Are you looking for ways to bring the study of history alive in your homeschool?  Hands-on learning sparks student engagement and motivation. As homeschool parents, we love anything that brings kids to the table ready to learn! 

Read on for five fantastic ways to make history exciting for your learners through hands-on learning.


A Caucasian girl with brown hair and wide eyes takes a bite out of a piece of white rock candy.
Making and eating rock candy

Everyone eats!  Make the people of the past more relatable by sampling some of their favorite dishes.  Sample fruits and vegetables native to the region you are studying.  Visit a restaurant featuring the cuisine of the country you are studying. Search for traditional recipes and cook them at home.  Take a foraging class and learn about native food plants in your area.


An instruction booklet labeled "How to Play Senet" and a wooden board decorated with hand-drawn hieroglyphs. Black and white round playing pieces and black and plain craft sticks are scattered around.
Senet is one of the world's oldest boardgames

It’s all fun and games when you are into gameschooling.  You can look for a board game related to your area of study or play a historical game.  How about the Royal Game of Ur or the Egyptian game, Senet?   Study the history of chess and then play a few rounds!  Research the history of card games and discuss why decks of cards were so popular on ships.  Work on navigation skills with a scavenger hunt.  Make your own trivia game to review the cultures you have studied.  The library often has books describing different types of games and how to play them.

Building Challenges

A young girl leans over a LEGO pyramid with a gap-toothed smile
LEGO is a great option for hands-on learning!

Does your young learner like LEGO or Minecraft?  Get them to use their skills in a building challenge? One of our kids built a Scythian Kurgan (burial mound) in Minecraft. She was imaginative in filling it with treasure and skeletons.  Use clay, craft sticks, or natural materials to recreate structures from the past.  Model irrigation with pebbles, dirt, and water in a baking dish.

Role Play

A child's hands are threading beads onto the upright frame of a basket in the process of being woven
Basket-weaving is a unique hands-on learning skill

One of our most memorable activities was Stone Age Camp.  The kids experimented with bark versus moss as a roof material.  Then they pretended they were setting up a camp like the ancient Jomon people. First, they wove and filled baskets with supplies. To "keep warm" and "cook", they set up a simulated fire ring.  They played in their camp for days. Talk about hands-on learning!

Art Projects

A child's hands weave a thread through purple and white beads on a bead loom

Hands-on learning about the Powhatan people through reproduction shell beads.

Connect with the people of the past by using traditional art techniques. For thousands of years, artisans have made objects both beautiful and functional.  Try various techniques and focus on the process, not the product.

Getting Started

Are you looking for a secular homeschool curriculum that does the planning for you?  History Unboxed has a multisensory approach to learning history.  Play traditional instruments, sample historical recipes, create beautiful artwork, and more! Our full curriculum packages  come with a free PDF lesson plan download and everything you need for hands-on learning right in the box!  

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