24 Fascinating Activities to Teach Kids About the European Medieval and Middle Ages

Ways to explore Medieval Europe.

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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

Middle Ages Activities

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.

Plus, 30 Shakespeare Activities & Printables for the Classroom.

24 Fascinating Activities to Teach Kids About the European Medieval and Middle Ages

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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