When you think back to your days sitting in history class, what comes to mind? I am a lover of stories, and I’m also kind of a dork, and I loved history class. That said, I didn’t always love the memorization of dates, places, people, and events. I would delight in the stories contained in my textbook and cringe when it came time to make those pre-test flash cards to help with memorization. I’m going to be honest here, folks. I cannot recall a fun, hands-on history project from my days in public school. I can recall some fun current event and geography projects, but not a single one from history class. Can you?
In our family, we love to study ancient history. Leo loves to listen to Story of the World on audiobook when we are in the car. I enjoy them, too, just as I did when I was younger. Still, it has been a long time since I studied history and so I am re-learning history alongside my children.
As Leo and I drive around town, listening to history’s best stories, I brainstorm project ideas. It can be difficult for young children to conceptualize ancient history, and I know that hands-on learning is so important at this age. I have the best of intentions, folks. I really would like to sit down and have some hands-on history fun, but those intentions never make it off my mental to-do list. With two young children running around, it’s just hard for me to brainstorm, plan, and carry out hands-on history fun.
Hands-On History Fun, Delivered Monthly to Your Door!
Disclosure: I received the “Athens Unboxed” kit from History Unboxed for free in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions expressed herein are my own. I only recommend products that my family has enjoyed and that I believe others will love. The truth is that we enjoyed History Unboxed so much that we ordered “Egypt Unboxed” and the time capsule project.
If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time, you already know that my family subscribes to several monthly kits as part of our homeschooling. There are some fantastic kits out there, but I was unaware of a fun history themed kit … until now.
Enter History Unboxed, a monthly subscription that provides hands-on history fun.
What is History Unboxed?
History Unboxed is a monthly subscription service that provides hands-on history fun, delivered right to your door. I love that History Unboxed was created by a homeschooling mom of five children, educator, and history enthusiast. In other words, someone who gets this homeschooling thing. I also appreciate that there are two age options for kits: 5-9 years and 10-15 years, and that History Unboxed offers special pricing to those ordering for large families, co-ops, and classrooms.
So, what comes in a History Unboxed kit?
The basic premise of History Unboxed is that two siblings, 13-year-old Ava and 8-year-old Zane, magically travel through time on a historical adventure, sharing hands-on fun along the way. When you sign your child up for this History Unboxed adventure, you will receive a welcome box. The welcome box includes:
- An interactive timeline
- An introductory letter from either Ava or Zane, depending upon your child’s age, and an age-appropriate welcome comic strip created by an artist
- A Time Capsule kit to create your very own historic artifact
- Additional introductory materials for use with your subscription
Each month, you will receive a kit from the time traveling duo. Each box will include age-appropriate hands-on learning activities, crafts, and enrichment materials, in addition to a comic strip. Currently, History Unboxed has the following kits:
- Ancient India Unboxed
- Anglo-Saxons Unboxed
- Athens Unboxed
- Egypt Unboxed
- Mesoamerica Unboxed
- Phoenicia Unboxed
- Time Capsule Kit
- Timeline Poster
History Unboxed provides hands-on history fun that will help your child to better understand historical events, places, people, culture, and art. As someone who has the very best of intentions when it comes to history projects, but a terrible track record of actually making those intentions happen, I was thrilled to try out a kit!
Our Athens Unboxed kit included:
- Plato’s allegory of The Cave
- Art supplies for shadow puppets, to help bring The Cave to life
- Art supplies to make your very own Attic Black style Greek pottery
- A historic coloring sheet/comic strip
- Stickers for our timeline
- A CD of Greek myths read aloud by Jim Weiss
We received our kit late one afternoon, just as we were heading to a friend’s house. The kids were so excited that the kit had arrived that I agreed we could take a peek and spend some time on it for a little bit, before continuing with the kit the following day. Upon opening the kit, my little artist immediately got to work on the pottery…
… while T, Seuss, and I read Plato’s allegory of The Cave aloud. We had a little philosophical discussion about appearance vs. reality, after which it was time to meet our friends. This worked out perfectly because the pottery was a two-part project and the paint needed to dry.
And, of course, we had to listen to the Greek Mythology CD on our drive over to our friends’ house. As Story of the World fans, we love Jim Weiss. The CD was a huge hit, and we have listened to it over and over and over again.
Early the next day, the kids woke up asking to continue with History Unboxed. After breakfast, we got to work.
My children are 7, 5 1/2, and almost 4-years-old and they were able to enjoy this kit together, with minimal adult assistance.
When my little artists were finishes, we re-read Plato’s The Cave and talked about it once more. Then, armed with shadow puppets and flashlight, we went upstairs to find a dark space for some fun!
It was challenging to capture this part on film, but here’s a little glimpse for you:
History Unboxed is a perfect complement to our family’s history curriculum, and it’s fun. My children enjoyed the Athens Unboxed kit, especially the audio CD which I’ve almost memorized at this point. While my children were having fun, they were learning about the art, culture, philosophy, and history of ancient Athens.
And I didn’t have to plan a thing, folks. I sat back and watched the fun unfold with a big smile on my face.
So, how do I sign up?
If your family is interested in exploring History Unboxed, you can go to their website and select individual products or a monthly subscription. And because we enjoyed History Unboxed so much, we joined their affiliate program. If you use the code mylittlepoppies at check-out, your family will receive 5% off your order.
But wait… there’s more…
History Unboxed is now offering their very first school-year-long course. Registration will happen during the month of August. If you are interested in this course, you can click here to sign up. Again, be sure to use the code mylittlepoppies at check-out to receive your discount.
Love history? Follow History Unboxed:
Now it’s your turn. How do you bring history to life at home? Do you have any hands-on history fun tips? Share here!
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool and GeekMom. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, and Scary Mommy. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram