We believe in families. The core mission of This Blue Dress is to strengthen our family while helping other families.
We need connections; we need each other!
This 31-day challenge is designed to help us make deeper connections with our loved ones–both those who came before and those we can spend time with today! You’ve probably heard LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E. We have tried to create a simple and meaningful plan to spend a little time to grow a lot of love.
Each day has a 5 to 30-minute task (you decide how much time to put in) that will help you learn more about yourself and your family and build deeper relationships with them.
You can do any part of the day’s prompt or adapt it in the way that feels best to you.
This Blue Dress is doing the 31 Days of Family challenge LIVE in October 2021, and the free challenge calendar is designed accordingly. It’ll be amazing to do it together!
Before You Get Started
First, you need a copy of our free 31 Days of Family Calendar! There are three color variations for you to pick from.
It is not required, but some of these prompts include links to FamilySearch, an “international, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people discover their family story.” You can sign up for a free account here.
We have included other ideas for these challenge days, but the FamilySearch resources are amazing and simple, so we highly recommend them!
Ancestry.com is another great resource! They offer a free 14-day trial and affordable subscriptions.
Our designer has made ADORABLE printables to go with some of the challenges. You can purchase them individually in our shop or get the 31 Days of Family bundle for the best price here. If you have any questions about the
The This Blue Dress team will be sharing our experiences with the challenge on our social media pages, and we’d love to have you follow along on Instagram and Facebook!
**Please note that this challenge and original files are the intellectual property of This Blue Dress and are shared here for personal and family use only. If you’re using this challenge for a group or class (awesome!), please just share the link to this page and not our files. Our designer and team have worked hard on this! Thank you.
We hope you enjoy these 31 Days of Family!
This post contains affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.
31 Days of Family
Day 1: Interview a Relative
This is a great way to learn more about your relatives, especially regarding years that you might not have known them!
Feel free to use our interview questions list to do a more formal interview, or keep it more casual. You can even text a friend or family member a few of these questions to learn something new about them today!
Day 2: Learn the Story Behind Your Name
Today you will learn some interesting facts about your name on FamilySearch. Find out how many people in the world have your name, the origin of your name, and more here! (You can save the birth year info for tomorrow.)
*Note: The results page does share some statistics labeled “Church History” that are relevant to members of our church, but it doesn’t include any doctrine/proselyting.
In addition to or instead of this activity, ask your parents to tell the story of why they gave you your name. Even if you’ve talked about it before, you might learn something new!
Day 3: Complete the “Year You Were Born” Activity
Continue from yesterday by learning more about the year you were born on FamilySearch, or research major events from your birth year.
This is also a great day to look at baby pictures or talk about your birth story.
Day 4: Make a Traditional Family Recipe
There are a few ways to complete today’s task:
1) Ask your parent, grandparent, or another family member for a classic family recipe. You can ask for a specific one that you remember or leave the choice up to them. Make sure to send them a photo of your finished product.
2) Look up a traditional recipe specific to your heritage. Maybe you have Irish, Mexican, Russian, or other cultural origins. Find a traditional recipe from that area and give it a try!
Day 5: Decorate Ofrenda Frames
Visit Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Dollar Tree, or your own craft closet and find some basic picture frames. Grab some stickers, paint, buttons, small flowers, or other small items to use for decorating the frames. If you were close to the family member, you can decorate their frame using their favorite colors, hobbies, or other personalized decorations.
If you have time, put the photos of your deceased loved ones into your newly decorated frames and place them somewhere you will see them the rest of the month.
Day 6: Make Día de los Muertos cookies
Baking is a great way to connect with family members. It brings so much life into your home! Today let’s get into the kitchen to make Calavera sugar cookies. You could use a family recipe with a calavera cookie stamp, cookie cutters, or buy a kit!
After they are baked and cooled, decorate the cookies with your family. Use different colored sprinkles and frosting to make Calavera faces. This activity can easily be adapted to fit your family’s needs based on age, budget, or other factors.
Day 7: Post a Picture of Your Family Online Using #31DaysofFam
We’d love to see your beautiful families! You can also share an old family photo if you do not share current photos on social media.
Day 8: Fill in Your Family Tree
We are all here because of our ancestors, so the names on our family tree are real people! We can feel closer to them and to each other as we look at photos and talk about these family members.
