As I child, I loved history. Even now, I am fascinated by the tales of those who have gone before me and paved the way. My bookshelves hold a mix of decorative and useful antiques or memorabilia that have been passed down through generations, and I always enjoy sharing with friends the stories about how they’ve ended up in my home.
I love to teach my children about history too. Learning history is not only educational, it shapes their future.
When children know their family and country’s history it provides identity. History answers questions like, “Where did I come from?” and “How did I get here?”. It gives them a sense of connection. It also improves decision-making and judgment. They can learn from the successes and failures of others.
Through knowledge of the past, kids gain perspective and are able to see the bigger picture. They learn that technology, government, standard of living, and society as a whole, has changed over time.
Make Learning History Fun and Interactive!
Here are some of the fun ways to can help make history come alive for kids:
- Visit museums. We live close to many wonderful museums, so when the kids have a day off school or we’re celebrating a birthday, we pile into the mini-van and take a family field trip. Our vacation itineraries also include stops at local art, science, or children’s museums. It’s not all about visiting the big tourist attractions either. We’ve found that over the years, some of the smallest exhibits boast the richest experiences.
- Visit living museums. While I like walking up and down air-conditioned halls to look at ancient artifacts behind glass, I love to experience history myself. Living museums provide a great way to participate in the way people used to live. Our family has helped a blacksmith bend metal, lied in the cramped bunks of an old ship, and fired a musket into an open field.
- Talk with grandparents and elders. I encourage my kids to put away the gadgets and smart phones and talk to family members about their childhoods. Most older people love to be asked about their past, expecially their growing-up years. Chances are there is a lot you don’t know about your loved ones, where they lived or travelled , or what they have experienced.
- Go through photo albums from your childhood. My kids love to see pictures of me when I was a little girl. Not only that, they love to see old photos of their grandparents’ house before the trees grew in the yard, their uncle in Little League, and what daddy looked like in his first pair of glasses. Photo albums have many stories to tell and they provide so many great prompts to share family history with my kids.
- Browse antique fairs and flea markets. I don’t often buy antiques but I love taking my kids window shopping with me. My children are old enough now to appreciate how cool Art Deco furniture looks and the simplicity of appliances that didn’t use electricity.
- Read the Bible and other books. The Bible is rich in history, but there are things that sometimes get lost in its cultural context. The Adventure Bible Handbook is an exciting way that children can better learn the historical context of the Bible. It’s the story of four children who travel back in time in search of their father who’s gone missing on an archeological expedition. The four children are led by two zany guides whose mission, it turns out, is to lead kids from all over the world on a life-changing quest for truth. Their journey to the past includes many stories from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Adventure Bible Handbook will engage your kids with exciting and informing visuals with maps, pictures of artifacts, and historical paintings that help kids understand biblical references. Reading books together about the past brings clarity to where we fit today in God’s amazing story. And don’t forget you can direct your children to read the Bible for free online at BibleGateway.com!
History has challenged my children. It has inspired them to dream and wonder; it’s given them the opportunity to imagine a better future. Connecting with history is an adventure the whole family can share.
Watch the Book Trailer for the Adventure Bible Handbook
How do you make history come alive for your kids? Leave your comments and ideas on our blog. We’d love to hear from you!