It has been raining for almost a week straight and we are starting to get a bit of cabin fever. After making rounds through the craft supplies and board games and play-doh, we pulled out the Little House in the Big Woods.
We love the Little House on the Prairie books. The are wholesome, family friendly reading and they are appropriate and enjoyable for all ages. Each story always provides us with ideas to try out for ourselves. This week, we got out our My Book of Little House Paper Dolls: The Big Woods Collection and instead of just playing paper dolls, we began making our own Little House storybook.
The pages of the doll clothing punch outs come with a little paragraph telling about something the Ingalls family did. Things like chopping wood, keeping a garden, cleaning, baking, visiting family, etc. were all a part of life for Laura’s family. Included with the dolls and clothing are also paper items to match the activities- bread, a table and lamp, a pile of blankets, a stump and wood to chop, etc. There are also two scene backgrounds, one inside the little house and one outside of it.
To make our book, I read the paragraph and the children set up a scene with the dolls to fit the “story.” I would take a picture of the scene with my camera, to be printed off and put inside a little photo book with the cut out paragraph.
The children loved recreating the short stories. We talked about the objects, like Pa’s empty fiddle case, and what they meant to the family as they added them to the scenes. The girls recalled pieces of the Little House in the Big Woods and I began to learn exactly how much they really heard and understood while I read. It also gave us a way to preserve the fun we’d had.
The fact that my girls felt like they were playing the entire time made this activity special. We will definitely use paper dolls and other small toys to model pieces of stories from now on. Instead of just illustrating our history narrations, we will start recreating them. I also found that listening to the girls tell me what they were doing and why as they created their scenes, gave me so much more insight into what they knew than any of the narrations we had done. They didn’t feel like they were being put on the spot, or that they had to recall anything. They were just playing.
To fill the rest of the week, the girls and I are enjoying some of our other favorite Little House crafts and activities. Here are a few:
- candle making
- hand sewing, quilting
- bread making
- letter writing
- homemade butter
- button string bracelets
- rag rug place mats
- rag/corn cob dolls
- Lincoln log or cinnamon stick cabins
Rain or shine, Melissa can be found blogging at HopeSprouts.