teenagers playing with realistic army toys

History Lessons Don’t Have to Be Boring: Try Learning with Fun Games

We’re all different, and that’s where the beauty lies. Some of us love school and learning, whereas others need some more convincing to grow into it, and it’s all okay. Each of my sons is the perfect example of each of these groups, as Ethan is all enthusiastic about anything and everything school-related, whereas Noah is the complete opposite – enthusiastic about anything and everything that’s not school-related.

I’ve come to terms with the fact they’re not the same and used this experience to hone more of my creative skills as a mum. One of the strategies I’ve found to be providing excellent results is making a game out of learning to make it enjoyable for both of them. A subject like history can be exciting to get to know, even if it’s all about facts that have to do with past events.

How Do You Present History Creatively?

Fun with Games

two kids playing with army toys
source: fruugo.co.uk

It’s pretty simple really: reenact history through games. Fun means, such as some type of realistic army toy with all the details you can imagine, can provide the expected results you have as a parent – lesson learned. But remember, toy choices matter. Assembling kits of war vehicles like the WWII Messerschmitt, a tank or submarine, the CH-17 Chinook, the helicopter known for the Vietnam War, or whatever the lesson is about, is an engaging activity.

Moreover, it’s helpful as the kids get to associate the process, the subject, and school in general, with something pleasant. If you’re a close-knit family, getting everyone on board with the game is also a nice trick. My sons love it when both mum and dad are in on the model-building kit fun. There’s a whole world of vehicle models for you to try out, covering various periods and battles.

To spice things up, and make it more engaging, you could include another type of army toy like figurines you can gather to form an army. Having miniatures of both sides of a war is an enriching experience, more so if you include the battle with some heartfelt story. If you don’t have one, or the kids weren’t taught in school, this calls for another history-related activity: research.

Don’t be surprised if this leads you to some other family activity, like Sheldon Cooper’s Fun with Flags. With well-stocked stores where every history buff and enthusiast can feel at home, it’s easy to come across great flag finds, like our army’s Rising Sun waver flag.

Role-Playing Reenactment

role playing in history class
source: brynathyn.edu

If a child is struggling with a particular period in history, or event with a great deal of important dates and names to remember for an upcoming test, having them in the shoes of some of these people can be an effective solution that would take away the burden and stress from learning.

For those parents who have more of the creative side in them, taking things from the small scale with educational military toys to the large scale with homemade costumes could add a nice twist to the learning activity. It’s nice to think of the whole concept as one with the potential for a play where each person gets their part to learn a specific event or time.

Then, when everyone is ready, you can set the stage, and get them all dressed up for their part. You’d be amazed to see how much fun they have while acting out all the facts, without even realising they’re learning. If they’re the visual/kinaesthetic learners and not the reading learners, this is bound to generate excellent results in no time.

A Historical Day Trip

school kids sitting in front of the sydney opera
source: sydneyoperahouse.com

When you have kids who are hooked on travelling, you come up with memorable family trips that have a special historic significance. A trip can be anything you want it to be, depending on where and how you plan on going. It could be an urban experience, like visiting a museum, checking out monuments, going to a theatre for a visual learning lesson, or going on a field trip to locations where some important events in history occurred.

Australia is full of attractions and opportunities, which makes things a whole lot easier for the concerned parent. And, for those who can’t find the time or the money to go outside of the city, the yard can turn into a battle terrain too with a scavenger hunt where you hide some of the kids’ army toys and give them clues based on lessons and facts they’ve learned.

The important advice I have to make this kind of creative activity successful is to keep your children’s likes and dislikes in mind. Once you know this, you can get an idea of the direction you could take with the games, resting assured it’s something to their taste and they wouldn’t require convincing to have them participate in it.