Back in 1774 when American Girl character Felicity was growing up, the first “book” children had at school was called a Hornbook. It looked more like a paddle with a piece of paper on it but it was an essential part of Colonial life. In the early days of Felicity’s collection her Reading and Writing Lesson set actually included a hornbook. For today’s 100 Days of Doll Play we are going to make a hornbook for Felicity – but any of your dolls can use it.
Felicity’s Hornbook is on her chair (from The Queen’s Treasures by the way) and ready for her to start her lesson. All the instructions for making her hornbook are in today’s printable activity.
Hornbooks went everywhere with students in Colonial times so they had a string through the handle that could be attached to their wrist, worn over their heads, attached to a belt or in the case of the girls, a strap in their girdles.
Felicity is seated and ready for her lesson. In Colonial days education was very much tied to religion so Felicity’s hornbook would have had Bible verses or the Lord’s Prayer on it too.
Making a hornbook for your dolls is actually very easy and all you need is cardbook or fun foam, gold or silver trim, scissors, glue and a bit of ribbon. The steps are listed in today’s printable along with one of Felicity’s lessons.
For more about life in Colonial times for kids, check out:
- Colonial Williamsburg’s Kids Site – there are lots of games for kids on this site, too
- American Girl’s section on Felicity
- Liberty’s Kids
- A more detailed diagram of a hornbook
Have a great day!