After the popularity of our Science Resources for Kids List, we’ve been asked to make a list of recommendations for history resources for kids.
We will update this list in the coming months, and will concentrate on resources you can access online – YouTube channels, online archives, websites and blogs. Don’t forget to look at the Jump! Mag History archive.
If you know any that we have missed, do leave a comment below.
* NOTE FOR PARENTS *
When we were compiling this list, we realised that a lot of ‘History for Kids’ sites are aimed at younger kids – under 10 years. There are only so many games and word searches about the building of pyramids that will hold the attention of older or more advanced readers, no matter how well they are made.
For this reason, we have not limited our resource list to ‘Children’s History’ sites. Do be aware that some of the archives may contain reference to more advanced topics. Many of these sites do have a kids section, which would be suitable for younger readers.
British Library Archives
The British Library has a wonderful archive – venture outside the KidsZone, to discover the Sounds of History and more. We particularly liked the Untold Lives section, where we found this article about the Frost Fairs, held on the ice when the Thames froze.
When the ice on the river was solid enough Frost Fairs were held between the Old London Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge. The Fairs were spontaneous parties on the frozen river, and large numbers of people joined in. Tents were erected, made up of blankets held up by disused oars. There were temporary pubs on the ice with names such as ‘The City of Moscow’ or ‘The Wellington’, whole oxen were roasted, and people could enjoy entertainments such as bull or bear baiting, roundabouts, and puppet-shows, or play football or other games.
The US Library of Congress
On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Library of Congress doesn’t just look amazing, it also has fantastic online history resources. You will have to dig around a bit, as the website isn’t very easy to navigate, but it is worth the search. The Today in History section has gems like this
Traveler Emma H. Adams, of Cleveland, Ohio, visited Tucson in 1884. She described it as “a queer old town,” but was struck by the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the desert outpost:
Americans, Mexicans, Germans, Russians, Italians, Austrians, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Greeks, the Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, the African, Irishman, and Sandwich Islander are all here, being drawn to the spot by the irresistible mining influence.
Adams spent ten days in Tucson before traveling on, via the Central Pacific Railway, to Los Angeles. She describes her journey from New Mexico through the desert to Tucson, including a visit to the Mission San Xavier del Bac, in chapters eight and nine of her travel journal which documents rail trips to the west taken from 1883 to 1886.
Duke University Library
Advertisements can tell us a lot about a time period. What people wore, what they purchased, what concerned them and how they wanted the future to be. This advert for a home intercom system from 1947 might amuse you.
Check out the wonderful oral history resources.the
The Behind the Veil series chronicles African-American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South, from the 1890s to the 1950s.
I remember when I was a junior, I was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and I wrote an editorial requesting a gymnasium. We played basketball outside with the court enclosed with pieces of tin to keep the wind out, whereas the white school had a gymnasium and I said we wanted a gymnasium. That was the type of editorial. My principle kept it from being published of course. He said he would explain it to me later, now thirty or forty years later, he still hasn’t explained it to me, but I understood. So that is basically the way it was, segregation. As you know, the 1954 desegregation act meant very little to us at that time in terms of any changes. So I graduated from a segregated high school.
Black History Month – African American History Month
In US this is celebrated in February, and in UK in October. Time Magazine has good resources to explore from the point of view of US, and BlackHistoryMonth UK has teaching resources here for UK. Check out the 100 Black Britons site for contemporary and historical figures.
Women’s History Month
During her aviation career, from the 1930s through the 1960s, Jacqueline Cochran (d. 1980) set more speed and altitude records than any contemporary pilot, male or female, and was the first woman to break the sound barrier. Find out about other inspirational women in our archives and browse the Smithsonian photo files here.
The BBC mainly concentrates on history from a British perspective but also covers world history. Try one of the quiz or games or check out their fab podcasts on various topics. This walking tour of UK with Tony Robinson is excellent, as is the History of Ancient Britain and the Great British Story; A People’s History.
The Spartacus Educational website provides free history resources for students and teachers in UK, but isn’t restricted to UK. The American history section is extensive, and they also have a great section on famous people – artists, engineers and scientists, journalists, cartoonists and more.
British Pathe has a wonderful archive of old films, free to preview on the site.
The British Museum‘s section for children is worth a look – especially the video section. The rest of the site has wonderful resources for older children.