Kid's Hour: Petronella's Fabulous Dollhouse (Ages 7-9) with Alette Fleischer - Context Travel

Kid's Hour: Petronella's Fabulous Dollhouse (Ages 7-9) with Alette Fleischer

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Petronella Oortmans was a wealthy lady who had a very ornate dolls house made especially for her. She would not let her kids play with it, as it was far too precious. With the money she spent on the dollhouse, she could have bought a real house instead! Today, her dollhouse shows how wealthy people in Amsterdam lived in the 1700s. Come inside with Alette and see if it's anything like a house you know today!

This Kid's Hour conversation will tell us about the lady behind the dollhouse, and the spectacular dollhouse itself. Petronella had inherited money and she had married a rich merchant, who died shortly after their marriage. Then, she married again with a well-off merchant. As a hobby, she assembled a dollhouse, by commissioning every item from actual artisans. So, miniature chairs were made by furniture makers, paintings by painters, small silver items by silversmiths, tiny wine glasses by glassblowers, etc. The outer casing was very costly too: it was an intricate puzzle of tortoiseshell and pewter inlay. This carefully designed masterpiece is now housed in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.

This doll's house, and a few others that other wealthy ladies had ordered, show us how rich people lived in the early 18th century. Do these houses differ much from today's houses? Is there anything missing that we have in our houses today? We'll discuss whether, if we had a choice, we would live in Petronella's time or stick with our own.

Led by a child-friendly expert on cultural history, Alette Fleischer, this interactive seminar will focus on living in the Golden Age in Holland. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased sense of how similar and - at the same time - how different houses and living was in the early 18th century.

Context’s Kids Hour conversations are 45-60 minute live, interactive sessions specially designed for kids. We include learning activities on all our Kids Hour conversations.

Your child should come prepared with any materials indicated in the conversation description.

Kids Hour Zoom etiquette:

  • Zoom display name should reflect the name of the child
  • The expert may mute all participants while she is speaking. Please use the raise hand feature to ask a question.


My child is older/younger than the suggested age grouping. May they join? 
The age range we have indicated is a suggestion based on the content of the conversation and teaching approach. Ultimately the decision to book a younger or older child is at your discretion. We generally design our Kids Hour conversations for the following age groupings: 7-9 and 10-12.

Am I required to accompany my child? 
Your child is welcome and encouraged to attend the conversation independently. We just ask that you assist with start-up in case your child has difficulty entering the Zoom room, changing their display name, and finding the mute and/or raise hand feature.

What if my child has a question during the conversation? 
The expert may choose to mute all participants while she is speaking. On our adult conversations, participants use Zoom’s chat function to ask questions. On our Kids Hour conversations, we use the raise hand feature.

Does my child need to come with any materials? 
We will indicate in the description of the conversation if there are materials that need to be pre-prepared.

Is your fee per learner or per family? 
Our fee is per learner.

Are Kids Hour conversations group or private? 
Our Kids Hour conversations are group sessions. Each is open to up to 20 learners. If you would like to schedule a private conversation for your child only, please contact us at

How do I change the Zoom participant display name to reflect my child’s? 
To change your name after entering a Zoom meeting, click on the “Participants” button at the top of the Zoom window. Next, hover your mouse over your name in the“Participants” list on the right side of the Zoom window. Click on “Rename”. Enter the name you'd like to appear in the Zoom meeting and click “OK”.

Amsterdam-born Alette Fleischer has a degree in Art History and a PhD in 17th Dutch History, focusing on gardens, science, and technology. She has curated several exhibitions, publishes articles, presents lectures, and a proud Context Expert. For Context Travel, Alette has led the Rijksmuseum tours many times. Motto: staying curious is key for being a good historian.

This conversation is suitable for children aged 7-9.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.