Sandusky County Park District celebrated the Fourth of July holiday by taking a step back in time.
Wednesday afternoon the public was invited to take part in "Kids in the Colonies," a day full of fun, historically-inspired activities.
Park district naturalist Debbie Haubert said the idea literally jumped off a bookshelf.
"I was scanning some materials I had sitting on the bookshelf," she said. "I found a book full of simple but fun activities about our history. I had ordered it years ago. I was looking for something to jump-start the Fourth of July holiday, and it was staring me in the face."
Despite the rain, a crowd of 25 children with their parents ducked in and out of the Countryside Park pavilion to various activity stations.
Tables were piled with supplies and directions to demonstrate boat building, pinch pots, old fashioned wigs and churning butter.
"It's great to have so close to the holidays, because it gives people who choose to stay in town something to do and also provides people coming into town to visit something to do for the long weekend," Haubert said.
Crystal Hahn and her family traveled from Raleigh, N.C., for the weekend. Modern technology led them to take in the colonial experience.
"We were on the county Web site, checking to see if any activities were going on in the parks," she said.
Her daughters, Natalie, 6, and MaKayla, 4, cut, glued and fastened pieces of black construction paper to make boats.
"The girls like to attend programs like this," Hahn said. "They have a lot of fun."
Across the pavilion, children were creating balloon wigs.
Using a piece of string, volunteers measured each child's head circumference and then handed them blue balloons to blow up a balloon close to the string's size.
A few giggled as they fitted the waistband portion of women's nylons over their "balloon head" and glued rectangular pieces of white quilt batting on top.
"Now you can put some fuzzy stuff on," Haubert said, motioning to a bag of clustered fiber.
The children were told they could pop the balloons and wear the wigs tomorrow, after their clay pinch pots had dried.
Farthest from the paved pathways, the Wilt family of Woodville stood under a large tree, shaking canning jars.
"They're making butter," Haubert said. "You add a quarter cup of heavy whipping cream and a little bit of salt and just start shaking it. We've got a box of crackers for them to try it out on."
Slowly the concoction began to resemble butter.
Donella Wilt and her five children were the first group to take a taste.
"It's good," 7-year-old Elizabeth said.
"Do you want to try it?" Wilt asked her youngest child, Ben, 9.
"No," he said shaking his head. "No way."
Haubert said this is the first time they've had the Kids in the Colonies program, but they are excited to add to it next year's agenda.
"It's a way to get kids interested in learning," she said.
"It's great exposure for the park, especially for families who don't know what we do out here.
"It's also something to let them know about some of the history around them."