When you think of Europe in Medieval times (500-1500 A.D.), you probably picture knights and ladies, jousts, and catapults. But the Middle Ages were also a time of great hardship for many, full of poverty, plague, and loss. These Middle Ages activities for kids explore both the romance and the challenges of life in a bygone era.
1. Read a book about the middle ages
Nothing helps kids understand history better than a captivating story set in a bygone era. There are lots of good options for Medieval times; get an excellent list at the link.
Learn more: Pragmatic Mom
2. Understand the structure of feudalism
Kings and nobles lived lives of relative luxury at the top. But if you lived back then, you’d most likely have been a peasant, working as a serf on the lands of your noble. Learn how life was very different for each of these classes at the link.
Learn more: Angelicscalliwags
3. Dine on medieval food
This is bound to be one of the most popular Middle Ages activities with your kids! Visit the link below for simple everyday recipes from the time, or take a step up and hold a grand Medieval feast!
Learn more: Glimmercat Presents
4. Play a game of Medieval Life
This clever game gives kids an idea of what it was like to live during these challenging times. Expand the experience by dressing and even dining like your character while you play!
Learn more: History Gal/Teachers Pay Teachers
5. Launch a catapult
This is the classic Middle Ages activity that every kid is waiting for. Follow the directions to build a catapult with wood craft sticks, or challenge kids to engineer their own with simple supplies.
Learn more: Kids Activities Blog
6. Paint with your catapult
Rather than battering down the castle walls, use your catapult to fling paint at a canvas. Every kid will adore this one!
Learn more: Fun-A-Day
7. Discover the worst jobs of the Middle Ages
Not everyone could be a princess or a knight! Learn about some of the worst jobs of the time, from barber surgeon to treadmill worker. (As always, please preview videos for age-appropriateness.)
8. Create a stained glass window
Life was infinitely harder during Medieval days, but that didn’t stop people from creating incredible works of art. Make stained glass windows inspired by the ones that adorned magnificent cathedrals.
Learn more: Glimmercat Presents
9. Make a no-sew knight tunic
This simple tunic requires no sewing skills, so kids of all ages can help put one together. So fun for dress up!
Learn more: The Bear & The Fox
10. Construct a cardboard shield
Prepare for battle with a sturdy cardboard shield and sword you can use for lots of Middle Ages activities. Decorate the shield with your coat of arms (see below).
Learn more: Red Ted Art
11. Design a coat of arms
Designing a coat of arms is more than just picking a few pictures you like. Learn all about the symbolism and rules of heraldry, then create a coat of arms to represent your personality.
Learn more: Happy Strong Home
12. Listen to a Middle Ages podcast
Podcasts are a nice way to give your teacher voice a break. Listen to one of these Middle Ages podcasts as you work on some of the other projects shown here.
Learn more: Play, Discover, Learn
13. Illuminate your initial
Illuminated manuscripts are another of the great treasures of Medieval times. Middle Ages activities like this one explore the artistry involved in creating them.
Learn more: Angelicscalliwags
14. Weave soda tab chain mail
What kid wouldn’t want to wear this cool coat of chain mail made from soda pull tabs? If this seems a little too complex, try making simple chain mail jewelry instead.
Learn more: Instructables
15. Make a hennin princess hat
Playing dress up is one of the best Middle Ages activities. For kids who aren’t interested in battling it out as a knight, make a classic princess hat (known as a “hennin”) instead.
Learn more: Doodle Craft
16. Explore the Black Plague
No study of the Middle Ages is complete without understanding the massive impact the Black Plague had on communities everywhere. This interesting simulation explores how it spread and the effects it had.
Learn more: Homeschool Den
17. Hold a joust
Jousts were a popular way for knights to practice for battle and show off their finely honed skills. Hold your own modern-day joust with pool noodle swords and washable paint.
Learn more: Adventures in Mommydom
18. Try your hand at calligraphy
The printing press wasn’t invented until the very final days of the Middle Ages, so books were produced by monks, painstakingly handwriting page after page. Learn to replicate their beautiful calligraphy using something you probably already have anyway—Magic Markers!
Learn more: TPK
19. Give archery a try
Swords and shields were usually reserved for knights and members of the aristocracy, but all Medieval men were expected to learn archery. Make your own bow and arrow and give it a try!
Learn more: The Imagination Tree
20. Don a knight helmet
Complete your knight costume with these easy-to-make cardboard helmets. You’re ready for anything now!
Learn more: Kindergarten Expert
21. Build a castle
Kings and other powerful people built castles to protect their property, family, and even citizens. Learn what made a good castle, then design and build one yourself from whatever materials you have at hand.
Learn more: Be a Fun Mum
22. Learn to write in Viking runes
Viking raids were a common threat during parts of the Middle Ages. Explore the fascinating Viking culture, and use runes to write your name on a pendant.
Learn more: Ofamily Learning Together
23. Test your aim with a javelin toss
These days, we usually only see javelins every four years in the Olympics. It’s an ancient weapon that was regularly used in Medieval times. Grab a dowel rod and see if you can aim it through a practice ring.
Learn more: An Art Family
24. Dance around a maypole
Perhaps one of the most joyous of Middle Ages activities, Maypole dances were once a required celebration of spring. Erect your own pole and learn the intricate dances to weave beautiful ribbon patterns. Fun, and good exercise too!
Learn more: Highhill Education
History lover? Check out these 22 History Jokes and Memes We Dare You Not to Laugh At.