A mom and kids in the Fitch Kitchen

Thursday, November 21, 2019

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

Join us for Home School Day on November 21! During this Home School Day, we will explore harvest in the 1830s. From food preservation to fall-themed crafts, homeschoolers will learn about the seasonality of life in the early 1800s.

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:

Pre-registration is required and workshops fill fast. Click the times below to register!

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

Open-Hearth Cooking: Carrot Fritters

10:00: Ages 10+ SOLD OUT
11:00: Ages 6+
1:00: Group A (Ages 8+) OR Group B (Ages 6+)
2:00: Group A (Ages 8+) OR Group B (Ages 10+) SOLD OUT

Enjoy the bounty of the harvest with this unusual treat. Together, we will follow a 19th-century “receipt” for carrot fritters. Ingredients will include: carrots, butter, orange, flour, milk, sugar

Make a Checkerboard

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

Life in the 1830s was a lot of work, but people still found time to play games. The ancient game of checkers, or draughts, was one of those pastimes. Using paints and a ruler, make your own checkerboard to take home with you.

Make a Corn Husk Doll

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

Corn was the most common grain grown in New England in the 1830s, and was usually saved for storage during the long winters. Participants will use the dried husks to create this traditional Native American toy.

Food Preservation

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

Let’s learn how families prepared food for the long winter. Participants will delve into food science, trying their hand at using a small cider press, stringing apples for drying, making a brine, and more.

Printing and Paper Marbling

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

Learn about the printing trade in the 1830s. Activities include making your own unique piece of marbled paper, using a printing press, and writing with a quill pen. Younger participants will use slates and fall-inspired wood blocks for printing.

Sew a Drawstring Bag

1:00: Ages 8+ SOLD OUT
2:00: Ages 10+

In the 1830s, both boys and girls learned basic sewing skills at a very young age. Participants in this workshop will practice their sewing technique to make a useful drawstring bag, perfect for storing all of their small treasures.

Sew an Autumn Penny Rug

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

Penny rugs are small, decorative pieces made from scraps of felt and cloth. Meant for first-time sewers, participants in this workshop will learn the basics of sewing and use yarn and felt to make this cute, fall-themed craft.

Make a Decorative Fall Plate

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

By the 1830s, New England stores were stocked with products from all over the United States and the world. One of the items New Englanders might purchase would be ceramic plates, bowls, and cups, often made in England. Some ceramics were plain, but others were more elaborate with landscapes and figures. We will decorate our own plates using ceramic paints, inspired by period designs.

Play with Clay

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

People have been using pottery for a long time to hold and store food. Sometimes the pottery is simple and sometimes it’s more decorative. We will learn about pottery in the 1830s and then hand-shape a piece of pottery to bring home using air-dry clay!

Marble Madness

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

Life wasn’t all chores for children in the 1830s! Discover the history of marbles and make your own set of marbles from clay, along with a decorative paper bag to carry them in.

Extended Workshops 90-120 minutes ($10 or $15, depending on length and materials)

Extended Cooking: Winter Vegetable Soup

$15 per student

10:30-12:00: Ages 10+

Follow a 19th-century “receipt” for winter vegetable soup, a hearty dish full of root and other late-season vegetables. Along with the soup, we will prepare fried bread as a delicious and buttery accompaniment. Ingredients will include: carrots, onions, potatoes, parsnips, turnip, celery, butter, vegetable stock, herbs, bread


Make a Broom 

$15 per student

1:00-2:30: Ages 10+ SOLD OUT

Broom making was a very common industry in Massachusetts in the early 19th century. Especially in communities along the Connecticut River, broom factories employed many people to make useful brooms from broom corn. Make your own small version of this tool for cleaning around the house!

Make a Silhouette

$15 per student

1:00-2:30: Ages 10+

Learn to make a personalized silhouette from a professional! Cutting portraits was a popular way to have your likeness preserved, and was more cost-effective than having a portrait painted. Using scissors and black paper, participants will create one of these lovely and special images.

Make a Tin Sconce 

$15 per student

10:00: Ages 9+ SOLD OUT

Make a decorative sconce with one of the Village’s tinners! After meeting at Museum Education, participants will walk to the museum’s tin production shop and create a candle sconce to hang on your wall and shed a little light during those dark fall nights.

Town Meeting Program

Included in daytime admission (or active membership or season pass); recommended for ages 9+

1:30 at the Center Meetinghouse

Optional (but recommended) introductions at Museum Education: 9:45, 10:15, 11:15

In this civics-focused program, students participate in a mock town meeting where they learn how local government functions. The program explores the essential question “How should our town care for its poorest citizens?” Participants will get a brief introduction at Museum Education, and then spend the rest of the time on their own in the Village, interviewing costumed historians about their opinion on the matter. The program concludes in the Center Meetinghouse where students participate in a 45 minute Town Meeting lead by an interpreter to debate and vote on the issue. This interactive program encourages students to think critically, form arguments, and back up their opinions using historical information.

Pre-registration is NOT required. Participation in a program introduction and/or advance readings are strongly recommended for participants. Pre-program materials are available here.

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