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Little Learners program creates fun lessons for preschoolers |

Little Learners program creates fun lessons for preschoolers

A new preschooler-friendly program at Fort Vancouver will give children ages 3 to 6 and their caregivers a chance to explore history and archaeology through items that include teacups, toys and animal furs.

As the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, assistant curator Meagan Huff said that, “We wanted to create something for other kids and their parents, and the gamut of people who care for kids.”

Each of the four monthly Little Learners programs will feature a talk by a curator, a story reading, crafts and archaeological artifacts from the National Park Service collection at Fort Vancouver.

“We have hands-on materials that represent items from the fur trade period: 1840s children’s toys, a Spode teacup, and, of course, furs,” Huff said.

Children and adults will be free to explore the hands-on objects before and after the presentation. Other historic items will be displayed in an exhibit case.

The storytimes will use contemporary children’s books to make connections between the present and the past at Fort Vancouver.

The four sessions all are at 10:30 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month.

• Feb. 22 — Book: “Windows” by Julia Denos. What would you see if you looked through the windows at Fort Vancouver? Learn about life at Fort Vancouver and see everyday artifacts used by the people who lived here.

• March 22 — Book: “Whose Moon is That?” by Kim Krans. Like the moon, national parks belong to everyone. Learn about what they protect, and about each element of the National Park Service arrowhead.

• April 26 — Book: “The Turnip” by Jan Brett. What kinds of food can you grow in a garden? Explore the historic Fort Vancouver garden, see agricultural artifacts including tools, and take home a seedling to plant.

• May 24 — Book: “Leave Me Alone!” by Vera Brosgol. Being a fur trapper was a tough and solitary job. See artifacts and furs related to the fur trade and make your own animal tracks booklet.

The program takes place inside the reconstructed Fort Vancouver, 1001 E. Fifth St., at the Barclay Quarters. Entrance fees are $7 per person; 15 and under are free. Reservations are not required.

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