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Queens Chronicle

Girl Scout crafts family fun with a Colonial bent

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:30 am

When was the last time you saw anyone playing hopscotch or jumping rope or tossing around some bean bags?

Those days are pretty much gone and all-but-forgotten, but now, thanks to a special event set for June 15 at the landmark Vander Ende-Onderdonk House in Ridgewood, it’s time to relive those childhood moments — and introduce the youngsters in your life to the joys of far simpler times.

It’s all part of Colonial Kids Day, the brainchild of Anna Puma, a 17-year-old resident of Middle Village who came up with the idea to fulfill her Girl Scout Gold Award Project.

According to Linda Monte, a member of the board and chairperson of programs at Onderdonk, Puma has been a frequent volunteer at the house, the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in the entire city.

“Kids had to invent their own play” back in Colonial times, Monte said. “It was also a way of learning.”

And, she pointed out, such children’s games are “really old” and got passed down from one generation to the next. “We’re going to play those kinds of games.”

Also, Monte said, Puma and her team made era-appropriate clothing that visitors will get to don. Of course, mom and dad can take all the photos they like of their youngsters in their period vests and straw hats!

Children in attendance will also learn how to make yarn dolls, and they will have a chance to discover what school life was like back then, as they sit down with their slates and chalk and prepare to take notes.

Perhaps most meaningful is Puma’s plan to have these activities become permanently available to all young visitors to the house. As their parents take a tour of the house, the kids will have plenty of diversions to keep their minds occupied.

Those interested in attending June 15 are asked to RSVP to Onderdonk by emailing ridgewoodhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

The house, located at 1820 Flushing Ave. in Ridgewood, is run by the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society. Visiting hours are Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 3 to 6 p.m. Suggested donation is $3 for adults; $1 for children. The house offers events throughout the year, with two this summer. To celebrate the Fourth of July, readings of the Declaration of Independence will take place, and a festival focused on Arbitration Rock, which helped set the boundary between Brooklyn and Queens, is set for Aug. 17.

Colonial Kids Day
When: Sat., June 15, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Onderdonk House, 1820 Flushing Ave., Ridgewood
Entry: Free. (718) 456-1776,

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