Yesterday was our Pioneer Day. We host this awesome day for our first graders every year at the end of their pioneer unit. It is crazy, super exhausting, but completely worth it when you see how much fun the kids have in their activities. This event is also made possible by the wonderful parents we have at our school and in our classes who step up and help us run the centers.
All our festivities start at lunch and go to the end of the day. We have a dad come on campus and grill hot dogs for our lunch. We pair that with popcorn, apple slices, and cookies. Once they have eaten and had a recess break we split the first graders into 4 teams. Each team will visit all 4 centers: Pioneer Chores/Cooking, Pioneer Games, Pioneer Crafts, and Pioneer School.
In Pioneer School the kids use feathers and ink to write the alphabet on hornbooks. Then they use rocks to help them solve math problems. They will also read a pioneer story book and have fun with a mini spelling bee.
At the Pioneer Crafts center they complete 2 crafts. First they make a mini wagon with popsicle sticks and paper. Then they make a yarn doll. This center takes the most volunteers because of the yarn dolls. The kiddos do great with the yarn wrapping, but the tying of the doll is difficult for them.
For Pioneer Games they have fun with Wagon Wheel races, hot potato, duck goose, musical chairs, and they drop clothes pins in jar while pinching it between their chin and chest. We do provide music for this center using a cd player because neither of us can play a fiddle.
Pioneer Chores/Cooking is the favorite. Several years ago a dad at our school built us a wooden goat that he rigged to be milked. His wife covered it with faux fur and gave it ears, eyes, and a mouth. The first class to have the goat for Pioneer Day named it Snowball and the name has stuck. This center is probable my favorite to because of the goat. It is amazing how little aim first graders have. Poor Snowball is usually soaked after being milked, yet the bucket is typically empty. They also have fun washing clothes using a washboard and then hanging them on the line. They sweep, collect wood for a fake fire, and then finish by making ice cream.
At the end of the day we have very happy but tired children. We also have very exhausted grown ups. It is so worth it though watching them have fun in each group all dressed up like little pioneers. I have included a few pictures below.
Thanks for reading!