Children’s Chores…in Song?

This week, I found something unique to share–The Kitchen Garden,: or, Object Lessons in Household Work including Songs, Plays, Exercises, and Games, Illustrating Household Occupations by Emily Huntington (1841-1909). It’s a book for children (mostly girls) designed to teach the proper steps for household chores. The book is broken down into six “lessons,” but it also includes additional songs and even a program for public performances of the songs and skits. Each lesson includes a recitation, at least one song, and illustrations.


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Emily Huntington authored a number of other titles like The Kitchen Garden, which is the only one of her works in our collection. If you look at the other titles, though, there was a clearly a theme to her books:

  • Kitchen-Garden System of Cookery
  • The Cooking Garden: A Systemized Course of Cooking for Pupils of All Ages, including Plan of Work, Bills of Fare, Songs, and Letters of Information
  • Children’s Kitchen-Garden Book
  • Children’s Kitchen-Garden Book, Adapted from the Original, with Additional Songs
  • How to Teach Kitchen Garden: or, Object Lessons in Household Work including Songs, Plays, Exercises, and Games, Illustrating Household Occupations

Although we certainly have books that are meant to teach lessons to children, this is probably the only one in our collection that does so in this particular way. It seems a good way to reach children. Of course, kids don’t do the same chores in the same way they did in 1890. I guess that must mean it’s time for some new songs!


2 thoughts on “Children’s Chores…in Song?

  1. Tom and Ann Dumper

    good Morning, I am interested in learning the the six lessons and songs that you mention in the post. I was unable to find anything when l clicked on the address for ‘learning more’. This has not happen to me in previous mailing so wonder how to correct this. Thank you Anne Dumper

  2. Hi Anne,
    I’m not sure where the “learning more” link came from. It could be part of the blog template we use, but it isn’t something I put into the post. We have not scanned our copy of The Kitchen Garden in its entirety, but I did find a copy of a slightly later edition online: The book was first published in 1878. Our copy in Special Collections is from 1890. The link should take you to the 1893 edition, which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t appear to be much different than the 1890.


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