For today’s challenge, you can work on your digital family tree at FamilySearch or Ancestry.com, use our adorable family tree printables pictured above, or make your own!
Try for at least 4 generations, then add in aunts, uncles, and cousins that are familiar to your children.
Talk about these important people in your lives. Share stories and experiences you have had with them. Share how they have influenced your life for good.
Day 9: Learn About Traditional Clothing From Your Heritage
Choose a country or culture from your heritage and research the traditional clothing worn at some point in history by that culture. The Where Are My Ancestors From? Map from FamilySearch is a great place to start for this activity.
If you already know about and own traditional clothing from your heritage, find a way to share your knowledge with others!
We’d love to learn from you! Just tag @thisbluedress on social media or use #31DaysofFam
Day 10: Say “I LOVE YOU” in a Language Connected to Your Family History
We can never say “I love you” enough! This article has great info about saying “I love you” in 100 different languages. YouTube is a great resource for pronunciation guides and the nuances of different phrases (ex: romantic I love you versus friend/familial love.
Day 11: Compare Your Face to Your Relatives’ Faces and See Who You Most Resemble
FamilySearch has a really cool program that will match your face with pictures of your ancestors and give you a percentage match for your features! You simply load a picture of yourself or take one with your computer or phone camera on the site.
Have you ever been told you have your grandfather’s nose or your aunt’s chin? You can also find photos on your own of the family member you’ve always been told is your doppelgänger!
Day 12: Ask a Relative to Talk about Their Youth and Show You Photos of Them
Choose a relative and ask if you can spend some time going through old photographs with them! You could connect with a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, or someone that feels like family.
Ask them about the stories behind the photos, and you might be surprised by how much you learn about them! Social media is another great way to find pictures from the last decade to cherish together.
Day 13: Start a Journal or Write an Entry about What Life is Like This Year
There are many different types of journals to choose from if you do not already have one: bullet journals, gratitude journals, video journals, traditional journals, and more. Select a style that fits you and your lifestyle, whatever will help you stay consistent in your journaling, and complete your first entry!
Already an avid journaler? Complete your daily entry or catch up on the time since your last entry!
Day 14: Create a Time Capsule
A time capsule is a gift that keeps on giving! It’s fun to make in the moment but is even more fun to open down the line.
For an epic time capsule, we like to use old paint cans and bury them out in the yard with items that you would like to rediscover in a few years. Choose a date for the grand re-opening: 1 year, 5 years, 20 years?
For a more simple time capsule, write down what life is like at this time and seal it up in an envelope. Make sure to keep it somewhere safe or have a trusted friend mail it to you on the intended date. We’ve also made easy-to-use time capsule printables for kids and adults!
Day 15: Send a Letter to a Loved One
Share some of the traits you love about them and what they mean to you. Use email if you must, but who doesn’t love getting a handwritten letter in the mail? Our kids love using our leaf stationery.
Also, if you’re needing motivation (or just a good cry), this is the video for you.
Day 16: Visit a Local Historical Site
You might be surprised what kind of historical gems are hiding in plain sight all around you. Do a quick Google search for “local historical sites” and choose one to go check out in person or take a virtual tour.
Sometimes they are as simple as a historical plaque/marker; other times they are as robust as a whole historical village. Either way, learning more about the history of your hometown can be a fun way to connect with your roots.
Day 17: Draw a Map of Your Neighborhood and Label Important Places
You can do this challenge in so many different ways! Have your parents draw a picture or tell you about their childhood neighborhood. Look at pictures of their childhood home.
Have your children draw a picture of your current neighborhood and then tell you about their picture! It’s a great way to learn about what is important to them. Take a picture of your family in front of your current house. You could even look at a Google Earth view of your current neighborhood or another place that’s important to you.
Day 18: Play Tunes from Your Parents’ or Grandparents’ Era
A great starting place for this challenge is to ask your parents or grandparents their favorite song from childhood/young adulthood.
Spotify and Youtube also have great playlists, or you can make your own! Choose an era or a decade and play those songs while you drive, cook dinner, or have a dance party. You might discover a new favorite song!
