Have you ever wondered what qualifies a period in history to be “ancient?” Before I could teach ancient history to my children, I wanted to understand what it meant myself. You can guess I am not a history buff. If you are also teaching your kids about ancient civilizations this year, I have gathered some hands-on activities for studying ancient history to share with your homeschool.
This post is part of the Hands-On History Activities Series
When did ancient history begin?
Ancient history has a whole other meaning than what I initially thought. I thought it had to do solely with dates, but that is not entirely correct. Ancient periods in different locations happened at different times.
For instance, ancient history in Egypt and Sumer began around 3100 B.C.E. String writing in Mesoamerica started about 2600 B.C., and hieroglyphic language in Crete started in 2200.
How is ancient history defined?
As you can probably tell from the above dates, ancient history is really defined by when a civilization began writing or recording its history. The span of recorded history goes back about 5,000 years, which was said to have started with the Sumerian Cuneiform script. The script is the oldest discovered intelligible form of writing.
Why study ancient history?
I think ancient history is pretty interesting for kids. It all depends on how you teach it. There were pretty amazing things that happened around the world. The architecture was incredible (even still around today in places), Pharaohs and emperors ruled, and the art is still revered until today.
Ancient history I fascinating and helps us to connect with our roots and understand the origins of traditional beliefs.
We can just make our kids read or watch videos to learn about ancient history, but why? We can totally make it fun with hands-on activities.
Here are some examples of hands-on activities for studying ancient history. These are my kids’ favorite activities to do.
Ancient History Art
If you have an artsy child at home or kids who like to get a little messy sometimes, then incorporating art to your ancient history lessons allow them to engage. Children get immersed in some of the elements that describe how people lived during the time or make artifacts that represent the era.
Realistic Cave Paintings: An Ancient History Art Project | Our Journey Westward
20 Ancient Civilization Coloring Pages | Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
Ancient History Food
My kids and I enjoy cooking projects together. When studying ancient history, researching the types of food people ate is fun for the whole family.
Build an Edible Ancient Temple FREE Download | Education.com
Steps To Make A Rice Krispies Map of Egypt | Organized Homeschooler
Ancient History Games
Who doesn’t love games? Kids can get involved with games, and yes, they may even drag you into them.
Games reinforce learning, and kinesthetic kids like my boy tend to absorb more information when he is busy with hands-on activities. It is just the way his brain works.
25+ History Board Games To Make History Come Alive | The Simple Balance
Homeschool History Games for Hands-On Learning | Proverbial Homemaker
Ancient History Projects
Projects get your kids to put their learning into practice. Developing activities through projects can include various activities that mix things up a bit. You can assign timelines, file folder projects, lap books, or notebooking projects.
Hands-On History Project Kits | Sonlight
Interesting Hands-On History Projects For Teens | Education Possible
Ancient History Maps
A fundamental building block for ancient history is identifying the location your kids are studying. Getting them involved with looking and making maps helps kids get an idea of where the ancient civilizations were located.
Ready-To-Use Map Test Sets | TeachLikeMisgley
Grab these hands-on activities for studying ancient history in your homeschool:
Great Ancient Civilizations Maps | Maps for the Classroom
FREE Ancient Civilizations Planning Checklist | TeachLikeMidgley
Ancient History Writing Paper Set | Homeschool Den
Cut and Create Ancient Civilization Timeline | Art Applications – Room 28
20 Cool STEM Activities to Learn About Ancient Times | Techie Homeschool Mom
Ancient History Printable Sets and Learning Activities | Research Planet
Homeschooling: 6th Grade FREE Ancient History | Muses of a Mom
Hands-on Ancient History Projects for Tweens | BookShark
Ancient History FREE Interactive Notebook Pages | A Page Out of History
An Ancient Civilizations Unit | The Cornerstone for Teachers
It may be easier to focus on one ancient civilization at a time. So here are some hands-on activities for studying ancient history separated by location.
Mesopotamia Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Ancient Mesopotamia Interactive Notebook | Student Savvy
An Ancient Mesopotamia History Unit | 123Homeschool4Me
FREE Online Resources For Learning About Ancient Mesopotamia | Learning Online Blog
China Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Ancient China FREE Lapbook | Homeschool Share
Some Ancient China Activities | 1st Grade Salt Life
Ancient China Interactive Notebook and Graphic Organizers | A Page Out of History
The Ancient China Packet (FREE Notebook Pages) | Homeschool Den
Ancient China Fact Hunt and Doodle Poster about ancient Chinese civilization | Brain Waves Instruction
Various Ancient China Projects | Growing Curious Minds
India Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Ancient India Interactive Notebook Unit | Amy Mezni -Teaching Ideas 4U
Awesome Ancient India STEM Challenges | Student Savvy
Egypt Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Ancient Egypt Interactive Notebook | Student Savvy
FREE Printables All About Ancient Egypt | Raising a Self-Reliant Child
Short Videos For Kids About Ancient Egypt | Learning Online Blog
Ancient Egypt for Kids Unit | Organized Homeschooler
Hands On Ancient Egypt Online Unit Study | Royal Baloo
Daily Life in Ancient Egypt Unit Study (FREE For a Limited Time ONLY) | Techie Homeschool Mom
FREE Egypt Printable | The Relaxed Homeschool
Sumeria Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Ancient Sumerian Lessons | Adventures in Mommydom
Rome Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Daily Life in Ancient Rome Unit | Heart 2 Heart Teaching
Israel Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Israelites & Early Christianity Interactive Notebook Unit Ancient Israel | Amy Mezni -Teaching Ideas 4U
Ancient Israel Activities Resource Bundle | Student Savvy
Greece Ancient History Hands-on Activities
Ancient Greece FREE Ancient World History Curriculum | Field of Daisies
FREE Ancient Greece Lapbook | Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!