Each year on the first Saturday of May, people around the country celebrate the Kentucky Derby. Teach kids about it with these Kentucky Derby activities for kids.
Here are some fabulous resources for planning a study of the Kentucky Derby. You’ll find videos, books, and activities for kids ages 4-10, but most of these can be modified for younger and older kids, as well.
The Kentucky Derby is America’s most popular horse racing event. It is the first race of the Triple Crown. This amazing race is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY where more than 100,000 people attend to watch the 2-minute race in person.
Kentucky Derby Activities
If you’re planning a Kentucky Derby theme, there are many opportunities for incorporating meaningful educational activities into your theme.
These are just a handful of the concepts kids can focus on during a Kentucky Derby-themed unit:
- all about horses
- all about roses and/or the color red
- all about the state of Kentucky
Before you begin preparing your Kentucky Derby theme, you should look gather a few supplies including but not limited to:
- books about horses
- books about Kentucky
- red roses to smell and explore
- mint leaves to smell and explore
Before beginning your unit about the Kentucky Derby, introduce your kids to the Derby with a book full of fun facts such as D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet. Following the alphabet, D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explain this world-famous event. Topics include famous jockeys, legendary horses, fabled Bluegrass farms and owners, as well as offering a behind-the scenes view of thoroughbred breeding and racing.
Now that you’ve introduced your kids to the basics of the Kentucky Derby, how about adding some fun Kentucky Derby activities for kids:
• You can find a large collection of downloadable Kentucky Derby activities for kids to complete. Choose from vocabulary, suggested reading, coloring sheets, and more.
• At Parents.com, you can find tips and ideas for throwing a Kentucky Derby party. Ideas include making derby hats, having pool noodle horse races, and more.
• Make a Derby pie from scratch (leaving out the bourbon if you’d like).
• Try making Mint Juleps to serve at your party. Again, leave the alcohol out for kids.
• Download and complete this free Kentucky Derby lapbook which is perfect for ages 7-9.
Teach your kids all about horses with these awesome resources:
• Download and print these Horse Breed cards featuring twelve breeds.
• Assign (or read) one or more of these chapter books for horse lovers! You’ll find both fiction and nonfiction selections on this list.
• Little learners can create this cute H is for Horse letter of the week craft.
Take some time to learn about the great state of Kentucky – the home of the Kentucky Derby.
• Download and print these Kentucky State Fact File worksheets on which kids can record many facts about the state of KY.
• This Kentucky Unit Study is a comprehensive list of facts, history, famous people, and more.
Books to Add to Your Unit
Fill your book basket with a great collection of books to add to your Kentucky Derby unit study. Most of these books can be found at your local library or used bookstore.
If you have a hard time finding them, you can order them through my Amazon affiliate links by clicking the images below.
B is for Bluegrass – Mary Ann McCabe Riehle offers readers, young and old, the opportunity to take a horseback ride through the rich history and beautiful landscape of the Bluegrass State.
H is for Horse – From basics such as mucking out the stall and how to judge a horse’s qualities to historical facts on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Mike Ulmer relays the fun and fundamentals of the world of horses.
D is for Derby – Following the alphabet, D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explain this world-famous event. Topics include famous jockeys, legendary horses, fabled Bluegrass farms and owners, as well as offering a behind-the scenes view of thoroughbred breeding and racing.
Round Out Your Unit with These Activities:
These little stick horses will please any little jockey with hours of play. They’re perfect for hosting a horse race of your own!