Putting More "Pioneer" in Your Pioneer Day Weekend

We decided to keep things simple for Pioneer Day this year, doing some activities at home that would take us back in time.  I picked up some great sling shots at scout camp, so the kids played with these for hours!    
 I know my Grandfather used a sling shot to get squirrels growing up.  My kids couldn’t hit a squirrel yet, but they are getting pretty good!  We just set up plastic bottles for them to knock over and hung some pizza tins to aim at.
They loved seeing the bottles get knocked over and the marks their pebbles made in the tin. 
There are more pictures of this on my personal FB page…
For breakfast we made “Pioneer Pancakes” or Johnny Cakes, from a recipe I found online.  I love doing math while cooking.  It’s so much more fun to do fractions when you get to eat the things you are measuring!  I picked up a manual hand held mixer at an antique shop on 25th last week, so that was fun for the kids to use too.
Sophia measured out the Johnny Cakes and we made some hard-boiled eggs to go with breakfast too.
The kids wanted to draw in the flour, so I said “Sure, but let’s do some spelling words first.”
After that Michael made a self-portrait of me and a snake drawing!
 It’s so great to let them get their hands dirty and use their own creativity!
 After we enjoyed the Johnny Cakes we worked on making Corn Husk Dolls.  I found some simple instructions online and we went to town!
 I was really surprised how much the kids were able to do on their own.
 Michael made his a boy by cutting the skirt in half and then tying it into two separate legs.
Sophia personalized hers by adding “hair.”  I was really surprised how much they BOTH enjoyed doing this old-fashioned craft.  We will definitely be making more of these dolls- maybe even a whole family!
 We did some more pioneer cooking with the corn we got the husks from, and made some simple cobbler too.  I plan on doing this all outdoors next time, but we baby-step here so it was nice to experiment inside before we hit the dutch ovens and camp fires.
To top it all off we took a trip to Apple Junction in Willard to get some more old-fashioned treats.  I didn’t take a picture of the lemon drops we bought, but we saw way more here than I wanted to take pictures of since there were a lot of people around.  There are old-fashioned lanterns and hats here, as well as all sorts of jams and jellies to enjoy!  I highly recommend going!
 We enjoyed some ice cream with Grandma!
For bedtime we read stories about the pioneers and watched some video clips showing pioneer life.  Sophia is convinced she wants to live on a farm now.  I have to agree that the idea is sounding more and more appealing to me too.  I hope these ideas will help motivate you to put a little more Pioneer in your Pioneer Day Weekend!  We had so much fun even though we mostly stayed home and didn’t attend any of the big community events.
One other outing I know we will make time for this weekend is something we did Memorial Day weekend, and that’s visit the graves of some of the pioneers.  There are many in the Ogden cemetery near the west side that have a ‘Faith In Every Footstep” seal on the headstone.

It’s amazing to think that some of the pioneers that helped establish the roots of our state are buried here in our own town.  This is again a simple, but meaningful activity to make Pioneer day and weekend one to remember.

 I know we all learned something and made some great memories together today.  Homeschooling is worth it- I see that when I look back at the photos of what we are doing and see my children’s glowing faces.  They are having experiences they couldn’t have any other way.  And I’m helping make that happen.  Homeschooling is HARD so when you have a good day, you’ve got to pat yourself on the back!  That’s what this post was.  We will see what tomorrow brings though!  Happy Pioneer Day!

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