have programs where you can index! There’s even something called Reverse Indexing which has you teaching the computer to read handwriting! As a family you can adopt an indexing batch or set a family indexing goal to accomplish together.
Document Family Traditions
“Because rituals have to be created. We can’t sit back and hope they’ll just happen. We have to go out and make them happen.” Bruce Feiler
Search for pictures of you and your family doing different traditions. Add them all to a new “traditions” album and create context by adding additional information to the metadata of the pictures. Tag the people in the photo, add location and information about the tradition. Who started it, when you do the tradition and how often, etc…. Have family members add comments of their own about the individual pictures and memories about that tradition.
Host a Heirloom Show and Tell
Create an online meeting (Zoom, Google Meet, etc…), invite extended family members, and invite each member to bring a family heirloom or item that reminds them of a common relative. During the meeting take a few minutes each to share the item and the story behind it. Be sure to record the meeting and save it with your family archive.
Tip: Encourage everyone to take a picture and type up the stories. Use our Meme Maker to create a shareable image.
Explore and Document Family Heirlooms
Do you have an item that came from an ancestor? Do you have an item that reminds you of a family member? Grab that item and take a picture of it. Now, write down it’s story. Who did it belong to? Why does it remind you of that family member? How old is it? What does it do? Why is it important?
It’s a great idea to upload the photo and the write-up to FamilySearch memories! You can do it straight from your phone!
Have a Movie Night
There are a lot of movies about family connections or movies that have brought your family closer! Today watch one of these movies and think about connections.
You could watch Coco, Mulan, Muana, Book of Life, Inside Out, Brave, Onward, Frozen (2), ect. You could also watch some family videos from when you were a kid. You can even check out a genealogical show, Relative Race, Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots, etc.
Family Council on Teamwork
Tonight at dinner, have each family member bring up a pain point, something that is bothering them. Other family members can commiserate and come up with possible outcomes or solutions (Ancestor stories are great for this). This is working together as a team.
Discover Food from Your Homeland
Look up a traditional recipe from a country your ancestors came from (different then the country you live in now). Make the meal for dinner (or dessert) tonight. Can you see your ancestors enjoying this recipe?
If you liked this activity and want to learn more about homelands check out our Homeland Plan!
Tip: Try using *FamilySearch’s “Where Am I From” feature to explore recipes from your heritage. Select which country you’d like to explore, then select “food” or “recipes”.
Create an Ofrenda
Ofrendas are, in Mexico and a few countries in Latin America, a specific area designated to honor deceased family members. These are usually in a prominent place such as a living or family room. They can be small or large, and can include family mementos or objects. The most important thing is to refer to these objects or photos, etc., often so that family members learn the story behind them.
Create an ofrenda of your own. Gather photos of family members who have passed away (If you don’t have photos, find an object that can relate to the family member or draw a picture of what you think they look like). Frame them. FInd a place to put them, on a table, on a wall or wherever you can put them. Spend some time talking about these family members, their names, how they are related to you, stories you know about them, cool facts.
Consider leaving your ofrenda up for a little bit. Day of the Dead is the first and second of November. You can celebrate and honor your deceased family members these days.
Document Your Experience
You did it! You just spent the last 21 days connecting with family and friends! You connected with the past, present and the future. Congratulations!
Now click here to go take your post-experiment survey and final weekly experiment check-in to document how you have grown. Even if you didn’t complete all 21 days, you still committed to making connections, so please still fill out the survey. We value your input. Thank you!
Easy images to share and invite others to join you: