Dreary days do not eliminate the need for play. So we packed up the spaceship and set out for the Children’s Hands-On Museum with the explicit purpose of imagary play revolving around life in the Victorian era.
As the ladies played dress-up, Max wrote a brief essay surveying the artifacts and historic information found in the Victorian display. He wrote it from the perspective of an 8-year-old girl who is spending the night with her grandmother and happens to venture into the attic. I will intersperse excerpts of Max’s composition throughout the photos of the girls’ imaginary explorations.
B. asked if she could be the one to pour tea.
On the other side of the window there is a bookshelf. Over this bookshelf, a picture of five kittens and their mother is hung. There is a large locked trunk and, across from it, an old Victorian tea table complete with three chairs, a tray, and four cups of tea. A doll’s rocking chair is also there.
Marvelous whimsical Micah.
Now I walk over to another window, with the same lace curtains. I notice two more trunks in front of the window. Next to them, a large amount of boys’ clothes are in wardrobes, cupboards, and another trunk, but I am not interested in these. Instead, my eyes turn to the rug, then to the dress on a peg by the locked door I tried in vain to open, and lastly, to the many pictures on the wall by the antique cupboard.
The sobriety of Victorian life: Virginia Woolf’s version.
There is a large mirror with a white dress hanging on it. Another tea table set and stools sit to next to cupboards, wardrobes, and trunks of clothes for women! There is a coat rack with purses, four portraits, and two dresses! Lamps are everywhere. When I ask Grandma about it, she says, “I keep it this way so when the Old Women’s Club comes, we can have tea up here.”
“Do you want to spend the night up here?” Grandma continues. “I can assure you my breeding cats will not hurt you.” Grandma bred cats.
I decided I wanted to stay up there. There was so much interesting stuff up there to look at that I wouldn’t get bored.
Thus ended Max’s story. But then he decided that he could set up a small hunt for kids visiting the Grandmother’s Attic at C.H.O.M.- “important things they might want to find and learn more about”. He couldn’t resist adding a few follow-up questions.
The large number of trunks
Were trunks a fashion in Victorian times? Why were they so popular?
Types of clothing
What do you notice about the clothes from that time? Why do you think they were popular?
For further exploration, we chased butterflies around the following, among which the printables are marked with an asterisk: