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Camp Wannalafflotta: Meanwhile, Back on the Farm….

Posted By Jessica Fisher On June 1, 2009 @ 10:27 am In Camp Wannalaffalotta,Family Fun | 4 Comments


I hope that you had great oceans of fun [5] last week with the first installment of Camp Wannalaffalotta [4]. This week we head inland for farm-themed family fun. And what an important part of our heritage the farm is!

Currently the kids and I are studying the American Colonial period in our history study [6]. This past week I was reminded of what an important part agriculture has played in the history of our nation. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur [7], a French-born American colonist wrote about the importance of the family farm in his volume of essays, Letters from an American Farmer [8] in 1782. He was the first to tell Europe about life in America and to give voice to the concept of “the American dream.”

And when you think about it, the American Dream had its beginnings with farmers and homesteaders, men and women who desired a plot of land to call their own and who were willing to work hard to attain it and make it work.


In my own family tree, we’ve got farmers as far back as one can see. My great-grandfather, Sigurd, emigrated from Norway in the 19th century and established himself on a farm in southeastern Minnesota. My grandmother, his daughter, and all her siblings lived and worked on farms. And my dad, though he broke the cycle in terms having lots of land and farm equipment, has always loved to toil the soil and produce a crop, whether that be sweet corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, or lemons.

While today’s average man is no longer knee deep in a corn field, it is still important to make our children aware of our roots and how our food gets on the table. Whether you have farmer grandparents or not, who can question that life started in a garden and that gardens still sustain us today?


This week’s Camp Wannalaffalotta [4] is based on farm life. And have I got a wagonload of choices for you! Spend a few hours — or a few months — learning and laughing about farm experiences. Books, videos, and websites are a boon to exploring something without actually being there. But hopefully, you’ll have a chance to take your kids to some kind of farm this summer. From berry picking to petting zoos, there’s no shortage of family field trips to take. I can’t wait to hear what you do!

As always, don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of money to have fun and enjoy learning and playing with your kids. Make the internet and the library serve you well this summer. Enroll your kids in their summer reading program and explore the world of books together.

Many of the following craft suggestions involve regular household items. If something is out of reach, in terms of budget or availability, there is almost always a reasonable substitute, just think outside the box.

Maybe you won’t do any of these activities, but perhaps they’ll get you thinking about what you would like to do with your children. (At the end are a list of mom resources to get you thinking about farming and food and family fun.) Either way, I hope you’ll laffa-lotta with your children this summer.


Here are some resources to

Get Reading!
Make library days a regular part of your summer. We usually choose one day of the week to make Library Day. Sometimes I’ll pack a sack lunch, then we can take our time, not hear rumbling tummies, and not succomb to fast food on the way home. Ask your children’s librarian to point you to the reference books, like A to Zoo [12]. They should have a whole section on books about books. These are directories, organized by age, theme, and author, to help you find books your children might be interested in. Teachers know about these books, but I’m not sure all parents do. This kind of book will help you help your children choose good books.

Picture Books and Easy Readers
The Big Red Barn [13] by Margaret Wise Brown
Funny Farm [14] by Mark Teague
Saving Strawberry Farm [15] by Deborah Hopkinson (a poignant story of the Great Depression)
The Berenstein Bears Down on the Farm [16] by Stan and Jan Berenstein
Tiny On the Farm [17] by Cari Meister
Blueberries for Sal [18] by Robert McCloskey
Scarecrow [19] by Cynthia Rylant
Open the Barn Door [20] (a chunky flap book)
Sheep in a Jeep [21] by Nancy Shaw
The Little Red Hen [22]
Old MacDonald Had a Farm [23]
Click, Clack Moo: Cows that Type [24] and Giggle, Giggle, Quack [25] by Doreen Cronin
All the Places to Love [26] by Patricia Maclachlan
Summertime in the Big Woods [27] by Laura Ingalls Wilder (an early reader edition of the larger books)
James Herriot’s Treasury for Children [28]

