One of my favorite things is when my kids take on a project independently. Especially when I didn’t suggest it or provide guidelines. Earlier this month we were invited to Medieval Times for a behind the scenes tour and a showing of the event. The last time I was there was over 25 years ago, so I was really excited – more excited than my kids. But the moment we arrived at the castle they realized what a great experience we were in for.
We met the Head Knight, the Head Trainer, and a few of the horses. We cheered on the red knight and my daughter received the Queen of the Tournament ribbon. It was splendid.
Anyway, I prepared an article for Dandelion Moms complete with a study guide for learning more about the Middle Ages, the Feudal System, and Knights. You can read that article here. During the writing process I checked out several books from the library, including activity books. My son grabbed the How to Draw Knights and Castles book and set off on his own adventure. He filled a page with drawings and requested bigger paper. I picked up a large piece of poster board that night and he proceeded to do an entire workup of castles, armor, shields, weapons, and horses – all without me saying a word.
While he did this project I learned a few things:
- He is thinking more about layout and presentation and understands that everything can’t just be crammed into the space.
- He is paying attention even when I think he isn’t.
- He can be really productive when given the right tools and a little bit of freedom and encouragement.
I purchased two pieces of poster board so we’ll see what #2 produces!
We did a lot of learning about knights and castles over the last few weeks and I’ll be posting some new activity pages on this topic later, but for now, here are some great books and activities to go along with the knights and castles theme:
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