family storybook

Create your very own bedtime story book out of stories from YOUR family! Collect stories that will inspire you and make you laugh, cry, remember and connect. Every family has stories that are important and meaningful and this is a perfect way to preserve them and ensure they continue to be shared for generations.

Here are some suggestions to get your started:

Ancestor Stories

Get to know your ancestors with a variety of life stories that help you get to know their personality.

Grandma/pa Was a Kid Once Too

A compilation of childhood stories from grandma or grandpa’s life, to help kids relate to their grandparents in a new way. 

Advice From My Ancestors 

 

Advice that was shared by ancestors, grandparents, or even, include living relatives. Include quotes and famous one-liners from those individuals.

Brave Women/Brave Men

A brave story from all the women or men in your family tree. To show your daughters and sons all the brave family who came before them.

Family Heroes

Stories of bravery, faith, perseverance, and strength.

Family Tree Stories

One story from each member of the family tree.

Family Folklore

A compilation of the funniest and craziest stories your family tells over and over.

*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.

Be sure to take the pre experiment survey before you start and come back and complete the post experiment survey when you are done.

Day 1

family bedtime storybook day 1

Explore Family Stories

Spend a day exploring family stories. We all have stories, today spend some time gathering stories that you have by searching family albums, books, and trees. Bookmark the stories that stand out.

Tip: Check out FamilySearch and Ancestry for some new stories you may not know about.

Day 2

family bedtime storybook day 2

Make a List

Make a list of which types of stories you’d like to highlight in your Story Book. Make a list of ancestors and living relatives whose stories you’d like included in the book and a list of relatives who may know stories about these ancestors. Read through our list of story prompts to help you think. (see idea list at the top of the page)

Bonus: We’re CONNECTING with COUSINS today! Visit Relative Finder today and join the group “Connections-Experiment” to see how many of your cousins are participants in the experiment! (You will need a free FamilySearch account for this to work)

Day 3

family bedtime storybook day 3

Initiate Collecting

How will you collect stories from relatives? Emails, calls, interviews, create a family FaceBook group and post prompts from our list daily etc…. Initiate that contact today and be sure to give a deadline later this week.

Day 4

family bedtime storybook day 5

Write Your Own

Take the time today to write down a few of your own memories and stories that fit in with your storybook topics.

Day 5

Cultural Connection Day 5

Finish Up Collecting

Continue collecting stories from your relatives or continue writing your own stories today. Be sure to read the stories as they come in, so you’re familiar with the stories you have.

Day 6

family bedtime storybook day 6

Outline Your Storybook

Decide if you want your storybook organized by person, by theme or just as a fun random  assortment of stories. Give your storybook a title, brainstorm fun titles to the stories, and chapters, if applicable.

Day 7

family bedtime storybook day 8

Organize Folders

Create a system for keeping your story and any other photos, heirlooms, or other assets you’ll collect to go along with that story. Organize the stories you’ve typed, and the stories you’ve collected into your system. Be sure to continue to add stories and other story assets as you gather them.

Tip: A great way to do this is to use folder files on your computer. Have a folder for each story. Organize those folders into a master folder for your storybook, then sub-folders for chapters and themes according to your storybook outline.

Day 8

Cultural Connection Day 8

Assets

Now that you’re familiar with all of your stories, make a list of assets you’d like to include in your storybook. 

Here is a list of ideas:

  • Illustrations (Tip: Divide up the stories among the family and have each member of the family provide an illustration for one story)
  • Photos (Tip: include people, places, vehicles, buildings, towns, etc… anything that gives more substance to the story)
  • Heirlooms (photograph or scan any heirlooms that might bring the story to life more)
  • Music (would hearing a song associated with the story bring it to life? If so consider creating a QR code to place in your book that will play the song)
  • Video (QR code to an online video could bring your story to life)

Day 9

family bedtime storybook day 9

Initiate Gathering Assets

Day 9: Initiate Gathering Assets

Reach out to family members who might have assets or be willing to help you create the assets for the storybook (i.e. drawings). Let them know you’ll need it by the end of this week.

Day 10

family bedtime storybook day 10

Typing

As you start receiving stories from your relatives, type them up into a document so you can copy and paste into your story later. Include who shared this story with you. Be sure to have a member of your family proofread before your final draft.

Day 11

family bedtime storybook day 11

Catch Up Day

If you are still waiting on stories from relatives, follow up with them. If you have another story to write, do that today. If you’re short a few stories, explore your family tree to see if you can find some additional stories. 

Tip: FamilySearch users can use the All the Stories App to help find good short stories on their tree.

Day 12

family bedtime storybook day 12

Explore Storybook Options

There are many options for printing and publishing your storybook, we’ve collected a few of our favorites here.

  • Self-Publish/Self-Print or Ebook: Create your book as a PDF on Canva, Word, or your favorite publishing software. Print it at your local copy store or save it as a PDF and upload it online to share it.
  • Online Building & Printing: Build it using MixBook, Shutterfly, or Blurb, print using their online print and ordering.

Day 13

family bedtime storybook day 13

Storybook Formatting & Layout

Select the theme, template, fonts, layouts and other style features that you’ll use throughout the book, you’ll use this as your “style guide”. Build your book cover and title page, using this the style guide and make any adjustments as you work. Using this style guide, layout the storybook by creating a page or pages for each story that will be included in the book.

Day 14

family bedtime storybook day 14

Storybook Formatting & Layout

Select the theme, template, fonts, layouts and other style features that you’ll use throughout the book, you’ll use this as your “style guide”. Build your book cover and title page, using this the style guide and make any adjustments as you work. Using this style guide, layout the storybook by creating a page or pages for each story that will be included in the book.

Day 15

family bedtime storybook day 15

Populate Your Book

Copy and paste your stories into your book template, insert assets and make adjustments to fit the story onto your pages. Crop, arrange, resize, reorder, and reorganize to maximize your storybook space.

Day 16

family bedtime storybook day 16

Populate Your Book

Copy and paste your stories into your book template, insert assets and make adjustments to fit the story onto your pages. Crop, arrange, resize, reorder, and reorganize to maximize your storybook space.

Day 17

family bedtime storybook day 17

Populate Your Book

Copy and paste your stories into your book template, insert assets and make adjustments to fit the story onto your pages. Crop, arrange, resize, reorder, and reorganize to maximize your storybook space.

Day 18

family bedtime storybook day 18

Catch Up Day

This is the day to gather any last minute stories or assets that need to be added to the storybook.

Day 19

family bedtime storybook day 19

Finishing Touches

Be sure to add any last minute finishing touches including, spine title, page numbers, author & editor information, copyright information, a dedication page, preface, table of contents, timeline, etc…. Ask a family member to proofread and look for any elements that might be out of place.

Day 20

family bedtime storybook day 20

Place Your Order

How many copies of the book do you want? Who might benefit from receiving this gift? Be sure to order enough for everyone, including yourself.

Tip: If you share what you’re doing with some of your family, they might be willing to help pay for the costs.




Day 21

family bedtime storybook day 21

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!

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!

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