We understand social distancing and quarantine can be difficult for kids and adults.  METC at Home is here for you with games, activities, recipes, and more, all online. If you try out any of our activities, make sure to tag us on social media @metcnj and use the hashtag #metcnj! We can’t wait to see everyone’s creations!

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Haven’t had enough time to try out that latest Bon Appetit receipe? Tired of eating the same old snacks at home. Put on your apron and let’s get cooking! Why not try one of these recipes from the 1800s?

Homemade butter Recipe

You will need:

  • Heavy Cream
  • A small jar
  • Salt (optional)

Directions:

  • Fill the jar about half way with the heavy cream (adding salt to taste if you would like)
  • Shake for about 15-20 minutes continuously or until you get a (relatively) solid blob of butter surrounded by butter milk
  • *In warmer weather, the butter may not ever fully separate from the butter milk and you will have something closer in consistency to a butter spread*

Ice Cream Mold, Courtesy of Ocean Grove Historical Society

Ice Cream Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 cup light cream or half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup salt (Kosher or rock salt)

Directions:

  • Measure the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract into the quart-size bag. Zip it up tightly.
  • Fill the gallon-size bag with ice. Add the salt.
  • Put the sealed smaller bag inside. Now zip up the larger bag.
  • Shake and shake the bags to make ice cream! It will take about 10 minutes until the cream hardens.

Take the smaller bag out of the larger one. Eat the ice cream right out of the bag or scoop it into a bowl

Recipe courtesy of Kidstir.com

Mayan Hot Chocolate Recipe

You will need:

  • For best results, use Mexican chocolate (brands include Ibarra, Abuelita, and Morelia, among others). Mexican chocolate is darker than its American counterpart and frequently contains ground almonds or pine nuts and cinnamon.

Directions:

  • Break 1 tablet of the chocolate and place into a deep pot
  • Add 1 cup water (You can also use milk but water is the more traditional ingredient).
  • Heat the water to boiling, stirring the chocolate until it melts. The result will be somewhat grittier than other chocolate drinks.
  • Add, to taste, cinnamon, a vanilla bean, and a small piece of chili.
  • Using a whisk or electric mixer to whisk the chocolate until a thick froth forms.

Recipe courtesy of the Penn Museum

Play Dough Recipe

You will need:

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • A few drops of food coloring (optional)
  • Large bowl
  • Large spoon for mixing
  • Plastic or dull table knife
  • Rolling pin or soup can

Directions:

  • Measure all ingredients into the bowl and mix thoroughly. Leave the dough to dry for a few minutes.
  • Put down wax paper and sprinkle some flour on it
  • Knead the dough until it’s smooth.
  • Roll out the dough until it is nice and flat
  • Press your cookie cutters into the dough
  • Leave the cutter in place while you use the knife to cut away the dough around the cutter
  • Leave the “cookie” to dry on the wax paper

Courtesy of PBS Kids

Preserving Your play dough “cookies”

You will need:

  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil

Directions:

  • Set your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and let it preheat for several minutes.
  • Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Set the play dough carefully in the middle of the foil covered baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven.
  • Allow the play dough to bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. This helps pull the moisture from the dough, making it harden faster.
  • Turn the oven off and do not open the oven door or remove the baking sheet from the oven. Let the play dough sit in the oven overnight.
  • Remove the hardened figure from the oven.

Courtesy of www.ehow.com

Old Sturbridge Village Historic Recipes

Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA is the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast. They depict rural life in 1830s New England. Their historic interpreters have created a series of videos depicting how to create historic recipes.

Have you exhausted Playstation and Monopoly? Here are some games popular in the 1800s. Play these at home using everyday household items or play outside in your backyard!

Whirligigs

Mount Clare Museum in Baltimore Maryland has a great resource to create your own Colonial whirligig toy.

Need some coloring sheets for littles? Maybe even some adults who just want to take a break and color? Here are some coloring sheets featuring the trades of METC, James Library Building, design your own stained glass window and more! Snap a picture and share with us on social media @metcnj.

Quilting Square, c. 1800

Teach yourself a new hobby or craft while you practice social distancing. Everything old becomes new again! Hobbies like needlepoint, quilting, and crocheting were just as popular in the 1800s as they are today. Have a virtual quilting bee with your friends via Skype or Facetime and share your creations.

Needlepoint

Crochet

Quilting

Here is a reading list inspired by our latest Main Gallery exhibit, Surveying the New Jersey Landscape:

Mapping New Jersey: An Evolving Landscape, edited by Maxine N. Lurie and Peter O. Wacker

Geography of New Jersey: The City in the Garden by Charles A. Stansfield Jr.

