History: Teaching Battles to Young Children

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Our main history book right now is An Island Story by H. E. Marshall. The book is GREAT. Each lesson is a story; one chapter may cover a king’s entire life briefly while some kings have many chapters. Some stories are easy to understand and make you want to jump into the book and live the history. Wars and battles are just… confusing. Which king belongs to which country? Why were they fighting? Who became allied with them? It is difficult to read the story and still help my littles understand who, what, where, why, when, and how. 

teaching battles to young children title pic

I have found three simple ways to help my children have fun and remember the kings and battles.

1. I make a fast Word document with the pictures of the two kings. With each picture is the ame of the ruler and the country they ruled. Sometimes all I can find is a statue, sometimes there are many famous paintings of the king. I keep the artwork mixed and we learn more about art styles while learning history.kings wars vs2. I print maps of the battles. We don’t study the maneuvers in great detail, but the maps help them to understand  how the people were walking/riding from different directions to meet at the place of battle.

battle of crecy map3. I found these great Medieval army men on Amazon:


Since we already have a map, we set these little guys up directly on the map and “fight” the battle.  To make it better, we can have “army” men for every time period! There are medieval knights, Greek warriors, and army men that are period-correct for nearly every historical time! We set up our men and act out the battle as we read.

How do you teach battles and wars to your children? Let me know in the comments!

About Bethany

I'm a wife of nearly 8 years to partner in blogging and crime, Danny. We have four children: Bella, age 6, Declan, age 4, Charlotte, age 2, and Nikolai, age 4 months. I enjoy mothering, homemaking, crafting, and homeschooling and am in a nearly constant state of activity trying to keep up with all my little ones.
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