Fun Facts About the 13 Colonies for Kids

There are so many things to learn about American History. It’s a fascinating subject to dive into with your homeschoolers this year. Whether you’re covering the American Revolution and the 13 colonies as part of a state requirement or following your child’s interests, there’s certainly plenty to learn.

I’ve put together some fun facts about the 13 colonies to get your homeschool family started on your American history learning journey this year. Plus, lots of fun ideas for learning American history too. Keep reading for fun facts about the 13 colonies plus engaging American history resources and activity ideas too.

History For Kids: The 13 Colonies

America was formed from 13 colonies in 1776. Many of these colonies had been around for more than one hundred years, including Virginia which was founded in 1607. 

Colonies are regions controlled by another country. The 13 colonies were controlled by the British. Usually colonies are far away from the country that controls them and that was the case with the 13 colonies too.

The colonies are divided into three groups: New England colonies, middle colonies, and southern colonies. People came to live in the colonies for many different reasons. Some came for religious freedom and others came for the opportunity to seek wealth. 

There were many indigenous peoples and enslaved peoples living in the colonies too. These people have their own history and traditions. Teaching homeschoolers about the 13 colonies isn’t just an opportunity to learn about the American Revolution, it’s a chance to expose your homeschoolers to their stories too.

Helping your kids to understand the 13 colonies and what America was like before it became the United States is an important part of teaching American history. With an understanding of how we began, your homeschoolers will better understand our history, ideals, and current events too.

20 Fun Facts About The 13 Colonies 

Sharing fun facts about the 13 colonies is a great way to get your kids engaged in the topic and ready to learn more. Check out some of our favorite fun facts about the 13 colonies below.

  1. Some colonies never became states, including The Lost Colony of Roanoke.
  2. In some colonies, less than ½ the settlers survived the winter during the first years.
  3. Massachusetts was named after the indigenous people who lived there first.
  4. New York City was first called New Amsterdam, because it was part of a Dutch colony.
  5. Many colonies were named after rulers in England. For example, Georgia was named for King George II.
  6. The English weren’t the only settlers, colonists came from places like Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands too.
  7. Lord Baltimore founded the colony of Maryland as a safe haven for Catholics in America.
  8. Carolina was established by other colonists from Virginia and then divided into North and South Carolina.
  9. There were 2.5 million people living in the colonies when the Revolutionary War began.
  10. Connecticut established the first constitution in the American colonies.
  11. The colony of Pennsylvania was created by Charles II to repay his debt to William Penn.
  12. King James I opposed tobacco, but it was the Virginia colony’s most lucrative export.
  13. In the New Hampshire colony, settlers paid for their land with an ear of indian corn.
  14. The Georgia colony was established as a way for debtors and prisoners to pay their debts and start over in the new world.
  15. In 1732, the British parliament enacted the Hat Act which made it illegal to export hats from the colonies.
  16. South Carolina’s biggest export and most successful crop was indigo blue dye.
  17. Delaware was a Swedish colony originally called New Netherlands that didn’t join the other colonies until 1776.
  18. After the Boston Tea Party, drinking coffee in the 13 colonies became a political statement since tea was considered the drink of the British.
  19. The middle colonies were also called the breadbasket colonies because their biggest crops were wheat, barley, and rye.
  20. Massachusetts was the birthplace of the American iron industry.

More Ideas For Learning American History

Once your kids are excited about discovering more, you can incorporate games, books, and more ideas for learning American history too. Grab my American History printable all about the 13 colonies to get started learning and having fun. Then, check out some of our favorite American History resources below:

So what’s your favorite way to teach the 13 colonies to kids? Share your favorite resources and activities with us in the comments. We can’t wait to check them out here at The Waldock Way!