Spirit of the Garden by Martha Brookes Hutcheson

Plant Communities of New Jersey: A Study in Landscape Diversity by Beryl Robichud Collins and Karl H. Anderson

Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England by William Cronon

Griffins and gargoyles, oh my! METC’s home, the James Library Building is decorated with architectural features like gargoyles and the James Building, home of the Education Annex, was once topped with terracotta griffins. One of the terracotta griffins can be found in METC’s garden. Griffins are mythical creatures that are part eagle and part lion. Images of griffins can be found in ancient sculptures from Egypt and Mesopotamia and were extremely popular in Medieval imagery. Griffins symbolized strength and bravery.

Gargoyles served an architectural purpose as well as a decorative one. Many served as gutter systems that directed water away from the sides of the building. The gargoyles on the James Library building are just decoration.

Enjoy these coloring pages, puzzles, and activities all about griffins and gargoyles!

Enjoy a tea party at home with your family with the help of these activities from MET(ea)C!

While we can’t take a road trip in real life, let’s take road trip through history and explore how people who came before us used transportation! Design a carriage and go on a carriage journey with us!

Design Your Own Carriage!

  • Print out
      1. Carriage body template”
      2. The “Design Your Own Carriage” sheet. If you have the ability to print legal-sized, this one will give you more room for creativity, but either works fine. 
  • Draw wheels under the carriage body
  • Add reins (to connect the driver to the horse and to let them steer the horse). If you have pipe cleaners or yarn, glue these in place as reins (see the sample). Otherwise, draw them in.
  • Put people in your carriage (Remember, someone has to be driving!)
  • Color your horse & carriage
  • You can glue on little gems or buttons or any other small objects for extra decoration
  • Create the landscape around your carriage
  • Consider gluing cotton balls into the sky for clouds

* For an extra challenge, try to make a 3-D version. Use the “Horse Template,“Carriage Body Template” and “Wheel Templates” to get you started. Print out the horse and carriage body on cardstock if possible (you may even want to print 2 horses & glue them together for extra support). For best results, try tracing the wheels onto cardboard and cutting those out. 

Be creative! How could you give this enough strength and support to make it stand up? Can you make one that actually moves? 

Some materials to consider using: pipe cleaners, corks, thin cardboard tubes

Go on a Carriage Journey!

After you design your own carriage, try out this game to see what it might have been like to go on a journey in your carriage.

Print out

      1. “My Journey Sheet” 
      2. The “Challenge 1” and “Challenge 2” and  “What Will You See 1” “What Will You See 2” and “What Will You See 3” sheets. 
  • Cut Out the cards, shuffled them and put them face down in a pile. 
  • Pick a destination for your journey (where you will end up). And feel free to change the starting location to something other than Madison!
  • Pick a card. This is the 1st thing you encounter on your journey. It could be a challenge (something bad) or simply something you see along the way. Use colored pencils, markers, crayons or anything else to draw this on your journey. Don’t forget to draw your carriage encountering this element!
  • Continuing picking cards and drawing the elements they show until you reach your destination. 
  • Add any other background or decoration that you want for your journey
  • Do it again for another trip!

 

See the Stagecoach & Concord Coach images to see types of carriages common used for long distance travel.

Design Your Own Shop Sign!

Shops, restaurants, hotels and other businesses have been putting out signs to attract customers for hundreds of years. These signs vary greatly, but they all share the goal of getting people to come inside. To achieve this goal, they need to be: 

  1. Catchy, so that people passing by give it a second look
  2. Informative, so potential customers know what they will find inside

Just like today, most shops in the 1700s and 1800s had signs. Not everyone could read, so a good sign let customers know what was inside without words. Recognizable symbols and logos are still common on signs today! Now it’s your turn to create a shop sign! 

  1. Decide what type of business you would like to advertise.
  2. Take a look at the sample shop signs to get some inspiration.
  3. Decide on the outline shape of your sign. You can print one of our templates or design your own. Either way, cardstock is best if you have it.
  4. Use pencil to sketch the design on your sign. *Remember, you are trying to catch someone’s attention, possibly from far away, so use simple, recognizable images and few words.
  5. Once you are satisfied with your design, add color! You can use paint, marker, crayon, colored pencil, pastel or anything else you have available. 
  6. Hang your sign up somewhere and see if your family can tell what you are advertising
  7. Post a photo of your finished sign and share it with METC using #metcnj or tagging us @metcnj

Become a curator and design your own exhibit with METC’s Junior Curator Activity! Click here to curate your own exhibit with us!

Have you ever wanted to invent something to make a day to day task easier? Now is your chance! Our “Invention Activity” will help guide you in creating your own invention! Click here to go to the activity!