May Day Baskets

Long ago, people would go out before sunrise to collect wildflowers and greenery. They would use the plants to decorate their homes. Later, this tradition evolved into the practice of making May baskets.

May baskets are small baskets or paper cones that people would fill with flowers or treats and leave anonymously on their neighbor’s doorstep. This practice was most popular in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries, though some people still make May baskets today.

Download the Instructions: May Day Basket Tutorial


Pomander Balls

A pomander is a small ball filled with fragrant spices. Pomanders date back to the Middle Ages, when they were used to ward off bad smells and purify the air. Traditionally, pomander balls were made of metal and would have been worn on a chain or attached to clothing. Today, you will learn how to make a simple pomander ball using ingredients that can be found at home.

Download the Instructions: Pomander Ball Tutorial

Watch the Video: Pomander Activity


Dream Pillow (Sachet)

Scented herb pillows are said to derive from the practice in the Middle Ages of stuffing bed mattresses with scented herbs. Dream pillows have been used for centuries to comfort and lead to “sweet” dreams and a good night’s sleep.
Published in 1606, Ram’s Little Dodeon, A brief epitome of the new herbal, or history of plants, contains instructions for a “sleeping sachet”:
“A Bag to Smell unto for Melancholy, or to Cause One to Sleep. Take drie Rose leaves (petals), keep them close in a glass which will keep them sweet, then take powder of Mints, powder of Cloves in a grosse powder, and put the same to the Rose leaves, then put all these together in a bag, and take that to bed with you, and it will cause you to sleep, and it is good to smell unto at other times.”
Today, many people make sweet-smelling sachets to put into drawers containing linens or clothing.
How will you use your sachet?
Download the Instructions: Sachet Tutorial
Watch the Video: Make a Sachet

Paper Dolls

Here are three different paper dolls from around Henricus’ time period including a man and woman from the Elizabethan era, which was just before Jamestown and Henricus were founded, and a Native American woman.

Simply print out the sheets, color or decorate them in any style you like, and with your parents’ help cut out the different clothing items to assemble your doll. We’ve shared a couple with you that our staff colored, and we’d like to see what you make as well! Send us pictures of your final dolls and we may share them on our Facebook and Instagram pages! Have fun!

Thank you to for allowing us to share your images.

Download the PDF: Paper Dolls


The English colonists 400 years ago of course didn’t have sewing machines, so every single article of clothing had to be sewn by hand. This is something that would take a lot of time and skill – so let’s put our skills to the test today! Parents: Practicing sewing at home is an excellent way for children to continue developing their fine motor skills.

Download the instructions: Sewing Tutorial
Watch the video: Sewing for Kids