Updated: Jul 9, 2020
If you and your Little want to know more about history, here are two great resources that will make exploring American history more fun.
Want to pretend to be the President in a trying time? Test out the interactive game Playing the President: FDR’s First Hundred Days. Women & the American Story, which provides information on women's history while the blog History Detectives mixes learning and fun.
The House of Representatives website features Kids in the House, with educational activities divided into categories for kids of all ages from young learners to high school. There’s a page on Hispanic Americans in Congress and information on how the House chamber has evolved as well as information on how a bill becomes a law, tailored to each age group.
The Smithsonian offers home-learning options, including the online tool Our Story from the National Museum of American History, which helps children experience history at home through books, everyday objects and activities.
Take a virtual tour of national landmarks.
If your Little and you are interested in American history, the internet has plenty of resources. The website Architect’s Virtual Capitol is an immersive look at the heart of federal government. Choose from several videos about the history of the National Capitol, a virtual walking tour of its campus or an interactive map of other key sites in Washington. While there’s nothing quite like getting an up-close-and-personal look at the Statue of Liberty, an interactive virtual tour by the National Park Service comes close. It offers panoramic views of the statue’s exterior and interior, saving you the strenuous climb.
Or visit Philadelphia’s Independence National Historical Park, home to Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, through educational videos, photo galleries and more on the National Park Service’s website. You can also take a virtual tour of St. John’s Church in Richmond, Va., through its website, or watch educational videos about the Second Virginia Convention, the weeklong meeting in 1775 where Patrick Henry delivered his famous “Give me liberty, or give me death” speech to more than 100 delegates who had gathered to discuss the future of the colonies.
The Founding Fathers certainly excluded many from their vision, so consider exploring key moments in the fight against slavery by clicking through “The Struggle for African American Freedom,” an online exhibition on Google’s Arts & Culture platform from the Henry Ford museum complex in Dearborn, Mich. And, while not a national landmark, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in Manhattan also has a virtual exhibition on Google’s platform titled “African-Americans in the U.S. Military,” detailing African-Americans’ roles in American conflicts, starting with the Revolution.