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Marco Polo and Henry the Naviagtor Lesson for Kids

Kids will have fun learning about early explorers Marco Polo and Prince Henry the Navigator with these clever hands on activities and free printables!

Fun ideas for teaching kids about early explorers Marco Polo and Prince Henry the Navigtor including hands on activities and free explorer printables. #historyforkids #marcopolo #homeschool

Next up in our homeschool history for kids  is the 2nd week in our hands on early explorers for kids unit. This week’s history lesson focuses on Marco Polo and Henry the Navigator for Kids.



Walk the Silk Route Hands on History for Homeschoolers

We walked the silk route (like Marco Polo did).  I put different items along our route to ‘discover’. Items we discovered along the way that were new to the Europeans: umbrella, coal, paper money, postal system, kite, hot water from tap, and good roads. The road then took us to the kitchen.

Spice Painting of Kublai Khan’s Palace

We explored spices from the East: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, pepper, saffron, and poppy.  After smelling & feeling differences Goofy made a painting with the spices of Kublai Khanh’s palace. He LOVED this activity!

Marco Polo for Kids- hands on homeschool historySpice Painting for Kids homeschool history

Learning about Camels

We learned about camels (we were going to make a sock puppet camel, but we ran out of time and had recently made snowman out of socks)

Math in Early Explorers

It took 4 years for Marco Polo to get to China to meet Kublai Khan – how many days/month/years is that?

Discovering Silk for Homeschoolers

Explore silk by going to a fabric store. I let the kids explore with their hands. They felt the difference in materials: silk was a favorite =-)

Tasting Chinese Food for Homeschool Marco Polo Study

Chinese is one of our favorite kinds of food so I whipped up some Kung Pao for dinner. You could also easily get some take out and eat out of the fun take out containers!! (If you live in Minnesota you HAVE to try Willow Gate – my favorite Chinese restaurant ever!!)

Marco Polo Lesson Plans Worksheets

Marco Polo Books for Kids

Favorite books to teach about Marco Polo in order of preference: #1 – Marco Polo by Demi (our cover looks different; it has beautiful illustrations that are gold & look like they are from the old Orient, tells the story in good depth for K-4th), #2 – written like a comic so great for a kid who is reading; summarized story but covers the highlights, #3 – you are the servant traveling with Marco Polo; good reality check with illustrations & information; written for 1st-6th grade


marco polo lesson plans worksheets

Download FREE Marco Polo Lapbook and Worksheets for Homeschoolers

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>> Download Marco Polo Lapbook <<


Prince Henry the Navigator for Kids

Homeade Compass for Kids

We made a compass – Find a plastic lid (think the size of a mayonnaise jar) and fill it with water. Slice a carrot, zucchini, etc. Strike a needle with a magnet 40 times and insert in veggie. Put veggie in the lid with water & watch it work! Goofy that it was pretty cool!!
Homeade Compass for Kids

Compass Scavenger Hunt

We had a Compass Scavenger Hunt(I would give you a printable, but this was personal to our house so it wouldn’t do you much good.) Goofy went certain number of paces N or S, turned East, etc. He thought it was so much fun he asked to do it again!

Henry the Navigator Books

I did not find any good book to read on Prince Henry…. so we read the information about him I found online and located Portugal & Africa on a map. (Because of this there is not a lapbook on him, but we did pencil him in to our lapbook timeline.)

History for Kids  Historical Fiction for Kids Arranged by Time Period free-worksheets
Plus, don’t miss our other fun hands-on history lessons, these amazing historical fiction for kids, and our vast archives of over 200,000 pages of free homeschool printables for Prek-12th grade!

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activites and FREE printables: www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com


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