Fifth-graders adorned in period costumes assembled corn-husk dolls, learned cross-stitch and made old-fashioned hot apple cider at Heschel West Day School's Colonial Days on Monday.
A culminating celebration of the fifth-grade social studies curriculum for the year, Colonial Days offered the students a hands-on experience of various "old tyme" activities.
Fifth-graders rotated between stations featuring colonial crafts, where they created corn-husk dolls and air fresheners, and ones for "colonial cooking," which involved the preparation of a delicacy of the colonial time--hot apple cider, with help from parent volunteers.
"The water they used [in colonial times] was contaminated, so they often had to boil it...and the spices were the main reason explorers set off for the New World," explained parent Ruth Taras to the students.
Students also learned how to cook potato and onion soup and blackberry cobbler made with items found in the New World, as well as make butter by shaking heavy cream in empty baby food jars.
The highlight of the experience was the arrival of an authentic blacksmith who deemed the students his apprentices and demonstrated how to create nails using his arsenal of tools.
The students played colonial games and received personalized silhouettes.
Heschel West alumnus Zack Foster recalled his experience of Colonial Days from seven years ago. "It was such a great hands-on experience to dress up with all my friends as if we lived in the colonial times," he said.
All involved--parents, teachers and students--emerged from the experience with smiles and many memories.