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Introducing VOM@Home

While in-person Family Programs are on pause until May, the Voelker Orth Museum will be adding new activities for kids and families to explore while staying close to home. We will also offer virtual versions of our onsite workshops spring through the summer.

If you do not have computer printer access, we can provide a print copy of the activity instructions. Each of these are offered free and readily done with simple materials.

We have also retained a series of  guided activities to inspire creativity and conversation for families. We hope that everyone will take some moments to explore nature, neighborhoods, and each other.

Let us know how you're engaging with these activities by commenting or sending us pictures at education@vomuseum.org or posting to our Facebook page

Memory boxes: reflecting on this past year

Memory boxMemory boxes capture a special event or period of time to be recalled in future years. This Do-It-Yourself project marks our year living with COVID   As we begin to emerge with new treatments, we offer some tips and suggestions for capturing your personal memories of the past year.

(the  following is the instructions, there’s also a photo attached of supplies)

Creating a Memory Box

As we start to recover and find ways to re-engage in many of life’s activities more safely, we have a VOM@Home project to capture memories, thoughts and feelings about this past year. It can be done as your own activity or as a family or other small group effort. You’ll want to give yourself some time to pause and think about this past year as you work on this.

Often with the passing of time we forget the little things that were important at the moment or were a short-lived set of habits. It has been a year with many new routines, disappointments, losses and even a time for discovering new interests and skills.

A Memory Box is a collection of things to be remembered – both personal and in the world around you. It can contain a variety of materials, from your own writing, things that you’ve read, photos, drawings, everyday objects from the past year. It should remind you of things that were important, made you happy or sad, new experiences or help remember something or someone lost.

Keep it a small group of items (no more than a dozen), held together in nothing much larger than a shoe box. The box itself can be decorated in materials that remind you of this past year.

While you may put this together as a virtual memory collection on a tablet or phone, we urge you to make a version to go into a small box. Technology changes quite rapidly so it may prove difficult to retrieve your collection if it is stored on an old tablet or phone.

Memory Box Instructions

1. Take some time to think about what you’d like to include in your collection before you gather the items. Consider including about a dozen items: small objects, writing, pictures, etc. You can take a picture of something too large to fit into your box.

2. Write a list of everything you’ve collected to put in the box (and put the list in the box, too): Include your name and the date, along with a short description of the items included in the box, and perhaps, why you chose them.

3. Find a box or jar to hold the collection.  The container can be decorated or plain but it should be sturdy enough to last for a long time. 

4. Find a good place to stow your treasure box safely.  Once it is assembled put it away for at least a year. 

You can use these tips & suggestions if you’d like some help to get started.

  • Include some typical items, like a facemask, in the mix. It will help you remember and share your memories when you open your box in the future. Think about a mix of personal memory items and a few things that other people would know.
  • Think about important days, your feelings, both good and difficult things you experienced.  Did you learn something new? Was there a particular person or thing you missed?  Was there a new routine in your life?  Were there new sounds or smells?  Did things change for you during the year?
  • If there’s a special food or drink, consider using just the label or packaging.  Placing food in the box can attract pests or otherwise ruin your collection.  
  • If you have a very delicate item, you can put it in an envelope or other wrapper for safe storage. Before you enclose the item write a note on the outside package: “Handle with care”.
  • Things last better if they keep dry.  If you have any small desiccant packets from boxed items that you’ve purchased, (these are small packets. 1-3 inches, that contain silica gel), place one or two in the Memory Box.  They help absorb any moisture that may accumulate from the air.
  • If you want to include a thumb-drive, cd, or other electronic recording, be certain to describe the recorded content on your list of items. Recording/storage technologies can change over time so it may prove difficult to view at a future date. You may want to replace this item with a new version at a later time.

Once you’ve created your Memory Box, put it away someplace safe.  And now it is time to start making new memories!

While this project is meant to be stored away for a future time, perhaps you’ll be will to let us know what you’ve put in your collections and why you’ve chosen those items.  Email education@vomuseum.org

Earth day artEarth Day: Artful Recycling

Available online April 22

Find something at home that you are interested in transforming into an artwork! Join us for a pre-recorded zoom workshop on Earth Day. Voelker Orth tour guide and local artist Phyllis Ger will take you through the steps of decoupaging images onto household items. We’ll also provide some information on ways to get involved in recycling and the environment here in Queens.

Art Neuvo LadyDry Flower Art

Available May 6th online

Learn how to dry garden and wild flowers for use on decorative objects and art. There are a few easy steps for preserving blooms for creative projects at home.

We will cover how to make simple drying screens and flower presses you can fabricate on your own. Your dried flowers can be used on stationary, bookmarks, in collages, added to wreaths or potpourri. Fun throughout the garden season.



Guided Activities:


Birdseed Ornaments

Birdwatching Tips

Bird Bingo


149-19 38TH AVENUE, FLUSHING, NY 11354  |  718-359-6227  |  CONTACT US  |  © 2017 THE VOELKER ORTH MUSEUM