A day out with the kids that is also educational; it’s pretty much the dream, isn’t it?
You get to hit two birds with one stone, earning you a huge number of extra Mum points in the bargain.
As wonderful as the idea of combining these two childhood essentials is, it’s not always feasible. That’s a shame, especially when you live in a country like the UK.
Why Is It A Particular Shame In The UK?
The UK is full of history. It could be argued this is the country where Western civilisation as we know it was born. That history is incorporated all around us.
Americans, for example, celebrate when their home town turns 200 years old. That’s nothing for us in the UK; some of us live in cities that date back to the Roman Age.
With all this history around us, there are plenty of ways to combine education with a lot of fun. In fact, let’s compile all the ways you can introduce your children to living history - and let them have all kinds of fun in the process.
1. Visit A Castle
There are castles everywhere in the UK, most of which are now in public hands. To ensure their survival, entertaining and exciting families has become a huge part of their business model - so there’s plenty of fun to be had in the midst of learning.
Here are a few to consider:
- The Tower Of London is perfectly for young kids who can’t get enough of gory stories. Tours are led by the Yeoman Warders, who are well versed in delighting the crowd with stories of the grisly tales from history. You can also visit the crown jewels, or meet the Ravenmaster and his flock.
- Warwick Castle is one of the best castles for family fun; they hold jousts, Tudor banquets, and battle re-enactments throughout the year. Located in Warwickshire, the castle is beautiful and huge - perfect for an absorbing family-friendly day out.
- Ludlow Castle in Wales was the traditional seat of the Prince of Wales; where they would learn Kingship before taking on the entire country. The castle is beautifully preserved, and set in a quaint market town that the whole family will love to explore.
These three options truly are just the tip of the iceberg - there’s so much to explore, so why not dive right on in?
2. Metal Detecting
There’s nothing quite like stumbling over a coin in a field and seeing that it dates back to Roman times. It’s one of the most obvious ways of connecting the present with the past, and can enthral children with a sense of the history that’s gone before them.
Grab yourself a metal detector from BestSpy and head out onto any open land. Always ensure you have permission to be there. There are plenty of groups which can help identify sites where metal detecting is welcome. Who knows, your family might be the next one to discover a hoard of gold.
3. The Trail of Battles
England has been the host of many wars over the centuries.
The Wars of the Roses in the 15th century have captured imaginations for centuries, while everyone knows something about the English Civil War.
These wars were a collection of pitched battles, often spread all over the country. Many were fought hundreds of years ago, but most sites of major conflicts are still found to this day. Some even have full-blown visitor centres on the sites of the battlefield itself, making great locations for metal detecting too. It’s more than possible to turn up spurs or other metal used in warfare, giving another exciting glimpse into the world of the past.
To take advantage of this, you could start a project where you try and visit the sites of all the major battles in a particular conflict. The Wars of the Roses, for example, would take you from Gloucestershire for the Battle of Tewkesbury, to north London for the Battle of Barnet.
Following the trails of these wars not only gives an insight into the history of the time, but also makes for a lovely way to see more of the country.
The UK has got so much to offer when it comes to history. Learning history is vital for a child’s education; as the saying goes, those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it.
By introducing historical learning outside of a classroom setting - and where it’s a whole lot more fun - you’re setting your kids up for an exciting, enlightened life.