Teaching Our Kids History

Teaching Our Kids History
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My youngest son was amazed that Laura Ingalls Wilder was a real girl who actually lived during 1800. He was fascinated by her life, but also with the fact that she wrote her own story and that it's still being read by kids today. The Little House on the Prairie books are a wonderful tool for discussing history and times past in a way that kids can relate to. Read aloud the books as a family and think of things to do that would help you understand her life. You could:
-Make a meal like Laura and her family would have ate. Talk about the conveniences we have today compared to what they had.

-Play a game she describes in one of her books, such as Dominoes, Pick Up Sticks, Jacks, Marbles or Tiddlywinks.

-Look at a map and try to map out how far Laura and her family traveled and discuss the difference between now and then.

-Pop the Weasel was one of Laura's favorite songs. Sing it together and try to imagine that she sang this over 100 years ago.

All around the mulberry bush

The monkey chased the weasel.

The monkey thought 'twas all in fun.

Pop! goes the weasel.

A penney for a spool of thread,

A penney for a needle.

That's the way the money goes.

Pop! goes the weasel.

Up and down the City Road,

In and out of the Eagle,

That's the way the money goes.

Pop! goes the weasel.

Half a pound of tuppenney rice,

Half a pound of treacle,

Mix it up and make it nice,

Pop! goes the weasel

Log Cabin Activity

Teach your kids about times past when families didn't have the type of homes we have now, and they had to work much harder at the everyday things we take for granted! Laura's father built two log cabins for them during their life. While making this log cabin craft imagine how hard it must have been for him!

You will need:

-a milk or juice carton

-brown construction paper



-optional paint and items to decorate the cabin

Cut the carton down to about 4-5 inches tall to be the base for your log cabin. Have the kids cut strips of brown construction paper that measure the same length as the sides of the base. They should be about 12 inches long (the length of the sheet of paper usually). They will form their logs by rolling the paper tightly around a pencil. Glue the end down with a white glue such as Elmer's. Smooth it down and hold for a few seconds. Remove the pencil. They will need to do this about 15 or 20 times. Emphasize that they need to be patient and roll each one tightly.

When they have completed the logs, have them glue one log at a time to the base. They can trim the ends if any of them stick out or seem a little off. Once they have the cabin built they can get creative and decorate the roof with seeds, beans, more construction paper, paint or even moss that they glue to the roof. Let them use their imagination. They can cut shapes out of paper for the windows and doors.

Another optional step is using Styrofoam trays as a base to glue the log cabin to. The kids can paint or decorate the base as a lawn.

Related Features:

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Parlour Games

About the Author:

Brenda Hyde is Mom to three little ones, a freelance writer and editor here at OldFashionedLiving.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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