Nonfiction Books
These are by Gail Gibbons
From Seed to Plant [29]
The Vegetables We Eat [30]
The Milk Makers [31]
Apples [32]
Farming [33]


Chapter Books and Read Alouds
Charlotte’s Web [35] by EB White
Little House on the Prairie [36] series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (one of our favorites is Farmer Boy [37])
Mother Carey’s Chickens [38] by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Hank the Cowdog [39] by John R Erickson
Anne of Green Gables [40] by LM Montgomery

Books for Older Kids
As always, use discernment and perhaps preread books with more mature themes and situations.
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm [41] by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Old Yeller [42] by Fred Gipson
Animal Farm [43] by George Orwell
Of Mice and Men [44] by John Steinbeck
Grapes of Wrath [45] by John Steinbeck
Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp [46] by Jerry Stanley (this was an eye opener for me when our family studied this a few years ago!)


Get a Movie On!
Different families have different standards when it comes to movie viewing. If I haven’t personally seen a movie listed, I’ve checked it through the Dove Foundation’s Movie Reviews [48]. But our standards may not be yours. Please use discernment in choosing what your children will watch.

Charlotte’s Web [49] (there’s the classic and the makeover [50] versions)
Babe [51]
The Waltons [52]
Little House on the Prairie [53]
Old Yeller [54]
Oklahoma [55]
The Wizard of Oz [56]
Anne of Green Gables [57]
Chicken Run [58]
Kidsongs – A Day at Old MacDonald’s Farm [59]
Home on the Range [60]
Barnyard – The Original Party Animals [61]
Summer Magic [62]


Get Crafting!

Get Out and About!

  • visit a local petting zoo [73]
  • go berry picking – visit Pick Your Own [74] for a directory by state
  • plant a garden of your own – it doesn’t take much space. $5 Dinner Mom [75] is doing a square foot garden with apparent success.
  • shop at your local farmer’s market – find one close to you here [76].
  • tour a local dairy or a farm in your community


Get Cooking!

  • stir up a batch of White Chocolate Haystacks [78] (made with pretzel sticks) – from the Joy of Baking [79]
  • make butter – simply place heavy cream in a glass jar. Toss in a clean marble. Secure the lid well. Roll the jar back and forth to one another or simply shake and shake and shake. Once the sloshing sounds end and you hear the marble “thunk”, your butter is ready. Or check out Heavenly Homemaker’s tutorial here [80].
  • have a taste test of different kinds of milk: goats’ milk, buttermilk, different fat levels of cows milk – thanks, Sweetslady [81]!
  • Make Turkey Cinnamon Rolls [82] – from LifeasMOM [83]
  • purchase a bunch of fresh vegetables from the farm stand and let the kids help to shuck corn, snap beans, and shell peas. Enjoy a feast together.
  • Decorate a Cow Cake [84] – from Family Fun
  • Make Sheep and Bunny Cake Pops [85] – from Bakerella [86]
  • Too cute sunflower cupcakes [87] from Cupcakes Take the Cake [88]
  • Make a Kansas Cake – from Pretty.Cool.Cakes [89]
  • After you read some of the stories listed above, make one of the dishes mentioned. For instance, Almanzo eats his popcorn with milk. Try it, you may like it!

Get Thinking of More Fun!
Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America [8] by Hector St John de Crevecoeur

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life [91] by Barbarba Kingsolver
Chickens in Your Backyard [92] by Rick and Gail Luttman
Honey for a Child’s Heart [93] by Gladys Hunt
The Read Aloud Handbook [94] by Jim Trelease

Camp Wannalaffalotta runs every Monday until Labor Day. In order not to miss out on post, you might want to subscribe to LifeasMOM by email [95] or subscribe in a reader [96].

Help spread the word so that other families can benefit from this series as well! Grab the button and share the love.

