Family-Friendly Activities for Summer 2020
Looking for something to do this summer? Explore Plymouth’s history and try hands-on crafts with the Plymouth Antiquarian Society! Once a week from July 20th to August 17th we will release a fun activity for young history lovers (ages 8 to 12) to complete at home.
Downloadable resources and instructional videos will be added to this webpage according to the schedule below. Once they are released, the activities will remain available for the whole summer, allowing families to complete each one on their own time.
Students who complete all five activities and submit their checklist by August 31st will receive a complimentary membership in the Jr. Antiquarian Society, which promotes continued engagement with local history. Download the checklist here.
The activities for weeks 2, 3, and 5 require take-home kits with project supplies. These kits are free but must be reserved in advance and picked up at the Hedge House Museum. Pickups will be coordinated by PAS staff as activities are released; all COVID-19 safety protocols must be observed during pickups. There is a limit of one kit per family.
The deadline for registering for the summer program has passed. To request information about the activities or to check availability of the take-home kits, please email PAS Executive Director Anne Mason.
All program announcements will be emailed to families who have registered for the program. If you would like to connect with other program participants, we invite you to join Plymouth History Explorers on Facebook. This is a private group; only members will be able to see who’s in the group and what they post. Feel free to use this space for sharing pictures of completed activities, asking questions, and connecting with other history lovers.
Week 1: Explore Plymouth’s Past
Download our map and visit eight “hidden” sites that introduce you to history beyond the Pilgrims. Take a selfie at one (or more!) of the sites and share something you learned on your road trip. Due to Plymouth’s size, we recommend exploring sites 1-4 and 5-8 on separate days. You’ll find free parking at all of these sites, but some of the lots have limited space. Please follow all state and local COVID-19 guidelines while exploring.
Click here for our printable PDF.
To estimate driving distances via Google Maps, click here.
Most of the sites have interpretive signs that will provide historical background for your visit. The links below offer additional information for some of the sites.
- Plymouth Cordage Company
- Town Brook Restoration (see also this detailed map of the Pilgrim Trail along Town Brook)
- Sacrifice Rock
- Manomet Point Robert E. Lee Rescue Memorial
Week 2: Learn How to Use a Lucet
A lucet is a simple tool used for centuries to make a square braid or cord. In 17th-century America, colonists used lucets to create drawstrings for their clothing and for many other purposes, both inside and outside the home. The lucet can also be used for making decorative trim or other fine items.
Register in advance for a free take-home kit with project supplies, including a wooden lucet and two types of thread. (The size of the thread will determine the size of the cord.) A lucet is a great tool for making a friendship bracelet this summer, but get creative and experiment with other uses.
Click here for a printable PDF with instructions for how to use a lucet (includes both right-handed and left-handed instructions).
Click here for tips on using your lucet.
PAS Docent Barbara Keyes demonstrates using a lucet in the video below.
Week 3: Experiment with Natural Dyes
Try dyeing fabric with common plant-based ingredients from your home and garden. Keep a record of the colors you create. Register in advance for a free take-home kit with samples of fibers to dye.
NOTE: This is an activity that should only be done with close adult supervision. It involves working with simmering water on a stovetop.
Click here for a printable PDF with supply list and instructions.
Click here for a printable worksheet for logging your experiments!
PAS volunteer Janet Meade reviews the steps for making and using natural dyes.
Week 4: Explore Plymouth’s Historic Center
Embark on an adventure through our history-rich downtown! Begin and end at the Jenney Pond Parking Lot off of Summer Street, where parking is free. Follow the directions to historic sites and memorials to learn about Plymouth’s past in different centuries. The total walking distance is approximately 1.5 miles. Please be careful crossing streets and remember to follow all COVID-19 precautions.
Click here for a printable PDF with the scavenger hunt clues.
Click here for a printable PDF with the answers and history notes.
Week 5: Learn How to Weave
Practice weaving on a cardboard loom. Register in advance for a free take-home kit with project supplies.
Click here for a printable PDF with written instructions and tips.
PAS volunteer Leslie Lyman demonstrates how to use the cardboard looms in the video below.