History Tots
Online Lessons - Learning about history has never been so much fun!!!

Before starting on the lessons please enjoy these activity pages!
Color the Colonies

o Color Ann Whitall
o Bonnet Maze
o Quilt Pattern Coloring
o Fort Mercer Flag
o James & Ann Whitall Word Search

1) Boats on the Delaware River
The Whitall family lived on a 400-acre farm that faced the Delaware River. James Whitall was a farmer and a merchant. Merchants sold things like cups, plates, and spices to other people. James used his boat to go to Philadelphia to sell these items. In the 1700s there were a lot of boats on the river! The Whitall family loved to fish on the river. Jame’s sons James and Job spent Sundays fishing for shad. The Delaware River was full of shad and the family sold it to neighbors and friends. During the Revolutionary War the Delaware River was filled with British and American ships. In 1777 the British ship Augusta ran aground, caught fire, and exploded. The explosion was loud people could hear it 50 miles away!

Below is a link to an episode of the PBS children’s program “Liberty’s Kids.” This episode focuses on “The Turtle,” the submarine of the American Revolution. Watching the episode before the craft will provide some context for your tot in a fun and engaging way.


Craft: Egg Carton Ships

What you need:
◦ Egg Carton (Cut in Half)
◦ Markers and Crayons
◦ Paper
◦ Scissors
◦ Glue
◦ Popsicle Sticks (straws or pencils work just as well)

◦ Take your egg carton and decorate it however you like. Color all over it if you have paint or crayons to add even more color.
◦ Next take your paper and cut out a triangle. This will be your sail.
◦ Glue the sail to the end of the popsicle stick.
◦ Now put a small hole in the middle of your egg carton.
◦ Put glue on the other end of your popsicle stick and hold it there for a few moments to make sure it sticks.
◦ After it's all finished you'll have a mini ship you can float anywhere there's water!!!

2) Washington’s Spies
During the American Revolution, General George Washington used spies to win the war against the British. American Spies were people who would find out what the British were up to and send word to General Washington. These messages could be a warning that the American army would be attacked or where the British were going. To hide these messages, American spies would use invisible ink. Some spies would dip their quill in lemon juice and then write the message on paper. When the paper was introduced to heat the secret message would appear.

Below is a link to an episode of the PBS children’s program “Liberty’s Kids.” This episode focuses on Benedict Arnold and spies of the American Revolution. Watching the episode before the craft will provide some context for your tot in a fun and engaging way.


Craft: Create Secret Messages Using Invisible Ink

What you need:
o Blank white paper
o White crayon
o Color Marker

o Using the white crayon, write a secret message on the blank piece of paper. Try pushing down hard on the paper with the crayon. After the message is written, have your History Tot color over the white crayon writing with the marker to reveal the secret message.

3) Colonial Food Day!
Hi Kiddos!
It’s time to put on your thinking caps for today’s lesson! Think about where you get your food. Tell your adult where you get your food. Do you grow your food? Well, people in Colonial America had to grow their own food! On the farm they had animals to help them grow their food like a mule or another animal that says “neigh!” Can you guess what that animal is? The farm sometimes had animals that would lay eggs that could be used to bake a cake or for a delicious breakfast. What animal lays eggs? Can you name some other animals on the farm?

It’s time to color! Pretend that you are Farmer ___________. What animals would be on your farm? Would there be a big red barn? What would your house look like? What would grow on your farm? Don’t forget to use lots of colors!

How did the soldiers eat?
During the American Revolution, soldiers were given “rations” which were supplies of food. Sometimes soldiers had a haversack that carried a cup, plate, fork, knife, and spoon inside. But sometimes, soldiers didn’t have a fork and had to eat with their hands! They cooked for themselves over a fire they built. Have you ever gone camping? Have you ever roasted hot dogs or marshmellows over a fire?

Let’s see a real solder cook!
 To see the soldier cook, skip to 3:30 to about 5:30. These soldiers cook beef and flower cakes with nothing but sticks and rocks!

These are haversacks that soldiers would carry food, and supplies in!

Colonial Dishes
The colonials ate a lot of meats, vegetables, pies, cakes, and fruit!
Here are some colonial dishes! Look through the different dishes and see which ones you would like to eat. Are there any you wouldn’t like to eat?

