Our ward family history committee, consisting of youth and adult consultants, planned this ward activity for all ages. Held on a Thursday evening it took the place of the combined activity for the young men and young women that week. Each organization had an assignment and each youth group ran one of the activities.
One of our consultants did a fabulous job transforming the cultural hall into an old time country fair. Using the color theme of red, white, blue, and yellow, she displayed homemade quilts and added balloons and banners for a festive look. Table centerpieces consisted of bags of popcorn. To give the feeling of booths, she set up three sun shade tents. We posted signs for each activity throughout the building.
Activities in the Cultural Hall:
Finger foods and treats organized by the Relief Society made everyone happy. We purposely tried to simplify this part of the evening. Ward members brought their favorite family treats:
“Discover your Family” – One of our Family History consultants used the big portable television screen to let ward members log in and take a look at their Landscape Pedigree view on https://familysearch.org/ Family Tree.
The Deacon’s Quorum (young men 12-13 years old) ran a “Fishing for your Family” game for younger children. They set up a small plastic swimming pool. The paper fish had questions written on the back such as: “Who is your Daddy’s sister?” or “What is your grandma’s name?” Correct answers won the children a prize. This turned out to be a big hit with children of all ages. Something about using a stick with a magnet on it to catch a paper fish with a paper clip . . .
“Family Home Evening Ideas” by the Primary. Our ward Primary president displayed some fun items and gave out handouts with great ideas.
We also had four Activities in other Rooms. Storytelling and Movies we ran three times throughout the evening and just announced in the Cultural Hall when we were starting each one. Ward members visited the Photo Booth and Relative Finder anytime.
“Family Movie Time” in the Young Women’s room: The Priest’s quorum (young men age 16-18)showed Family History cartoons and an example of a fun family history slideshow using a timeline and family photo. Here is the link to the videos titled “Step 1: Discover Your Story,” “Step 2: Explore Your Family Tree,” and “Step 3: Find and Serve Your Ancestors.”
“Family Photo Booth” in the Primary room was manned by the Laurels ( young women age 16-18). They helped families dress in old fashioned clothing and pose in front of fun backdrops. One of the Laurels took all of the photos.
“Sharing Stories” in the Relief Society room – organized by the Mia Maids (Young Women age 14-15) Two of the young women shared stories three times throughout the evening on one half of the room. The High Priest’s quorum organized a display of ward member’s family history memorabilia on the other half. We had everything from a framed shawl to beautiful examples of family history books displayed.
“Finding Cousins” in the Family History computer room: One of our consultants organized this activity using this website: https://www.relativefinder.org/
The Teacher’s quorum ( young men age 14-15) helped ward members find their cousins. Beehives (young women age 12-13) kept younger children busy with family history coloring sheets while their parents worked on the computers.
We set up a ward group on the relative finder website and had the all of the consultants and ward council join the group prior to the fair. As ward members came in, they logged in to the website using their family search log in. The website then showed them relationships to other ward members, historical figures, and famous people.
We had a running contest throughout the night to see who was related to the most Signers of the Declaration (most rebellious), LDS Prophets ( most spiritual), Presidents of the United States (most patriotic), etc. The categories were on the chalkboard and as members counted up their relationships, they posted sticky notes on any category they thought they might win.
We ended the evening with the announcement of the winners and each winner received a candy bar having to do with their category. Definitely one of the favorite activities for everyone!