Bring History to Life

Books, Movies, TV Shows and Games that Make Kids Love History

Memorizing facts and figures often makes learning history a chore for kids. It's the stories of human struggles and triumphs that truly make the past come alive. This month, with kids learning about African-American history -- as well as enjoying the Presidents' Day holiday -- we love finding ways to help kids experience history on a personal level. These recommendations add a human dimension that make the stories not just memorable but relatable as well.

Kids of all ages will revel in the uplifting poetry of Langston Hughes in his celebratory poem "My People" -- just one of the outstanding titles on our list of Award-Winning African-American Books .

Our selected Civil Rights books offer lessons in courage -- and controversy -- for kids as young as 4 with stories about prominent figures Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and more.

For older kids, movies like A Raisin in the Sun and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings bring deeper insights into the African-American experience by exploring the legacy of racism.

And while reading is always great, sometimes watching history shows on TV makes the lessons really stick. From prehistory to planet Earth, the programs on our History on TV list offer close-up views on early man, population growth -- and even how antiques provide a window to the past.

Studying the life and times of historical figures is an entertaining way for kids to appreciate the accomplishments of famous people. For this perspective, we love Biopic Movies , which depict the stories of notable folks from Abraham Lincoln to Muhammad Ali.

Occasionally -- well maybe more than occasionally -- kids see through your attempts to turn their fun time into learning. That's when we think outside the box. Game-inclined kids can get a lot out of playing through the past using Games that Teach History . And some of the silly stories from our list of Hilarious History Movies can provide great jumping-off points to discuss the way things really happened. Or they can just offer a few moments of cherished family time.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate history with your kids?