We celebrated Pioneer Day with a party (even though we do not live in Utah). And it was really fun. Crafts. Games. Snacks.
The night before I assembled everything: craft stuff in a big bowl, snack stuff in a crate, silverware in a flower pot (not as good of an idea as I thought it would be – my guests kept getting impaled by the knives), butter supplies in a pan, game pieces in a bowl. We only have room for 6 people at our kitchen table and so I knew I would need everything for each activity ready to go for quick set up and clean up. It worked out great for our little space.
First, the kiddos made log cabins with pretzels and icing. It would have been great to do this on little milk cartons, but I’m not an elementary school and didn’t have 6 tiny milk cartons on hand, so cardboard it was. I used my trusty Sharpie to draw an outline of a house on the cardboard and then the kids went at it. We used construction paper for windows and doors.
Then we played “Ring on a String” (a childhood favorite of my husband’s – not sure it’s technically a pioneer game, but oh well).
MATERIALS TO ROUND UP: a roll of string, a ring
RULES OF PLAY: Everyone sits in a circle. Cut a piece of string long enough so everyone sitting can hold on to it. Put the ring on the string and tie the string ends together. One person goes in the middle and closes his eyes. The people in the circle slide the ring around on the string, passing it around. The person in the middle opens his eyes and starts guessing where the ring is. Once he finds who has it, they switch places. And on. And on.
[I wasn't sure if the kiddos would catch on to this game, but they did! And they loved it!]
Next was “Drop the Handkerchief” (pretty sure this is the precursor to Duck-Duck-Goose).
MATERIALS TO ROUND UP: a handkerchief
RULES OF PLAY: Everyone sits in a circle. One person stand outside the circle with the handkerchief. He walks around and drops the handkerchief behind someone. That person picks up the handkerchief and chases the one who dropped the handkerchief around the circle until they get back to where they started. Then they switch places. And on. And on. Until the kiddos say, “I don’t like this game. I’m swinging,” and leave. (It was HOT outside – I don’t blame them)
Snack time was last.
MENU: fruit kabobs and homemade butter on homemade bread and lemonade
TO MAKE BUTTER: I filled baby food jars half way with heavy whipping cream. Shake it until butter forms (this took about 5 minutes). Pour off the remaining liquid into a bowl (it’s buttermilk) and eat the butter. Easy! And way better than store butter. The kiddos shook the butter for about 30 seconds and then I told them to give it to their dads to finish up the shaking.
There you have it. 90 minutes of pioneer fun.