A mom and kids in the Fitch Kitchen

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Times: The Village is open 9:30 am - 4:00 pm. Hands-on workshop times vary; pre-registration is required.

Join us for our March 28 Home School Day! Many people know Old Sturbridge Village is a great place to learn about history, but there are also a lot of opportunities to learn more about science and math. From kitchen experiments to the chemistry of making clay into pottery, our activities on this special day will focus on connections between history and science.

Try out one of our Make History Guides as you explore on your own or sign up for a special hands-on workshop at the Museum Education Center (see below). Hands-on crafts are available for children under 5 on a drop-in basis throughout the day at Museum Education.

In Village Activities (included with Village admission):

Please check back the week of Home School Day for a more detailed list and a schedule of activities.

We recommend that you allow three hours to visit the Village in addition to scheduled hands-on workshops. Online registration opens one month prior to each event, and pre-registration is required.

Home School Days are rain or shine programs. Registration fees are non-refundable unless the program is canceled by Old Sturbridge Village.

Home School Days Admission:

Home School Day Workshops:

50 Minutes, $5 per workshop (unless otherwise noted):

Open-Hearth Cooking: Dairy

10:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
11:00, Ages 10+ SOLD OUT
1:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
2:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT

Dairying was an important business in the 1800s! We will talk about the process of transforming milk to butter and cheese, then make our own soft cheese and butter, as well as simple biscuits to go along with our dairy. Ingredients include milk, vinegar, salt, cream, flour, butter.

Working with Clay

10:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
11:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
1:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
2:00, Ages 8+ LIMITED SPACE

Even though pottery is made from something as simple as clay, the soft clay goes through a chemical transformation to become something you can eat or drink from. We will learn about pottery in the 1830s, as well as the science behind its transformation and the mechanics of a potter’s wheel. Then, hand-shape a piece of pottery to bring home using air-dry clay.

Fence Building

10:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
11:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT

Springtime on the farm means building and repairing fences. We will flex our muscles and work to put together a fence, auger holes, and split wood. While working, we will highlight all the simple machines we have utilized

Make a Terrarium ($7 per student)

1:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT

Terrariums are very popular now, but did you know that they were also popular in the 1830s? Participants will learn about heirloom plants that have grown throughout the year in the gardens at OSV and plant an ornamental terrarium to take home with them.

Young Herbalists

10:00, Ages 10+
11:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
1:00, Ages 8+

In the 1800s, people didn’t have the same ideas about illness and medicine that we do today. There was no theory about germs yet! We will learn about how people treated ailments using herbal medicine and other cures you may have never heard of.

Wool Dyeing

10:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
1:00, Ages 8+SOLD OUT

Participants in this workshop will learn all about the science behind turning light wool into vibrant, dyed yarn! We will look at different dyestuffs; talk about mordants, metallic substances that help fix the dye to the wool; the mechanics behind spinning; and more. Then, we will dye our own skein of wool yarn using a modern dye: kool-aid!


11:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
2:00, Ages 8+

What simple machines did people use in the process of turning wool into fabric for clothing? Learn about the different textiles people used in the 1830s, then try your hand at carding wool and weaving on a loom.

Digging the Past

10:00, Ages 8+
11:00, Ages 10+
1:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT

How do we track creatures from our past?  What clues and material remains have they left behind in nature that tells us their story? Sift through sand, examine artifacts, and investigate remains and preserve it in a plaster mold/cast. Feel free to bring something from your own collection to share with the group!

Candles and Tin Candleholder ($7 per student)

10:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
11:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
1:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT

Craft a small candleholder out of tin and make a set of hand-dipped candles to go along with it. We will learn about the different types of lighting that people used in the 1830s and experiment to see which one is brightest.

Art from Nature

10:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
11:00, Ages 6+
1:00, Ages 8+ SOLD OUT

Did you know that cyanotypes, one of the first ways to create photographic images, were created in the 1840s? We’ll experiment with photo-sensitive paper to create our own beautiful nature images. Then, create a collage from found materials.

Make Toy Houses

1:00, Ages 6+ SOLD OUT
2:00, Ages 6+SOLD OUT

An introduction for beginning woodworkers! Try out a simple wood project by making a toy village playset. Participants will get a tour of our wood studio and learn about basic tool usage and safety.

Make a Butter Paddle

10:00, Ages 10+
11:00, Ages 10+

Hone your woodworking by making butter paddle, a tool for scooping and shaping your homemade butter.

90 Minutes, $10 per workshop (unless otherwise noted):

Open-Hearth Cooking: Working with Yeast

10:00, Ages 9+
1:00, Ages 9+

Humans have been using yeast to leaven bread for thousands of years. We can buy yeast at the store today, but people in the 19th-century would often collect yeast from the air to use. Participants in this workshop will create an 1830s-style yeast trap, bake bread, and experiment with yeast in a more modern way. Ingredients include: flour, yeast, salt, butter

Spring Nature Walk – led by OSV’s Coordinator of Horticulture

10:30, Ages 6+

Spend some time in the wooded areas around the Village. Learn how to identify trees, newly sprung spring plants, and local wildlife like birds and small mammals. Find out some practical uses for items you can find in the forest, and explore how the 19th-century people used and enjoyed the woods of Massachusetts. This activity will be hosted by Ruth diBuono, OSV’s Coordinator of Horticulture.

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