So your child finds History super boring? Well, that’s not a surprise. I was never a fan of learning History too. But now as my kids are growing, I am already wondering whether it would be the other way round. I want it to be the other way round, we all wish it would be that way right? So I have done my homework. After talking to some wonderful History teachers and hogging on some informative resources, my plan to get my child interested in learning History is ready. Here’s sharing my ‘research’ with you.
Fun ways to develop your child’s interest in learning History-
1. Tell them their own History
We are born into History. We have no memory of it, yet we find ourselves in the middle of a story that began before we became one of its characters. Children also want to have a place in History—their first historical questions are: “Where did I come from?” and “Was I always here?”These two questions contain the two main meanings of history: It’s the story of people and events, and it’s the record of times past. You can make them understand the importance of History by telling them that if we did not keep a record of our own History, we would not know our birthdate, likewise, we would not know about the important events that occurred in the world.
2. Share your family story
Share memories of your childhood. Tell your children about the changes in the family system, communities, technology, about how and why you belonged to a particular region or race. Show your photographs for them to see the changes in the social settings. Show them old pots, pans, coins, documents and talk about the changes that have occurred in your family’s lifestyle.
3. Field trips help in learning History
Let your family outings be field trips. Take your children to museums, forts, old monuments or show them old statues in a garden. Carry a map with you if possible and try to find certain places in the fort.A mock treasure hunt would be fun too.
4. Watch Historical movies together
History Channel airs many Historical movies and documentaries. Watch them with your kids.Have a discussion on it. Some good historical movies include:
Gandhi (Indian), The Patriot (American), Glory ( American), The Last Emporer, The Prince of Egypt, Night at the Museum (Comedy children’s film), Bhagat Singh (Indian History), Downfall (About Hitler’s final days)
Good History is a story well told. “Once upon a time . . . ” that opening for many favourite children’s tales captures the two main meanings of History—it’s the story of people and events, and it’s the record of times past. Narrate a story about a leader or about a significant historical event. Create stories with pictures. Encourage kids to draw an event or story.
6.Play dress up
Kids love to dress up as different characters. Let them dress up as Romans, Greeks or Harrapans for example, using headgear, helmets, dupattas etc. After reading a book or telling a story with a historical theme, encourage your child to make up a play for the family based on the book. If possible, allow them to wear a costume or use props that are mentioned in the story.
7. Bring History to life with moulding clay
Children love to play with clay. Encourage them to make historical artefacts with clay. For example Harrapan utensils, jewellery, models of monuments etc. Different materials like strings, craft paper, blocks can also be used to build models of various historical communities.
8. Ask questions
After reading a History lesson, ask your child questions based on the lesson. For example, what they will do in a similar situation? How would they stop the war? Why do they think this event occurred? What must be the situation of people during the war period? This will help you to teach your child life skills and to develop their critical thinking.
Look out for great audiovisual resources on the internet. Lot’s of educational content is available via YouTube and many other educational sites. I found this one very apt for teaching Indian History.
The above fun ways of learning History will surely help if you enjoy these activities with your kids. Remember: Never say “I hate History” or ‘I found History boring too.”Make sure you set the right example.
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