Museum at Home: Kids on the Canal

National Canal Museum - Museum at Home: Kids on the Canal

Calling all parents, grandparents, caregivers – or kids bored at home!

Just because you’re at home, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the fun, educational opportunities you love from the National Canal Museum.  Click on an image below to hop to the section you’d like to explore further!

Teacher, educator, homeschooler, curriculum coordinator, or parent volunteer?  Click on the “teachers” graphic to the left to explore our school programming and educational content!

Adventures Aloud      Return to Top

Tales of the Towpath is a children’s book about a man’s return to his childhood, a journey back to an age when anthracite coal was fueling America’s industries and canals were the country’s highways. The book is available for purchase online here, but we’d like to invite you to join our talented staff for an Adventures Aloud read-along that brings Tales of the Towpath, and the adventures of young Finn Gorman to life!

We also have two more books from our collection available as part of the Adventures Aloud series: A Full Hand by Thomas Yezerski, and Bridgetenders Boy by Linda Barth.


A Full Hand by Thomas Yezerski


Bridgetender’s Boy by Linda Barth

Tales of the Towpath, Introduction, Chapters 1 & 2


Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 3 & 4

Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 5 & 6


Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 7 & 8

Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 9 & 10


Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 11 & 12

Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 13 & 14


Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 15 & 16

Tales of the Towpath, Chapters 17 & 18


Tales of the Towpath, Chapter 19

Tales of the Towpath, Chapter 20


Tales of the Towpath, Chapter 21

Tales of the Towpath, Chapter 22


Tales of the Towpath, Chapter 23

Tales of the Towpath, Chapter 24

Educational Video Collection     Return to Top

The educational videos collected below are part of the National Canal Museum’s educational outreach programs, made available to help bring the museum to you at home!

Immersion Days are designed for approximately a fourth-grade audience, and introduce the science, technology, engineering, and math (S.T.E.M.) behind the building and operation of the Lehigh and Delaware canals.

Freemansburg Canal Education videos are an extension of in-person and virtual field trips offered to schools in conjunction with the Tales from the Towpath curriculum.

Freemansburg: Mule Talk


Freemansburg: Lock Tender’s House and Way of Life

Freemansburg: How a Canal Lock Works


Freemansburg: How a Grist Mill Works

Freemansburg: How to Draw a Mule


Freemansburg: How to Harness a Mule

Immersion Days: Friction and Buoyancy


Immersion Days: Geology and Blacksmithing

Immersion Days: Simple Machines


Immersion Days: Kids Canal Life

Canal Coloring Pages          Return to Top

Coloring pages are fun for kids of all ages (and even adults…. we won’t tell!)   Color our mules Hank and George, design your own canal boat, or fill in a scene from along the canal!

Click on the thumbnails below to print out full-page PDF versions of your favorite designs.  Email a picture of your finished product to, and we’ll post it on the NCM Facebook page!





Crafting Along the Canal      Return to Top

The kids who lived along the canal would have made their own toys and games to fill the time between chores, helping out on the boat, a locktender’s house, or other jobs.

Click on the images below to view or print full-size instructions for crafts that might have been made along the canal!





Salt Dough

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

Buzzsaw Toy

Clothespin Dolls

Fold an Origami Boat

Build a Canal Boat

Make your own Paper Dolls How to make a Hoopstick

Canal Activities       Return to Top

Need a way to burn off some extra energy while learning more about canal life?  Try one of these fun and educational activities!


Click on the images below to view or print full-size instructions for activities that will keep your whole family busy!




STEAM: Winch and Pulley

STEAM: Wheel and Axle  STEAM: Simple Machines Matching Activity 
STEAM: Simple Machines Labeling Activity STEAM: Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt 

STEAM: My Boat has a Rudder!

STEAM: The Wedge Challenge

STEAM: Inclined Planes Marble Run

STEAM: Buoyancy, Make a Cork Boat

 How to Build a Bee Condo Scavenger Hunt  

Nature Journaling

Cooking on the Canal       Return to Top

Hard work builds hearty appetites, and no matter where you were along the canal, you’d be looking forward to dinner time!  Why not try out some authentic canal recipes for yourself?


Click on the images below to view or print full-size instructions for some simple, hearty food that you can make in your own home.


Hunks-A-Go Pudding  Pork Float Stew Salted Pork  Dough Dabs

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