I wanted to share a neat idea for a timeline that we're using this year in our history studies. It's actually a composite of several I'd read about. It requires the continuous-feed computer printer paper--you know, the kind none of us uses anymore! Don't tear it apart, just tear off the strip with the holes and count out a page for every hundred years from 5000 or 6000 B.C. to now (a good idea is to use only one page for the early couple of millenia--we don't have much of a record of history then). I split my timeline into two sections at 1 A.D. just for ease of handling.
Then draw a continuous timeline about halfway down through all the pages and label the 100 year marks. I also made 50-year marks. Write the B.C./A.D. year at the top corner on each side of each page.
The kids can add timeline dates either vertically or horizontally and color-code them using colored pencils for different categories--political, births and deaths, religious or scientific events, civilizations, etc. They can draw pictures, paste in graphics, use stickers, whatever.
You can then keep it in a manila pocket folder. The great thing is, they only have to have it opened to a double spread at any one time, but can stretch it out for the "big view" anytime. It's working great for us and I envision this as something that can be used and kept for years.