What is not to love about all the adventure in a book about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family on the American Frontier? For boys and girls alike these stories captivate our imaginations and our hearts.
Fortunately for us, there are many products and ideas based on these books and I’ll highlight some for you today. An Adventure on the frontier would make a fine summer Adventure
Books for Your Adventure Box:
Little House Original Series- the original 9 book series about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family’s life on the American Frontier, including her husband Almanzo Wilder. A note about the books- make sure you get a book with the drawn cover and not the photo covers. The photo covers are abridged versions and do not have the original text. Also, I really like the color collector’s editions. They are sturdy, colorful, and the text is easy on younger readers’ eyes.
My First Little House Books- picture books written from chapters from the various Little House books. These are great for younger readers and siblings to get introduced to Laura and her family’s adventures. Beautiful, color illustrations!
The Little House Guide Book- a tour of the Little House historical sites
A Little House Traveler: Writings from Laura Ingalls Wilders’ Journeys across America- this one tells the story of her travels/moves as an adult with Almanzo and her daughter Rose
Laura Ingalls Wilder Country: The People and Places in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Life and Books- talks about the people and places that inspired her stories
Field Trips for Your Adventure Box:
Little House Historical Sites- if you are a Little House fan, you’ve probably dreamed of visiting some of the sites dedicated to preserving the homes where Laura and her family lived. If you live in the midwest, it’s not unheard of to take a tour of all the sites on a fun road trip. If that’s you, then have a great time!
Our family has only been to one and it’s the only historical Little House site with the original structures on the original site- the home of Almanzo Wilder, the subject of the book Farmer Boy, in Malone, NY. It was a fantastic visit! You can read about our visit- it was a God-ordained day and simply one of the best we’ve ever head. Take a moment and we’ll take you back with us!
19th Century American life museums & centers- Places that feature life from frontier times and the way things were during the time Laura lived also make a great destination. Villages which have been restored are common, but they are usually expensive. Keep your eye out for opportunities at universities and libraries which might have presentations or activity days devoted to 19th Century life in America.
Another fun resource- are the Little House audio CDs. They are the unabridged versions read by Cherry Jones. We love these any time. They are so worth the investment!
These photos were taken at the Wilder Homestead in Malone, NY last summer. The red farm house is the original building and is fully restored. You can go upstairs and even see the place in the parlor where the blacking brush landed!
The three barns are replicas of the original three barns built by Mr. Wilder. The original structures were destroyed in a fire, but these were built using the descriptions in Farmer Boy. When the excavation was done on the land, they found the original foundation and it was just about 10 inches off from the description in the book. Just think about that for a moment…Almanzo was right around 90 when he recalled his childhood to be retold by Laura in her book, Farmer Boy. That’s a pretty impressive memory!
It was great fun to walk through the barn yard where Almanzo trained Bright and Star. If you ever get the chance to visit a historical site, enjoy it. It’s so worth the experience! Below you can see the Trout River right across the lane from the farm house. You are allowed to walk the river along the property, but it was so hot the day we were there we couldn’t think of it. We’d never imagined it to be nearly 100 degrees in the north of NY (just miles from the Canadian border) in June!
My Book of Little House Paper Dolls- lovely paper doll set featuring Laura and her family. Has fun back drops for playing out the story.
The Little House Cookbook- recipes from the Little House books along with a nice historical perspective on the ingredients and methods of cooking used by frontier Americans
My Little House Crafts Book- 18 projects with directions from the stories in Laura’s books.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Songbook- has music for the favorite songs in the Little House books
My Little House Sewing Book- sewing projects from the series
The Prairie Primer- a unit study book for the Little House series.
Musical Fun for a Little House Adventure:
A Tribute to Charles Pa Ingalls- played by Bruce Hoffman, this is music mentioned in Laura’s books and played on Pa’s fiddle! We picked this one up while visiting Almanzo Wilder’s house.
Other Things to Have on Hand for some Frontier Adventuring:
- Cloth and yarn with a sewing kit to try out a nine patch quilt or to knit some red mittens like Laura’s from Little House in the Big Woods
- Buttons- to make a button bracelet or for mending. Have your kids start a button box!
- Building Items- to build log cabins and other structures
- Paper- for making paper dolls and garlands
- Buttermilk- for making butter quickly in a mason jar
- Wax- for candle making should you want to try it
Enjoy the enchantment of the world of the American frontier and the stories of Laura and her family. There are so many resources to help you fill a box full of Adventure!
Be sure to check out the other bloggers who are sharing a series this week through iHN’s Spring 2013 Hopscotch.by