Join us as we discover what it was like in Valley Forge during the American Revolutionary War with these fun hands on activities and free printables. This week is is the fourth and final week studying the American Revolutionary War in our history unit for kids .
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.
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
John Paul Jones
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 =-)
Download FREE Revolutionary War Timeline & Lapbook
We also added this weeks’ events & famous people to our lapbook. You can download the American Revolutionary Lapbook here.