If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern







Fast and Easy Extension Activities for
If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern

Inexpensive and fairly easy projects, videos,  crafts, and activities to go with the book If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern from Sonlight’s HBL K program. I’ve scheduled the activities by section title/page number to avoid infringing on Sonlight’s copyrighted schedule. I didn’t have activities scheduled for some sections, so I left those blank. I primarily included videos for this book. Let me know if you have any other ideas (even for weeks already with possible activities) or if you notice any mistakes or broken links. 

Before we begin, I would like to say that although it is a different time period than this book, something I feel would illustrate it significantly would be the Laura Ingalls Wilder, either the movies of Little House on the Prairie or the book series. For right now, they are accessible on Prime Video. 

6-When Were Colonial Times?

Map/Questions for New England. I mostly plan to print a larger version of the map to follow along with.  

8-What Did Colonial People Look Like?

Video showing a man and woman each dressing in a full costume from the period. Scroll down to the bottom of the article. There are a few activities at the bottom of the page, including a game to dress up a woman in period clothing, but requires flash to play.

9-Where Did People Buy Their Clothes?

The video that shows colonial reenactments showing various pieces from sheep shearing to weaving fabric. 

11-Was There a Special Time for Making Clothes?

This craft looks like more work than I would usually link, but I don’t really have anything for this section, so I’ll link how to make a drop spindle for kids.  

12-How Did They Wear Their Hair?

Colonial-style wig-making shop video tour. 

13-What Did People Eat

Actual Colonial recipes from the time period. Fun to read together or to make. 

16-Did Children Have to Worry About Table Manners?

Idea for children to draw/compare table manners. A few more Colonial table manners rules if you’d like them.   

18-Did Children Go to School?

A short video illustrating a Dame School for the first 52 seconds, then they go into reading and writing schools. 

18-Did They Have Schoolbooks?

A very short video about a hornbook. A video about how to make your own hornbook. For the first 3-4 minutes, they are just counting down the video, but if you fast-forward, the video is there.  

20-Who Learned More–Boys or Girls?

Here is a look inside a one-room school

21-What Were the Schools Like?

A look inside the New England Primer video. 

24–What Happened if You Didn’t Behave in School?

Another look into a one-room schoolhouse. Touches lightly on misbehavior—also, an explanation of whispering sticks, which don’t sound very pleasant. 

26-What Books Did Children Read?

Since Aesop’s Fables is already included in Sonlight, here is the complete audiobook from Librivox of Robinson Crusoe for free, in case any children are interested in trying it out. 

27-What Happened if You Were Sick?


28-What Kind of Medicines Did People Use?

A look into cooking and healing herbs used in Colonial times.  

30-Were There Doctors in Colonial Days?

A short video about the roles of doctors and other types of healing

31-What Happened if You Went Out at Night?

On the side of this page, there is a video, which doesn’t tell you anything about Night Watchmen but is kind of fun in terms of seeing costume period dress, and a parade of period characters. 

32-What Did People Do on Sunday?

A video news article about colonial churches/meetinghouses. Just the top article. 

34-What Happened if You Fell Asleep in the Meetinghouse?

I can’t find a good video for this one, but here is a page with a few illustrations of a tithingman

35-Where Did People Eat on Sunday?


36-What Laws Did You Have to Obey?


38-What Were the Special Sabbath Laws?


39-Who Made Those Laws?


39-Could Everyone Vote in Colonial Days?


40-What Happened to People Who Broke the Law?

This site always has interesting videos, but you can only see a part of it unless you are a member, and membership is a little on the expensive side for us. But, the first bit of this video helps to explain stocks and pillories.  

42-What Did Colonial Houses Look Like?

A look inside early colonial houses

43-How Many Rooms Did a Colonial House Have?


44-Did Big Families Live in Big Houses?

A later era saltbox house video.  

45-What Did the Furniture Look Like?

A video of colonial-era furniture.

46-What Did People Sleep On?

A very old silent film shows inside a Puritan house, including a trundle bed. 

46-Where Did People Hang Their Clothes?


47-Where Did People Take Their Baths?


48-Did People Work Hard in Colonial Days?

Since jobs come back in later, I will skip them for now. 

50-When Did Boys and Girls Work?

If you haven’t watched these books read aloud from the book Three Young Pilgrims, they also fit in perfectly here as well.  

Sarah Morton’s Day: watch someone read the book here.

Samuel Eaton’s Day: again, the book is read aloud here. 

Tapenum’s Day: again, the book is read aloud here:

51-Did Children Have Any Time to Play?

A video showing a couple of colonial games, and describing many others. 

52-What Games Did Boys Play?

Make a homemade kite, or play any of the games on this page. The kite video I linked included older-style supplies, but you can make any kind you like. 

53-What Did Girls Like to Do?

Instructions on how to make a simple cornhusk doll. Cornhusks can be found in most ethnic areas of grocery stores, or in ethnic stores, as they are used for making foods such as tamales.  

54-Were There Special Days Just for Fun?


55-Were There Special Laws About Fun?

Video of a simple colonial dance

56-Did People Travel Much in Colonial Days?

A short video about carriage rides in Colonial Williamsburg

57-How Did People Get Across Water?


58-How Did People Travel When There Was Snow on the Ground?

Short video of a horse and sleigh ride.

60-How Did Two Men Travel When They Only Had One Horse?

I was unaware of this, but they have modern-day ride-and-tie races. Here is a video of one

62-How Did People Get the News?

Old video reenactment of a town crier

63-How Would You Write a Letter in Colonial Days?


64-What Would You Use for a Pen and Ink and Envelope?

Downloadable old-fashioned-looking paper, with fold lines to make it into an envelope with a seal. 

65-How Would You Send Your Letter?


65-How Long Did it Take to Deliver a Letter?


66-When Did the Air Service Get Better?

Short video of the old postal system

Who Were the Workers in a Colonial Town?

67-The Cobbler


68-The Hatter


68-The Blacksmith


69-The Pewterer

https://www.theepochtimes.com/danforth-pewter-made-by-many-hands_3358445.html, a little more modern than I would like, but it gives the idea. 

69-The Tanner


70-The Silversmith


71-The Cabinetmaker


72-The Clockmaker


73-The Miller


73-The Wheelwright


74-The Cooper


75-The Barber


76-The Tailor


77-The Whitesmith


78-What Was the Busiest Part of a New England Town?


80-Who Built the Ships in New England?


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