Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Swim Fins

Replica swim fins on display at the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia, part of Independence National Historical Park

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin was a keen swimmer as a young man? Learn how he used his knowledge of water and air dynamics to create devices to help him swim more quickly. Build on this understanding to create paper boats and race them!

Activity materials: paper, straws, tape, scissors, large plastic container/ bath tub/ paddling pool

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Forces (Y3, Y5)

KS3: Forces

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the full class and demonstration:

You can download ‘how to make a paper boat’ visual instructions here 

How to make a paper boat

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Fuel-efficient Stove

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know Ben Franklin was an environmentalist ahead of his time? Ben discouraged waste and even designed a special stove to save fuel. Learn how we are following in his footsteps today by developing renewable energy sources and working towards Sustainable Development Goal 7: affordable and clean energy. Create your own anemometer to measure wind speed!

Activity materials: 5 paper cups, 2 straws, 1 pencil with a rubber, 1 push pin, 1 hole punch

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS3: Energy

Most Suitable for KS3 (US Grades 6-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the full class and demonstration:

How to make an anemometer:

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Bifocals

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries can illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Have you ever wondered how glasses work? Learn how light helps us to see and how Ben made one of the first pairs of bifocal glasses. Use the science of refraction to carry out magic tricks!

Activity materials: 1 glass or jar filled with water, 2 pieces of paper, felt tip pens

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Light (Y3, Y6)

KS3: Light Waves

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the class and demonstration below:

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Glass Armonica

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin invented a musical instrument called the glass armonica? Uncover his process of invention and how he harnessed the science of sound to play mesmerising music. Try making your own music with glasses and by creating a musical instrument!

Activity materials: 3 glasses, 1 jug of water, 1 spoon, 1 small plastic container/ cardboard box (e.g. and empty tissues box), rubber bands, 1 cardboard tube (optional)

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Sound (Y4)

KS3: Sound Waves

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the class and demonstration below:

Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Lightning Rod

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin was one of the fathers of electricity? Learn about Ben’s famous kite and key experiment and how this led to the invention of the lightning rod. Try your hand at some practical activities to explore static electricity!

Activity materials: 2 balloons, 1 piece of paper, 1 spoon

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Electricity (Y4, Y6)

KS3: Static Electricity

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Watch the class and demonstration below:

Family Day: Toys in Franklin’s Time

Family Day: Toys in Franklin’s Time

Tuesday 30 July, 10.30am-12.30pm

Join us to learn how children passed their time 300 years ago with Georgian toys and games. Design and create some your own traditional toys to take away.

Suitable for children aged 5-11

Free – To book email education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org

Family Day: Children’s Christmas Party

Family Day: Children’s Christmas Party

Saturday 30 November, 10.30am-12.30pm

Children will discover the magic of the holiday – 18th century style. Sing along to festive classics like Jingle Bells with accompaniment on the glass armonica, the instrument Franklin invented at Craven Street. Enjoy holiday treats and deck the halls with Christmas crafts to make and take home! 

Suitable for children aged 5-11  

Free – book your tickets here      

Email education@benjaminfranklinhouse.org for more information. 

Family Day: Halloween at Benjamin Franklin House

Tuesday 26 October 2021, 11am-12.30pm. Book your free tickets here.

Children will learn all about about the historic origins of Halloween. They’ll travel back in time to meet Polly Hewson, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin’s landlady, to hear some ghoulishly good Hallowe’en stories followed by gruesome games and crafts.

Most suitable for ages 5-11.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions:

  • We are limiting bookings to 15 people so please book a ticket for each adult and child attending
  • Activities will take place in a well-ventilated historic space with hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes available
  • All staff and adult visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering

For more information, please contact our Education Manager.

Museum Lates – Craven Street Bones

Museum Lates – Craven Street Bones

Thursday 28 October, 5pm – 8pm

Explore the darker side of the 18th century pursuit of knowledge with the team at Benjamin Franklin House. As you make your way through our Grade I, Georgian building, you’ll discover why over 1200 bones were unearthed in the basement. Drink and spooky nibbles included.

£10/per person – Purchase tickets via Eventbrite here 

Festive Candlelit Tours

Festive Candlelit Tours

Thursday 2 December 2021, 5pm – 8pm GMT

Step back in time and experience the House in true eighteenth-century style this winter with our festive candlelit tours. Mulled wine and mince pies in Franklin’s parlour before exploring the House and its unique history.

£10/per person – Purchase tickets online via Eventbrite here