Department of History
Ancient Olympics Day

IU Historical Society celebrates history with children

The IU Historical Society—the undergraduate History club—includes a volunteer group that organizes fun, history-themed events for the Crestmont Boys and Girls Club, the Lincoln Boys and Girls Club, College Mentors for Kids, and Girls Inc. Historical Society members decided to get involved because they wanted to serve the broader Bloomington community.

Pictured here is the Crestmont Boys and Girls Club enjoying Ancient Olympics Day, in which the children learned about Greek history and participated in Olympic sports. For the latter, IU Historical Society members creatively incorporated elements from the original games: ancient Greek athletes wore full armor during the hoplite race, so the children raced wearing their backpacks. History major Matt Hanauer, lead organizer for these monthly events, says that the kids get most excited about history “when they get to interact and actually act out history.” The children range in age from six to fourteen, so part of the challenge is coming up with activities that appeal to everyone. Hits include historical re-enacting and doing crafts, like the Abe Lincoln hats they made earlier this year. Next up: Viking Day!