July 24th marks the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers in the valley of the Great Salt Lake. Driven from their homes in Missouri and Illinois, they came west to create a settlement where they could practice their Christian religion undisturbed. They immediately went about planting crops, building a temple to their God and making the desert “blossom as a rose.”
Most of the Pioneer children walked for sixteen weeks alongside their parents and covered wagons. Although many were very young, their help was needed with life-sustaining work on the trail and after they arrived in the valley.
You can recreate some of the Pioneer children’s activities and chores with this scavenger hunt. Here are cards that show the different activities; place items that represent the chores in different locations. Have the children find the items, they might enjoy performing some of the chores and activities.
Pioneer children played with beanbags! They also had a form of
baseball they played with a ball made of string and a board for a bat.
As they crossed the plains, Pioneer children sometimes found scattered Indian beads. They also sometimes saw pictographs on rocks. You can create a faux animal skin with brown paper and have children write messages using the visual language of the Indians.
These and other activities are in my Holiday Handbook 2 – watch for it!