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The cover of the Portfolio of Pastimes box (with all six book kits).

The Portfolios of Pastimes (or "Pastimes Collection") is a set of six books and portfolios that offered activities focused on the first three released Historical Characters. They were complimented with and integrated with the Historical Character Craft Kits, and are the precursor to the later released American Girls Pastimes.


The portfolios became available in early 1991; the characters only included Kirsten Larson, Samantha Parkington, and Molly McIntire as they were the only released characters at the time. Sets focused on each of the three characters fairly equally and had historical facts and data sprinkled through the text where it was available. Each portfolio was either a bound book or--in the case of the Games and Theater Kit--a folding envelope with an attached maroon ribbon that held the contents closed.

The books could be purchased individually, as sets, or as part of a subscription. Sets could be purchased for flat fees of $79.95 for all six books and $100 for all six craft sets.

A six-month subscription to the activity books was $84 ($14 per month) and included all the portfolios. A six-month subscription to the craft kits was $108 ($18 per month) and included all the craft sets.

A one-year subscription was $192 ($16 per month) and received all the available items. It also came with a free bonus Introduction Kit and a craft apron, the Pastimes Play Apron (or Craft Apron). The apron could also be purchased separately for $8. Through the subscription year, the sets alternated between the activity books and the offered Historical Character Craft Kits. The first month after purchase was the first received item (so if a collection was purchased in October, the first item would be the album).

The activity books remained available until 1994, when they were supplanted by the American Girls Pastimes for each character (which now included Felicity Merriman and Addy Walker). Three of the craft kits remained until 1996.

The American Girl Patterns later used the same design for their covers.

Schedule and Items[]

The rotating year-round schedule was as follows:


  • Samantha and Kirsten used portraits from their Meet book covers, but Molly's portrait was from the original 1986 cover of Molly's Surprise.
  • With the exception of the Embroidery Sampler and Victorian Valentines (loosely) for Samantha, the crafts are not mentioned directly in the character series.

See Also[]