Guest post contributed by Hannah Whittenly
A child’s summer vacation can be a long, idle playtime, but it can also be an opportunity for them to grow and learn. Discovering history can be a fun pastime that doesn’t require a lot of reading or study to experience. With a little planning and investigation, you can find interesting resources to lure them away from the TV and video games. It could be a welcome distraction from boredom to introduce them to family, local, or world history. Here are some ways to connect your kids with history this summer:
Start a Family History Scrapbook
Put your old family photos in chronological order and find some news articles or online resources you can print up and include. Your kids may be fascinated to learn where their ancestors came from and the different adventures, travels, and accomplishments they experienced. A scrapbook will make this easier to understand and engage with, and children may want to contribute.
Plan Trips to Local Sites
You could locate historic sites within driving distance that would be good reasons for your family to make a road trip. Most areas will have historical homes, parks, or monuments. Do the research so you can explain why the site is significant, and any famous names involved. Plan on making it as fun as possible, even if it means buying ice cream or pizza.
Visit a Museum
There has to be a museum of one kind or another somewhere near your home. Many local museums have changing exhibits, such as dinosaurs one month and ancient Egypt the next. Whatever your kids show an interest in, check to see if any related exhibits are scheduled that you can attend as a family. At least it will be a clean, air-conditioned outing. Help them learn, explore, and even quiz them on the ride home.
Start a Coin Collection
This is one of the world’s favorite hobbies for good reason. Each coin is not only a tiny work of art, it’s a piece of history. Rare coins can also be a great investment. Start a collection and share it with your children. There are major coin dealers, like Rocky Mountain Coin, who can show you tons of examples, each one of which could spark a conversation about the past.
A little creativity and meaningful dialogue with your children can spark a curiosity that becomes a life-long interest or rewarding career. Time-honored hobbies like coin collecting are a great place to start.