The Family Plan

A 21-day experiment to help your whole family enjoy making connections to the past and each other together.

Additional activities can be found on the “build your own plan” page. 

*A tree that goes back 4 generations and a free FamilySearch account is necessary for some activities. If you don’t have these please set them up or pick a different activity for that day. 

Day 1

All About Names

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” (Dale Carnegie) Your name is a connection to who you are as a person. It gives you identity. 

Today have a conversation with your family about the story of each person’s name. Am I named after a famous person? A family member? Does my name stand for anything? What do I want people to think of when they hear my name?

Tip: Visit this surname activity to learn more about your name.

Day 2

What Happened the Year You Were Born 

As a family, visit the FamilySearch Discovery – All About Me activity to discover interesting facts about everyone in your family’s birth year. Everyone can sign in with their account or a guest account. 

Tip: Use your favorite search engine to discover other things that happened the year you were born, like: What were some of the headline events in the year you were born? Who won the World Series? Who won the Academy Award for best picture? Who was the President of your country?

Day 3

Guess Who Said That

Learn more about your family members while playing a game! Have everyone answer the same question on separate strips of paper. Put the answers all in a basket and pull one out and try to guess who’s answer it is. Repeat with other questions. What did you learn about your family members? 

Tip: For questions to ask, visit In-Home Activities – Family Trivia Game.

Day 4

Current Family Pictures

Pictures have the power to take us back in time, to bring memories to mind that have escaped us.

Today spend some time with everyone in your family looking at the photos you guys have taken through the years (Scrapbooks, albums, computer slide shows, etc.).

Tip: Make sure your pictures are labeled! This is a great time to label people, places, stories and the year on these pictures.

Day 5

Recreate Photos

Recreate old family pictures! Share them on social media and encourage others to do the same. 

Tip: If you post these recreations make sure you tag us #21dayexperiment #familyconnections We’d love to see them!

Day 6

Past Family Pictures

Visit FamilySearch.org and find pictures of your ancestors that you or others have uploaded. 

Tip: Not sure where to look? Visit The Family History Guide Alternate View page and scroll down to Photos. This will show you how you can see who has pictures shared on your family search tree.  

Day 7

Where do you get those good looks?

Visit Compare-a-Face and sign in to your account. Give everyone in your family an opportunity to take a picture and compare their face with his or her ancestors. 

Tip: Don’t have any ancestors’ pictures on FamilySearch? Click here to learn how to upload some pictures. 

Day 8

Famous People

Have you always wondered if you were related to people who came over on the Mayflower? What about a president of the United States? Visit RelativeFinder and see who you are related to. 

Tip: Explore other activities at the BYU Family History Technology Lab website.

Day 9

maps

Find out what countries your ancestors are from by visiting “Where am I from” on the FamilySearch Discovery site. Explore information about those countries. What special foods do they eat? What dances are in their heritage? What does the country look like? The flag? 

Tip: Did you know the FamilySearch fan chart will tell you what ancestors are from what countries? Visit The Family History Guide Alternate Views and scroll down to birth country to learn how. 

Day 10

Virtual trip

Using Google Earth visit the countries your ancestors were from. Look up their birth town and “walk” the modern streets they walked.  

Read an article about doing this here: https://familyhistoryquickstart.com/using-google-earth-to-view-where-your-ancestors-lived/

Day 11

Staycation

Experience what your ancestors’ country was like with food! Find a recipe from your ancestor’s home country and make it. Use “Where am I from” on FamilySearch’s Discovery page again, select a nation to explore further and you’ll find recipes from that country?

Tip: At dinner talk about what you learned over the last few days about where your family is from. You could talk about what recipes you would include in a family cookbook.  

Day 12

Get to know your ancestor

Emory University found that the more the children knew about their family history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.

Get to know an ancestor a little better. Each member of the family can pick an ancestor and write down a few facts and events in their lives and share with each other what you learned. 

Tip: Click here to download a packet of Family History activities. One sheet is an ancestor profile page (pg 13) that you can use to fill out for this activity. 

Day 13

census

Census results affect your life and your community everyday.  From school lunches, to highway construction, to disaster aid and researching of our ancestors. Census’ are very important. 

Learn about the census together then do your own census! What questions would you ask on your census? How often would you conduct a census? (The packet downloaded yesterday has a census page you could fill out) 

 Also, make sure the 2020 census is filled out for your household.  

Tip: Visit these links to learn more:

https://2020census.gov/en/what-is-2020-census/focus/story/rodney.html

https://2020census.gov/en/what-is-2020-census/focus/story/cecilia.html

https://2020census.gov/en/community-impact.html

Day 14

Interviews

Don’t wait to interview your family, soon they will be gone and you won’t have a chance to learn from them.

Choose a living relative to interview. There are lots of lists on the internet to help you come up with what to ask. Record the interview (Audio or video). 

Tip: You can upload audio to FamilySearch. You can also type up a story to share on FamilySearch

Day 15

storytime

Sit down together as a family and share stories of each other’s childhoods. 

“Children who have a strong family narrative enjoy better emotional health” -Emory University Study

Tip: Have the children ask for stories using prompts; such as: school, hamburger, soccer, or bedtime. These should help the parents come up with stories from their’s and their children’s childhood. If this is a hit it could become a bedtime tradition! 

Day 16

Draw your family tree

Draw your own family tree! What does your mom look like? Grandpa? Great Grandpa?

Day 17

game night

Games are a great way to connect with your family! Play some of your family’s favorite games today. 

Tip: Here are some games that include your ancestors you might want to check out: FamilySearch ideas, BYU FH Tech Lab (Make sure you look on the right side for more online games), and an online memory game.

Day 18

traditions

The definition of traditions is “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation. You sharing a custom or belief to your kids makes a tradition!

Talk about what your family’s traditions are. Make a list! What holiday traditions do you have? Weekly? Monthly? Are there any traditions you guys would like to start? (Start them!)

Day 19

time capsule

Create a family time capsule. Will you open it in a year? 5 years? 10 years? 

Tip: Check out FamilySearch TimeCapsule for questions to fill out about yourselves. 

Day 20

birthday calendar

Create a birthday calendar with your deceased ancestors. Just list your ancestors under the month they were born, including the day they were born. 

Tip: Load an advent calendar of ancestors birthday’s from FamilySearch here. Be sure to sign up for notifications in the right panel, and scroll to the bottom of the screen to print a calendar.

Day 21

birthday party

Have a birthday party to celebrate the ancestors’ who have birthdays in May and that you guys are done with the 21 day experiment! Decorate as you would for any birthday, have a cake, sing happy birthday! Make a sign that says which ancestors have their birthdays in May!

Tip: Learn about these ancestors! Have someone share a cool fact about them.

Easy images to share and invite others to join you:

JOIN US!

We’re gearing up for our next experiment starting October 1, 2020 for Family History month!

We would love to have you join us! Simply sign up below and we’ll send you a reminder when the initial survey and plans are up! 

We can’t wait to participate in another experiment with you!