Learning History with American Girl – Kaya

This post may contain affiliate links.

Do you have an American Girl fan in your house? We are about to embark on our American Girl journey to study American history. Here’s our plan and what resources we will be using. As we go along, I’ll have more posts about our crafts, projects, field trips, and activities.

How We Started

First let me tell you, this was not all my idea. My friend and fellow homeschooling mom, Krista, is really the main brain behind this endeavor. We both have daughters who are fascinated with American Girl dolls.

When Krista mentioned she was planning to do history with her daughter this year via the AG historical character books, I asked if The Queen Bee and I could join her. She agreed, and we both clicked into Homeschool Mom Super Planning Mode:  “Look, I found this resource!” “Hey, let’s start a Pinterest board with all of our ideas!” “What if we did a cross-country field trip to Idaho to see where the Nez Perce Indians are from?” Kidding about that last one. Sort of.

Who is Kaya?

Chronologically, the first historical AG doll is Kaya. Her story takes place in the mid 1700’s. Kaya is a Native American Indian, in the nomadic tribe of the Nez Perce.

Our Plan

We plan to read a chapter a week at home to our daughters, then we’ll come together once a week to discuss the chapter and do a craft or activity. We’ll throw in a field trip here and there as well. If this pace proves to be moving too slow for the kids, we’ll step it up. Will we do all the books in the Kaya series? We don’t know yet. We’ll gauge the girls’ interest and our ability to continue to come up with crafts and activities that hold their interest.

Our Resources

Kaya Set of BooksMeet Kaya, Kaya’s Escape, Kaya’s Hero, Kaya and Lone Dog, Kaya Shows the Way and Changes for Kaya.

Welcome to Kaya’s World, 1764: Growing Up in a Native American Homeland  Details the life and traditions of Kaya’s family and the Nez Perce Indians with lots of pictures showing their homes, how they prepared their food, cared for their horses and so on.  A great visual accompaniment to the Kaya series of books. I believe this book is out of print, but it was easy to find used copies.

Kaya’s Magnetic Mini World Interchangeable background and magnetic figures of Kaya, her family members, and items for them to use like baskets, food, and more.  Also “out of print” but easily found used. 

More Than Moccasins: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life – Recipes, crafts and more about traditional Native American life.

History Pockets: Native Americans, Grades 1-3 Paper crafts to learn about Native American Indian life, with a chapter specifically about the Nez Perce tribe.

American Girl Crafts Historical Dolls Stickers to be used with a Timeline. You can purchase one or make one.

Map of the United States – to mark where Kaya is from in relation to where we live.

Do you need all of these things? No, it’s just what we happened to get good deals on via Amazon, yard sales and family gifts. If you are unable to find the out of print items on Amazon, try Ebay or Better World Books. I’ve seen a few of the items on these sites.

Check back to see our projects and activities. I’ll chronicle them here as we go along.  Are you learning history with American Girl? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to feature some of your ideas.

Follow our Learning With American Girl Pinterest Board.

This post contains affiliate links.