Museum At Home

We understand that keeping families happy while they're at home can be a challenge during the COVID 19 pandemic so we've developed a variety of activities to keep you and your family engaged at home. We'll be adding new content to this page regularly so check back often.

Things to do Inside

Visit a Virtual Exhibit
Activity Sheets
Colouring and Drawing Sheets
Crafts
  • Make your own baseball using this baseball template. Simply print it out and then cut pieces of fabric to the template specifications. Sew together and fill with beans or rice or anything else you have on hand and voila, you have your own baseball.
  • Try your hand at Finger Knitting. Learn to make your own knitting machine in this video.
  • Pride Paper Crafts - Make a rainbow weaved heart or a pride fan. Download the instructions here. 
  • Try Painting with Nature! Find unique textures to use as paint brushes. Details here.
  • Try making your own telephone with two cups and string in this activity.
  • Use some engineering skills and measure and cut paper to make your own Walking Horse.
  • Follow these instructions to make your own rag doll with scraps around the house.
  • Paint Along - Find inspiration from one of the Schneider descendants, Peter Etril Snyder, a landscape artist.
  • Schnitzelbank! Try singing some Schnitzelbank songs.
  • Museum of Me - Think about why we collect and preserve objects, and take a closer in your own home. The artefacts we choose to surround ourselves with in everyday life, and particularly those we treasure have meaning for us. What do the things we collect say about us? Gather your own Me in Five Objects collection. Try to find just five things that speak about your passions, background and personality. Set up a little Museum of Me exhibit and share with your friends and family.The
  • Shoebox Museum - Try to make your own mini museum! The simplest way to set your museum is with a large shoe box. Set up items throughout the box to display, this gives a play space for small characters - you can even join several boxes together. 
  • Lego McDougall Cottage - Create your version of the Cottage in lego! If you are feeling like a Victorian builder try to build a mini version of the Cottage out of stones. Be sure to share your finished building with us on social media.
  • Tree of life craft with puzzle pieces or scrunched up magazine pieces or tissue paper. Simply glue the puzzle pieces or paper to the leaves and you'll have a colourful tree. 
  • Stained Glass Art Craft
  • Try our Tartan Inspired Placemat craft
  • Upcycled Fer-Grass craft. Make and grow these fun creatures this Earth Day.
  • DIY Beeswax Wraps - Make your own re-useable food wraps
Recipes
Hot Cross Buns
We have two Hot Cross Bun Recipes to try from McDougall Cottage. Try a traditional recipe or the Scottish recipe
Shortbread  
Try and make Grandma Brodie's Famous Shortbread
Scones 

This Scottish quick bread is said to have taken its name from the Stone of Destiny (or Scone), the place where Scottish kings were once crowned. The original triangular-shaped scone was made with oats and griddle-baked. Today's versions are more often flour-based and baked in the oven. They come in various shapes including triangles, rounds, squares and diamonds. The names scone and bannock are applied rather loosely. In modern usage the bannock is a large round scone, about the circumference of a meat-plate, which is baked on the griddle. When the bannock is cut into sections before being fired, or when the dough is cut into small rounds, you have scones.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • 8 oz. (225 g) plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 oz. (50 g) butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 fl oz (140 ml) of cream
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl together, and then rub in the butter. Make a well in the middle and pour in the cream and beaten egg; mix until it comes together in a soft, pliable dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very lightly until smooth. Roll or press the dough out to a half-inch thickness, cut into rounds, or leave as one large scone-cake or bannock, and dust with flour, or brush with milk or beaten egg. Bake for about 12 minutes. Makes 8 scones

 
Oatcakes 
Give this tasty Oatcake recipe a try.
Sauerkraut Cake 
Sauerkraut? Yes, sauerkraut is the secret ingredient in this cake recipe.  
Liquid Yeast 
Need yeast for a recipe? Here's how to make it at home. 
Irish Soda Bread Recipe 

Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread Recipe

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 2 to 2 c. buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to distribute the soda. Add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough - similar in quality to biscuit dough but firm enough to hold its shape. Knead dough on a lightly floured board for 2 or 3 minutes - until quite smooth and velvety. Form into a round loaf and place on a well greased cookie sheet. Cut a cross on the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake in a preheated oven (375 degrees) for 35-40 minutes or until loaf is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped with knuckles. Let loaf cool before slicing. Enjoy!

 
Dried Bean or Lentil Soup 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried beans or lentils
  • 2 ½ quarts water Ham bone (with or without meat)
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 or 3 stems of celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons sherry (optional)
  • Chopped parsley
  • 8 slices bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Soak the beans overnight in the water (if you haven’t thought of it early enough, boil the beans in the water for a few minutes then soak them for an hour or more before cooking). Put everything but the parsley and bacon bits into the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the batch for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more water if you think it needs it. Puree everything in a blender or food processer or press through a sieve – it must be smoooooooooooth. Reheat. I poured mine into my tureen and sprinkled bacon bits and parsley on top.

