Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Family History for Kids: Grandma's Treasure Box

This activity actually won't go into the hope chest or be sent off in the mail. Grandma's Treasure Box is just a box of keepsakes that I can pull out on a Sunday afternoon and paw through with my children or grandchildren. This box will just stay at my house to be pulled out when the grandchildren come to visit me. Hopefully I will manage to collect enough little treasures that they can be split up later.

Everyone has keepsakes from times past. Some of them might be valuable and some are just silly or sentimental. The point is that an object sparks a memory or story that you can share with someone in your family. The items I have in this treasure box include a few things that I've collected in my own life and a few additional things that came from my father's things after he passed away. For instance, I have an old wristwatch from his dresser drawer. When we were little children and got sick my mother would make us a bed on the couch so that she could care for us without having to climb the stairs to our bedroom. When dad came home and could see that we were sick, he would take his watch off (or his pocket watch if he were working on the farm) and put it under our cheek where we could hear the ticking of the watch. I guess he thought it might take our mind off being sick and bring a bit of comfort. It worked! Dad did that every time one of the children was sick and, to this day, I love to hear a ticking clock.

There are other things in the box that belonged to his parents and grandparents - a silver spoon with my great grandmother's monogram, a boot hook, a pair of old-fashioned sock garter's that belonged to my grandfather, an FFA ribbon from my father's prized cow, handmade toys, a fountain pen. Just some interesting things that happened to fall to me. I would emphasize that these items don't have to be valuable. These are not necessarily heirlooms, though they could be. They are just a few things that connect to memories and stories to share with other members of the family. They are simply a way to connect to the names and faces in the photos.

Do any of you have these simple family treasures in a box or drawer? What can you share with your children or grandchildren?


  1. I do have some treasures, but hadn't thought of putting them together for a "show and tell" activity. Thanks for the great idea!


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