Teaching history can be difficult because there is a lot to cover in a single class period. But whether you homeschool your kids or not, you can use some hands-on history activities for kids.
The right activities can engage and entertain your children. It won’t matter if they’re learning about ancient pyramids or recent developments with money. Your kids may just start to enjoy history.
1. The American Revolution: A World War
If you want to find excellent history activities for kids, the Smithsonian is a great place to start. Their resource on The American Revolution: A World War takes a different approach to teach the American Revolution.
Instead of focusing on how it affected the United States, it covers how it also affected other countries. The resource emphasizes partnerships and allies. You can use it to help your child meet national standards or as a fun activity.
It is excellent for kindergarteners through high school seniors, and you can do the activity as a family. Anyone can benefit from learning about history through a new perspective with this activity.
2. Escape from Barter Islands
Another important part of history that you may not learn about in school is bartering. Before money became the standard, people bartered services for goods and vice versa. The resource Escape from Barter Islands is a great tool to teach your children about money and how it works.
Your kids can learn about currency and coins and about the value we attribute to them. The resource uses an online game to learn about bartering, and the game also covers the switch to using money.
This game is great for younger children, and it can work whether you homeschool your kids or not. You can meet some national history standards for kindergarten through fourth grade. But it’s still a great activity for kids who attend public or private school.
3. Money Makers
If you want to teach your kids more about money with history activities for kids, you should check out Money Makers. Escape from Barter Island is part of this larger activity about money. You can use this lesson to teach your kids how to count money and about some basic business topics.
It uses a real-world example where two siblings set up a lemonade stand to teach these things. Your child can learn to count coins and how to attract customers to the lemonade stand. Other activities in the overall lesson cover more about money and business throughout history.
The activities are great for any child, and they can fill certain educational standards for kindergarten through fourth grade. High school students can use the activities to learn about civic life, college and career choices.
If your kids want to get a bit crafty, you can have them build one or more of the Great Pyramids of Giza. You can visit the website Build-a-Pyramid for directions on how to use sugar cubes for the craft project.
You’ll need a lot of sugar cubes and some glue to keep everything together. You can put the structure on some cardboard, and you can use flour to soak up moisture. Sand can also help make the scene look like the middle of the desert.
This activity is better for older kids, but younger children can participate with adult supervision. As you build the pyramid, you can use the time to teach your kids about the Great Pyramids. It doesn’t matter if you homeschool your children or not.
5. The Giant American History Timeline
One of the best hands-on history activities for kids about American History is the two-part book The Giant American History Timeline. Book 1 covers pre-colonization to the Reconstruction period. In Book 2, your kids can learn about the 1870s to the present.
The first book has over 120 activity sheets and 16 timeline plans that your kids can use to make custom timelines. You can create timelines that show the connection between different historical events. The second book has another 130+ activity sheets and 16 timeline plans.
If you want to give your kids a comprehensive look at US History, these books are fantastic. You can use them with any age range.
6. First Lady for the Environment Homepage
As more and more people learn about the importance of the environment, it can be helpful to learn about the history of environmental activism. The First Lady for the Environment Homepage covers First Lady Claudia Johnson and how she worked to protect the environment.
This activity provides active reading suggestions questions that your kids and family can use to discuss. It comes with worksheets and other interactive forms of media that you can use with your kids. The resource is ideal for kindergarten through fourth grade, but older kids may also like it.
If you homeschool your kids, you can use the resource to help meet national standards. It meets US History standards for kids of all ages.
Making History Fun
Hands-on history activities for kids can be a great way to make learning fun. History can be boring at times, so interactive lessons are great. You can do most of them as a family, so it can also be a great way to spend time with your kids.