The hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers…. how do we get those names to come off the paper and become someone our children look to? Modern technology and a bit of creativity have made an amazing difference in our home.
Our family chooses a story from the life of an ancestor and acts it out. We take pictures and turn them into a a DVD. The creativity and fun helps build our family relationship. But, in all that, another link is being welded. The children begin to embody the ancestor they acted out. Our son, when he was just four years old, announced, “I am James Allred.” Another son would watch the DVD of the story where he was the main character and repeat the words as he listened to himself narrate the story. A word for word memory of a faith building story is priceless.
Helpful tips to make your activity successful:
2) Prepare in advance so you know what pictures need to be taken to go with the story you wrote. Also, always be watching for places to act out the stories (for example: a log cabin, an old building, or a field)
3) Let children be children. Costuming isn’t a problem, because you simply turn the picture to sepia or black and white so it doesn’t matter what they were wearing—they look like they came from the past. Don’t force costumes they aren’t comfortable with. If they want to wear tennis shoes, no big deal. The memory will be good. Another costuming trick is to turn T-shirts with logos on them wrong side out.
4) Have one of the children or a grandparent do the narration. We were watching some stories we did six or seven years ago the other day..it was so fun to hear the tiny voices of our now teenage kids.
5) Put your pictures and narration together. To conclude the DVD, we like to include a picture of the actual individual (if available). Then we work our way through the ancestral line to our kids. Meaning…Joseph Gates was the father of Melinda Gates Bowns, who was the mother of Grant B. Bowns, who was the father of….down to your own kids.
Build on those positive character traits found in your generations. As you search and learn, you will find stories that promote faith and values. The stories will connect hearts and build understanding.