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Teaching Family History with a Family Map Game



Children love playing games. According to the book Einstein Never Used Flashcards by Roberta Golinkoff and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, play is how young children learn. I loved this book – the ideas really resonated with me. Of course children learn more when they are playing, not just repeating memorized information to please an adult.

To teach my children about world geography and family history at the same time, I made a personalized “where in the world” type game for our family to play. We’ve played the game a few times now, and I’m surprised by how well my 6-year old remembers the facts – including where Japan is located and what its flag looks like!

Whether you want to help your child learn about places that are important to your family’s history, or teach them about jurisdictions and repositories, this family map game can be customized to fit your objectives. I originally saw the idea for a Family History Map Game at Little LDS Ideas by Sheena. She created simple printables that I used to create trivia question cards, and has links to printable world and US maps.

We enjoyed it so much that I’m planning to share the idea at RootsTech in my presentation with Melissa Finlay and Emily Schroeder entitled Kid Genealogists: Inspiring the Next Generation (this is a link to our class webpage with syllabus and links). As I’ve been preparing to share this idea, I came up with a tutorial for creating your own map gameand a worksheet for brainstorming the trivia questions.