Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
People of all ages love nutcrackers — as much for their functionality as
their whimsical design. At this time of year, we see nutcrackers in holiday
displays and on dining room tables. The glorious strains of music from
Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet” permeate our homes as well as the mall,
reinforcing our fascination with nutcrackers during the holidays. But what
is the history of the nutcracker? How are they made? How many designs are
there? How many different ways are there to crack a nut?
Answers to these questions and more await you at the Leavenworth Nutcracker
Museum, located in the state of Washington, and the destination of today’s
virtual field trip. When you get to the site, you will see the words “Museum
Tour” along with a text introduction and photographs (click on the photos to
see larger images). Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Next” to
read a short but fascinating history of nutcrackers complete with terrific
photographs of varying designs from ancient times to present day. But that’s
The Museum has designed an entirely separate website all about nutcrackers
just for kids! It includes 5 free Lesson plans that include slide shows
depicting how nutcrackers are made and a photo gallery of collectible
nutcrackers! Here’s the gold…
Kids Love Nutcrackers
When you get to the site you will see the Lesson Index that includes:
Lesson 1 — Wooden Toy Soldier Nutcrackers. Click on this to learn about the
history of these traditional nutcrackers. Scroll to the bottom of the page
to watch a SLIDE SHOW OF THE NUTCRACKER MANUFACTURING PROCESS.
Lesson 2 — Discover what materials are used to make nutcrackers. See photos
of ancient and modern metal, wood, and porcelain nutcrackers.
Lesson 3 — What kind of nutcrackers are there? Archeologists have
discovered 4,000 year old rocks used as nutcrackers. You’ll be surprised at
the variety of tools people have used to crack a nut.
Lesson 4 — Find out all of the odd ways to crack a nut by watching a
wonderful SLIDE SHOW OF UNUSUAL NUTCRACKERS (located at the bottom of the
Lesson 5 — Where are nutcrackers made? Check the world map on this page to
find out. Directly below it you’ll find photos of nutcrackers made in
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, India,
Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and
This is a really fun way to learn some history and social studies that tie
in with the holidays.