Icarus & Daedalus Story: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Valerie Keenan

Valerie has taught elementary school and has her master's degree in education.

The story of an inventor named Daedalus and his son Icarus is one of ancient Greek mythology. Learn about their time in Crete, the construction of the infamous labyrinth, and their daring flight to freedom after being held captive.

A New Neighbor

Greek mythology is a collection of stories about the belief system of the ancient civilization. One such myth is about a man named Daedalus and his son Icarus.

Let's pretend for a little while that you're living in ancient times on the Greek island of Crete. The brilliant inventor Daedalus has fled here from Athens with his son Icarus. Rumor has it that Daedalus killed his nephew because he was jealous about the invention of something called a saw. Crazy stuff, right? Who knows if this saw thing-a-ma-bob will even be used a year from now? You tell yourself that as long as you steer clear of a career in inventing, you and Daedalus should be just fine, and you're very excited to see what he will bring to your island.

Daedalus' Labyrinth

One day, the king of Crete appoints Daedalus to be in charge of building a structure that will hide the legendary Minotaur inside. A Minotaur is a half-bull, half-human creature that likes to munch on human flesh. So yeah, hiding it was kind of a priority.

The Minotaur was a half-bull, half-man creature.
Minotaur

When the construction of the building is complete, you learn that it is in fact a labyrinth, or maze, filled with twists and turns that only its creator would be able to navigate.

Daedalus designed a labyrinth that only he could navigate.
Labyrinth

Imprisonment

After Daedalus completes the project for the king, the king imprisons Daedalus and Icarus in a tower so that nobody can learn the secrets of the labyrinth. Daedalus, clever inventor that he is, figures out a brilliant way to escape: Over time, he collects many feathers from birds that fly to his tower window. When Daedalus has enough feathers, he glues them together with wax and constructs wings for him and his son!

One morning, there is a commotion in the streets. Everyone is looking up to the sky and pointing. You look up and see Daedalus and Icarus flying away with wings glued to their backs. Amazing!

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