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Billings Farm & Museum offers videos, craft projects to do at home

  • Billings Farm & Museum has started a free “crafts and activities to-go” program on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The first craft involved making a cow out of a paper bag. (Photograph courtesy of Billings Farm & Museum) Courtesy photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/24/2020 9:27:06 PM
Modified: 3/24/2020 9:27:03 PM

WOODSTOCK — Children can’t visit the animals at Billings Farm & Museum due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the nonprofit is bringing the animals to them.

Remotely, that is.

Last week, the Woodstock-based museum, educational center and working farm started filming videos to post to its website and Facebook page to keep children of all ages engaged while adhering to the social distancing guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adopted by people throughout the Upper Valley

Staff have also started a free “crafts and activities to-go” program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. where people can drive up to the museum for kits that include supplies and an educational component. Last Thursday, Billings staff put together 50 kits with supplies to make a cow out of a paper bag, as well as information on how to make butter at home.

“We ended up frantically having to make more,” said Christine Scales, education coordinator at Billings Farm & Museum, adding that they ended up giving out 120 kits. “Some of them are crafts that we’ve done before. Some of them are new crafts.”

The crafts are directed at grades K-5 children (or younger with assistance from adults), but Scales said anyone is welcome to them.

“We’ve had such a great response from the community,” Scales said. “Just to see how many people showed up for the first pickup, it was way beyond what I expected. People were really happy, really grateful to have that resource.”

Additionally, instructions for the crafts have been posted on the organization’s website. People do not need to request the kits ahead of time.

“People who can’t make it to the pickup can still download everything,” Scales said. “We tried to make the materials things people can find at home.”

Tuesday’s craft involved gardening. Kits were outfitted with a bean sprout in a cotton ball in a plastic bag.

“You can watch it sprout and grow over the next couple days,” Scales said. The educational component includes a sheet where kids can record their observations of their sprouts.

The much-loved Baby Farm Animal Celebration, the event that normally kicks off the museum’s spring/summer season has been postponed from its April 10 date, but Scales has offered her assurances that people will still be able to see the museum’s newest members. A livestream footage of chicks hatching is in the works for when they begin to appear in a few weeks.

“I’m sure that we will have baby animal videos,” Scales said, and then paused. “We will definitely have little lamb videos.”

Editor’s Note: For more information about the pro grams at Billings Farm & Museum, visit Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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