"All alone in the wild Big Woods, and the snow, and the cold,
the little log house was warm and snug and cosy.
Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie
were comfortable and happy there, especially at night."
~ Little House in the Big Woods
Little children love to dress up and pretend. A few books can inspire a pioneering spirit in your home. It will implement the good values and hard, honest work that are being lost in today's "gimme" society. A childhood with these simple amusements will yield beautiful fruit (Galatians 6:7 ).
"And then, Pa told stories.
When Laura and Mary begged him for a story,
he would take them on his knees and
tickle their faces with his long whiskers until they laughed aloud.
His eyes were blue and merry."
His eyes were blue and merry."
Read to your children… Books are the best way to open up a hobby in the home. When reading a book like Little House in the Big Woods, you will be surprised at how quickly they create a pioneer playtime themselves. We began reading chapter books at the age of four (this one is appropriate for that age) and have had great success. They are learning about history and do not even realize they are being educated. I suggest reading a chapter a day together and then offering them the use of the My First Little House Series books for further pictorial inspiration. These will really inspire both boys and girls toward healthy and historical fun, the old fashioned way...
Cook with your children… Choose some recipes to cook together from the Little House Cookbook and make a pioneer style meal together. Or, some biscuits and gravy recipes from your own collection would work out just as well!
Another fun kitchen activity would be to make some butter out of cream. All you need is a jar with heavy cream and some little, helping hands.
Playact with your children… Enjoy an evening together with only candlelight like Laura's family…
Encourage a working lifestyle... If you live in the city, visit a working farm where your children may be allowed to milk a cow, feed animals and do farm chores. Children in the city can also pull weeds, be responsible for pets and do other daily outdoor work (which would be just as valuable). If you live on a homestead, I do hope you involve your young ones with jobs such as feeding the chickens or taking care of the smaller animals. Good old fashioned work is what they need to encourage future industry. We don't grow up and instantly become hard workers, we need to nurture that now (in proper doses) so that it is a natural part of life for our children (Genesis 3:19).
"Father and Almanzo tramped through the falling snow in the woods, looking for straight, small oaks. When they found one, Father chopped it down. He chopped off all the limbs, and Almanzo piled them up neatly."
Have children collect and stack firewood for the "winter". Little children can collect piles of sticks for kindling.
Color with your children… Here are some pioneer inspired pictures that can be printed out.
"After the day's work was done,
Ma sometimes cut paper dolls for them.
She cut the dolls out of stiff white paper,
and drew the faces with a pencil.
Then from bits of colored paper she cut dresses and hats,
ribbons and laces, so that Laura and Mary
could dress their dolls beautifully."
Enjoy music with your children... There are some fun, historical songs from Laura Ingalls Wilder books that have been recorded for our listening pleasure. It really enhances the stories to hear these!