My favorite book series growing up was the Little House books. I decided I wanted to introduce Bo (6) to the books, even though some of the stuff was over his head. Through discussions, videos, and activities I was able to make the books understandable. I used the Prairie Primer as my starting point. I looked through and picked out the fun activities and topics I wanted to cover. I reread each book and took notes of topics and possible activity ideas for each chapter. I also scoured Pinterest and the internet for more ideas. I came up with quite a few. I picked two books to cover this summer. I made up a schedule for each week. Then I started collecting other resources.
I found videos covering some of the topics, to be discussed in the interactive folder, and songs from the book. On the schedule, the red font indicates that I have video for that item. Here is the link to my Youtube playlist the book. They are in the order they appear on my schedule.
We made an interactive folder to collect the information we learned along the way. I also collected some printable resources. Here is a link to a Pinterest board with the items I printed. The blue font on the schedule indicates that there is a printable on the topic.
To download a copy of this post, the schedule, and our interactive notebook pages visit my Teachers Pay Teachers page. It is a free download, but I would greatly appreciate a review.
I am going to go through all of the activities, trips, and food suggestions. I will explain what we did (if we actually did it) and how to repeat the activity yourself at home.
Moccasins- I would suggest buying a moccasin kit, but I couldn't find one for such tiny feet. So instead, I just used leather scraps and leather string. He laced them after I punched the holes.
One Room School House- At George Washington Carver National Monument there is a one room school house set up. We were going to go visit, but for some reason didn't wind up going.
Dinner Pail Picnic-While we were there, I was going to have a picnic lunch packed in small tin buckets with food that Almanzo may have eaten.
Apple Turnovers- The recipe is on page 122 of the cookbook.
Wash Basin- I set up a pitcher of water, bowl, and towel for Bo to wash his hands and face at before having a snack.
Strawberry Jam- The recipe is on page 62 of the cookbook.
Rag Rug-We did not do a rag rug because I didn't think he had the patience for it. I was going to do a tied one. You tie fabric scraps onto a plastic mat to make a rug. You find the supplies at a craft store.
Button String- Take a button with 2 or 4 holes. Poke the string through two opposite holes. Tie the ends together. Holding the ends, spin the button to wind it up. Then move your hands in and out to keep it spinning.
Popcorn and Milk- Take 2 identical cups. Fill one with air-popped popcorn and the other with milk. Pour the milk into the popcorn cup to see if it all fits.
Whips- For this, I simply showed the kids a whip I made. If they were older you could let them try one out. If neither of those is an option, Youtube can help you out.
Isaac Walton-This is a local walking trail. We were just going to go for a nice walk in the woods.
Loom Weaving- Using a loom kit from a craft store, we made a pot holder. All materials and instructions are included in the kit. It cost around $6.
Donuts- The recipe is on page 88 of the cookbook.
Dyes- This can be tie-dye, RIT dye, Kool-Aid, or homemade dyes. Color some white yarn or cotton fabric. To make Kool-Aid dyes, like we did, mix a packet of Kool-Aid with some vinegar. I used only enough vinegar to cover the fabric. Soak, rinse with cold water, and let them dry.
bird house kit.
bird house kit.
Saw Dust and Ice- Cover some ice cubes with saw dust, like Almanzo did in the ice house. Leave some others uncovered. See which ice melts first.
Stilts- Decorate 2 tin cans of the same size. Punch two hole opposite each other with a nail near the bottom of the cans. Run some twine through the holes and make it long enough your child can hold onto it. Tie the ends and you have a set of stilts.
Water Expands when Frozen- We used a mason jar and filled it up to a certain line. After it froze, we checked to see if it was above, below, or still at the same line.
Rock Candy- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil on medium-high heat. Add 4 cups of sugar. Stir until dissolved and the solution is clear. Bring it to a rolling boil. Pour it into jars. Add food coloring as desired. Place a string or a stick into the solution and hold it there by some method. I liked clothes pins. Wait for the crystals to grow. Remove and enjoy!
Lye Soap- I have lye soap for when I get poison ivy. I brought a bar to let the kids see and use.
Apple Pie- The recipe is on page 124 of the cookbook.
Baths- Set up a bath like Almanzo took. A tub with water, soap, and a wash cloth, surrounded by sheets for privacy. Swimsuits can be worn too ;)
Pancakes- The recipe is on page 92 of the cookbook (or just use your favorite mix).
Bonfire- Make a big bonfire and roast hotdogs or make s'mores. This is very different than a little camp fire or one in a fire pit.
Beat Carpets- Hang up some old rugs or towels and let the kids hit them with sticks.
Maple Sugar- I gave the kids a taste of brown sugar. We talked about the difference between store (white) and maple (brown) sugar.
Garden- Plant some seeds in a pot and watch them grow. Edible plants are a plus.
Punch Tin-You could repeat the lantern activity from Little House in the Big Woods or you could make a sun catcher using a pie tin. The process is the same. Fill the tin with water. Freeze it. Using a hammer and a nail, punch holes in the tin.
Bean Bag Double Can- Nail a tuna can to each end of a small board that can easily fit in a hand. They should face in opposite directions, one on top and one on bottom. A dowel rod would work nicely. It should be about a foot long. Place a bean bag in one can. Toss it up into the air, flip the handle over and catch it in the other can.
Clay Marbles- Make some salt dough. You will need 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of salt, and 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix the salt and water until the salt dissolves. Gradually add in the flour to make a dough. Roll it into marbles. Bake them at 250 degrees for an hour or two (until they're dry). After they cool, you can paint them. After they are dry, take them outside along with some chalk, to draw a circle. Play a game of marbles. (If you would rather you could just use already made marbles from the store to play the game.)
Moon Phases- Twist some Oreos apart. Using a plastic knife, create a moon to match each phase. Place them on a paper plate around the edges. Once you're done, eat your phases of the moon!
Feather Pens- Take a pen and a large feather from a craft store or found outside. Tape the stem of the feather to the pen with electrical tape.
Pink Lemonade- Combine 2 cups of sugar, 9 cups of water, 2 cups of fresh lemon juice, and 1 cup of cranberry juice (chilled). Stir well and enjoy a glass.
Picnic-Take a picnic when you go fishing. You could do foods from the book or a good ol' pbj.
Throw Black Paint at Paper- Lay out some large paper. Pour some WASHABLE black paint onto a plate or into a cup. Use large, thick brushes to throw paint at the paper.
Taffy- The recipe is on page 190 of the cookbook.
Homemade Ice Cream- The recipe is on page 209 of the cookbook.
Fair Games- Ring toss, cake walk, duck pond...whatever you can come up with. Let the kids help make the games if they are able. This could be like a party with guests or you could go to a real fair.
Pick Berries- If you don't have a berry patch in your backyard, head to a berry picking farm in your area.
Chapter 22 & 23
Play Wild Indian- Play just as was described in the chapter.
Corn Husk Dolls- Soak 3 corn husks in warm water (at least an hour). Roll one corn husk up tight and tie the ends. This is the arms. Tie two corn husks together near the top. Pull the loose ends around the tie and tie just below the bulge. This is your head. Part the husks and slide the arms in as close to the head as you can. Tie a string around the doll's waits to make a skirt and waist. There you have your doll.
Chapter 25 & 26
Snowball Fight- Crumple up pieces of paper. Make a pillow fort. SNOWBALL FIGHT!!!
Horehound Candy- This is just a taste test. I usually find some at Atwoods and Bass Pro.