Learning & Activities


Unlocking History for Kids

Teach children history activities

Unlocking History for Kids

History is a great subject for children because it gives them an idea of why the world is the way it is now.  Teaching children history from a young age provides them valuable knowledge of how to view the world around them.  With so many historical events, filled with just as many famous historical figures, children can learn fun facts that are both stimulating and interesting.

How should parents teach their kids about history? There are many fun and easy activities that parents can use to get their children interested in this subject.

Act It Out

For kids who love the stage, pick a historical figure from any lesson book that seems fascinating to them.  By acting out as that figure, children can get a grasp of what that person experienced in a specific time period.  If ambitious enough, the child can even dress up as that person and really get into the character.  This is both educational and fun!

But it doesn’t stop with just historical figures. Involving a group of children to act out a historical event, such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, can be a great learning activity as well. You don't need a huge theatre budget to be able to put on a small play about a historical event. Gather some parents and discuss the possibility of your kids putting on a little show to demonstrate what they've learned about a particular event. Let the kids choose what event they'll cover; it will make them more excited about the whole ordeal.

Scrapbook It!

This can work for both a historical event and a historical person. Search through magazines or old newspapers for various clippings, or search online for pictures of events or people that can be used for a scrapbook. The child can pick any event or person in history and be as creative as he or she wants to be. 

By collecting magazine or newspaper clippings, it can make the child feel as if he or she was part of that time period as well. Searching online may provide more pictures and provide facts as well. Creating a scrapbook will encourage a child to learn history through research, and he or she can put in so much of their effort and creativity. Seeing the finished product is always a satisfying feeling.

Write Your Own Biography/History Book

For kids who like to write, writing a biography on a historical event or person will involve the child in so many ways. This will involve some research and a vast interest in the specific subject. Biographies and history books are full of pictures, timelines, and lots of pertinent information, so a child has a lot of work to do. Although it may seem difficult, it can actually be a very fun activity because it involves a combination of skills, patience, and hard work.

Alternatively, you can have your child write an autobiography. Have them read a couple of autobiographies first, so that they can get familiar with the concept. Then, have them write about their own life. Tell them to pick events in their life that are significant or meaningful to them. Leave it up to your child how long their autobiography is. Hopefully, writing their own autobiography will get them excited about reading the autobiographies of others.

Watch Television Programs About History

By visiting your local library, you can sometimes find videos or DVDs about historical events. Watching these with your child can show and educate them about specific topics. Televisions channels, such as the History Channel, always have programs about historical events. The Biography Channel profiles specific people as well. After the end of each program, take a few minutes to discuss what you just watched and see how these programs apply to what the children may already know.

Streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, often have historical documentaries. Some of these may not be appropriate for children due to graphic content, so be sure to check any content warnings before selecting one for your child to watch. See if there are any documentaries specifically aimed at children.

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