As discussed in a previous blog, there are a lot of ways to start talking with family members and to begin sharing and recording family stories. Here are a few other suggestions:
Family Scrapbook – this one can be done very easily if everyone takes a special family memory and creates a page for the book. The next time the family will all be together, bring in a bunch of supplies and request everyone to bring photos or mementos of their favorite family memory. If you have family who won’t be able to make it, send them supplies and have them participate from afar! The completed pages can all be added to a book (a binder works well with page protector sleeves) and kept at someone’s house or passed from family to family to add to it.
What if your family is more active? Try taking trips to visit sites and places that are important to your family. Perhaps the school that all of the aunts and uncles attended, or maybe the farm where great-grandma grew up. Perhaps there is a camping spot where the family went every year growing up? Visit these sites to prompt old memories, and to create new ones.
The most important thing is to make connections and to keep those family memories alive. There are many resources out there that can help you to come up with projects or organization methods. Some of my suggestions are:
Remember, there are many free resources out there to use. Other resources may be subscription based, but check out your local library to see if they provide access for their patrons to use them for free! To listen to oral stories, check out the Library of Congress’ website, Story Corps, which records interviews and has a great list of questions you can ask.
Good luck, and keep those stories alive!