Soup Craft! - Colonials ate a lot of soup! Make your own soup!

What you need:
o Construction paper
o Plastic spoon
o Glue or tape

o Cut construction paper into a circle. Have a grown up help you. 
o Color the soup with whatever you want to put into the soup! 
o You could also cut up pieces of construction paper and glue it onto your soup. 
o If you are practicing your letters, make an alphabet soup! 
o Use a little drop of glue or a piece of tape to fasten the plastic spoon into your bowl of soup.

Here are some ideas!

If you want to learn more about colonial food, read through this website with your child! 

4) Native American Day!
Hi everyone! Who’s ready to learn about Native Americans?
Native Americans were in America before the Colonials. Native Americans lived in tribes and nations. They hunted animals and gathered different foods like berries. We know from archeology projects in the park that Native Americans lived on the river before the Whitalls built their house in 1748. We’ve found arrowheads, pottery, and work tools. These Native Americans were part of the Lenni Lenape Tribe.

This is a Wigwam! This is a home Native Americans built and lived in with their family!

This is a TeePee! These tents were made out of animal skin and were used by Native American’s out west who followed and hunted Buffalo!

Craft: Build your own TeePee! 

o Cut out the shape in the picture with construction paper (⅔ of a circle). 
o Have your child decorate the TeePee. 
o Roll up the TeePee and put clear tape to make the TeePee like a cone!

Native American Culture
Native Americans worshiped the land. They had many traditions that were passed down through storytelling. Singing and dancing were a big part of their culture! Do you like to sing and dance?

This video shows a Pow Wow in New Jersey. The Lenni Lenape in the video enjoy sharing their culture! Listen to the music and look at the dancing. Do you like it?
Try to make up your own dance like the Native Americans! Try to dance to the drums and show your family your dance!

Story Time!
Here are links to Native American stories that were made into children's books!

What did you like most about learning about Native Americans? Make sure to tell your family what you learned! 


5) Farm Day 

Before it was a park the Whitall House was surrounded by a giant farm. It was over 400 acres! Sheep, cows, chickens, and pigs all lived here along with James Whitalls beloved apple and peach trees. In the fall the Whitall family spent a lot of time making cider from the apples and baking delicious peach pies. Ann Whitall would use sheep’s wool and turn it into clothes and blankets. This was much harder than going to the store and buying clothes and blankets like we do today! The Whitalls also planted lots and lots of vegetables and fruits. Their son Job left a diary and he wrote about how much he loved eating watermelons!  Whatever extra food the farm produced the family sold at the Woodbury market. To learn more about farms and growing vegetables, check out these fun sites!

Cute and Small Farm Animals!!!

9 Plant DIY’s you can make at home

Full Sunshine Farm Tour!!!


Craft: Sheep and Corn Cutouts
In today’s craft we will be creating our own corn and sheep cut outs.

Sheep Cut Out

Click here to print out the sheep.

What you need 
     Sheep Cut Out (below
     Multi Colored or White Cotton Balls (If these aren’t on hand take a white piece of paper and have your tot color all over it then cut the paper out into small circles.)

     Take the Sheep and cut it out from the paper.
     Next take whichever material you will begin using for wool and begin to glue it down to the sheep’s body.
     After this is all finished don’t forget to add color to its head and legs and give it a name!

 Corn Cut Out

Click here to print out corn.

What you need
     Corn Cut Out (Attached Below)
     Multi Colored or White Cotton Balls (If these aren’t on hand take a white piece of paper and have your tot color all over it then cut the paper out into small circles.)

     Take the Corn and Cut it out from the paper
     Next take whichever material you will use for the kernels and begin to glue it onto the piece of corn.
     After this is all finished you should have a piece of corn just like they had on the farm.


6) Archeology Day!

Good morning everyone!
Today we are learning about archeology!
A person who studies archeology is called an archeologist.

What do you think an archeologist studies?
Watch the introduction video to find out!

After watching the video, tell the person next to you what an archeologist does! Would you like to be an archeologist?

Red Bank and Archeology! In 2015 archeology took place at Red Bank! Real life archeologists came to Red Bank to excavate, like you learned from the video! Archeologists found grapeshot (mini cannon balls), musket balls, and even a common children’s toy called a whirligig like this one!

