We just finished up our Age of Exploration unit. I had promised when we were done we would act like explorers and go on an exploration in an Age of Exploration pretend play. I had been putting it off because I had ridiculously over-the-top plans for how we were going to do it. It turns out I didn’t really need to plan much, so this made for a quick and fun history lesson.
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This was our final activity after reading the Age of Exploration unit in All American History.
We kick off our Age of Exploration Pretend Play
First, we had a lunch similar to what the sailors might have eaten: Crackers (hard tack), cheese (mostly hard cheeses that store well), and sausage (which stores well, beef jerky would have been closer).
Future Ticia here, when we revisited this age when the kids were in 6th grade, the kids actually cooked sailor’s food. Back to the old Age of Exploration Pretend Play (Ha, even more Future Ticia 2023 linked it just a second ago).
They quite happily enjoyed what is actually a common meal at our house.
Here’s where I had grand plans of complicating it and making supplies and packing bags. It turns out all I need was an imagination.
How my kids came up with an even better Age of Exploration Pretend Play than I planned
First, we headed off to our ship to set sail (also known as our playscape). We sailed in it for a while until we were shipwrecked and forced to go to the lifeboats. Thankfully our ship was equipped with three lifeboats that were able to reach the Americas.
These are the lifeboats, I was graciously allowed to ride in the back of Superman’s. These also double as cannons to fight the bad guys.
Oh, and they’re also spaceships when you are playing a different game. This game might be played very frequently in my house.
Then we hunted for gold and treasures just like the explorers did.
Ours were pre-planted there by the kids, who happily went out and found their boxes full of treasure.
Then we had to fight our way out from the bad guys. I don’t know who they were, but it was lucky one of the treasures was weapons and armor because otherwise they totally would have defeated us.
Some more Age of Exploration lessons
- Ferdinand Magellan Lesson
- How big were Christopher Columbus’ ships?
- Age of Exploration dice game
- Age of Exploration Unit
- Henry Hudson lesson
The Lesson I learned from this Age of Exploration pretend play?
First, this is the cutest picture ever.
Seriously though, we as moms need to get out of the way of learning. I all too often try to make our lessons more complex they need to be. All we really needed was our backyard and some imagination, and in case you’re wondering my kids have plenty of imagination.
I’ll link this up over at All Things Beautiful.