Monday, May 16, 2011

Day #146/175 Days - Field Trip

Just a few days after heading out to the Maine Wildlife Park we went on yet another field trip. The snow is gone. Spring is here and it's "Field Trip Season." We really enjoy going on field trips but these two were a bit too close together. We had fun even though we were pretty tired from a string of long days.

Today we went to Old Fort Western located in our state's capital city. Old Fort Western is designed as a living history museum. We had signed up to do their program on Daily Life in the 18th Century. Our group was large enough to be broken in to three groups and rotate through three stations although at one station we were broken down into even smaller groups.

Our group started out in the kitchen. The children learned what it would have been like to cook and clean during the 18th century.

Conductor is trying out the broom. 
It was too small to be used with two hands 
so all sweeping would have been done with one.

Happy pouring the cream into a small butter churn.

Making butter - all the kids (and a lot of the
adults too) took turns with this. 

Conductor is "snipping" sugar. It would come in a 
large hard lump. In order to use it, you would have to snip
it off so it would be loose.

Gratuitous teenager shot

Showing the kids a "new invention" on making two slices
of toast at once! This was turned by kicking the side so 
both sides of the bread would be toasted.

Just a look at how full the kitchen was with our group!
Our guide was great and all the kids were busy at a job. 
I love hands-on field trips.

Making toast. 
I'm very glad it was a cold & rainy day.
Otherwise this fire would have been too much.

Enjoying the fruit of their labor - 
homemade bread with homemade butter
with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top.

Our next stop in the house was upstairs to where the linen and clothing would be made. We started in the bedchamber and learned a bit about how beds were constructed and was used on them. 

Our Guide

Exploring the bed and bedding

After this we split in to two smaller groups. One group headed in to learn about spinning linen and the other went to check out the loom. We headed in to the loom room first. 

Again, this was a very hands-on activity.
Conductor trying his hand at a bit of weaving. 

Happy could barely reach the pedals. However, once a child
could reach the pedals, this would be added to the list of their
daily chores.

Even Lego-Man took a turn.

Actually there was time so the moms even had a go at it. Shortly after that occurred, we switched rooms. 

Here the boys are having explained to them what spinning was all about.

Happy is checking out some flax. This would eventually turn into linen. 

Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend a lot of time here and my boys didn't get a turn to try spinning as we had to move along to the next activity. Definitely sometimes a downfall when doing activities like this.

Our last stop of the day was outside. Well, it was suppose to be outside learning about how to make shingles, start a fire, and cut wood. However, due to the cold dreary weather, our guide moved us in to the block house. It was still cold, but at least most of the wind was blocked and we were dry. It was very dark though, so most of my photos didn't come out great as I was trying very hard not to use a flash.

Using a striker to make a spark.

This is the saw they would use to cut up firewood.

Happy & Conductor having a go at it. They did very well.

Overall this was a great field trip with lots of hands on activities. The last time we had done this trip Happy was about two years old. We had spent the morning at a local arboretum for a pond study (that we had missed due to miscommunication on meeting spots) and the afternoon at this very study. Happy was so tired from not having a nap that I ended up sitting in my truck with him the whole time so he could sleep. This this was really my first time doing the program as it was Happy's. The two older boys were so young that they barely remember going through it the first time. 

The cost was very reasonable and this is one we'll do again as the Fort offers many different programs.

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