"Mom and Me and History" Program for Ages 3-5

(This program is currently inactive. We are leaving this page here to give you some idea of how it was run. It proved to be a great educational tool for the community, and we hope to start it up again in the future.)

The Henry County Historical Society began a new program in November 2002 for pre-schoolers, ages 3 to 5, to teach them that history can be fun. Called "Mom and Me and History," the first program took place at the Dr. Bloomfield Home on November 21, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Fifteen children registered. Pictured at left is HCHS member Jean Steele, reading The Gingerbread Baby to the children. The rug shown in the picture was donated to the HCHS by Leininger Carpet and Floor Coverings LTD. (To see a full-sized version of the photo, please click on the photo itself; and to return to this page, click on the browser's Back button.)

The response to the program was overwhelmingly positive, so the HCHS made this event a permanent program that runs monthly from October until May. Space is limited to 14 children, but if enough interest is shown, extra sessions may be added to events in 2003-04, and the program may be expanded to include home-schooled children and pre-school classes. Reservations Required -- CALL 419.592.4823 or 419.598.8005.

2005-2006 Program (Tentative)

October 20 History of Native Americans
November 17 History of the American Flag
December No class
January 19 History of Popcorn
February 16
(at the Subway restaurant on N. Scott Street, Napoleon
History of the Hero Sandwich
March 16 History of St. Patrick's Day
April 20 Historical Look at Monet
May 11 Graduation

Highlights of the 2004-2005 Program

The theme for the October program, held October 21st, was the history of the pumpkin. To be more exact, the subject was about carving/decorating pumkins, a uniquely American tradition. The children were allowed to be creative and decorate their own pumkins and take them home.

On November 18th, the class visited the Napoleon Fire Department, where the children were shown all the trucks and ambulances, and were given a demonstration of what it takes to get all suited up to go out and fight a fire. The highlight of the visit for many of the kids was being able to actually sit in a vintage firetruck and "steer".

In December, there was no program.

On January 20th, in honor of the upcoming Groundhog Day celebration that is held every year on February 2nd in Punxatawney, Pennsylvania. On that day, the famous groundhog, Punxatawney Phil, is brought out of his burrow, and legend has it that if he sees his shadow, Winter will last 6 more weeks.

A program on Legos, the perenial favorite toy of children, was presented on February 17th. The children were given an opportunity to express themselves by building their own Lego creations, and the results were as clever as they were varied.

On March 17th, the children were allowed to decorate their own t-shirts. As a bonus, sugar cookies and colorful icing magically appeared, and the kids were able not only to be kids, but they got a chance to play with their food and eat it too!

The April program, given on April 21st, featured an author.

On May 5th, as a reward to the children for attending the program throughout the dreary Winter months, they were treated lunch at the local McDonalds© and the History of the Happy Meal.

Highlights of the 2003-2004 Program

Oct 16 History of the Crayon
Nov 20 Scarecrow
Dec. 11 Nutcracker
Jan. 15


Feb 19
Mar 18

Mr. Potato Head

Apr. 15 Farm Equipment
May Hot Dog Picnic. Reward Day for children attending 3 or more of the classes.

Highlights of the 2002-2003 Program

The November 2002 program was entitled "The History of Gingerbread." Subsequent programs were "The History of Victorian Christmas" (December 19th), the discovery of the snowflake (January 16th), a history of Valentine's Day (February), a history of the Teddy Bear (March 20th), Peter Rabbit's 101st Birthday (April 17), and on May 1st the last program of the school year was a children's tea.

Pictured at left is another activity from the November 21st program. The children here are making gingerbread hand puppets. (As with the other photo, simply click on it to see a full-sized version.)

The December 19th program was entitled "History of Victorian Christmas." A write-up of this activity is not available at this time.

The theme of the January 16th program was the snowflake, or more precisely, the history of the photographer Wilson Bentley, first person to ever photograph snowflakes. Pictured at left is Ann Baatz reading the biography of Wilson Bentley. Coordinated activities with this session included: a science experiment turning moth balls into frost globes; crafting beaded snowflakes; creating marshmallow snowman snacks; and tossing paper snowflakes (pictured at right).

The February program was entitled "A Valentine." A write-up of this activity is not available at this time.

The March program took place on March 20th after a week's delay caused by bad weather. This month's program was dedicated to the history of the Teddy Bear, and each child brought his/her favorite Teddy along to show the others. Ann Baatz told the history to the children gathered in a circle around her, and this was followed by Jann Wiemken's reading of a story about bears in a museum. The children then went to the dining room, where they made and hand-painted Teddy bear magnets, and decorated picture frames with Teddy Bear stick-ons. After an exhausting (for the adults) hour of story-telling and crafts, everyone chowed down with Teddy Bear cookie snacks.

The April program, "Peter Rabbit's 101st Birthday," was given on April 17th at 10:00 a.m. Because of an illness in Jann Wiemken's family, Ann Baatz coordinated all the activities, and there were plenty of adults around to help read to the children. At the crafts table, the children graciously allowed the adults to help make bunnies, decorate a small can-basket, and paint a carrot. Paper hats were passed out, and the children were asked to decorate them for the May 1st Tea Party (please note the date change).

May 1st was the day of the Children's Tea. There will be a write-up and pictures available here soon. In the meantime, enjoy the photo of the children and their decorated hats. Just click on the image to the right to see a full sized version.

The Henry County Historical Society is utilizing the Joyce Colwell Memorial Fund to sponsor this program.