From Edna Staebler’s “Schmecks Appeal: More Mennonite Country Coo

 
Turnip Casserole
Follow along in this recipe to make a tasty Turnip Casserole. 
 Rice Bread
From the Berlin Cookbook, 1906
  • 1 cup cold soft boiled rice
  • 1 1/4 pints warm milk
    • 1 1/4 pints = 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 eggs beaten light
  • 1 scant teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups sifted cornmeal
  • 2 heaping teaspoons baking power
This recipe was submitted by Maggie Seamens 
Potato Rolls 
From the New Galt Cookbook, 1898
  • 5 large potatoes mashed while warm
  • 1 quart flour
    • 1 quart = 4 cups
  • salt
  • 1 teacupful milk
Stir until light, make into rolls; let stand two hours, then bake.
This recipe was submitted by Mrs. Capron. 
 Brown Bread
From the New Galt Cookbook, 1898
  • 2 cups sour milk
    • sour milk = milk with vinegar added
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 5 cups brown flour
  • pinch salt
  • small piece butter, if you choose
This recipe was submitted by Miss Marion Tye of Haysville. 
Schneider Haus Almanac
  • The Schneiders used an almanac to find information about when to plant things, how to make medicines, and other tidbits. It was like their Google 150 years ago! Click here to check out this staff-made "almanac" from Schneider Haus.
Videos 
 If these walls could talk: The Kitchen - Schneider Haus Video Series
  If these walls could talk: The Pantry - Schneider Haus Video Series
  If these walls could talk: The Sitting Room - Schneider Haus Video Series
  If these walls could talk: The Cradle - Schneider Haus Video Series

If These Walls Could Talk: The Guest Room - Schneider Haus Video Series

If These Walls Could Talk: The Tramp Room - Schneider Haus Video Series

 If these walls could talk: The Boys Room - Schneider Haus Video Series
 
Things to do Outside
Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
See if you can find things on a walk that start with the letters of the alphabet in this scavenger hunt
Animal Tracks

Take a nature walk and see if you can track a few local animals with this guide sheet.

Create a Pollinator Watering Station

pollinator watering stationPollinators are an important part of our ecosystem, pollinating flowers and food so that plants produce colourful flowers or delicious fruits and vegetables. Bee’s are the largest group of pollinators we have in Ontario. The bee population has begun declining because of habitat loss, pesticides, climate change and disease. This means that it’s important that people do what they can in their gardens to help save the pollinators. Did you know that the Region of Waterloo has been designated the first Bee Region in Canada by Bee City Canada? This means that our community is actively working to protect pollinators within our community! One way to help save the bees is by supplying them with a watering station! 


All you will need is: 

  • A shallow tray (we recommend upcycling an old pie plate or terracotta flower pot base) 

  • Small stones of varying sizes 

  • Water 


To create your bee watering station you first want to find a spot outside where you observe bees. The best place is in a garden with lots of bee friendly flowers. Bee’s love native wildflowers but they also love flowers like hyacinth, snapdragons, crocus, and borage! Once you have found a bee friendly place for your station, make sure the soil is level, you don’t want water spilling out of your tray! Next, fill your tray with small stones, you want the stones to be large enough that they are not submerged in water but small enough that when a bee sits on the top of it they can still reach the water below. We recommend rocks that are about as tall as the sides of your tray. Finally add water to your tray, making sure that the water is close to the top of the stones but not completely covering them. Be sure to check back often and refill the water when it starts to get low! Want to help diversify your garden to help the pollinators? Check out our Wildflower Seed Bomb activity! 

Biodegradable Newspaper Planters

Learn how to make DIY Biodegradable Newspaper Planters for starting your seedlings. Instructions here.

Forest Bathing

The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air can give people a sense of comfort. Nature is great for easing stress, helping us to relax and to think more clearly. Spending time with trees can help restore mood, refresh and rejuvenate. 

In Japan, many people practice shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, this is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging, it is simply being in nature, connecting with it through your senses. Find one of the many great forests in our community, make sure you don’t pick up your phone. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly, just let your body be your guide, listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose, and take your time, it doesn’t matter if you get anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest in.

You can forest bathe anywhere in the world, wherever there are trees; in hot weather or in cold; in rain, sunshine or snow. You don’t even need a forest, you can do it in a nearby park or in your backyard. 

