Most history buffs and museum enthusiasts have a specific memory of being at a museum as a child (sometimes called "sticky memories" because we remember vivid details even as adults). Sometimes it is a story that was told, or a specific room. Often it relates to a game or activity...something that could be touched. Accomplishing this in a historic house like Stratford Hall can be difficult, so this fall the new Hands-On Activity Room was opened. Located in the East Slave Quarters, this room is designed to be family-friendly. We first blogged about the project in April.
The building is located to the south-east of the Great House and furnished with child-sized furniture, a colorful rug, costumes to play dress-up, and building blocks. The centerpiece for this new room is a custom made Discovery Chest. This piece of furniture has nine drawers filled with books, stuffed animals, dolls, fake food, shark teeth, and colonial games. Each drawer has a box that can be lifted out, allowing families to bring the items to the carpet or tables to play.
This area will continue to grow and evolve as we get feedback from our youngest visitors, but a great step forward in providing families with a memorable experience at Stratford Hall!