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History Makers: Craft Your Way Through the Past

History Makers: Craft Your Way Through the Past

Our 6-week art sessions are sure to get your child excited about history through awesome crafting projects, hands on moments with special artifacts, and cool facts about Montclair and NJ history! We’ll pair a craft or activity associated with a discussion topic and learn about our rich history before getting hands on. Our goal is to use crafting to expose children to learning about history in fun and creative ways without the textbook. Program appropriate for ages 6 to 10; if your child falls outside of this age range please contact our staff to discuss enrollment. As class space is limited, registration is required to hold your space. Cost is $60 per child for the entire series; individual class registration is not available. Register at or 973-744-1796. Dates: November 3, 10, 17 & December 1, 8, 15. Time: 10:00 am to 11:00 am.  All sessions are located in the program room of the Crane House/Historic YWCA at 108 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ.

Week 1
Old School Cool: How Did Kids Learn in the 1800s?

How different is your school from the ones in the 1800s? We’ll talk about subjects children learned and the tools they used to read and write before smart tablets.

We’ll take a look at historic kids books and talk about learning in a one room schoolhouse before trying out quill pens and chalk slates.

Week 2
An Apple A Day, and the Orchards Today

Fall’s favorite fruit is the star of this session, and we’ll talk about the yummy history of apple orchards and cider mills in Montclair/NJ using old maps to explore.

We’ll then take it outside and visit our crab apple trees in the gardens to gather some to make apple prints with!

Week 3: These Boots Were Made for Walking

Families from all over the world traveled long distances to the USA in hopes for a better life and we’ll talk about the Irish servants in the 1800s, including two in the Crane House, and the Great Migration beginning in 1910.

Our live table setting and suit case packing demonstrations will be hands on in understanding the experience. We’ll also use a large map and star some of the places both big and small that participants can share about their heritage.

Week 4: No Touch Screen Here: Sampler Making

Samplers were more than just fabric squares with colorful thread; they helped kids learn their ABCs, tell stories, and find ways of being crafty!
We’ll take a look at some of the samplers we have in a museum as inspiration before trying out some neat designs in making our own!

Week 5: Hone Where the Hearth Is

How did people cook before stoves and microwaves, and what kind of special skills did they need? We’ll gather around in our cozy hearth kitchen to learn how our ancestors made meals before modern conveniences. We’ll use historic tools, methods, and recipes to create a meal straight out of history.

Recipe will be vegan friendly and gluten free. We’ll enjoy our snack together and any leftover scraps will be shared with our chicken friends in our community garden!

Week 6: Holiday Fixings

Holiday celebrations have changed over time and we’ll get to see examples of it in our festively decorated Crane House & Historic YWCA! : We’ll share the traditions we each celebrate in the winter season and talk about what’s the same today.

We’ll all read Twas the Night Before Christmas and create our own wooden ornaments with decoupage and natural wreaths to take home.