American History Museum Re-Visited

June 10, 2009 at 6:47 am (Uncategorized)

Well, I am finally getting back to post about our day at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  Of all the awesome things we did on our trip to Washington D.C. this museum was my favorite.  Don’t get me wrong I loved it all, but this museum is just so diverse that I can’t get over seeing all this on one day.  So without further ado, here is what I remember about the day…

Even the outside of the building impressed me!

I know already posted this picture the day after we were at the museum.  But, I just LOVED the exhibit on the dresses of the First Ladies!  I just can’t post about these dresses without showing Martha Washington’s dress again! 

They only keep 14 dresses on display at a time in order to preserve the fabric from the light.
The one between the 2 pictures in the middle was Mrs. Lincolns.

This one impressed me because I remember seeing Mrs. Carter wear it in the 70’s on T.V!

And this one was worn by Laura Bush.
So pretty!  I could have spent the whole day in this one little room.  But NOT with 6 kids in tow!  LOL

So next we headed over to a more hands on area.
This was a fun exhibit on inventions.  The kids loved it.  Here they were learning to make a track with trial and error.

This is was called the Sparks Lab.  The kids got to participate in a series of lab experiments on Carbon Dioxide.

The scientist that was leading the experiements was very fun!

I can’t remember now what this was called.  But it was fun to see blue liquid…

Turn yellow!

They even got to use their breath for one of the experiments!
This was dark blue when she started and turned bright yellow. The littles loved this!  While I was keeping them busy in the lab my older son had some time to look around in the Science section on his own.  He was very excited to see a real Nobel Prize!

I took this picture as we breezed through the Science section of the museum so my oldest could show me the things he really wanted me to see.
I just thought it was PROOF that they have EVERYTHING at the Smithsonian!  LOL  I mean if you have the history of "The Pill" what could you have missed?
<<shaking head>>

Here is Julia Childs Kitchen
This meant nothing to the kids.  But, I remember seeing it when I was little on TV. 

Next we headed over to see the flag that inspired the Star Spangle Banner to be written.  It just so happened that they were having a demonstration on how the flag was made and my 5 year old was chosen to help out.
The lady is costume is playing Mary Pickersgill who made the famous flag.

Each of the children have the job of placing a star in the right position.

Here is my little man placing his.


After the stars were in place it was time to roll out the stripes!
Our friends little girl was chosen to help with the stripes.  It was really impressive to see how HUGE the flag was up close.  I couldn’t take pictures of the real thing.  It is about the only thing in the museum you can’t take pictures of.  It is SO frail that they keep it in a very dark room behind glass.  The reason you can’t tell about the size so well is because before the Smithsonian got a hold of it the people that had it would cut off swatches and give to people for souvenirs!  HERE is a picture of what is left of it from the website.  You can see that it is about to crumble into pieces. :^(

Next we went to an exhibit called Within These Walls. In this exhibit they have moved an actual house into the museum built in the 1770’s.  The exhibit tells the story of 5 of the families who lived in the house in over a 200 year period. The kids favorite part of this exhibit was learning about how to do laundry by hand.

Here is an overview shot of the exhibit.

Info on the women who ran a laundry service from the home.

Here are the steps it took to do laundry…

1 Soak overnight

2 – Scrub in hot lye suds

3 Boil white linens and cottens

4- Rinse
5 – Rinse again in bluing powder.

6 – dip in starch and hang to dry

7 – Next day: Iron

This was a bucket the kids could lift to see how heavy it was when filled with water. 
The sign told them how many buckets of water would be required for each load of laundry.

This was a machine that simulated what it would be like to wring out wet laundry by hand.

Only the Smithsonian could make learning about laundry so interesting and FUN!  LOL

The main hallway is lined with all kinds of interesting items.  That is where we saw C3P-0 and all kinds of other things mostly from recent history.The kids were SO excited to see Math-U-See blocks in the museum!  LOL
Okay, they are not really MUS blocks, but they are very similar.  Although my kids were quick to point out that these were wrong because everyone knows the 8 bar is brown NOT orange!  (Choc-o-eight! LOL)

Okay, this post is getting looooong and I still have 15 pictures I still want to post.  So tune in tomorrow for American History Museum Re-Visited Part II.

Happy Homeschooling,




  1. said,

    I want to go! What a fun day! I want to go now! Hee hee…

  2. 4sweetums said,

    We have not been to the American History museum since it was renovated. It looks great. Thanks for sharing.

  3. courtneylane said,

    It's been so fun living vicariously through your awesome field trip/vacation! The pics you've taken are amazing- almost like being there.

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