HINGHAM – For an hour each week, the Hingham Historical Society uses music, movement and books to turn local children into mini historians.
The theme of the program, which is called Colonial Story Time, is different each week and changes with the season. At a story time last month, a Thanksgiving theme brought autumn-related activities, and topics from past programs included apple picking, harvesting and preserving nature. The event is held each Friday in the large Old Derby room at the Hingham Heritage Museum, 34 Main St.
“It’s another way of getting ourselves known out there and bringing people in,” Hingham Historical Society membership manager Jane Criscitiello said. “We are the big gala building on the hill. A lot of people walk by, look at the building, think it’s beautiful, and don’t come up the hill and learn what we’re all about.”
Criscitiello said Colonial Story Time is intended for preschoolers, but all little ones are welcome. Staff members read two books during each event and, between each book, the kids sing, march and dance to tunes such as “Yankee Doodle.” After they've released some energy, the event concludes with arts and crafts.
The Hingham Public Library is closed Fridays, so the historical society thought it was a good opportunity to capture and engage the preschool and middle school audience in a new way, development manager Kristin Lasch said.
Let's Eat, Ledgerland: Wei Shu We Hot Pot opens in Quincy
Society executive director Dierdre Anderson said moms, dads and grandparents show up consistently to take part in activities led by staff dressed in Colonial costumes. Visitor services manager Margaret Sebestyen led a recent story time, and she and Anderson wore costumes from the Revolutionary War period. Sebestyen donned a Pilgrim hat that the militia would have worn, she said.
While making crafts, Sebestyen spoke to the children about how Native Americans taught early settlers to harvest and survive the winter. She read “The Night Before Thanksgiving” by Natasha Wing, “This Is the Feast” by Diane Shore and “Brother Eagle, Sister Sky" by Chief Seattle.
“It’s really neat to see the young faces,” Sebestyen said.
Bob Sweeney and his grandson Jack took part in the event. Sweeney said he is a history buff and decided to get Jack involved in the local history scene at the Hingham Historical Society.
“The staff does a really great job of making the children feel very relaxed,” he said.
Colonial Story Time will run every Friday through the holidays. For more information, visit hinghamhistorical.org.
Thanks to our subscribers, who help make this coverage possible. If you are not a subscriber, please consider supporting quality local journalism with a Patriot Ledger subscription. Here is our latest offer.
Reach Joel Barnes at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on The Patriot Ledger: Weekly Hingham story time brings Colonial history to life for kids