Pre-School Programs: History for Early Learners

A hands-on introduction to learning history

At Pierce House or Your Site

These fun-filled programs combine themed story books and hands-on craft activities to introduce children ages 3 to 6 to New England’s history, at Historic New England’s Pierce House or your location.. New programs are frequently added. The examples below are some of our most popular. Contact us for more possibilities!

Programs Include

Animals in Architecture:Children discover the many animals used to decorate the insides of old houses, such as birds found in wallpaper and lions staring out from fireplaces. They then decorate their own house pictures to take home.

The Big Red Barn: Pierce House was once surrounded by farmland. In this program, we read The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and Felicia Bond, and discuss what kinds of animals the Pierces would have kept on their farm and what types of food, labor, and products the farmers would get from each animal. Children create a red paper barn filled with their favorite animals.

Colonial Clothing: We read the book Sam Bennett’s New Shoes by Jennifer Thermes and discuss how everyday life was different in the past from the way it is today. One boy and one girl dress up in reproduction clothing and all of the children make colonial paper dolls.

From Sheep to Shawl: How do we get from sheep to a warm wool sweater? Children find out with this story, Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep: A Yarn About Wool, by Teri Sloat. We bring real wool to pass around and children can try their hand at carding the wool. Each child makes a cotton-ball sheep to take home.

Lobsterman: What are some ways of making a living from the ocean? We read Lobsterman by Dahlov Ipcar and discuss all the work it takes to maintain a boat and traps. Students discover the importance of lobster buoys in a fishing community and design and paint a unique buoy of their own.

Seasons: Children learn all about the changing seasons through a story about a little boy and his favorite apple tree. After reading The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons, students make a fall tree with tissue-paper leaves.

Stories in Quilts: We will read the book, The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and discuss how for centuries people have taken bits of cloth and used them to make colorful quilts and blankets. Looking at the pictures in the book we will talk about the different kinds of designs that are on quilts. Each child will make a paper patchwork quilt.

Self-Portraits: What makes you special? We will read the book, What I Like About Me! by Allia Zobel Nolan and Miki Sakamoto, and discuss what makes each of us similar and different. Children will look at a few portraits from Historic New England’s collection before creating their own self-portraits.

Program Details

Available weekdays, year-round, for ages 3 – 6. Programs last 45 to 60 minutes.

Maximum Group Size: 25

Cost at Pierce House: $75 for up to 14 students, $100 for 15 – 25 students

Cost at Your Site: $100 per session, $50 for each additional same-day session

Type of Program: Field Trips, Programs to Go, Preschool, Summer Programs, After School

Related Topics: Colonial Life, Farming, Story and Crafts

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