The best artifact we found was this cannon fragment! This is our curator, Dr. Janofsky with the cannon fragment that was found two feet under ground! (Left). It weighs 843 pounds! You can watch the cannon fragment being
lifted from the ground here:

Adults, let's help your kiddos become a real life archeologist! For this activity, you can be as messy or as tidy as you want!

Outside activity:
o Take a bowl, pan, sand box, or any other container and put whatever objects you would like your child to find. You can use wrapped candy, toys, bouncy balls, sticks, rocks, fun pencils, or if your child is a little older a chicken bone from dinner last night! 
Cover the objects in dirt, sand, or whatever substance you have in your backyard.
Give the child a small garden shovel, or have them use their hands to find the objects!
Have the child lay the objects out on the concrete, or on top of a paper towel
If you have an extra tooth brush or paint brush, you can have the child dust off or clean the objects for some extra fun!

Indoor Activity (Clean):
o Take a bowl or pan and place objects within the container for your child to find. Use leftover Easter basket filling, or rip up tiny pieces of paper and put them over the objects.
Give the container a good shake, so everything is hidden.
Have the child dig through the container and pull out these objects just like an archeologist would!

Indoor Activity (Messy):
Since we are talking about history and science, make some Oobleck! Oobleck is a combination of cornstarch and water! When the child uses force, the substance will be hard, when you ease your hand into it, the substance will be gooey. Here is a recipe to make oobleck!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biAOOJgvRYI
After you make the oobleck, put objects into the mixture, and let the child dig out the objects and wash them off.
o This is nontoxic, messy fun that is very easy to clean up! Cut a trash bag, use a plastic tablecloth, or tin foil before you start your history-science experiment!

Leaf rubs!
Use leaves, bark, or any textured object to make art! All you need is paper, and a crayon.
o Place the paper over the object, maybe one that the child dug up in their activity, and rub the crayon in the paper lightly.
o The texture from the object will be left on the paper.
o You can do this as many times as you want, with different leaves from your backyard, with as many colors as you would like! Archeologists always measure their discoveries. If you have a tape measure you can introduce the idea of measuring and documenting their finds!

7) Forts of the American Revolution: Fort Mercer

Hey kids and grown-ups! We miss seeing everyone around Red Bank Battlefield and at the Whitall house. Since you can’t come see us, we’re bringing the park to you! Today’s destination: Fort Mercer!

The attack on Fort Mercer, also known as the Battle of Red Bank, was  a huge victory for the Americans. They defeated over 2,000 English and Hessian soldiers. Hessians were German soldiers who fought with the British. No one expected the Americans to win but their fort saved the day! Thanks to both French and Polish engineers, Fort Mercer stood strong!

Here is a link to a Liberty’s Kids episode that features Hessian soldiers : https://youtu.be/Kr3tOIPF8Ek


Today there is not much left of what was Fort Mercer. What remains is an outline of trenches overlooking the Delaware River.

If we could use a time machine to go back to 1777 we would see a fort that looked like this. Isn’t it a crazy shape?
Fort Mercer was a temporary fort made of stone, wood, and dirt. Other forts were constructed to be more permanent, like Fort Mifflin right across the river. Fort Mifflin fought valiantly against the British! To learn more about Fort Mifflin, check out this video: https://youtu.be/8AX6g5pIRgI


For this activity, use whatever supplies you have to construct your own fort. You can use:

o Pillows and blankets


Popsicle Sticks


Here is an original plan of Fort Mercer to help guide your building!
Oh hey! It’s Thomas Antoine Chevalier de Mauduit du Plessis, Lafayette’s buddy who made improvements to the fort and its defenses. These improvements were crucial to the American victory at Red Bank. 


This is the flag that flew over Fort Mercer. It looks a lot like the American flag but different. Can you spy the differences? Most forts had their own unique flags.

Next get a blank sheet of paper to make your own flag for your fort. Feel free to design it anyway you like! 

Last, but not least, you are going to need a name for your fort. Ft. Mercer was named after Brigadier General Hugh Mercer after he passed away at the battle of Princeton.

Pick a name for your fort!

We hope you enjoyed today’s lesson! We would love to see your work. Please post your pictures!!!

If you would like to know more about the American Revolution, here is a link to a kid’s video explaining it. https://youtu.be/BWtW0gmh3kg