“History on Wheels” In-Class Programs

Host a museum educator at your location to lead children through a 30-60 minute historical program. Costumes, games, and artifacts introduce a passion for local and global history through this community outreach program. The programs listed below are a selection of the activities available for a traveling “History on Wheels” program.

More program themes are added periodically and WHS Educators are happy to work with teachers to create custom programs.

For more information please contact the Education and Programming department by email at programs@westporthistory.org or by phone at (203)222-1424 ext. 3.

Fun and Games

Play with games from the past as you explore what children and adults did to pass the time before television and the internet. Try your luck at cup-and-ball, and see if you can outwit your opponent at Nine Men’s Morris. If there’s space hoop-and-stick has students chasing barrel supports around. Understanding the toys and play of the past helps participants draw connections between today and history.

Changing Neighborhoods

Westport’s neighborhoods are vibrant and help define the community that lives here now. Explore what your neighborhood might have looked like, as well as your neighbors, in this program looking at historic neighborhoods! This visit includes photographs of well known landmarks, as well as people, from several different time periods. Discussion will include how neighborhoods grew and receded as different modes of transportation, trade, and ideas were introduced to the area. Includes a short hands-on art project of what the classes’ ideal neighborhood would look like.

School Days

Students will learn how to examine photographs across time to uncover clues about Westport’s schools. They will compare changes in school house interiors and architectural features. Artifacts such as slate boards and horn books will be examined, as well as the first private school master in Westport, Ebenezer Adams. Observations about similarities and differences between then and now will be used to draw conclusions about how the school system has changed over time.

Illusion and Mystery

Illusion, magic and mystery were common during the Victorian period, for both men and women. Learn about the Winslow House and the grand parties held there and the role of fans and their secret language. Children dealt with illusion and mystery through many of their toys including theaumatrope’s and cards. Discuss how toys and entertainment has changed overtime in Westport and Connecticut as a whole.


Clothes! It’s what everyone’s wearing! Explore the costumes of the past by examining actually costumes from different periods. Student will compare the differences and similarities between men and women’s clothes from several walks of life. The Saugatuck Button Factory will also be used as an example of the historic local clothing industry.