Searching for a kid’s activity … or three or four … to use on Pioneer Day? If so, this is the place! Below are several children’s activities that the kidlets will enjoy for the July 24 holiday. And don’t forget that even though the adults are supposed to be grown up, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like to join in an activity, too. Be sure to invite them to participate in the Pioneer Day fun.
Pioneer Day Activity-peanut hunt: Not only will the whole family love this activity, but they’ll eat almost as many peanuts as they hunt. This activity can be done indoors as well as out, as long as you have a house big enough to hide the peanuts, and you don’t mind a few shells on the floor.
Activity Supplies-Unshelled peanuts.
Activity Directions-If played outdoors, the peanuts may be hidden by two children chosen to be “It.” If indoors, it might be wiser to have adults hide the peanuts for this activity. Have everyone close their eyes while the two who are “It” hide the peanuts in the yard. Everyone searches for the nuts, and when they’re all found, the activity starts again, with the two who found the most peanuts being, “It.”
Pioneer Day Activity-“Hay is for Horses”: This activity is definitely for the great outdoors, and for children who are dressed in play clothes.
Activity Supplies-Bale of hay (or straw, whichever costs less), small toys or trinkets, and coins.
Advance Preparation for the Activity: Cut the twine on the bale and heap the hay into a loose pile, or into several piles. Hide trinkets and coins through out.
Activity Directions-On the count of three, let the kids search the hay for whatever trinkets and coins they can find.
Pioneer Day Activity-Three-legged race: This can be turned into a fun family activity by pairing adults with children.
Activity Supplies-Short pieces of soft rope.
Activity Directions-Divide into partners, pairing one adult with each child if adults are included. In each partnership, tie the left leg of one to the right leg of the other. On the count of three, have them race to a designated spot, and then give the winners a prize. To make it even more fun, give every team a prize of gum, candy, or other treat. For a fun variation, pair teams in larger groups.
Pioneer Day Activity–soap carving (for older kids). This activity requires a little advance preparation, but it’s nothing difficult. Also, since pen/pocketknives are involved and the activity is a little more complicated, this one is for older children who have experience with knife safety.
Activity Supplies-Paper, pencil, bar of soap (Ivory works best, but any white soap will do), small pen knife, scissors, patterns.
Advance Preparation for the Activity (by adult, 2-3 days in advance)-1. Run off drawings of individual animals or people. Look for ones that will fit on a bar of soap and that have simple lines. Coloring books and coloring pages online often have drawings that will work for this. If the picture is too large, reduce it in a copy machine. 2. Unwrap bars 2-3 days before, and lightly scrape one side on each until smooth and relatively flat. If there’s a brand name, lightly scrape until it’s gone, or use the side that doesn’t have an imprint. Let bar harden by air drying.
Activity Directions-Let each child pick a pattern they like, and cut it out with scissors. Set the pattern aside. With a pencil, blacken a section of paper in a rectangle slightly larger than the bar of soap. Lay it blackened side down onto the bar, place the pattern over it, and trace the pattern with the pencil. Remove paper and pattern. Using a pen knife, carefully cut away small slivers of soap to within ¼ inch of the pattern line. Round the figure out, and then carefully carve in details. When done, smooth with fingertips and rub gently to polish. Caution: Be sure to cut away in slivers. Cutting in large chunks could result in soap breaking.
Other Pioneer Day articles by this author:
Kid’s Crafts: Crafts for the July 24 Holiday, Pioneer Day
Coloring Pictures for Pioneer Day, July 24
The Bookshelf for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, Things to Make and Things to Do. New York: University Society, 1955. Print.