Little House in the Valley
Sustainable living skills for kids.
We offer single classes in urban homesteading for kids or the full series to groups of 6–12. Each 2-hour session starts with a chapter from the Little House on the Prairie series and continues with hands-on activities to teach kids valuable homecraft skills. Call or email for more information or to schedule a class. Some of these classes are also taught through Willamalane.
Churning Butter and baking bread
We will read about churning butter from Little House in the Big Woods. Then we will color some milk with grated carrot as in the book, add it to cream and churn it into butter. Students will learn about the whole process and how the churning action clumps the fats in the cream into solid butter. We will also bake a batch of fresh sourdough biscuits to eat with our butter.
We will read about making cheese from Little House in the Big Woods. We will then turn some milk into fresh cheese curds, and learn about different hard and soft cheese cultures and processes, and how the cheese curds are pressed into a solid cheese. We will go through the entire process from fresh milk to formed cheese ready for aging.
Bees, Honey, and Wax
We will read about bees, bee hives, and honey from Little House in the Big Woods. We will look at some real honeycomb, learn about bees and how they make wax and honey, how the hive works, and try some local honey. We will also read about making candles from Farmer Boy (p. 283–284). We will melt beeswax and pour our own candles while learning about differences between paraffin, beeswax, and tallow, and the chemistry of how candles burn.
We will read about making soft soap from Farmer Boy. Learn the basics of making bar soap from scratch. We will discuss the chemistry of saponification, properties of different base oils and fats, and fragrance oils and other additives while we make a batch of soap.
We will read about some of the kids’ toys in several of the books. Then we will make yarn dolls, a button spinner, paper dolls, and rag dolls.