Play Nature Walk Bingo
Get outside and see how many of these things you can find! First one to get a line yells BINGO! Bingo sheet
Get in the Garden with Region of Waterloo Museums Heritage Gardener, Bob Wildfong - Video Series 
 Staking Tomato Plants
 
Garlic 
 
Weed Wacker vs. Scythe 
 
Kitchen Garden 
 
Weeding 
 
Inspired by the Grand River
Make your own paper boat 
  • Take a piece of paper and place it in front of you with the shorter side at the top. Fold the paper in half from top to bottom.
  • Fold left to right to find the center and reopen. Bring the top two corners together to the middle, forming a point, and crease.
  • Fold the top flap at the bottom of the paper up; turn over and fold the other flap up. Fold the triangle tabs in over each other so you have a triangle.
  • Pop open the center like a hat, push the pointed sides to meet, and crease down so that you now have a square.
  • With the opening facing you, fold the top layer up to meet the other point. Turn the paper over and repeat.
  • Gently pull apart the top two points while pushing out with your fingers to form the bottom of the boat. Reinforce corners with clear tape, and also tape around the bottom to keep your boat dry. Now you're ready to launch your craft!
Tin Foil River 
  • Find an incline (backyard hill) or create one with found objects.
  • Unroll a long length of tinfoil (the longer the better).
  • Roll the edges of the tinfoil.
  • Secure the top of the tinfoil with a heavy object (we used a brick).
  • Add water and watch the tinfoil river flow! 
The Great Flood Measuring Activity 
  • The 1974 flood in Cambridge, was caused by weeks of wet weather and spring melt, and is still one of the largest floods ever recorded in the Grand River watershed.
  • Grab your measuring tape and go on a walk around the flood site (downtown Galt) or around your neighbourhood. Measure up to your waist, the level of flood.
  • See how high that is on buildings and places in your community
Inspired by the Gardens

Fairy crowns 

Things you will need:

  • Faux or real flowers in various sizes and textures
  • Faux or real greenery for filler
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape

Cut a length of floral wire that's long enough to wrap around the crown of your head twice, with a little room to spare. Measure around your head with the wire and plan where you'd like your crown to sit. Create a loop with the wire, twisting one end around the middle of the wire, in the size that you'd like. Then wrap the long end of the wire around, weaving in and out of the loop to create a strong base. Continue wrapping until you reach the end, and twist the end around the loop to secure.

Once you have a base, start placing your main flowers. Start with the largest blooms and place them where you'd like them. If your stems have wires in them, you can simply wrap the wires around the base of your crown. 

Using the same technique, start covering the entire loop of the crown base with your filler greenery.

Place your crown on your head and have fun!

 
Nature Photography

Grab a camera or phone and take focus on nature. Find these things and take a picture to create your own nature gallery:

  • Bug or bird
  • Up close on nature (micro shot)
  • Source of water
  • Stand at bottom of tree looking up from base
  • Sunrise of sunset
  • Field growing food
  • Unique rock
  • A reflection
  • Tree bark
  • A sign of the season
 
Tree Bark Rubbings 
  • Take paper and wrap it around the trunk of a tree. Secure with some packing tape.
  • Grab your crayons
  • Start colouring on the paper and see pattern you get
Inspired by Heritage

Grab a camera or phone and take focus on heritage. Find these things and take a picture to create your own heritage gallery:

  • Pillar or column
  • Date stone
  • Heritage plaque
  • Gingerbread details
  • Historic Place of Worship
  • Tudor style
  • Interesting window
  • Old sign or painted sign on building
  • Repurposed heritage building
  • Oldest tree in neighbourhood

Go for a walk and look for the oldest date stone on a building in your community. A datestone is typically an embedded stone with the date of engraving and other information carved into it. See who can find the oldest building.  

Inspired by Simple Homemade Fun
 Chalk obstacle course
  • All you need is chalk and some vision. For literate children, write out an array of gross motor movements in a sequence, like you would hopscotch. For instance: jump like a bunny x 3, hold tree pose on one side, walk on your hands and feet, jump on one foot, hold tree pose on the other side, jump on the opposite foot, twirl x 2, jump up and try touch the sky x 4.  
 Kitchen utensil bubble wands
  • Go through a kitchen drawer and collect slotted spoons, fly swatters, spatulas, and anything else that has holes to make bubbles. Make your own bubble solution and then head out to see which utensil creates the best bubbles!
Forest Bathing

The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air can give people a sense of comfort. Nature is great for easing stress, helping us to relax and to think more clearly. Spending time with trees can help restore mood, refresh and rejuvenate. 

In Japan, many people practice shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, this is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging, it is simply being in nature, connecting with it through your senses. Find one of the many great forests in our community, make sure you don’t pick up your phone. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly, just let your body be your guide, listen to where it wants to take you. Follow your nose, and take your time, it doesn’t matter if you get anywhere. You are savoring the sounds, smells and sights of nature and letting the forest in.

You can forest bathe anywhere in the world, wherever there are trees; in hot weather or in cold; in rain, sunshine or snow. You don’t even need a forest, you can do it in a nearby park or in your backyard. 

Region of Waterloo Museums has also created Virtual Field Trips as part of our School Program so your family can watch and learn from home!