A mom and kids in the Fitch Kitchen

Thursday, March 12, 2020

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

Join us for our March 12 Home School Day! For this first Home School Day of the 2020 season, we’ll be exploring women’s history through hands-on activities and in-Village activities. Participants will learn about well-known women of the 1830s as well as the not so well-known. Learn about female authors and printers, sew like founders of charitable societies did, imitate the style of women artists, and more. In the Village, engage with the stories of 19th-century ladies and see women’s journals and books from the museum’s library up close!

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 (including with Village admission):

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

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: Roasted Cheese

10:00: Ages 8+
11:00: Ages 10+
1:00: Ages 6+
2:00: Ages 6+

Follow a 19th-century “receipt” for roasted cheese, a delicious, cheesy treat served on fresh toast. Ingredients will include: cheese, eggs, bread, mustard, butter.

Collage Portraits

10:00: Ages 6+
11:00: Ages 8+
1:00: Ages 10+

For this workshop, we will take inspiration from a female portrait painter of the 1830s, Ruth Henshaw Bascom, to create portraits. Pastel and pencil self-portraits will be embellished with paper, foil, and ribbons. We’ll also look at some of Bascom’s portraits of New Englanders from the time period!

The Family Nurse and Herbal Remedies

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

In the 1800s, women like Lydia Maria Child, Indian doctress Rhoda Rhodes, and countless others relied on herbs and plants from nature and their gardens to treat health ailments. Many people did not have access to doctors, so women took on a healing role in their families. Examining period books like The Frugal Housewife and The Family Nurse, we will learn about how people treated illnesses before cough medicine and antibiotics and then create our own small book of remedies.

Fence Building

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

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. After all that hard work, we’ll make a seed packet to take home for spring planting.

Working in the Print Shop

10:00: Ages 8+
11:00: Ages 10+
1:00: Ages 6+

Did you know that one of the first copies of the Declaration of Independence was printed by a female printer named Mary Katherine Goddard in January of 1777? Though printing was mostly a men’s trade, young women sometimes worked as bookbinders in 19th-century printing offices (or ran their own presses, like Goddard!). We’ll learn more about the printing office and check out some women’s writings of the time. Older students will create their own journals to record our revolutionary thoughts with quill and ink!

Wool Dyeing

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

Paint a Tin Tray ($7 per student)

1:00: Ages 8+
2:00: Ages 10+ SOLD OUT

Painted tin was a very popular form of decorative art, found in many homes in the 1830s. Young women could earn money by free-hand painting or stenciling patterns onto tinware. In this workshop, each participant will get a tin tray to embellish with flowers, fruits, leaves, and more!

Make a Wooden Bubble Wand

1:00: Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
2:00: Ages 6+ SOLD OUT

In the 1800s, kids used pieces of straw or wood to blow bubbles, not plastic wands like we do today. For this workshop, participants will use basic woodworking tools to create a simple and fun bubble wand. We will also get a tour of the woodshop and different tools, which makes this a great workshop for beginning woodworkers.

Print Your Own Wallpaper Design

10:00: Ages 6+
11:00: Ages 8+
1:00: Ages 8+

Did you know that women in the 1830s used slices of white bread to clean wallpaper? In the early 1800s, wallpaper was an inexpensive and fashionable way to decorate your house. Using period wood wallpaper blocks and ink, we will get creative and create our own unique patterns.

Behind-the-Scenes Look: Women’s Clothing | FREE (but registration is required) (Just added!)

11:30: Ages 12+
2:00: Ages 12+

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Village’s costume department! Participants will explore women and girls’ clothing from the 1830s.  Try on a fancy bonnet and learn how the experts in the department research, create patterns, and costume the interpreters in the museum. Please note: This tour will meet at OSV’s playground and then walk to the costume department.


90 Minutes ($10 per student, unless otherwise specified)

Open-Hearth Cooking: Making Macaroni

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

Follow a 19th-century “receipt” for homemade macaroni noodles. Participants will get to take their noodles to dry and cook at home! We will also make a delicious dressed macaroni to share during the program and talk about 19th-century women’s contributions to contemporary cookbooks and lifestyle guides. Ingredients will include: flour, eggs, cheese, butter, bread, mace.

Make a Decorative Floorcloth

1:00: Ages 10+

Durable Floorcloths were widely used in New England in the 1830s to decorate homes and block out drafts. Women would use paper stencils on them to imitate patterns from more expensive woven carpets. Make your own small version of these popular and useful items out of canvas!

Wall Box

10:00: Ages 10+ SOLD OUT

Learn the basics of woodworking while you create a functional wall box for your house! These boxes can be used to store utensils, knick-knacks, and more!

“Cheerful Hearts and Willing Hands”: Sew a Quilt Square

10:00: Ages 10+

Charitable societies were an important part of community building in 19th-century New England. Many women joined these organizations to help promote specific causes or provide help to people in need. Much of this assistance was in the shape of clothing and household textiles, including quilts. We will talk about these societies and start our own small quilt squares.

Sign Up for Our Home School eNews List!

Never miss out on another Home School Day Announcement! You can also sign up to receive news about other programs at the Village.

Sign Up!