In 1610 Richard Rich declared that the English would “establish a nation where none before had stood”–conveniently forgetting about the native inhabitants. But Virginia never became the intended replica of England.
Kids can get a feel for just how labor intensive it was to build during the colonial era by trying out an old fashioned tool called a pump drill.
PBS Show Spring 2004. Explore these pages to learn about the project — and check in for new features on the colonists and the colony every month!
Be history explorer. Meet the people and experience colonial life in early America.
Old Sturbridge Explore and Learn
At the heart of the early 19th-century community was the center village, with houses, shops, stores, and meetinghouses clustered around a common.
Loads of original resources making this a site for advanced students and folks researching their family history.
The New England Primer
Besides instruction in the alphabet, the New England Primer also served to indoctrinate young minds in the stern and somewhat morbid Protestantism of that time and place.
Schooling, Education, and Literacy, in Colonial America
See a real Hornbook and New England Primer. See a view of the Dame School. Link into even more information about early schools, educational material, and laws.
Games & Toys
Amusements in Colonial New England
When children had time to play, they enjoyed the same games that their parents and grandparents had played when they were young. We still play many of the games, like tag, hide-and-seek, and hopscotch.
Apple Dolls are folk dolls originating from early rural America when settlers made dolls from whatever was at hand. Apple dolls are made by carving a face in an apple and drying it. Due to the different effects drying produces, no two dolls are alike.
Colonial Games & Toys
When children had time to play, they enjoyed the same games that their parents and grandparents had played when they were young. We still play many of these games today, like tag, hide-and-seek, and hopscotch.
How to make a Whirligig
This 18th century toy is easy to make and endless fun if your nintendo is broken down.
Historical Williamsburg Kids Zone
The Kids Zone offers games, activities, and resources about life in colonial America. Use this section to prepare your child for a Colonial Williamsburg visit.
Colonial Hall: Biographies of America’s Founding Fathers
Colonial Hall now has the biographies of 103 founding fathers and 30 biographies of their wives.
Washington’s World: 18th Century America
He attended a one-room school house for 7 or 8 years and because of his father’s death he never went to England to further his formal education as his older half brother Lawrence had done.
The World of Benjamin Franklin
Ben is most famous for his questions about electricity, but he also experimented with many other ideas in nature.
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Cranberries
Not only did Native Americans teach European settlers to enjoy the wild turkey meat, they also showed them that the cranberry’s tart nature could be sweetened by boiling and adding maple syrup.
Preparing Snacks Using Colonial Recipes
Here are the cookie recipes that we use in the Hands on History Workshops. These are adapted from colonial recipes.
Most of the food required by a farm family during the early 1800s was produced on their own farm in season and had to be preserved for future use. Here’s how colonials made dried apples.