Children explore local history

YOUNGSTOWN –Whether making butter, playing with pioneer-era toys, or drawing maps, children are learning history of the Mahoning Valley through the weekly Hands-on History program.

The open houses are held from 1 to 3 p.m. each Wednesday in July at the Tyler History Center, 325 W. Federal St. The Mahoning Valley Historical Society is sponsoring the programs.

Traci Manning, curator for education at the historical society, said the events are free with a variety of hands-on learning activities planned.

“Each week is a different theme,” she said.

In addition to arts and crafts, Manning said there will be artifacts and displays of historic clothing and items used by early settlers. Children will also be able to dress up in the period outfits.

The open houses have been held for the past eight summers, Manning said.

“We try to have something for everyone. People can stop in any time during the two hours,” Manning said.

Upcoming themes include Mahoning Valley Places, Wednesday; Mahoning Valley People, July 17; Progress in the Valley, July 24, and Celebrate the Best of Youngstown, July 31.

An earlier theme was “Early History of the Valley” that Manning said talked about Native Americans, pioneer settlers and activities like making butter.

Stephanie Macklin, program assistant, said the children loved to make butter.

“They get to see what the early settlers did and how they made and did things,” she said.

Many local summer daycares and camps sent children to the museum, Manning said.

Kim Meckley of Brookfield said when she heard about the program, she wanted to bring her children.

“They enjoyed the different games they could play and making the butter,” Meckley said.

Josh Bentley, 11, of Brookfield, said he was glad there were so many things to do as he tried a pioneer-era game with a ball attached to a string that you had to flip to get inside a cup.

Other family events planned at the museum include a walking tour of Fifth Avenue, set for Saturday.

For information on programs, call 330-743-2589.