Activity of the Week

Family Trivia

Last updated: Jun 11, 2012

vintage radio

Do you know who was president the year you were born? Which celebrity shares your birthday? What famous person is from your hometown? Start a family trivia collection titled "The Year I Was Born." Using your favorite search engine, asking others in your family, or even visiting your hometown can yield all sorts of interesting tidbits that make for a great collection -- and fascinating conversation starters.

What you'll need:

Decide whether everyone in your family will take one person's birth date or birth year, or if you'll each do your own. Then hop on the Internet, hit the library, or start asking a few older family members about what they remember -- and see what you find.

Why it's great:

  • You'll learn about major historical events and about your (or your loved one's) hometown, celebrities, heroes, and other connections that just might surprise you.

  • You'll see just how much the world has changed -- and how it hasn't.

  • Research is learning, and learning is the best way to ward off memory loss.

  • It's a great multigenerational activity. Your children and grandchildren will benefit from this easy family activity.

How to do it:

  • Create a poster or other visual aid as a clearinghouse and easy way to collect all your information.

  • Check out the Web first, since that's easy. Look for major events (worldwide and local), what happened in the weather and in politics, whether there was a war, what the big hit at the movies or on the radio were, what books were the best sellers, what the most popular cars were, inventions of that time, clothing and other fads. And be sure to talk to the person whose birth date you're exploring!

  • Go to the library and check out a book on one of the subjects you researched -- the hurricane that hit that year, or a hero you've never heard of before.

  • Visit a vintage/antique shop for a popular item of that time, to use as a small gift.

  • Host a "The Day/Year You Were Born" party (or use this as a theme for an upcoming birthday party). Have everyone present a factoid. You can print a picture of your loved one's "celebrity twin," have copies of his or her baby picture or first home, make a cake or cupcake with the birth year on it, and play music from that era.