Teens and adults easily dive into absorbing discussions with the trade folk of Colonial Williamsburg — the printer and binder, the carpenter, the apothecary and so many more. Kids can be another story. The key to helping your kids enjoy the trade shops is to take a moment before you enter the shop and help your child connect to what they’re about to see. Share why the horses had to wear shoes and how the blacksmith made it possible for the horse to be such a functional part of colonial life. Or ask your child to remember last year’s Easter basket — and then ask him or her to imagine that in the colonial days baskets were an important part of life and every person in the family would weave strong baskets by hand, even the children.
Other trade shops attractive to kids are the brick maker, the wig maker, the cabinetmaker and the milliner. Keep your visits short and sweet.