Do you know where your family comes from? Not like New York or Alabama, but your ancestors way back hundreds of years ago? Have you ever wondered where in the world your DNA and physical traits originated? Well, if you don’t already know, now there’s an at-home DNA test that can tell you which countries your ancestors hail from. The California-based company 23 and Me, named for the number of pairs of chromosomes in the typical human cell, will analyze a DNA sample that you send them in the mail… in the form of a saliva sample. (Hey, it’s one of the easiest and least invasive ways to collect DNA!) Then they’ll send you your ancestry composition – a map of the world with percentages of where your genes come from. If you’ve ever wondered where you got your easily-sunburned, fair skin or your darker, maybe even hairier features, it can be a really fun and enlightening thing to share with your family. Especially when today’s politics are trying to divide us, this can be a great reminder that we’re all basically fabulous mutts from across the same big, beautiful world!
Spark the Conversation: It’s proven that kids who hear stories about their ancestors feel more grounded. If you know where your family came from, it’s a great conversation to have with your girl. It’s a fascinating personal history lesson that she can carry throughout her life and pass along to her own children. And if you don’t know where your ancestors originated, a DNA kit like this could help you figure it out. It also doubles as a fun biology lesson about how much information we can gain from something as simple as a little bit of spit. (Okay, it’s kind of a large vial of spit, but still!)