Kindergarten is the start of a child’s academic career. They learn their ABC’s and 1,2,3’s and yes they learn History. Is five years old too young to learn about how things were long ago? Definitely not! A Kindergartners brain is like a sponge, expose them to the knowledge and it will sink in. A young child’s curiosity leads to so many wonderful learning opportunities. As they play on their Ipad, ask them do you know what the children learned on long ago? Show old pictures explain how life has progressed throughout history. Watch their eyes light up when you explain to them so many historical facts. When you start with one fact they want to hear more and more. Then the curiosity kicks in and they begin to ask about the past. Take the time to bring your child to museums, memorials, and historical landmarks. When you go on vacation show your child a globe and explain where they are going and the distance. Talk about leadership and who the leaders are in our country, your state, or even your town.
Ten Ways to Make History Interesting
Play Dress Up – It doesn’t need to be fancy or even realistic looking. The learning will happen when they are trying to figure out what they are supposed to wear. Just let their imaginations run free. We used bike helmets, sheets, and pipe cleaners for our Romans vs. Greeks day.
Cook – Good food can make a boring thing more tolerable. Check websites like Delish.com or Restaurant-ing through History to find a recipe that fits your lesson. Even if you don’t find a new dish to add to your meal planning, you will pick up some pretty interesting trivia in your searches.
Netflix – History documentaries aren’t what they used to be. Shows like Drive Thru History and America: Story of Us, present historical facts in entertaining and engaging ways. If you don’t have Netflix, check your local library. Most libraries offer DVD check out.
Crafts – Have a hands-on learner? Try doing crafts from different periods of history. Crafting is one way to bring history to life for kids (and mom).
Field Trips – Zoos and caverns are great for science, but how about a trip to an historical home, a battlefield, or a culture museum? Roadtrippers.com is a great site for planning a road trip, even a short one down the street. Click on History under Find Places to discover varieties of historical destinations.
Reenactments – You don’t need to be a civil war buff to enjoy a good reenactment. Watch a local Pow Wow or participate in the dancing. Check your local culture museums for workshops and day classes that teach historical skills such as butter churning or chair making.
Recreating – Stay home and recreate historical landmarks with Legos, Lincoln Logs, salt dough, or even inside a video game such as Minecraft.
Be a Reporter – People love to tell stories, especially the Grandma and Grandpa crowd. Dress your child up like a reporter and let her interview someone about the past. It could be on a specific event or a general what was life like when interview. If possible, make it a video interview and let your child practice video editing skills. Turn it all into a language arts lesson by writing the interview into a proper newspaper article.
Play Games –Games are an excellent way to engage children into accidental learning. Games like Ticket to Ride and Hail to the Chief are fun, easy ways to reinforce a history lesson. Does your child prefer computer games? Common Sense Media has a great list of games that teach history for PC and gaming consoles.
Summer is a perfect opportunity to take day trips to expose your child to history. Here is a list of some places to visit in the Tri-State Area:
• Tuckerton Seaport and Baymen’s Museum
• Penn Museum
• Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
• Wheaton Village
• Franklin Institute
• Monmouth Museum
• Thomas Edison National Historic Site
• Historic Village at Allaire
• NJ State Museum
• Fort Lee Historic Park
• Monmouth Battlefield
• Old Barracks Museum
• Longstreet Farm