[Editor’s Note: Saving Memories Forever blogger Stephanie Pitcher Fishman helps you engage your kids in family stories by creating a Story Superhero!]
Spring is here, and the kids are looking for some fun things to do. No longer are we stuck inside the house waiting for the snow to melt and the winter storms to pass us by. Summer trips and vacations will be here before you know it. Use their enthusiasm and sense of adventure to your advantage. Turn them into memory savers and storytellers!
Stir Up the Excitement
Our kids are natural storytellers. Most will entertain us for hours with their imagination. (Only as we age do we get hesitant to tell our stories!) This excitement is contagious. The best way to get them ready to collect stories is to show them how much fun hearing these stories can be. What are your favorite family stories? Use this as your starting point. Tell your children stories of your childhood. Help them picture what life was like for you at their age. Use stories that elicit familiar memories of their own experiences: food, vacation, school field trips, etc. Next, give them a challenge. Not only should they share their own stories, but they need collect the stories of their family. They will be your family’s Story Superhero!
Plan Your Adventure
We’re all familiar with a common saying: “The devil is in the details.” How do we avoid that kind of mischief and make our project successful? Plan! Invite your kids into the planning stages. Identify two main things: the people you can visit and the stories that they can tell. These very important pieces of the plan will help your superhero tackle the challenge ahead. Discuss the best ways to collect your stories once your mission begins. Every Story Superhero needs to be prepared to fight off their biggest foe: lack of preparation!
After you’ve introduced them to some of your family stories, ask them to think about the types they would like to learn. Also consider creating a chart or map listing the relatives that you can visit. Don’t forget to use the super power of technology to your benefit. Family members separated by distance can use Skype to connect.
Do you have travel plans for the summer? Consider taking your show on the road! As you plan your family vacations you can record stories and memories in many different ways. First, consider incorporating a family visit into your travel plans in order to interview loved ones. Not only will you capture their stories but you will also make them feel special as you dedicate time especially to them.
Unleash the Storyteller Within
Once you’ve collected your story, don’t just end things there. Tell the tale! The story doesn’t end with the voice. You can expand your family’s understanding of their ancestors by adding layers to the story such as photos, transcriptions, tags to connect stories with common themes, and more. Then, once you’ve built your complete story experience, use your superpowers to share it with others!
The Saving Memories Forever website has many useful resources to help you in your adventure. Follow the links below to find out more!
Sign up for Saving Memories Forever E-News, our monthly newsletter. It is filled with ideas and suggestions to help you share those stories. We also include some reviews not because we like to toot our own horn but because we love sharing how others use the app in unique ways.
View our list of helpful memory prompt questions. You’ll find our memory prompts in the Saving Memories Forever iPhone and Android app as well as in this handy printable format.
Don’t forget about the great resources available for free on Pinterest! The Saving Memories Forever Pinterest boards share tips for storytelling, creating memories, and connecting with family along with other fun and inspiring boards. Don’t forget to follow us so that you won’t miss a single resource!