M Is for King Minos and the Minotaur

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You are trapped in a labyrinth, wandering in circles, hopeful yet fearful for when you’ll meet the monster in the middle: The Minotaur of King Minos. Thus goes the ancient story of King Minos and the Minotaur.

King Minos and the Minotaur is an ancient Greek myth you can study while studying ancient Crete.

King Minos and the Minotaur

King Minos and the Minotaur is a story which begins in Athens. Theseus, the horrified prince, discovers that 7 boys and 7 girls are sent to Crete every year to feed the Minotaur. He insists on being one of the 7 boys sent that year much to his father’s dismay.

Theseus informs his dad, “The ship will return with white sails if I am victorious. If the ship returns with black sails, I failed and am dead.”

He sails as one of the 14 boys and girls to feed the monster.

Once in Crete, Ariadne, Mino’s daughter, falls in love with the brave prince. She sneaks a sword and a ball of yarn to Theseus to aid him against the Minotaur.

Theseus then wanders the labyrinth in search of the Minotaur, finds the beast, and kills him. Celebrating, the boys and girls return to Athens! But in their excitement, they forgot to change the sails to white.

King Aegeus saw the black sails and threw himself off the cliffs in despair into what is now known as the Aegean Sea.

Fun with King Minos and the Minotaur

If you’re interested in reading the story aloud to your children, The Hero and the Minotaur covers the full version of the story with lovely pen and watercolor illustrations. It makes a wonderful read aloud or bedtime story for the family.

Creating mazes is a fun activity to go along with King Minos and the Minotaur. Your children can decorate the mazes, draw the minotaur in the center, and try to solve their siblings’ mazes.

Kids love to create masks. Have your children make masks out of paper bags or paper mache! After the masks are made, the kids can head outside to re-enact the story of King Minos and the Minotaur.

King Minos and the Minotaur also gives us an excellent opportunity to teach the children where the Aegean Sea, Athens, and Crete are! You can use one of these geography resources or simply use a world map to find Athens, Crete, and the Aegean Sea. Remember to briefly retell the story as you do so for greater retention.

King Minos and the Minotaur is a fascinating story that intrigues adult and kids alike! Use these learning activities as a start and let your imagination go wild!

What is your favorite Greek Myth?

Want more Greek Myth learning? Try these:

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