As I mentioned last week, my children and I are reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. Not only is it a fun, entertaining read, but it's educational, too. Before we began the book, I made a list of potential activities. We didn't do them all, but you might enjoy doing some of all of these activities with your children. Have fun!
* Study animal tracks. I found a great little freebie about wildlife tracks in Wisconsin (the location of the action in The Little House in the Big Woods). My daughter colored and cut and paste this printable into her own little guide of the tracks Laura and Pa might have seen in the Big Woods. I also Googled "wildlife tracks" and "animal tracks" and the name of my state and found a free printable of local wildlife tracks. I whited out the names of the animals on one copy (and kept an in-tact copy as reference for myself) and my children tried to guess what animal made each type of print. Next time we go camping, they can't wait to see what animal tracks they can find.
* Sew a simple 9 patch quilt, like Laura's. For less experienced sewers, I'd make a single block and turn it into a potholder or a dollhouse quilt.
* Make a clove apple, like Ma's. Buy lots of cloves, then stick the pointed end into the apple. If you like, wrap a ribbon around the finished apple, so it can be hung. (Having a hard time picturing what this looks like? Look here.)
* Whip up some hasty pudding, like Grandma made.
* Make maple candy. This is easiest if you have fresh snow, but crushed ice works, too. Find instructions here.
* Go maple surgaring. If you're lucky enough to have sugar maple trees and the time of year is right.
* Make pancake men.
* Make butter. No, it's probably not practical to churn it like Ma and Mary, but you can easily make it in a jar.
* Make a corncob doll, like Laura had before she got Charlotte for Christmas.
* Listen to the songs on YouTube. Pa played lots of wonderful music, much of which you can find on YouTube. Look first for the song title plus "fiddle."
* Make a book of Big Woods animals. Look up the animals mentioned in the book. Print out pictures or have your child draw them.
* Make a needlebook, like Ma made as a gift. If your children sew or do any type of needlework, this is a simple project that is very useful. There are tons of tutorials online, but this one by Simple Homemade, this one by Acire Adventures, and this one by Johey are some of my favorites.
* Play this free Big Woods board game.
* Learn new words. Whenever you read aloud to children, stop and explain words you think they don't know. I usually ask, "What does that word mean?" Sometimes the children surprise me and actually know! For my 7 year old, I took this a step further and had her write down unfamiliar words, look them up in the dictionary, and then draw a picture of them.
* Make a book of your own. I don't like lapbooks, but my daughter often enjoys making books from paper stapled together. For Big Woods, her book included pages with her drawings of characters in the book, a little of her own writing, and free printables we found online here and here and here.
Check out the Entire Little House series of Posts:
Little House in the Big Woods Activities
Pancake Men (from Little House in the Big Woods)
Little House on the Prairie Activities
Little House on the Prairie Birthday Party
On the Banks of Plum Creek Activities
Little Town on the Prairie Activities
Activities for The First Four Years
These Happy Golden Years Activities
Farmer Boy Activities