Exploration, vast wilderness, religious freedom, and a chance for a new life ~ 13 colonies established along the eastern seaboard. When we study this time period, I include as many colonial games and hands-on activities as possible as a way to bring Colonial America to life for my older kids.
There is more to history than the memorization of names and dates. Luckily, as homeschoolers, we have the ability to show kids how fascinating history really is. I’ve found that the best way to do it is by making history interactive.
Instead of relying on textbooks, let middle schoolers look at primary sources, play colonial games, build projects, eat appropriate food, and dress-up in period attire. By doing this, you’ll give kids a chance to have fun connecting their lives to history, making it more relevant for them.
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Colonial Games and Activities for Middle School
In Five Things Historians and Teachers Need to Do to Make History Fun, Tim Grove, Chief of Museum Learning at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum shares what he thinks can get more kids interested in history.
“Share your sources. All too often we feed people our conclusions after we have had the fun analyzing the evidence.
For six years I managed the Hands On History Room at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The activity-based learning center was a place for all ages to interact with primary source materials and to do the rudimentary detective work of historians. Visitors could gin cotton, assemble a Chippendale chair, send a message by Morse code, harness a mule, ride a highwheel bicycle and other activities.
Over six years I watched visitors have fun in the HOHR and I read their glowing comments in the comment book. Many of them wrote “I never knew history could be so fun!””