Sharing family history with a 3-year-old is simple with these six ideas from Colorado genealogist Elizabeth Osborn.
Tell the story of 'me'
Young children like to know they are an important part of the family, Osborn says. "Assemble pictures of the family before the baby, while they were waiting for the baby, and when the baby joined the family. As you look at the pictures, tell your child stories of how excited you were to welcome him or her into your home."
Compile a picture book
The flip albums that come with processed photos are perfect for this. Make copies of photos of the child and family, and slip them in the sleeves. Let the child turn the pages as you talk about who is in the pictures.
Keep a scrapbook
Keep a record of a child's milestones and activities. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; even a calendar with comments can be a precious keepsake.
Create a family quilt
Children love special "blankies." The quilt can be made of fabrics from family members’ clothing, with meaningful appliqués or embroidery or with specially printed photographs, Osborn writes on her website Obsbornhome.us. Share with children that the blanket is special because it wraps them in the family’s love.
Record a home movie
Record a day in the life of a baby. Be sure to watch it again and again; don’t let it just sit and gather dust.
Write in a journal
Begin to write little things about your child regularly. As he or she gets older, encourage your child to write in the journal.
Editor's note: The original version of this story posted on June 27, 2013 failed to properly attribute all source materials, which violates our editorial policies. The story was revised on March 14, 2014 and attribution to original sources were added.
Barry J. Ewell is author of "Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering your Family History" and founder of MyGenShare.com, an online educational website for genealogy and family history.