A 21-day experiment to discover fun and easy ways to connect your past, present and future family.
Additional activities can be found on the “build your own plan” page.
A Picture is worth a thousand words
Recreate old family pictures! Gather together your family or friends and find a picture that is meaningful to you, recreate that photo and share the picture on social media. Encourage others to recreate their photos! Make sure you tag us #21dayexperiment #familyconnections, We’d love to see them!
Tip: If you don’t have many family pictures, you can create a new family memory by taking some new family pictures
What are the odds we are related?
Well, let’s find out! Visit Relative Finder to see who you are related to and how you are related. You will need a FamilySearch account. Join the group “Connections-Experiment” (the password is h3ycuz) to see how you are related to other teens in this experiment! You can also connect by going to our Instagram page and commenting on our post! (May 2, 2020)
Tip: Check out the famous people you are related to. Click here to find out how.
Record your story
Recording your memories can seem overwhelming and it can be confusing where to start.
We have a couple of prompts to help get you started. So grab a piece of paper, or open notes and get writing!
What is the earliest memory you have?
What triggers that memory? (Include details like what you smell, feel, see and hear)
Discovering more about journaling
Not all journaling is written on paper, there are so many ways you can journal and we invite you to find a way that fits best with you. Some ideas are:
- Make a photo journal. Take a photo every week and record your feelings about the photos you take.
- Start an audio journal. Record yourself talking about things that happened that day or week.
- A drawing journal where you draw pictures of what happens in your life.
- Make a journal out of memories using FamilySearch memories
Tip: Want more ideas on how or what to journal? These resources can help!
Tip: Answer journal prompts as a family and compare and contrast your responses
Ever wondered how many people share your name? Or what world events occured the year you were born? You can discover this and more at the All About Me activity page.
Tip: Challenge your family members and friends to do this!
simple yet sweet
Touching family heirlooms and learning their history creates a bridge between past and present generations.
Find something in your house that belonged to an ancestor, a heirloom. Take a picture of it and upload it to FamilySearch. Add the story behind this item to the picture’s description. Include who it originally belonged to, a story (if there’s one), and who has it now. Share your picture on social media and challenge a friend to do the same!
Tip: If you don’t have any heirlooms in your house you can ask a close relative if they have some you can take a picture of and upload. Or you can take a picture of something you’d like to pass down and upload it to your personal FamilySearch profile.
record and remember
Recording living stories helps you connect and remember the family you still have.
Interviewing others can be overwhelming, here are some great questions that you can ask a parent or grandparent or other family member:
- What is a memorable moment from your childhood?
- What do you remember about where you grew up?
- How did you meet your spouse?
- What are some moments that impacted your life the most?
- What is one funny story from your life?
*These resources were from and can be found on https://www.familysearch.org/discovery/activities/my_family/23?ref=/
Tip: Discover some great stories? We’d love to hear them! With the family member’s permission feel free to share your story with us by DMing us on Instagram or share on Instagram and challenge a friend to interview a family member.
cooking up the past
Find and cook a favorite family recipe. As you eat, talk about the story behind the recipe: where it came from and why it is part of your family story.
Feel like you don’t have any family recipes? What does your family have for dinner a lot? That’s a family recipe!
Another idea: Eat a favorite food of one of your ancestors or a food from a place your ancestor is from.
Tip: You can take this activity a step further by sharing a photo of a meal you made (your own or your ancestor’s) and share this experience with your friends, family, on social media, or upload it to FamilySearch as a Memory.
get to know your ancestor
Get to know an ancestor a little better. Each member of the family can choose an ancestor and write down a few facts and events in their lives and share with each other what you learned. Click here to download a premade sheet you can fill out.
Tip: You could also use the questions to play a game of “Ancestor Charades.” See how at
birthday calendar - party on!
Always looking for an excuse to eat some cake? Find out which ancestors are having a birthday this month and throw a party for them! Have cake and ice cream, singing, “Happy Birthday,” and share what you know about your ancestors! You may want to create a birthday calendar of the birthdays of your deceased ancestors.
Tip: You can sign up for birthday notifications from FamilySearch on the Calendar of Ancestor Moments page.
Stories set in stone
Find an ancestors story that resonates with you and express your gratitude for that ancestor on a social media page, a family member or friend, or in a journal.
Tip: Click here to see the different fan chart views to help you find some stories in FamilySearch. Having trouble finding a good story? That’s ok! You can record an experience of your own that may be impactful to future generations.
Not only can stories impact you, but pictures can too! Find a photo of an ancestor on FamilySearch and put it in a place where you will see it often. We recommend you set it as your home screen or print it out to hang in your room. Click here to see the different fan chart views
As you view this picture throughout the day write down the emotions you feel when you look at it, and how this picture has impacted you. Feel free to share this experience on social media, or paste that picture into your journal.
Tip: MyHeritage has an easy to use program that can turn your black and white photos into photos bursting with color! You can check it out here https://www.myheritage.com/incolor
map your ancestors
Ever wondered where you’re from? To help you visualize where your ancestors came from you can view their life events from “map my ancestors” on the FamilySearch app.
Learn how here: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/whats-map-ancestors/
Don’t have space on your phone for the app? Totally ok! You can also learn how to find their birth countries here https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/genealogy-fan-chart/
Now that you know where your ancestors are from let’s visit! You can use Google Earth to visit the countries your ancestors were from. Look up their birth town and “walk” the modern streets they walked.
Who doesn’t like playing games?? BYU Tech lab has come up with a few games you can play on your computer. Click here to play and look on the play menu for the games.
What other games do you play to learn about your ancestors? Feel free to comment on today’s post or send us a DM with your idea! (https://www.instagram.com/connections.experiment/)
where do you get those good looks?
Now that you’ve gotten some time to get to know some of your ancestors and some of the character traits you’ve gotten from them let’s see what physical traits you may have too! Visit https://www.familysearch.org/discovery/compare and sign in to your account. Which ancestor do you look the most like?
Tip: Have your family compare their faces too! Share your ancestor’s photo on social media and see what your friends think! Challenge them to see who they look like.
create a gathering spot
Create a group chat, Facebook group, instagram profile (see Steve Rockwood’s experience here), or a blog where your family can gather and share stories from your ancestors or your life.
Tip: Not a fan of those ways to share? We totally understand. You can instead create your own place to share. Dedicate a journal to remembering both your ancestors stories and your own experiences.
visualizing your family tree
Print out a 4 generation fan chart and draw your own family tree, or create an art piece that depicts your family culture. Then take a picture of your art and share it with your friends, family, on social media, or upload it to FamilySearch as a Memory.
Traditions are defined as “the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.” Talk with your family about what your traditions are. Are there any traditions you would like to start?
Tip: See In-Home Activities – Family Traditions on FamilySearch for more questions to discuss. You may want to interview older family members to discover their memories of favorite family traditions. Consider recording these stories using the FamilySearch Memories App.
you have learned so much these past 20 days!
Now it’s your turn! Select your favorite experience and teach a family member or friend a new experience you’ve learned during this 21 day experiment.
Tip: Having trouble picking an activity? Why not help them learn a little more about themselves by starting by “About me” with day 5.
journal your story
We hope that you’ve learned a lot not only about your family and ancestors, but that you have learned more about yourself, too! We invite you to write about this experience, and share it with friends, family, or social media
Tip: Unsure where to start? You can look back on the inspiration for each day and write about a certain activity that boosted your mood, one that helped you reach out to someone you love, or how you feel this experience has changed you, or your outlook on family connections.
Easy images to share and invite others to join you: