Usborne Book of World History

Fast and Easy Extension Activities for The Usborne Book of World History (copyright 2008, 1985) 

Videos, songs, crafts, projects, and more to go along with the book.

Part 2 will be posted separately.

P 2-3

Different Forms of Dating Techniques Video (11 minutes) rather technical at times, but they try to make it easy to understand. (Note: Does refer to billions of years ago, but not often)


Strata Worksheet/Coloring Page for kids (Kinda hard to find something relevant here. 😉 )


Archaeology Coloring Page (and bonus activities)


Tree Ring Dating Video (5.5 minutes)


Lots of fun Archaeology Activities and Snacks

P 4-5

Video on Early Settlers (4 minutes) (Note: although evolution is in the Name, it starts out talking about early humans, with no reference to evolution. The oldest date mentioned is 10,000 years ago, which does talk about the future of cities). 


Stone Age Recipes (does have some other activities and info, but I was interested primarily in the recipes and didn’t read it)


Assorted Iron Age Coloring Pages (some are rather, um, different, but others are nice)

P 6-7

Video of ancient Jericho from a Biblical perspective (Note: refers to “Rahab the prostitute,” lots of imagery of Jericho’s ruins, with some scripture reading from various stories around Jericho). (10 minutes)


Silent one-minute 3D animation video of what Jericho might have looked like. 


Coloring page PDF worksheets, along with other info and activities (including a marshmallow snack)


Video of Çatalhöyük. (6.5 minutes) 

P 8-9

Ancient Egypt/Sumer/Euphrates River song (4 minutes) (please pre-watch for content if you have concerns)


Ziggurat coloring page


Build a Ziggurat out of Legos (see link for picture source, not ours)


P 10-11

Video on Cuneiform writing (link to the alphabet in comments) (4 minutes)


A video on the history of writing (7 minutes)


Cuneiform numbers (11 minutes) 


Cuneiform cookies

P 12-13

Review of past few topics (does give more detail about Sumerian gods) (14 minutes)


Royal Game of Ur Video (instructions, with a printable board in comments) (5.5 minutes)


The above game shows how to play and how to make a board, this one has better instructions on the actual gameplay, but I found it less child-appropriate. I reference it only for how to play the game. (12 minutes)


Sumerian snacks

P 14-15

Ancient Egypt The Gift of The Nile (3.5 minutes) How the Nile impacted Ancient Egypt Song for kids


Farming in Ancient Egypt video (2 minutes)

P 16-17

Egyptian Food with actual recipes from the hieroglyphic writings


More Recipes

P 18-19 

Mummification Choices: Choose Your Own Level

Mummify a Chicken


Mummify an Apple Science Experiment


Mummify a Doll


Mummify a Rubber Chicken

P 20-21

More Pyramid Building:


Pyramid of sticks


Variety of Pyramid Building Ideas: from pennies to sugar cubes to s’mores. 


Draw the Pyramids of Giza (9 minutes)


Learn how large bricks were moved experiment (2 minutes)


This would be an excellent time to start watching the movie The Prince of Egypt, (98 minutes), assuming you haven’t already. The tie-ins with the construction building, the pyramids, and the Jews help make the two events more relatable for children. Amazon Prime allows you to rent it for $3.99 currently. 

P 22-23

Samples of possible Ancient Egyptian Music/Lyre (3 minutes)


Recreated Ancient Egyptian Love Song (2 minutes)


8 Weird Facts about Ancient Egyptian Makeup (6 minutes, a surprisingly informative look at makeup) ((does show a woman taking a bath at one point (covered up to the tops of her shoulders), as well as talk about the gods).

P 24-25, 26-27

Several videos about Knossos, Crete, and the Mycenaean culture. There should be more than enough videos for both days. Please pre-watch any videos that might have questionable content. I have tried hard to find videos that are “safe,” but there aren’t a lot on specific topics that aren’t over 30 minutes long, or very “adult” in content, or very dull. So, this does cover many topics, but make sure your child is ready for them all. Most videos are about 4 minutes long.  

P 28-29

A fast-paced look at Ancient Indian Sites. (6 minutes). 

P 30-32

A look a Sargon and Hammurabi’s kingdoms, the first half talks about these two; the second half covers two cultures covered in a few weeks. (4 minutes).


Mesopotamia Song (2 minutes).


Children’s dance set to previous Mesopotamia Song (review) (3 minutes). 


A section of the Epic of Gilgamesh set to music in Sumerian (4 minutes)


A (comparatively) child-friendly version of the Epic of Gilgamesh (6 minutes)


I was going to try to include at least a video or something about the Anatolian graves, but everything I found was either extremely long or was about the Hittites, which we will get to in a few weeks when we get back to Egypt. I looked for other activities, and the best I could find was this list of recipes/foods found in the graves to give you an idea of what they ate. Perhaps, a feast is in order? 🙂

P 33

Ted-Ed Talk about Hatshepsut (4.5 minutes)


Draw an Egyptian King and Queen (8.5 minutes)


Egypt Sticker Book (associate link) 

Egypt Sticker “Paper Doll” Style book of King Tut (associate link) 

P 34-35

Quick discussion of why the Hyksos won control of Egypt (3 minutes). Not the most scintillating, but I had a hard time finding something that discussed this topic, and I like this topic, so I wanted something. 😉

P 36-37

A look at life in Ancient Egypt (6.5 minutes)

P 38-39

A look at an Egyptian Doctor (female) (it does refer to one man who has the job of guardian of the royal anus, briefly) (4.5 minutes)

P 40-41

Hittites video (5.5 minutes)

P 42-43

Mycenea (4 minutes)

P 44-45

Discussion about finding Troy and if it’s real (4.5 minutes)


Short Cartoon about the Battle of Troy (6 minutes)

P 46-47

Canaanites (15 minutes)


Philistines (11 minutes)

P 48-49

Ancient Israel Song 2 (5 minutes)

P 50-51

The Phoenicians and Purple (2 minutes)


Making Natural Dyes craft

P 52-53

The Shaduf and other Ancient Water Systems (10 minutes) (warning: I’ll be using another of these, but just a warning if your child likes them, this is video one of a 6-part series. If your child goes on to video 2, it deals with telling the future and casting out bad omens and such; the last 3 minutes of video 3 and the first minute of video 4 have to deal with making beer). 

P 54-55

A (silent!) recreation/reanimation of Ashurnasirpal II’s palace (10.5 minutes)

P 56-57

Assyrian Siege Engine and other interesting topics (10 minutes) (warning, this is video five of the series I placed video one of on day 52-53, the first 1 minute has to deal with pearl diving and obtaining pearls, which might bother some children sensitive to seeing sea creatures opened, as they show real oysters with the pearls inside, there is also a mention of goat skins being used with boats and showing a genuine goatskin). 


(Video 6 also covers the war chariot and particular wheel previously covered)

P 58-59

Ishtar Gate (7 minutes) 

P 60-61

How Stonehenge Was Built (video quality is low, but I like this and can’t find it in higher quality) (6 minutes) 


Stonehenge craft

P 62

A Variety of Ancient Chinese-Related Craft Projects.


Ancient China Song 

P 63

Olmec History (15 minutes, a little dry but lots of great pictures) 

Cartoon Version of Olmec and Maya History (17 minutes) 

P 64

Assorted Ancient Greece Coloring Pages

Ancient Greek Song (3 minutes)

I figure this is an excellent place to put all kinds of toys having to do with this time period. (affiliate links)

P 65

There is a bit more about Persia coming up soon, so to prevent too many spoilers, here is the story of a Queen of Persia. (27 minutes) (SuperBook)

P 66

Horrible Histories Marathon (3 minutes)

P 67

Make a Greek Shield

P 68-69

Greek art project, no instructions, but looks relatively self-explanatory

P 70-71

Alexander the Great Song (Horrible Histories) (3.5 minutes)

Alexander the Great: A Kid Explains History (4.5 minutes)  

P 72 (Bottom half)

Time Warp Trio episode (22 minutes)


Assorted Greek Olympics crafts and ideas

P 72-73 

Greek Architecture STEM Project

P 74-75

The Han Dynasty (4 minutes) 

Ancient China Coloring Page

P 76-77

A quick overview of daily life in ancient China (5 minutes)

P 78-79

A day in the life of a Mongolian Queen (4.5 minutes) 

A (mostly) wordless documentary about the nomad Mongolian lifestyle today (warning, this might be hard for some of our vegan/sensitive families to watch, as some nomadic behaviors might seem to include animal cruelty (hunting, keeping hunting birds, scaring horses with ropes, etc. Also includes a second or two of people smoking cigarettes). (5 minutes) 

P 80-81

Engineering an Empire: The Maya (45 minutes, sorry, but I tried hard to find an excellent yet accurate video of the Maya, and there aren’t many that I would also allow young children to watch, and I LOVE Mexican history, and this one is really quite interesting). 

P 82

The Kush Empire (3 minutes) 

Sudan’s Forgotten Pyramids (10.5 minutes) 

P 83

Animated History of Buddha

P 84-85

The Celts (10 minutes) (warning: does mention burning prisoners alive)

P 86

A look at an Etruscan tomb and more (4.5 minutes) 

P 87

Julius Caesar (A Kid Explains History) (4 minutes) 

Bible crafts for “Give unto Caesar” (11.5 minutes)

P 88-89

A simulation of Pompeii before the eruption (5 minutes) 

Hands-on Pompeii lesson

P 90

Various Christian symbols and their meanings

P 91

The Division of Rome (3.5 minutes) 

P 92-93 

Cross mosaic craft

P 94-96

An overview of 4 major civilizations. (11 minutes) 

The Sassanids (and other Persian groups) (10.5 minutes)

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