Greek mythology is a fascinating subject to explore. It teaches us about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, as well as their children and other stories. Greek mythology has been around for thousands of years, but it’s still relevant today. For example, some of the world's most popular movies are based on Greek myths!
We are specialized in all ancient Greek themes from philosophy to architecture and mythology. We love the subject so much that we made a shop around these themes, selling for example gifts for mythology lovers of any age.
In this article, we'll explain why your kids should be interested in Greek mythology and show you how to get them started exploring it themselves.
How do you explain Greek mythology to children?
Greek mythology can be an intimidating subject for children to learn about. It can be challenging to describe the difference between myths, legends, and fairy tales!
To make things easier, we wrote the main points you should cover when explaining Greek mythology to children. There are many ways to talk about myths and legends, so you can approach the topic however you like. We recommend starting with a brief introduction to Greek mythology as a whole and then going into more detail about specific stories following the following method:
Teach with simple storytelling.
I challenge you to find a better way to teach your children about other cultures, religions, and history than with Greek mythology. I mean, it's kind of perfect for little ones! It’s got all the elements that make for good storytelling: characters, conflict, triumph over adversity, and moral lessons. Plus there are cool monsters like cyclopes and centaurs that kids love!
You can use Greek mythology books for kids or find retellings of Greek myths online. Also, use your imagination to create your own stories. Kids love it when you make up a story about the characters and places they’re learning about in school.
Start with the classics, like Hercules and Zeus.
As you start, it's okay to stick with the classic stories. Introduce your kids to characters like Hercules and Zeus. Don’t worry about the more obscure gods, like Hypnos, at first. The most important thing is that your kids are introduced to Greek mythology through stories they find interesting and engaging. If they hear other myths later on their own time, that’s fine—but this is not something you should force them to do.
Figure out what interests them and go from there.
Start with the basics and move on to the more obscure gods as your children get older.
Some of the most famous Greek myths are easy enough for even small children to understand—Zeus turning himself into a swan so he could seduce Leda (to produce Helen of Troy), Perseus killing Medusa by looking at her reflection in his shield instead of directly at her eyes (she had snakes for hair), Hercules killing the Hydra (a many-headed serpent). These stories are used in Greek mythology books for children so that they can follow along easily when reading them aloud.
For sure your kid will be interested in one character or myth more than others, and it’s good to teach them the root stories to frame their understanding of the more interesting parts they want to learn. For example, if your kid is interested in the mythology surrounding Poseidon (god of the sea), they need to understand how he came into being, who his parents were, what his role was in Greek society, and how he interacted with other gods.
Make it fun.
So how do you get your kids interested in Greek mythology? Have fun with it! There are so many ways to make it fun, but the most important thing is that they have a good time. Try making a game of it, or telling them stories about the gods and goddesses. You can even challenge your children to see if they can do what the gods did! Whatever works for your family will be perfect for yours.
Play Greek mythology games.
Games can be the perfect way to introduce your children to Greek mythology. You can use a game like NOUS (memory game) or DOMI (domino game) to help them learn about the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.
For cultural studies classes, consider using games such as “ODYSSEY” which allows kids to study Homer’s epic poem for the first time in a really fun way (It is a “chutes and ladders” inspired board game).
- Using maps, you can teach children about the geography of Greece and the Mediterranean.
- Even if your child knows that Greece is in Europe and that Italy is on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, it’s still a good idea to use maps to explore this area of the world.
Should kids learn Greek mythology?
Greek mythology can give kids a great foundation for learning about art, history, human nature, and more...
You can use it as an introduction to many other subjects, here are some examples:
- History: Greek mythology includes stories about gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters. These characters are also featured in many major works of literature such as Homer’s “The Odyssey” and Virgil’s “Aeneid.” As your child learns more about these stories they will also learn more about history since they were first told thousands of years ago!
- Literature: Greek Mythology is full of great stories that have been retold over time by different authors across cultures! By reading these tales together you can help your child see how authors have reinterpreted them throughout history (like William Shakespeare did with his play King Lear). The thing that makes this especially fun for kids is that it feels like stepping back into ancient times because we are still talking about things like superheroes or talking animals that exist today too!
- Human nature: The myths do not just provide good role models or show how people should behave; instead they also reveal what might happen when certain traits go unchecked – such as greediness or prideful arrogance which lead to downfall and more.
- Arts: Many famous works of western art are inspired by Greek mythology – like Caravaggio's Narcissus or Botticelli’s painting of The Birth of Venus.
- Science: Studying Greek mythology can also help kids understand scientific concepts – such as the way Icarus flew too close to the sun resulting in his demise because it helps explain, for example, why we should not stand too close to a bonfire!
Greek mythology matters because myths are an essential part of our culture and history. They teach us about human nature and provide lessons on how to live our lives. Additionally, they inspire some of the world's most famous works of art and science.
The key to making your kids interested in Greek mythology is fun. Get them involved in the story, so they feel like they're experiencing it with you. That way, they'll be more likely to remember what they read and learn something new about ancient Greece at the same time.