Day 19: Play a Game that You Used to Play as Child with a Family Member
Pull those dusty board games out of the closet and snag a family member to reminisce about the many times you played that game growing up. Don’t live close to any family members right now? You could also:
1) Teach/play the game with some local friends. These are some of our favorite games!
2) Try to find an electronic/remote version of the game online or via the app store. Many classic games have electronic versions now that you can play remotely to connect with loved ones. Surprise your parents or siblings with an invite to a game you used to play together!
Day 20: Sit Down Together for a Family Meal With No Electronics
Set down the phones, turn off the TV, and take part in some good old-fashioned conversation. Get to know the family and friends around you.
Day 21: Give a Gift With a Handwritten Note to Someone
Whether in-person or by mail, give a small gift to someone in your life. Add a hand-written note with a memory that you share with them and why it has impacted you.
You can also send an online gift to them if they live far away! Books, jewelry, flowers, homemade dessert, or anything meaningful make great gifts! We have lots of gift ideas on the blog if you need some inspiration.
Day 22: Recreate a Funny Old Family Photo
You know that photo that makes you laugh every time you come across it in old photo albums? Maybe you’re covered in goop, in a funny position with some of your family members, or the photo just reminds you of a funny memory.
Grab your family members featured in the photo with you, and spend time recreating the details of the pic together.
If you can’t be together in person, use an app like the free version of Pic Collage to make a silly recreation from a distance.
Day 23: Light a Candle for Your Deceased Loved Ones
Take time to remember your deceased loved ones by lighting a candle for them today. You can do this as a family, lighting a candle and sharing memories of family members who have passed on as you fill the room around you with light.
Or you can do this personally in quiet reflection, just thinking about your loved ones each time you see the lit candle today.
Day 24: Pull Out Old Home Videos and See How Everyone Has Changed
We could watch old home movies for hours! Thanks, Mom and Dad! We know that wasn’t always easy making that happen.
If you don’t have access to old home videos, find an oldish video of a family member on your phone and send it to them.
Day 25: Catch Up With a Family Member that You Have Not Heard From in Awhile
When was the last time you spoke with your parents? Your siblings? Your grandparents? Maybe a cousin you were close to growing up, or an aunt or uncle you haven’t spoken to in a while?
Choose a family member, give them a call and catch up with everything that has been going on in their life. Try listening and asking questions more than talking about yourself.
Day 26: Create a Playlist of Songs that Represents Your Cultural Heritage
They can be classic or modern pieces–whatever helps you connect to your roots! Have a family dance party for some added fun!
Day 27: Make an Effort to Visit the Gravestone of One of Your Deceased Ancestors
You can bring a flower bouquet or other decorations to adorn his or her headstone. Spend some quiet time or share memories of the person with a loved one.
Find a Grave is an amazing resource if you want to learn more about ancestors’ burials, and you can even leave flowers and messages virtually.
Day 28: Share Pics on Social Media of You Doing This Challenge! Use Hashtag #31DaysofFam
Which activity has been your favorite so far? How have you felt closer to your family throughout this month?
Challenge a family member or friend to complete one of this month’s activities to celebrate Día de los Muertos.
Day 29: Complete the “Picture My Heritage” Activity
With this fun FamilySearch activity, you can add your face to historical photos from your heritage!
Or Google historical photos from your country of origin. Is there a place or time period from your heritage you’d love to visit?
Day 30: Discover Your Famous Relatives
Have you ever wondered if you were related to someone famous? Famous Relatives, a new discovery activity on FamilySearch, can help you find out. Visit here to get started! If you need any help, this video is a great demo.
Do you already know about a famous relative? Do some research to see what you have in common!
Day 31: Celebrate El Día de los Muertos With Your Loved Ones
*Traditionally, this celebration is held in November, but many people start on Halloween and continue celebrating through November 2nd.
Please note we are not from a cultural or religious heritage that celebrates Día de los Muertos and are not an authority on this celebration in any way. We’re just sharing parts that we are choosing to celebrate because this holiday has so many beautiful traditions about families!
You can read about our Día de los Muerto celebration here.
Make this celebration your own and talk about what you’ve learned this month about your family. How have you become a stronger family after participating in this challenge?
We hope the 31 Days of Family has helped you connect with your family in the past and the present! We know the greatest happiness can be found in families. Here’s to your family and beautiful families everywhere!