Toddler & Preschooler Program

Bring your toddler or preschooler to the Museum on select Saturdays to participate in activities and traditions associated with different cultural heritages. 

Activities will vary each week. Please check the calendar for dates and specific program details.  Many activities will be outdoors, so please dress accordingly.

Museum admission is included, so feel free to enjoy the Museum’s exhibits after the program concludes.

Advance Registration is Required: Space is limited. Please call our Welcome Center at 540-332-7850 to secure your child’s space in each Saturday program.  Registration is FREE for Annual Pass Holders.

Dates:  Select Saturday Mornings, April – December
Session Times:  10:00 am & 11:00 am
Ages:  2-5 Years Old (a parent must accompany each child)
Program Structure:  30 – 45 minutes of structured activity. Weather permitting, we will utilize the Museum’s exhibits.
Location:  Meet and sign in at the Museum’s Welcome Center.
Cost:  $5 per child (no charge for parent); FREE to annual pass holders

If you plan to come often, we recommend purchasing a “Family Annual Pass”.

2019 Schedule.

4/20:  Toddler Program: Easter Traditions

  • Dyeing Easter Eggs

  • Dyeing eggs at Easter time has been around for many years. People did not use dyes like we have today, however. Come explore how to dye eggs using natural plant dyes.

5/11:  Toddler Program: May Fair

  • Streamer Sticks
  • May Day has long been a celebration of spring and warmer weather. Come see some of our activities for our May Fair including our Maypole. Children in England would sometimes make decorated sticks that looked like miniature maypoles. Make your own decorated stick to celebrate spring.

6/15:  Toddler Program: West Africa

  • Climate and Weather: Rainforest Vine
  • Even though it’s hard to picture it, our West African compound is in a rainforest climate zone. To help create that image, we are going to make rainforest vines. You will also get to learn about drums from West Africa and hear them being played. Join in a dance to the rhythm of the drums and maybe even play them yourself.

6/29:  Toddler Program: Independence Day

  • Pinwheels
  • In the 1800’s, toys were often homemade with leftover materials. Come to the  1850’s American Farm to make a patriotic pinwheel. Enjoy playing with toys and games out in the front yard of our farmhouse.

7/27:  Toddler Program: Native American Farming

  • Corn, Beans, and Squash, Corn Craft – Book: Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers
  • Corn was an important crop for Native Americans. Come to our Eastern Woodlands site and learn how Native Americans grew corn, beans, and squash together and shared this technique with the early settlers. You will also learn  how to grind corn and will get to make a craft to take home.

8/31:  Toddler Program:  Labor day

  • Native Americans and early settlers sometimes made duck decoys to lure ducks closer for hunting. They would also use the decoys as a way of training young boys to hunt. Make your own duck decoy and listen to a story. Walk to our pond to look for ducks that you may be able to feed.

9/14:  Toddler Program:  Fall Foliage

  • The weather is getting cooler and autumn is on its way! Soon the leaves will be changing colors. Take a walk to learn about some of our trees at the museum and the different types of leaves of each. Hear a story about fall and make  your own colored leaves through a process called embossing.

10/5:  Toddler program: Oktoberfest

  • Games (Sauerkraut, Sauerkraut Race, Ring Line)
  • Oktoberfest at the museum is a day of fun and celebration! Come play games on our German farm. You will also learn about daily life in Germany and help make sauerkraut.

10/19 :  Toddler Program: Archaeology Day

  • Toddler Boxes
  • Do you like digging in the dirt? Archaeologists spend a lot of time digging in the dirt to carefully uncover items that were buried in the past. Come experience all of our onsite activities in recognition of Archaeology Day. Learn what an archaeologist does and see what you can find in one of our dig boxes at our 1740 exhibit.

11/23: Toddler program: Native America

  • Basket Making
  • Native Americans wove baskets that could be used to gather and store food. In the fall, they would be harvesting squash, corn, and pumpkins. Come weave your own basket from paper. Hear a story, then go look for pictures of pumpkins and squash to gather and color to put in your basket.

12/7:  Toddler Program: Holiday Traditions

  • Wassailing
  • Join us for our 3-part holiday-themed toddler programs. Our first program is a holiday tradition from England, where you will join a wassailing party and learn about the origins of caroling. Get ready to sing as loud as you can when the wassailing begins.

12/14: Toddler Program: Holiday Traditions

  • Knocking
  • Join us for session 2 of our 3-part holiday-themed toddler programs. Germany is the location of our second program. Germans would go house to house making lots of noise and knocking on doors to drive away bad luck. Often a small treat was offered to the noisemakers. Participate in this tradition and get ready to make noise!

12/21:  Toddler Program: Holiday Traditions

  • Belsnickling
  • Join us for the last session of our 3-part holiday-themed toddler programs. Our holiday tour ends in 1850’s America, where you will learn how to belsnickel. Belsnickling included lots of noise making and dressing up. Christmas is a time to celebrate and celebrate we will!

Call our Welcome Center for Details at 540-332-7850