I have very hands-on kids, and when they were younger teaching history was easy. You read a few books, throw together a few activities, add in some field trips and BAM! Done. It’s harder to find hands-on activities for older kids though, because we’ve done so much.
One thing we’ve never done, however, was historical paper dolls. I have no idea why because now that we’ve started we’re really enjoying it! It’s especially fun for my 13 year old daughter who loves historical fashion!
Disclaimer: I received this item at no cost to facilitate my review. A positive review was not guaranteed and I was not told what to write.
Famous Figures of the Renaissance, by Cathy Diez-Luckie and available from Timberdoodle, is a really great resource for kids learning about the Renaissance period.
Here’s what I LOVE about Famous Figures of the Renaissance:
-There are full color AND color it yourself versions
-The “action figures” are made from super high quality paper and the pages are perforated for easy removal
-The book comes with information about each person and a reading list
-Famous Figures of the Renaissance is internet-linked so your kids can continue the research on their own
-All costumes depicted in the book are true to period
-The back of each figure is labeled for easy assembly
-There are 20 figures to make! There are 8 men and 2 women, two of each figure.
–You don’t need fancy supplies! You need scissors, a small hole punch, and miniature craft brads (which are absolutely adorable, by the way)
-The figures are articulated, making them great for creative play! Use them in puppet shows, plays, to recreate famous events…you’re only limited by your children’s imagination!
-All figures are well labeled so your child knows where to hole punch and how to assemble their figures correctly.
I also want to mention that the information provided in the Famous Figures books is secular and politically neutral. What does this mean? It means that the religion of the figures might be discussed, but is done so from a bystander’s POV. Meaning, while the book explains the religious beliefs of Martin Luther, it neither promotes nor condemns them. It also means that the political motives of figures, such as Christopher Columbus and the whole genocide issue, are not mentioned. I don’t know if ALL of the Figures in Motion books are this way, but the Renaissance book is.
My kids and I are in love with these Figures in Motion. Creating the figures together sparked some really great conversations! We talked about Christopher Columbus and his lasting effect on indigenous peoples. We looked up how Henry VIII’s wives died and how many children he had. We learned about the three difference types of queens allowed by the monarchy. My son informed me that Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa. Lots and lots of great questions and conversation happened because of these paper dolls.
Buy it by clicking here
Reading level: moderate, or with an adult
Parental participation: suggested for use with younger kids
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.