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12 Months of Literary Activities: Little House on the Prairie

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Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

This book. Right, y’all?  The Little House series is a homeschooler’s dream.  There’s no better look at the States’ pioneer days and it’s even better that they’re written for kids.

If you’re stressing about just how to use literature to teach all the things, Little House is the place to start.  It practically hands you lessons on a pewter platter.  So many of the things we teach are included.  History.  Character.  Sociology.  Cooking.

Cooking, my friends.  One of the funnest ways ever to teach math.

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

Little House on the Prairie Activities

History

One of the tension-building parts of this book is the relations the Ingalls have with the natives.   Not only for history, but for tolerance lessons, explore early relations between settlers and natives with your kids.  Learn about the Trail of Tears and the push to reservations.  Help them understand why the natives were suspicious and wary of settlers.

Geography

The Ingalls do a lot of traveling in this book.  Print out a map of the U.S. and trace their path through the Midwest.

Cooking

Um, pick a meal, any meal.  Corncakes and drumsticks, anyone?  Preparing a meal from scratch like Ma did is a great way to learn fractions and measures and weights.  Plus, you get a solid block of time for just having fun with your littles and yummy food at the end.  What’s not to love?  Remind your kids that the Ingalls couldn’t just run to the store and buy bread.  As recently as 100 years ago, that wasn’t really a thing.

Which could start a whole new history lesson about the Industrial Revolution and how food processing has changed in the last century.

If you’re a rabbit trail kinda gal like me.

Art

What else would you do besides make a log cabin?  The cool thing about this project is that it doesn’t have to be done all in one day, but it can be.  You can build parts as you read about them or build it all at once.  And just like Black Beauty’s Felt Meadow, this one can hang around and be played with later.

What you need:

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • 100-110 craft sticks
  • Scissors and/or X-acto knife
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Hot glue gun (for parent’s use)
  • 4 toothpicks

What you do: 

Build the roof:

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Each side of the roof will be 12 sticks wide
  • For first side, arrange sticks side by side, using the ruler as a straight edge to line them up
  • Run a line of glue along the tops of the sticks and the bottoms, then glue braces into place (these will hold the sticks together)
  • For extra sturdiness, glue two more braces in the middle of the roof slab about 1/2″ apart
  • Repeat for second roof slab
  • Allow to dry completely, several hours to overnight

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

Build the walls:

  • Each wall will be 10 sticks high
  • For first side, arrange sticks side by side, using the ruler as a straight edge to line them up
  • Run a line of glue along the tops of the sticks and the bottoms, then glue braces into place (these will hold the sticks together)
  • For extra sturdiness, glue one more brace in the middle of the wall
  • Repeat for each of the remaining 3 walls
  • Allow to dry completely, several hours to overnight

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

Put the roof together (this is where the glue gun will come in handy, but you can use school or wood glue. It just takes longer to dry):

  • Line the roof slabs up with the sticks running vertically
  • Use a wall piece to judge how far apart the bottom of the roof should be
  • Run a bead of glue between the top two braces all the way down the roofline

 

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

 

  • Stand the roof up, keeping the wall centered between bottom edges to ensure the right angle
  • Run a bead of glue along the top of the roofline
  • Allow to dry completely (if using wood or school glue, several hours to overnight)

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

Assemble the walls:

  • Line up 2 wall sections at a 90 degree angle so that the sticks run horizontally
  • Run a bead of glue between the two meeting braces
  • Run a bead of glue along the outside of the angle where the walls meet
  • Allow to dry completely

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Repeat for two remaining walls

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Glue two wall pieces together to form a box

Add on the roof:

  • Once the roof and walls are dry, place the roof atop the walls

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Carefully turn upside down and run a bead of glue between the roof brace and the wall

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Here’s a side view of what it will look like

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

Add the eaves:

  • To make the eaves, cut the rounded ends off of 11 craft sticks, about 1/4 inch (you will actually be able to use pieces of a single craft stick for some of them)
  • Place a stick on the far side of the eave line and mark the angle with a pencil
  • Cut the stick to fit and glue in place

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Continue across the front of the cabin until all the eaves in are in place
  • Repeat on back side

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

Assemble the door:

  • Cut 3 craft sticks to 2 1/2 inches
  • Use remaining pieces to create 2 braces
  • Line door pieces up, using ruler as a straight edge
  • Glue a brace to the straight-edged bottom
  • Glue another brace about 1/4 inch from rounded top

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Finished door front will look like this

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

  • Glue door into place with straight edge at bottom of cabin

Assemble the window:

  • Cut 2 toothpicks to 1 1/2 inches
  • Cut 2 toothpicks to 1 inch
  • Arrange toothpicks into rectangle beside door and glue into place

Building a craft stick log cabin with your kids is just one of the fun Little House on the Prairie activities you can do while you read the children's book.

How cool is that?  Making a full cabin will help your kiddos get an idea of just how difficult building a house from the ground up can be.  Plus, this thing is stinking cute!

Before you go, make sure you look at the January Winnie-the-Pooh activities and the February Black Beauty activities, because that Very Useful Pot?  That Felt Black Beauty Meadow?  They rock as much as this cabin!

Love wins,

KT

Looking for even more book fun?  Check out:

How homeschooling with literature can save your day

How Literature Can Save Your Homeschool Day

Tips for starting a book club for kids

How to Start a Book Club for Kids

Story Time: Twilight Comes Twice with crafts, activities, printables, and recipes to engage your littles while they read the picture book.

Story Time: Twilight Comes Twice

5 steps for encouraging your littles to be lifetime readers

5 Ways to Encourage Lifelong Readers

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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4 Comments

  1. We went to the Ingalls homestead in South Dakota last spring, and it was an amazing peek into this family’s life and history. Love these ideas to keep the fun going at home.

  2. I love these books and I can’t wait to share these lessons with my sons. As we have a set of Lincon Logs that are never uses so we can use them to design a cabin with. Thank you for creating this lesson plan for us.
    Glenda Cates recently posted…Kid Friendly Search SitesMy Profile

    • Creating lesson plans is my favorite, so I’m thrilled by your appreciation! Also, I’ve loved hearing about how much you’re enjoying the Evergreen Literary Calendar. Thanks for sharing that with me. 😁

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