5 simple steps for a pioneer family fun night
1. Buy some heavy whipping cream and make butter.
WAIT! Don’t be intimidated by this step. If you have kid power, it really is easy! All you need is heavy cream and a jar (or other container that will seal). I used a container that I normally use to mix salad dressing. Put the cream into the container and shake, shake, shake. After a lot of shaking, a big clump of butter will form. Pour off the liquid (the “buttermilk”) and voila—you have fresh butter! As a bonus, this activity gets rid of a lot of excess energy. (I’ll post the video as proof once I’m feeling better!)2. Bake some bread.
I don’t think there is anything else like fresh homemade bread. If you are not a baker, buy some dough (fresh or frozen) and bake it (or if even that sounds intimidating, pick up some fresh bread from your local bakery). I mixed up some dough in my heavy duty mixer. Bread from a bread machine would also work. I just know that the homemade bread really made the evening. Speaking of menu, I served the bread with chicken, beans and fresh fruit.
Since I was under the weather, we had a rotisserie chicken. You might consider the same thing (it doesn’t get easier than that!).
Enjoying bread and butter
3. Eat by candlelight or have a campfire (real or pretend).
There is something mesmerizing about a fire. As you sit and watch the flames dance, you can almost imagine that you are back in the time of the pioneers! Whether it is candles on the table or a real campfire, this activity can really set the mood. We happened to have a real backyard campfire, but if you have toddlers or preschoolers you might even consider making a pretend campfire with blocks or newspaper as the “logs.”
4. Enjoy the outdoors. Pioneers spent a lot of time outdoors. We let our kids loose out in the backyard (with Daddy supervising). They played with sticks and ran around pretending to search for wild bears. Not much different from kids of long ago.
5. Read about pioneers and tell stories about your own family.
I dug out my “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Our bedtime story time was Daddy reading about life long ago (I flopped on the bed listening to the story too—great way to rest my voice). We also shared some stories of our growing up years. The end of this fun family night is the perfect time to talk about family, the courage of the pioneers, and all that we are thankful for. If you are a family of faith, it is also the perfect time to have a spiritual conversation. These memories are the ones your kids will carry for a lifetime.
I’ve been sick. Really sick. The “finally broke down and went to the doctor” kind of sick. So when the time for our family fun night rolled around, I wasn’t up for doing an elaborate family night. But I also didn’t want my kids to miss out on our weekly family fun time together. (Truth be told, I didn’t want to miss out.) So we had a very simplified plan—and the kids still loved it! Check out this super easy plan.