How to Easily Introduce your Kids to Shakespeare

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Yes! Believe it or not, Shakespeare is for kids!

And one great way to introduce your kids to Shakespeare is to introduce them to his life and works. They might not be ready to tackle a Shakespeare play, but you can introduce them to this famous playwright in fun and creative ways.

…though I have plenty of ideas about reading Shakespeare’s play with kids too!

We keep our time with Shakespeare very light-hearted and fun, but I know they are establishing a great foundation in Shakespeare that will serve them well in high school and beyond.

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Shakespeare for Kids

So many parents are intimidated by the language and the words of Shakespeare. It’s completely understandable, but it isn’t a reason to avoid incorporating his life and works into your homeschool plans.

There are so many great resources that support parents as they introduce their kids to Shakespeare, beginning with his life and times. Then you can gently introduce the language and words he used before you dive into reading Shakespeare plays with kids.

Books that Introduce Shakespeare to Kids

Books are a great way to introduce Shakespeare to kids. Many are written and illustrated for kids on this topic so they can learn more without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed.

William Shakespeare & the Globe written and illustrated by Aliki

This is my favorite basic overview book so far. The story of Shakespeare’s life and the history of the Globe Theater are told in the style of his own plays.  There is a prologue and then five acts, each with a number of scenes.  Although the basic organization is that of a play, the writing is done in normal paragraph form.

A Shakespearean Theater by Jacqueline Morley

This book is an excellent resource for more information about the history of the theater during the days of Shakespeare. Information about performances, the stage, and the audience is included as well. There are great visuals in this book as well.

Information about performances, the stage, and the audience is included as well. There are great visuals in this book as well.

Who Was William Shakespeare by Celeste Davidson Mannis

Read it out loud or assign it as an independent read. Like the other Shakespeare titles, the history of Shakespeare is linked to the history of theater in London, specifically The Globe Theater.  Readers will learn quite a bit about the Globe theater as well as Shakespeare in this book.

Will’s Words: How William Shakespeare Changed the Way You Talk by Jane Sutcliffe

This book contains a basic history of the theater scene in London. The “story” is written on the left-hand side of the book with certain phrases are in bold font. William Shakespeare is credited as the first person to use the boldfaced words.

On the right-hand side page, the meaning of the words or phrases and the play in which they appear are explained.

We had so much fun with this book. As I read it to the kids, they tried to raise their hands when they thought I read a phrase from Shakespeare. They caught on quickly that many of his phrases are idioms and we had a fun time sharing them. I loved this book so much that my mom bought it for me as a gift.

Shakespeare for Kids: Learning Activities

Introduce your kids to Shakespeare with some of these fun art, craft, and learning activities.

Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times, 21 activities by Colleen Aagesen

Help your kids experience life in William Shakespeare’s England and learn more about Shakespeare with this biography and activity book. They will have fun with activities such as swordplay and juggling. Activities include ideas such as making a quill pen, binding a book by hand, creating a pomander ball. This book will help you introduce your kids to Elizabethan England and Shakespeare in a fun way.

After an overview of Shakespeare, we move on to enjoying his poems and plays.

Have you introduced your kids to The Bard?  What have been your favorite resources?

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6 thoughts on “How to Easily Introduce your Kids to Shakespeare”

  1. Funny….as I read the rest of your recommendations, I was going to recommend “Will’s Words.” We, too, had it from the library recently, and immediately put it on my wish list.

    We also recently borrowed and enjoyed “Shakespeare’s Seasons.” Beautiful art with short quotes. Would be good for a poetry teatime.


      Bummer. My library didn’t have that one. We did get “To sleep. Perchance to Dream” which had great quotes by Shakespeare. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Thanks for this. I can’t wait to show the videos to my kids. We also like the “Shakespeare can be fun” series by Lois Burdett.
    Can’t wait for your next post.

  3. Love this! Someday I’ll come back and reference this for help. In fact, just looking over your list is encouraging – makes Shakespeare look a little less intimidating and more appealing!


      Thanks girl – you can do it!!! I hope you give it a go in your school year next year.

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