Kids naturally love learning about history and science and interacting with the world around them. If you’re looking for some new ideas to try in your homeschool, check out these ten history and science projects. When you start with engaging literature-based lessons in science and history, you can easily use any of these hands-on ideas to extend the learning.
1. Lap Books
Lap Books provide a tangible way for children to process what they’re learning and make connections. Artsy kids love the visual aspect of lap books. You can create lap books for each topic in history or science, or you can create a large lap book that covers multiple weeks of study. The finished project will include crafts and other creative means to detail your kids’ understanding.
Some families like to work on lap books piece-by-piece as they study through a topic. Other families use it as an end of the semester review and assessment activity. Either way you choose to do it, lap books are a great tool both for learning and reviewing.
2. History Project Kits
If you’re looking for a multi-sensory learning experience, then History Project Kits are the way to go. Your children can build models, experiment with new art forms, and enjoy learning new skills. This will make history come alive as you jump from your literature-based history lessons into these kinesthetic history projects. History Project Kits include all the supplies you need plus detailed instructions.
Sonlight has hands-on History Project Kits to help your kids immerse themselves in the study of World War I, World War II, and World Cultures.
3. Discover & Do Science Experiment Kits
You can use the same hands-on learning as an extension of your science studies with Discover & Do Science Experiment Kits. Children remember more when they are engaged with their hands and their minds. They will love adding to their science knowledge with these experiment kits. Sonlight offers a Discover & Do Kindergarten Kit and a Discover & Do 1st Grade Kit. Each kit includes 36 science experiments and activities.
Check out these fun topics:
- build a boat that floats
- learn how to make a simple machine
- explore the phases of the moon
- build the best kite
- and more!
Hands-on science activities bring so much to a child’s learning experience; so you definitely don’t want to skip experiments. Sonlight’s Science Experiment Kits make it so easy by including everything you need.
4. Integrate Literature & Hands-On Approaches
Science is always learned best with multiple modalities. So, instead of just reading about a science topic in a dry textbook, go with a literature-based approach that will engage your kids with high-interest books. Then, add in at least one hands-on project each week to really solidify the learning.
Adding in a STEM-integrated hands-on project helps kids to start thinking like an engineer or scientist and to experience the scientific process for themselves. They will learn to practically apply their natural curiosity and figure out how things work and how to improve them.
If adding in weekly science experiments sounds stressful to you, then you’ll love the approach of Sonlight Science.
Each weekly hands-on science activity directly correlates to the reading from the week. Plus, with the clear instructions and materials list, you’ll be successful in integrating literature-rich science lessons with hands-on projects and activities.
5. Hands-on Art Projects for History
While your kids are busy crafting, you can lead a discussion and tell them about the historical background. Talking about the topic while you’re crafting is a great way to reinforce the lesson. Plus, children usually remember details much longer when they are busy creating in tandem with the new content.
6. Extension Projects
When you use a literature-based approach, you can easily jump into extension projects to take the learning further. Because your books naturally grab your child’s attention and curiosity, you’re able to engage them more with the topic. Start with the literature that you’re using for history or science and consider if you can add in some creative and crafty learning. Your creative kids will thrive when you add in these fun hands-on projects. Gather some of the smaller extension projects you pursue into a larger project to include in your homeschool portfolio.
7. Primary Sources
Don’t forget to look at primary sources for additional learning! Your kids can assemble newspaper clippings, postcards, handwritten letters, and more to visually retell a historical event. Watch videos of speeches and famous events.
Imagine watching a presidential inauguration from decades ago instead of just reading about it. Or, find a newspaper article detailing a historical event from the time it happened. Giving historical events an accurate context is important and it will help your kids understand historical significance much better. So, start with your specific topics of study and then consider which primary sources you can track down to add to the learning. Middle schoolers will benefit by learning how to find primary sources and learn historical context.
8. Oral History Projects
Some of us still have older relatives that would love to be included in an oral history project! Think of the possibilities. Do you have a relative or friend that lived through a world war? Ask them about their personal experiences. Did a family member come to the United States from another country? Conduct an oral history interview of family members at your next holiday gathering. Relatives can contribute their oral histories for you to use to create a historical timeline.
You can even include community members that lived through historical events. Ask them lots of questions and record their answers for a super engaging history project. High school students could do a really detailed final oral history project by including video. Some of your older students might even want to create a short podcast series with these interviews. It would be a family treasure for sure, plus a valuable part of recording history for future generations.
9. Special collections
There are many unit studies available online so you can enjoy teaching your kids rather than recreating all the resources yourself. Check out some of Sonlight’s ready-made unit studies to add to your history and science studies and projects. As you read books for history or science, you can add in a few hands-on activities to continue and extend the learning.
10. Famous Figures
Finally, kids love to play with paper dolls and figures. So, why not take your history studies and create some Famous Figures for them to use to reenact the lessons. This is a great hands-on history project idea that even your littles will love. Here are some of the Famous Figures that Sonlight has available.
- Ancient Times
- Middle Ages & Renaissance
- Early Modern Era
- American Revolution
- Civil War
With all these ideas, may you have inspiration for adding engaging activities to make science and history more interesting in your homeschool.
Sonlight is a complete, literature-based, Christian homeschool curriculum with every subject for students from Preschool through high school. Our curriculum uses a variety of materials to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbooks and memorization: literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations, and hands-on experiments. These resources come with thorough lesson plans and notes, so that you can enjoy successful homeschooling. Customers who buy from Sonlight enjoy a liberal arts education that produces critical thinkers who are ambassadors for Christ with a heart for the world. Visit us online and request a FREE catalog today!