The city my library is in celebrated it's 150th Anniversary this year. In honor of the occasion we were recently part of a city wide celebration that included our local history fair among other things. I thought I would share what we did in hopes that it would help inspire you to try some history themed activities in the library or anywhere else.
two major components of our celebration were stations for kids and a
historical speaker. I tried to keep the stations easy, inexpensive and
somewhat historically relevant to the time the city was founded.
Station 1: Butter "churning"
saw this idea several places and changed it around to fit my needs. The
basic concept is to shake heavy whipping cream until it turns into
butter. The best idea I had was to use the tiny plastic cups I found at
Kroger as our butter churning containers. They are the ones that only
hold a few ounces and come with lids. They really worked well and it
only cost a few dollars for about 50 of them.
Station 2: Historical crafts
historical crafts included coloring pages, paper dolls, and a variety
of paper pinwheels I got for free from another local group.
Station 3: Weaving
This is an idea I got here.
The one modification I made was using square plastic plates rather than
the foam trays. I was having problems finding the right trays and the
plates seemed to work just as well. I was somewhat surprised to see that
this was the favorite station of the program. My one tip is that an odd
number of strings on your "loom" allows you to tie up the extra strings at the beginning and end.
Station 4: Hoop rolling
already own several hula hoops, so I figured why not bring them out and
encourage the kids to "hoop race". It really didn't seem to catch on
well, but probably would be a lot of fun with a bigger group.
Station 5: Make a hat
No party is fun if you are
not wearing the correct ensemble right? So we made bonnets and hats
that seemed to fit the time period. I found the bonnet pattern here, and the other hat was simply a template for a "cowboy" hat that didn't seem to obvious as such.
All in all this program brought in a small but dedicated group of kids who seemed to have a pretty good time. Most stayed for over 3 hours for both the program and the speaker. The stations were also pretty inexpensive, as the biggest cost was for snacks. I would definitely recommend this type of program for anybody looking for a way to celebrate this period in history.