Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little House on the Prairie 6th Birthday Party

Levi had his SIXTH birthday party!  

His favorite book series is the "Little House" books, so he chose that as the theme for his party.   
I found some fun party examples, like this, and this and this, and this amazing party that would be wonderful if you had an unlimited budget.    I saw that every one of these parties was designed with a little girl in mind, so I had to use some of my own ideas to make it a little more boy friendly.   

First is the location.   I immediately thought of "Sam's House" which is a historical site.  Same time period, and a log cabin!  I emailed and found out that they did indeed to parties (I found out later that we were actually their very first party!).    They had a "Little Pioneers" party package that included a tour of the cabin, 3 games and use of the covered porch and grassy area beside it.   They made it very easy for me, and it was perfect for the party theme.   

Next was the invite, I found the file ready to edit from the blog The Decorologist.  A few edits and I had a cute invite which I rolled up and tied with twine.  

In preparation for the party, I ordered straw hats and bandanas for the boys (from Oriental Trading), and sewed bonnets for the girls using a very easy pattern from Pick Up Some Creativity.   At Sam's House, one of the activities was a clothes line relay, but to start out the party I used it to display the hats and bonnets. 

The kids picked out their bonnets/hats/bandanas as they arrived at the party.  Taylor wore hers the entire party, super cute!

Nai Nai helping one of the guests get her costume on.

First, the ladies from Sam's House took the kids to the cabin, where they told them all about what life was like for a pioneer kid. 

They had some costumes of their own to try on!

Next they had some fun games!  The first one was a "harvest" game where the kids had to gather scattered eggs, veggies and fruit one at a time and then sort them into baskets.   They had tones of stuff to gather and the kids had a good time running around.  

On the left side is the covered porch, and the cabin is behind the big white house. 

Next was the clothes line relay.  Having been cleared of hats and bonnets, it was left empty so the kids could take turns hanging clothes using old fashioned clothes pegs.  First they had to "scrub" the item on the washboard and then hang it up, a great challenge for little fingers.

It was supposed to be "relay style" but a lot of the kids went more than once because they liked hanging things up!  They then had to reverse the process and take things down and put the pegs away. 

The last game was one the boys in particular really liked - spear fishing!   Not exactly Little House on the Prairie, but in Florida, I guess people in that time period ate fish.     It was just a simple wooden frame with a fish hanging from it.  Spears were sticks with foam on the end.  

In this pic, you can also see the cornhole game that my dad and I built for Halloween last year. 

The kids also had plenty of time just to play in the grass and with the various activities. 

After the games, it was time for food! 

For snacks, I got an assortment of baskets and lined each with a gingham napkin.  Inside was a piece of cornbread wrapped in parchment paper and tied with string, an apple in a little tin pail, and a mason jar full of lemonade.  
We also had a little popcorn bar (in the book Farmer Boy, Almanzo really enjoys popcorn as a special treat).   This was just a big basket of popcorn with various toppings to put on them and paper bags to "fill and shake" 

The cake was very simple as Levi requested because "they didn't have fancy cakes in the olden days".   It was just a vanilla cake with vanilla/almond frosting.  I made a little bunting with 6 flags on it for the top, and 6 purple candles!     I also made gluten free cornbread and cupcakes for our gluten free guests.  

After the food, each kid re-used their tin pails for the penny store.  They got 10 pennies each to "spend".   

 In the store I had:
- marbles
- pebbles (from the story in Little House in the Big Woods where Laura filled her pocket with them)
- candied orange peel (made in the food dehydrator I got Levi as a gift)
- honey candy (boil the heck out of honey to hard ball stage, pour out, crack up)
- calico fabric remnants
- remnants of velvet ribbon, lace, and trim (all from the thrift store)
- beads (from a story in Little House on the Prairie)
- peppermint candy
- old clothes pegs
- little metal shapes, no idea what these were but they were various cowboy themes
-small balls of yarn
- some other small things I can't remember! 

The kids LOVED this activity - it was a big crazy mob of kids surrounding the "store" with Levi, Nai Nai and one of the moms helping take pennies as the kids made their purchases.  

At the end of the party, each kid took home their hat/bonnet bandana, a basket, mason jar, and a tin pail filled with goodies from the shop.    

I think everyone had a good time, it was a nice mix of organized activities and free time, and plenty of things to do and a perfect location for the occasion!  

This is the banner I made for the Mercantile area, it was very quick and easy to do.  I cut scrapbook paper into small squares, and then used my sewing machine to just sew right through each one.   This could be done in any shape, pennants or circles would be cute too, and you could even cut some into letters to make a banner that way.   

They had a big wasp nest hanging up too - Levi and Zach are studying insects for our summer unit study, so we checked this out after the party as well.

The kids in front of the cabin:

And the family + Zach and Taylor.   Grandpa Jack drove all the way over just for the party, it was great to have him there to join the fun! 

And here is a better look at Levi's outfit!  I modified the Ottobre "Poor Little Oliver" pants pattern to make knickerbockers with suspenders, and made a linen shirt to go with it, the shirt has purple and grey stripes.   He also wore his "fancy shoes" and got a different straw hat than the other boys.  

One of his friends is learning to crochet, and he gave Levi this necklace he made all by himself.  

And last of all is a carseat picture - Levi is still rearfacing in his carseat, he has room to grow so rearfacing he will stay! 
Happy 6th Birthday Levi!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Lapbooks- general sources

Levi went to surf camp this week, and we met a mom who was interested in learning about lapbooks, so I put together a list of general sources that I often use for lapbooks:

My Blog
If you click on “lapbooks” under labels on the far left, you can see several of the lapbooks we have done with links to things like the lapbook sources, websites, videos, books etc. that we used - and you can see pics of the activities we did, some videos of Levi, and pics of the finished lapbook.   
The ocean lapbook: click the link on the far left tag “under the sea” - its broken down into several posts!
Also, if you click on “homeschool” on the far left, you can see things like our field trips!

Homeschool Share
Click on “lapbooks” near the top left on the blue bar.   This has a HUGE list of free lapbooks, you can click by age, or just click “master list” to see them all -  most of these can be adapted for multi-ages. 
Also under “lapbooks” on the home page, you can click “lapbook resources” which has blank templates in all different shapes, if you want to use them to make your own little books.

Lapbook Lessons
Click “lapbook lessons” near the top, and there are links to different themes of lapbooks.   

Homeschool helper
This one has some free lapbooks, and some free templates.

Magic school bus
These lapbooks go with the magic school bus chapter books - each “box” in the book goes with one of the “books” in the lapbook, these are very well done, but you pretty much must have the magic school bus book to follow along - I get them from the library or cheap on amazon.  (we have used shark, butterfly, polar bears and space) 

What is a lapbook?

Other ways to find lapbook sources:

Google  “_______ lapbook”  with whatever topic you have in mind.  There are lapbooks for everything so you will probably find something! 

Pintrest: same keywords as google. 

I think thats it! 

If you have questions, send me a message, I’m happy to answer questions or help you find lapbook stuff etc.    We have a lot of fun lapbooking, its really gotten Levi excited about learning, which is why we both love it!