Ideas for Quality Time

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Disney Family Deals

How to Engage Kids in Their Heritage

How to get your kids excited about meeting extended family

Before a family reunion


  • "Invite" a relative to dinner each night. Save a spot for Great-uncle Al's photo and spend dinner discussing everything you know about him. Does he like to fish? Did he have any embarrassing family mishaps? Jot down notes on the back of the photo.
  • As the reunion grows closer, lay out a family tree with the photos so your child can see how Cousin Phyllis is related to Aunt Sue. Bring these photos on your trip.
  • During the reunion


  • Using the photos you brought from home, ask your child to see if she can pair the picture with the real-life relative. Stumped? Someone in the room will know — and asking for help will let your child meet even more extended family.


  • Once you find that person, introduce your child, and after excessive patting ceases, use the notes on the back of the photo for conversation starters.
  • Snap pictures of your child talking to each person, making sure you can see one of them holding the original photo, and jot down what each person tells your child.
  • After the reunion


  • Share what you learned with other family members by making a digital scrapbook Scan and upload both the original photo and the one of your child and the relative, and add comments: "Sylvia was surprised that she and her second cousin have the same birthday," for example.
  • Via e-mail, invite each relative in each photo to add comments to the online site. Lifelong camaraderie? Maybe not. Seeing your child become more aware of how she fits in your family? Indeed.
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