With most of New York State still on pause, the opening of the Alice T. Miner Museum for the 2020 season is currently delayed. In the meantime, however, they have added some fun, new at-home activities to keep people entertained until they can open their doors to the public again. There are instructions for traditional crafts, such as stenciling and cross-stitch, introductions to skills like Morse Code and 18th-Century letter writing, baking recipes, and even an Alice paper doll!
Check out some of these downloadable experiences below!
DIY Spa Relaxation – Even in the 18th-Century, self care was a priority. Right now, the need to relax is definitely still important, but since we can’t make any appointments for the spa just yet, this activity is the perfect solution. A downloadable PDF offers six different skin care recipes, like body scrubs and face masks, that can all be made with things you probably already have in your pantry. Do you have some used coffee ground or overly ripe avocados you were just planning to throw away? Instead, repurpose them into the perfect spa day at home for the whole family.
Make Your Own Stencils – You are going to need some crafting supplies for this one. Get your scissors, masking tape, and paint handy. You should make your stencils out of cardboard or thick paper. If you have empty pasta or cereal boxes hanging around the house, these will work perfectly! Follow the downloadable instructions to create your own stencils just like the ones used for making wallpapers in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Introduction to Cross-Stitch – Learn the simple stitch that can be used to make all kinds of fun designs. Alice T. Miner Museum has composed an easy to follow guide with instructions, lists of all the supplies you will need, and a few different patterns that you and your kids can follow along with.
Alice Paper Doll – Your children can imagine living like a little girl centuries ago with this paper doll of Alice herself. Color her and cut her out, along with different clothes in the styles she would have worn when she was 10 years old in 1873.
Maple Tea Cakes Recipe – Download authentic 19th-Century recipes to make delicious desserts at home. They taste amazing and make the house smell pretty good too!
Writing and Reading in the 18th-Century – Nowadays we have email, texting, and instant messaging, but in the 18th-Century, none of these things existed. Instead, people communicated through letter writing. This fun, little guide gives instructions on how to make your own old-fashioned quill pen and advice on how to compose a proper letter. If there’s someone you’ve been missing while staying at home, you can use this activity to write them some letters.
Communicating with Morse Code – Another neat way to get messages back and forth in the 18th and 19th centuries was Morse Code. Download an educational activity that explains the history of Morse Code and Telegraphy, provides a full Morse Code alphabet, and gives careful instructions on how to practice it for yourself.