Join us as we discover what it was like in Valley Forge during the American Revolutionary War with these fun hands-on Revolutionary War for Kids activities. This fun history for kids lesson includes rolling cartridges activity, cold feet activity, dragon pistols, and other Revolutionary War Project Ideas, lots of great book recommendations, and a free printable revolutionary war lapbook with important dates and people. This is a fun American history for kids unit for kindergartners, first graders, 2nd graders, 3rd graders, 4th graders, 5th graders, and 6th graders.
Revolutionary War for Kids
Learn about famous Americans during our War of Independence from the British around 1776 with this fun American history for kids lesson. In our revolutionary war lapbook you will learn about important people from both the red coats (lobster tails) and patriots of the militia as well as major events in the timeline from the Boston Massacre to the Declaration of Independence and George Washington leading the 13 colonies to become the United States of America. We have also included revolutionary war project ideas to keep kindergartners and elementary age students in grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 engaged and make learning fun!
We did some fun hands on history projects like cold feet, dragon pistols, rolling cartridges, field trip to valley forge, leaned about Benedict Arnold, and finished our free American Revolution Lapbook. This has been such a fun history unit to explore together as a homeschooling family.
Revolutionary War Lapbook
Valley Forge for Kids
We watched episode 23 (The Hessians are Coming) to the end of the series ~#39 from the outstanding Liberty Kids video series. (If you have middle school+ age children you might want to check out The Founding of America Megaset)
Valley forge Cold Feet Activity for Kids (Winter 1777-1778 )
After reading our history books and watching Liberty Kids we tried to get an idea of how cold the soldiers were in Valley Forget during the Revolutionary War. We put ice packs attached to our feet with rubberbands to get an idea of how cold the soldiers were at Valley Forget. Many soldiers didn’t have warm coats or blankets.
I wanted to make firecakes like the soldiers did, but didn’t get to it. Basically they mixed flour and water to make a dough. Then they put it on hot stones around the fire for something to eat. Not very good, but they were hungry and rations were limited!
We took a “fieldtrip” to Valley Forge as part of our Revolutionary War Road trip (see post here). The men were in groups with others from their same company / state. Some states were better supplied than others. Some barely had enough food, blankets, and some were even missing shoes! It was very moving to see the type of shelter they built (looked very much like Lincoln Log homes) and watch the movie to get a feel for the conditions.
There were various canon’s left from their defenses that Goofy thought were VERY cool! At first I kept thinking wow these are still here from the beginning of our nation… then I kept thinking how young of a nation we are (200+) and how much things had change in 200 years! I wonder what 200 more years will bring….
Alliance with France – Feb 1778
Rolling Cartridges Homeschool History Project
I first found the idea of rolling cartridges in the Konos American Revolution Activity Book. I love having lots of hands on activities to help make history come alive! We rolled our own cartridges out of paper and filled them with our gun powder (sand) and a musket ball (marble). After rolling several we had an idea of how time consuming this task was for the soldiers.
The Battle of Cowpen – January 7, 1781
Dragon Pistols Hands on American History Project for Kids
We made our own Dragon Pistols (I saw the idea at Squidoo here) using a scrap piece of wood that we super glued a clothespin on. The ammunition was rubber bands. It actually works very well & continues to be a BIG hit. Another option would be to make muskets using Let’s be Early Settlers with Daniel Boon by Peggy Parish
Yorktown – British surrender October 19, 1781
Treaty of Paris September 3, 1783 (Benjamin Franklin, John Adams)
Famous People of the Revolutionary War for Kids
Benedict Arnold American History for Kids
Benedict Arnold was a general during the American Revolutionary War who originally fought for the American Continental Army but defected to the British Army. While fighting for America, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and plotted to surrender it to the British forces. After the plot was exposed in 1780 he served the British Army as a brigadier general.
Lord Charles Cornwallis
Lord Charles Cornwallis-was a British Army officer and colonial administrator. In the United States and the United Kingdom he is best remembered as one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence. His surrender in 1781 to a combined American and French force at the Siege of Yorktown ended significant hostilities in North America.
John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones was a Scottish sailor and the United States’ first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War. Although he made enemies among America’s political elites, his actions in British waters during the Revolution earned him an international reputation which persists to this day. “I have not yet begun to fight.”
Women in the war
NOTE: Sometimes we skim through these books. I cannot guarantee the books in their entirety as we only uses parts or look at pictures. So forgive me if there is something in these recommendations that I don’t see =-)
See the rest of the lessons in this Revolutionary War for Kids unit:
- Revolutionary War for Kids Lesson 1 – War is Brewing
- Revolutionary War for Kids Lesson 2 – The Shot Hear Round the World
- Revolutionary War for Kids Lesson 3 – Declaration of Independence Worksheets
- Revolutionary War for Kids Lesson 4 – Freedom at Last
- FREE Printable American Revolution for Kids Reader – Color, Read, and Learn
History Lessons for Kids
Check out one of or MANY engaging, Free history lessons for kids
- Explore American History for kids including lots of fun, hands on activities and free printables
- Dive into Mesopotamia History to learn about Gilgamesh
- 4 week lesson about Early Explorers for Kids
- Learn about castles, knights, and more in this exciting Middle Ages for Kids
- Make a teepee, dig for arrowheads, color our printable books and more in this Native Americans for Kids lessons
- The Colonial America for Kids lesson takes kids on a journey back to the first permanent settlement in America – Jamestown. Students will learn about colonial life with lots of hands on projects like eating Gruel, making a Wattle & Daub house, and creating a tin lantern will make the settlement come alive.
- We will make westward expansion for kids come alive for kids as they learn facts about the time period from about 1783-1898. In addition to learning about the Oregon trail, pony express, gold rush, transcontinental railroad, students will also learn to match animal trails, map the united states, and learn about North American animals too.
- Civil War for Kids – students will learn about slavery, famous Americans from the Civil War, famous battles, and how our nation stayed together. Lesson includes printable worksheets, mapping activities, printable civil war board game and more!
- Free Printable Maps including world map, continents, and country maps with and without labeling
- 16 Countries for Kids Printables
- Learn about the countries for kids with these free resources
- Help kids understand where do I live with this clever printable activity
- Kenya for Kids Printable Book to learn about this African country with lots of amazing wild life
- Learn about Japan for Kids with this free printable book filled with fascinating facts and pretty pictures to color
- Discover the fascinating landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate and Neuschwanstein castle as you discover Germany for Kids
- Russia for Kids Printable book helps you learn about the famous onion domes among other things
- Let’s head to the outback to find some Kangaroos as we learn about Australia for Kids
- Free New Zealand for kids printable reader
- Iran for Kids Printable Book tells kids about this Middle Eastern country previously known as Persia.
- Learn about Israel for Kids printable mini book about this lovely country
- Let’s explore a country on the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia for Kids with this free printable mini book filled with fascinating facts and information to color, read, and learn!
- You can find all our country coloring pages coloring pages or jump right to Spain Coloring Pages, China Coloring Pages, Italy Coloring Pages, Chile Coloring Pages, and Costa Rica Coloring Pages
- Children around the World Worksheets
- Country Coloring Book – explore 36 countries with country coloring pages
FREE Revolutionary War Timeline & Lapbook
We also added this weeks’ events & famous people to our lapbook. You can download the American Revolutionary Lapbook here.