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Holiday gift ideas teach history, civics to children of all ages

November 8, 2018

With midterm elections finished, the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship at Purdue University is suggesting several gift ideas to help children begin understanding their place as citizens.

The center, part of the College of Education, works to integrate civic education in K-12 classrooms with the goal of promoting active student involvement in their schools and communities.

Phillip VanFossen, director of the Ackerman Center and the James F. Ackerman Professor of Social Studies Education, pointed to several toys this holiday season that parents can buy to help children of all ages understand the historic and civic facets of society.

“These toys can promote historical understanding in young people so that they can begin to grasp how the past influences the present, and to see the impact that individuals’ decisions in the past have had on the world today,” VanFossen said. “Because today’s children will be future citizens in our democratic society, these lessons can never start too early.”

Among the toys, games and books VanFossen suggests are:

TOYS

  • History Unboxed: For ages 5 and older, a monthly subscription that explores a different area and teaches about cultures, people and eras of human history. The themed box includes an age specific coloring sheet, one to two crafts and two to three items of additional enrichment material.

GAMES

  • Chrononauts: Take a look at the world if various events in history never took place in this card game for children ages 11 and older.

BOOKS

  • The Constitution of the United States of America by Sam Fink
    • Readers ages 11 and older can learn about the challenges and triumphs of America’s foundational document through vibrantly illustrated pages.
Filed Under: Centers, News