Sunday, November 10, 2013

early american history fun (and a pilgrim house made of toilet paper rolls)

The Pilgrim log cabin. I found this idea here. This took me months of saving toilet paper rolls--and I am so grateful for all of the friends who helped by saving their stashes too! (It's just shy of 600 rolls.) My dad built a simple wood frame for the house and I simply glued the rolls on with wood glue--while the boards were lying down flat. For the roof I purchased brown paper from the Dollar Tree and we put clear packing tape in the places that we hammered tacks into the wall. We will be leaving this up to play in for awhile. It takes over half of my dining room, but the kids love it!

Inside the house.

Ready for some fun!


My mom made all of the white Pilgrim elements of my costume which I threw on over 
a black skirt and shirt. Since we were in our front yard the majority of the time, 
I received many stares and comments from my neighbors. (I know that they secretly wish 
they had a Pilgrim costume too!)

Our church has a farmer's market once a month. The gal in charge blessed me with all of these pumpkins and corn stalks for free! After the last service and I was able to take all of the leftovers. Each of the kids got to take home a pumpkin and some Indian corn.

We made a paper mache Plymouth Rock.

My kids helped me draw these with chalk on our driveway.

Indian decor--thanks to my brother-in-law, Mark.

As kids entered our home, they grabbed a job card of an early colonist. After everyone was seated, the kids came out of the Pilgrim house one by one and read what they did for their job. I found these job cards at Teachers Pay Teachers for $4. They were perfect for this event and you can find them HERE.

My kids drew pictures of all the Indian symbols that were used for communication. 
Faith wrote a little description about Indian symbols and we put it up for others to read.

Before photography, the middle class made silhouettes. We had fun making these and 
Paige wrote a report about them. I had the kids and moms guess who was who. 
Most got Paige and Faith mixed up. 

The kids were amazed that our country began from such a small area. We typed up some things 
we learned from each colony/state. I drew the map on 2-large post-it notes and adhered it directly 
to my painting--it came off easily.


We talked about quilting by hand--I'm thankful for my machine.
My great-grandmother made this beautiful quilt by hand.

The wall of corn was fun to make! We learned how the colonists grew beans up the stalks of corn 
(as well as squash) and that they used fish for fertilizer--Squanto taught them how to do this. 

My kids finger painted the corn. 
They wrote several uses for corn on the tags.

Each mom brought a food item from early colonial times. 
I made hasty pudding and candied orange peels. Most pulled their recipes from online somewhere. I pulled my recipes from Colonial Kids Activity Guide. This guide was so helpful in planning this event!

I had each family bring a set of cleaned out tuna cans. My husband cut pieces of wood approximately 18" long. Drill a tuna can to opposite sides and try to flip the bean bag from one to the other with a flick of your wrist. I attempted to demonstrate this and could not do it. Several 9-year-old boys were able to do it. I purchased the smaller sized bean bags (2") from Lakeshore Learning.

This was the aftermath of the corn shucking contest. I had the kids all grab a piece of 
Indian corn and sit down. First one to completely shuck their corn stood up to win!

Corn was an important commodity with the early settlers. I had each child bring a toy they were ready to pass on to a new home. The kids each received 10 kernels of corn in a muffin cup. We split them up into small groups and they had to go around their circle and say how much they would pay--in corn--for each toy. The toy went to the highest bidder. This group of boys really got into it and were quite animated through the entire process!

An early American history party would not be complete without a Rainbow Loom bracelet to take home. I found these charms on Oriental Trading and had to order them! The Pilgrim, Indian and Mayflower charms were perfect for this event. I ordered the yellow and orange bands and the kids used their fingers to make bracelets. 

For the younger kids, they played "Pin the feather on the turkey." Just google your 
favorite free coloring picture of a turkey and have your child color it!

For this game, the kids had to push a hula hoop with a stick down the street as far as they could. The early colonists used wheels for this game which had flat sides. It was pretty tricky with these all round hula hoops! For the stick, my husband put a paint stick and a small piece of scrap wood together to from a "T"--they pushed the hula hoop with this.

"Stones Throw" is a game with circles drawn in the dirt and a stone--see how close to the center you can toss your stone. I didn't have a dirt patch around, so I drew it on our driveway and used a bean bag. A stone bounced around too much.

A simple game of tug of war. This was the highlight of the games--the kids played this for a long time! They were all stripping off their costumes by the end because they were so sweaty--and grass stained!

A successful event. Now I can take a nap. And attend to all of the other things in my house 
that I have neglected while getting ready for this party! It was worth all of the effort--my kids 
learned a TON and had so much fun doing it. 
THIS is why I love homeschooling!

5 comments:

Mommy of Many Hats said...

WOW! I'm a so impressed and loved all of the ideas. Thanks so much for taking the time to share. I'm definitely pinning this for future use. Perhaps one day my kiddos will want an Pilgrims and Native Americans/Indian Party!

http://everystarisdifferent.blogspot.com

luvjezuz said...

Love, love, love it, Brenda. I am so blessed by your hard work. What an amazing co-op. Thank you so much for all of the hard work you put in and for posting these awesome pictures. You amaze me!! <3!!

Lucinda @ NavigatingByJoy.com said...

I was in awe of the house, and then I just kept scrolling down and finding yet more and more wonderful crafts! What a delight. It looks like lots of learning and lots of fun!

Bonita said...

This is awesome!!! I can tell a lot of work went into the day and the kids look they really enjoyed it. The log cabin is such a fantastic idea- as are all the rest!

Catherine said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your idea of the Pilgrim house...so much so that I just posted on Facebook for all my friends to start saving their toilet paper tubes for me, for next school year. Thanks so much for all your creative ideas. It's because of creative people like you that we are able to have so much fun during our school day. :)