We are all trying to live a simpler life right now. Introduce today’s young children to how the pioneers lived by reading or listening to audio books from Laura Ingalls Wilder. Hard times were a common occurrence with Laura and her family, but with hard work, perseverance, a positive attitude, and lots of love, this little family was able to overcome many obstacles while living a simple life on the prairie.
Learning About Pioneer Life
Download the free audiobook of Little House in the Big Woods, and listen to the first book of the Little House on the Prairie series with your children. Then, expand on the themes of pioneer living introduced in the novel with these activities:
- Make homemade butter. Young children will enjoy being able to shake a jar of heavy cream and watch it turn into butter. Be sure you are seated, with a soft mat on the floor in case the jar drops. Once the butter is made, wash your hands, and spread some butter on a piece of bread for a tasty homemade snack.
- Make a log cabin picture using strips of brown paper. Use math language to discuss the cabin with the child: “How many ‘logs’ did you use to make this part of the cabin?” “Can you please pass me the longer strip of paper?” “It looks like you only need a few strips of paper to finish the roof.”
- Explore the food Mary and Laura ate as children growing up in the Little House in the Big Woods. Try making a recipe or two to share with your family. Here’s a list of foods they ate in each chapter.
- Invite your children to make tin-can lanterns like the girls use in the novel.
- Embroider a sampler just like Mary and Laura. Begin by learning 15 basic embroidery stitches.
- Research the daily life of pioneers who traveled on the Oregon Trail. Create a labeled poster illustrating how these pioneers traveled, what route they took, and what tasks they had to do each day to survive.
NAMC includes Montessori activities in language, culture, practical life, geography, history, and more in our Early Childhood, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary curriculum manuals. Visit us today to learn more about our Montessori diploma programs and curriculum.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, April 3, 2020.