Flags and fireworks and apple pie! Oh my! It’s July 4th once again and in honour of the occasion, we have put together a collection of the top five educational websites featuring interactive activities, games, and videos all centered on the American Revolution. There are a multitude of kid-friendly history sites out there that can teach your child all about the Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, and the Founding Fathers, so why not take advantage of them? Whether in first grade or sixth grade, these five websites will ensure your child learns the history behind Independence Day and has fun doing it!
History.org has a Kid’s Zone filled with colonial America-themed games perfect for kids ages 6 to 10. Games include Midnight Messenger, a kid’s take on Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, an interactive portrait of George Washington where kids can click on parts of the portrait to see key facts about the American Revolution (pictured above), and a Colonial Days Colouring Book. The best part? All games are iPad compatible.
2. PBS Liberty!
PBS Liberty! is the perfect website for middle schoolers. The Road to Revolution game allows players to follow the path that the Revolution took, starting in Boston with the Stamp Act Congress, and ending in Yorktown with the final surrender of British troops. In order to advance further along the path, players must answer a trivia question about an important moment in the American Revolution. If you want to brush up on your knowledge before playing the game, the website also has a Chronicle of the Revolution page highlighting important documents and events in the Revolutionary War, as well as providing a timeline of events from 1760 to 1791.
Historyforkids.org takes historical events and documents and transforms them using kid-friendly language. The website features a “kidipede” that turns complex history into simple, kid-friendly content. In essence, it makes history accessible for kids. There is a fantastic version of the Declaration of Independence created by the website using language easy enough for your child to understand. The site has other pages on the Revolutionary War and Colonial America, too!
4. National Archives
The U.S. National Archives website puts your children right in the centre of the action by having them sign the Declaration of Independence. Before signing, the site provides a bit of background information on the Declaration. Next, your child must choose a quill, type in their name, and the site generates a copy of the Declaration of Independence that INCLUDES your child’s signature. There are printing options in both black and white and colour, so be sure to print it off and hang it on the fridge.
5. Planet Science
In the midst of all this history, give your child an impromptu science lesson! Though fireworks may not have a played a prominent role in American Independence, they have become an essential part of July 4th festivities. Planet Science provides an excellent webpage (featuring videos) that explains the science behind fireworks. From the explosion to the colour of the fireworks to the pattern they make in the sky, after exploring this website, your child will be a master of all things fireworks.