History at Home
Our Homemade History activities are longer-term projects that let you be the historian. Share what you've created in our online contest, running now through April 15, 2020!
- Document history as it happens: Create a daily journal sharing the news of the day and your thoughts and feelings. Journaling can help you to get through difficult times. Journals are also an incredible resource for historians. Consider donating your journal to the Historical Society when you're done. (Hat tip to the Northfield Historical Society in Minnesota for the idea.)
- Write a poem: What makes Los Alamos special? Express your thoughts in a poem. Peggy Pond Church, a poet who lived in Los Alamos, might be an inspiration for your poetry.
- Create family history: Interview someone in your family about their life. Talk to them in person, over the phone, or over video chat. Start by writing down some questions before you interview them. Write down their answers, or even better, get their permission to make an audio or video recording of your chat. The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage has some great ideas for questions you can ask.
- Taste history: Cook a favorite family recipe. Talk about what makes the recipe special and if it's changed over time.
- Curate your own exhibit: Do you collect anything? Get your collection out of the shoebox and into your own personal exhibit. Be the curator by planning how you want to display the artifacts and making artifact labels for them. There are great examples of artifact labels from last year's Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition.
- Tour architecture: Take a walk around your neighborhood and notice the architecture. Look at the little details. How are the houses alike? Different? Draw a picture of your house. Do you know when it was built?
- Make your mark: Create a historical marker for your neighborhood, home, or even rooms inside your house. What important or interesting event happened here? Share the facts and some exciting stories.
- Take a walk through history: Follow the historical markers in the downtown area on a tour through history. Or take the tour from home on your phone. Call (505) 515-0004 and enter stops 4501# through 4514#. After taking the tour, write and record your own stops on a tour of your favorite places in Los Alamos.
- Fashion time travel: Get out an old family photo album and look through it. Talk with your family about the people and events remembered in the album. Choose a few of your favorite photos and then recreate the styles! Can you dress like you did in that photo of you as a kid? Can you find something in your closet that matches Grandma and Grandpa's amazing style in that photo when they were a young couple?
- Share the love: Who's taught you a life lesson that's been really important to you? Who do you look up to? Get creative and make your own postcard or decorate a letter telling that person what you've learned from them. Let them know how important they are to your own personal life history.
- Make a time capsule: Put together a small collection of objects, photographs, news articles, drawings, personal top ten lists, and other things that capture what this moment in history means to you. How do you feel? What are your favorite things about 2020? What's unique about right now? Write up a list of everything you're including and why. Find a container or recycle a cardboard box or cylinder and decorate it however you like, being sure to include your name and the date. Seal it up and stash it someplace safe (maybe in a closet or under your bed) to open up in the future. Maybe set yourself a digital reminder to open the time capsule in 5, 10, or 20 years!
- Predict the future: What do you think Los Alamos will be like next year? In five years, or ten? What will change in your life during that time? Use a website like FutureMe or Letter 2 Future to write an email to yourself in the future—you pick the date! In your email, predict what you think might be the same and what you think might be different in the world and in your life.