Looking to teach your kids about history? These Ancient China project ideas will be a real hit.
In the tenth Mysteries in Time history box, we learn all about the wonderful world of Ancient China — and there is so much to explore.
Dating back more than 4,000 years, Ancient China is one of the oldest civilisations in the world. The many discoveries and inventions from Ancient China have shaped life today. There are so many reasons for our children to learn about China and its rich history. Thankfully, we have five incredible (and entertaining) Ancient China project ideas that will get your kids excited to learn. So put down the screens and put your arts and crafts head on — it’s time to get creative.
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1. The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is the world’s longest wall, stretching over 13,000 miles. Originally built with stone, wood and earth, the wall was built along China’s border to prevent invasions from the North.
You and your kids can have some real fun with this project. Use whatever you have in the crafts cupboard or the toy box — lego is a great choice. See how long you can make your Great Wall. Start in the living room and see how far you get.
2. Make your own Chinese Kites
Did you know that kites were invented in Ancient China? Not only that, but long ago, kites were even used by the Chinese military. While today they’re largely used for a bit of fun on a sunny day, in Ancient China they were used to measure distances and send messages.
In our history subscription box, we provide you with the materials so you can make your own kite and fly it! However, you can create your kite even without our history box — all you need is paper, string and two wooden dowels. Design it however you like. You can find more detailed instructions on how to make kites here.
3. Make Your Own Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army is a collection of around 8,000 life-size clay statues that date back 2,000 years. They average at around 5 feet 11 inches tall, with some as tall as 6 foot 7 inches. What’s incredible is each soldier statue looks different. No two are alike. Some look calm, while others look angry. Facial features differ, so do hairstyles and even clothing. Each statue is unique.
If you have some playdough at hand (and if you don’t, it’s easy enough to make!), why not make your own Terracotta Army? They don’t need to be life-size but encourage your kids to make every statue unique.
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4. List Ancient China’s Top Ten Inventions and Discoveries
So many items were invented and discovered in Ancient China! Just a few examples include umbrellas, kites, paper, and silk. Even the magnetic compass was invented in Ancient China using a stone called lodestone, which is naturally magnetic.
Go through the many amazing inventions and discoveries of Ancient China with your children and then ask them to create a top ten list. Which items are their favourites and why? How have these items impacted life today? Which items do they feel are underappreciated?
5. Make an Ancient Chinese Dish
For the rich, life was good in Ancient China. Those who were better-off ate very well, living off ancient grains like millet, as well as wheat and rice. They also enjoyed broad beans, soya beans and spring onions. In terms of meat, they often ate pork, duck, pheasant and chicken.
One fun and creative way to teach children about life back in Ancient China is to let them cook up their own recipes. There are a lot of delicious and easy-to-cook Ancient Chinese recipes that your kids will love to make. And you’ll end up with a tasty, healthy dinner.
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Find some free Ancient China printables here to continue your Ancient China adventure.