The Wilton Historical Society has scheduled two upcoming fun workshops for children. Both programs are hands-on and participants will get to make and create their own items, as well as learn about life in Colonial Connecticut from museum educator Lola Chen. Kids will also get to help make their own snack–fruit dipped in chocolate.

The cost to participate is $10 per child for Wilton Historical Society members, with a maximum of $25 per family; and $15 per child for non-members, with a maximum of $35 per family. Families interested in registering for either of the programs can email or call 203.762.7257. The Wilton Historical Society is located at 224 Danbury Rd./Rte. 7.

Candle Dipping Workshop for Kids

Saturday, Jan. 6, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

With winter’s arrival, the darkness of evening sets in earlier and earlier. We can easily flick on our electric lamps, but in Colonial times, candles served as the only source of light in the evening. Candle molds were an expensive luxury, so most families created “dipped” candles from beeswax, tallow, or wax made from bayberries. Assisting with candle making was an important chore for Colonial children. They could help with gathering beeswax, melting it, snipping wicks, and patiently dipping.

Soap Making Workshop for Kids

Saturday, Jan. 13, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Colonial settlers rapidly used up whatever supplies of soap they may have brought with them to the New World.  However, all the materials they needed to make their own supply were available–wood ashes and animal fat, which were natural byproducts of farm or homesteading life. Soap making was a difficult, arduous and sometimes dangerous task, requiring hours of boiling and working with caustic lye. It could take place in the fall, after butchering or in the spring to use up winter ashes and waste cooking grease. The result was a soft, slippery soap that could be ladled out of a barrel to use for laundering, cleaning, and bathing. Salt could be added to harden the soap into blocks, but it was generally too valuable for such a use.