Little House on the Prairie
Life in the 1800's isn't easy to imagine today. How would you like no running water or plumbing? What if you had no way of communicating except by letter and really, no electronic games! I asked the kids to then consider what the advantages would be and what it would be like to slow down and enjoy your family and your life. As they thought of those things I read them a chapter of "Little house on the Prairie" and they tried to put themselves there with Laura and the Ingall's.
They imagined so well, the next thing you know, they were face to face with Ma. Ma was as shocked as they were to have them appear. She questioned their choice in apparel and told them she thought they should be more appropriately dressed.
Each child was able to choose an outfit more suited to the 1800's.
Basic hygiene in the 1800's left something to be desired. Bathing occurred once a week and hair washing usually happened every other week! Tooth brushes didn't come into being until the late 1880's but up until World War I only mouthwash was commonly used. Often twigs were used to clean teeth or baking soda applied with a rag. Our campers weren't to thrilled to try out the later!
Between Saturday night baths folks had to wash up in basins.
He cleans up right nice!
Primping Little house style
Before play the children always had to completer their chores. Our children were told that they would be paid a penny for each chore completed that day. At the end of the day they were able to go into town with Pa and spend their hard earned pennies at Oleson's Mercantile.
Each child made their own little loaf of bread and they each had to take a turn using their Great Grandma's butter churn. Later they helped wash and mold the butter that we used that night.
They each took a turn washing clothes on the washboard and hanging them out to dry.
Merrill's dainties came out sparkling clean!
The washboard also belonged to Great Grandma Merrill
Another chore was gathering in the clothes and ironing them using a wooden ironing board and flat iron.
Papa taught the boys how to mend shoes and how to use his antique tools. The drill was a hit!
Next a load of hay was delivered for our barn dance.
The boys had to show some muscle and get it from the truck into the barn.
While the boys were outside finishing their chore the girls babysat and...
they also learned the art of candle dipping.
Time For Play
Each boy was given a marble bag full of marbles and Merrill taught them the rules of the game.
The girls made cornhusk dolls and sachets using flowers, citrus peels and spices.
(They needed them back then if people only bathed once a week!)
We'll see you later at the barn dance!