If you’d be interested in guest posting or contributing links on family fun activities or kid-friendly recipes that fit these themes [97], please email me [98].

Article printed from Life As Mom: http://lifeasmom.com

URL to article: http://lifeasmom.com/2009/06/camp-wannalafflotta-meanwhile-back-on.html

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[5] oceans of fun: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/05/camp-wannalaffalotta-oceans-of-fun.html

[6] history study: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/05/end-of-school-year-or-is-it.html

[7] Hector St. John de Crevecoeur: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_de_Cr%C3%A9vecoeur

[8] Letters from an American Farmer: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0140390065

[9] Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFYQnFjuII/AAAAAAAAFB8/_lYI3eApH5U/s1600-h/Monroe_House_-_Front.jpg

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[11] Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFZULfZDQI/AAAAAAAAFCU/C6eP4SpoVtk/s1600-h/childcorn.jpg

[12] A to Zoo: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/1591586720

[13] The Big Red Barn: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0673816397

[14] Funny Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/043991499X

[15] Saving Strawberry Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0688174000

[16] The Berenstein Bears Down on the Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0060583517

[17] Tiny On the Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0670062464

[18] Blueberries for Sal: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/014050169X

[19] Scarecrow: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0152024808

[20] Open the Barn Door: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0679809015

[21] Sheep in a Jeep: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/039586786X

[22] The Little Red Hen: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0307960307

[23] Old MacDonald Had a Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0307988066

[24] Click, Clack Moo: Cows that Type: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0689832133

[25] Giggle, Giggle, Quack: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0689845065

[26] All the Places to Love: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0060210982

[27] Summertime in the Big Woods: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0064434974

[28] James Herriot’s Treasury for Children: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0312085125

[29] From Seed to Plant: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0823410250

[30] The Vegetables We Eat: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0823421538

[31] The Milk Makers: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0689711166

[32] Apples: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0823416690

[33] Farming: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0823407977

[34] Image: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFTy5r8C6I/AAAAAAAAFBk/LQElVITku-A/s1600-h/2008+April+010.jpg

[35] Charlotte’s Web: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0064410935

[36] Little House on the Prairie: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0064400409

[37] Farmer Boy: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0060581824

[38] Mother Carey’s Chickens: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0912498102

[39] Hank the Cowdog: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0142501271

[40] Anne of Green Gables: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0553609416

[41] Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0689860013

[42] Old Yeller: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0060935472

[43] Animal Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/1595404295

[44] Of Mice and Men: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0142000671

[45] Grapes of Wrath: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0142000663

[46] Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0517880946

[47] Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFYQOVxjFI/AAAAAAAAFBs/Uf22SHmR-RQ/s1600-h/cornpool.jpg

[48] Dove Foundation’s Movie Reviews: http://www.dove.org/

[49] Charlotte’s Web: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00005N89B

[50] the makeover: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B000NA6CPE

[51] Babe: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B0000AK7AB

[52] The Waltons: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B0001DMXEC

[53] Little House on the Prairie: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00009QG5O

[54] Old Yeller: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B000AJJNIG

[55] Oklahoma: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B000AP04NI

[56] The Wizard of Oz: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00000JS62

[57] Anne of Green Gables: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00005YNTR

[58] Chicken Run: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00003CXJ4

[59] Kidsongs – A Day at Old MacDonald’s Farm: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B0000648Y2

[60] Home on the Range: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00029LO0Y

[61] Barnyard – The Original Party Animals: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B000ION72G

[62] Summer Magic: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/B00005JMVV

[63] Image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFTyqo-QBI/AAAAAAAAFBc/8RVtFxRfyRY/s1600-h/2005+September+217.jpg

[64] a clothespin barnyard: http://www.marthastewart.com/good-things/clothespin-barnyard?autonomy_kw=farm%20kids&rsc=header_4

[65] Martha Stewart: http://marthastewart.com/

[66] Make a pig egg: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=10139

[67] simple origami animal shapes: http://www.origami-fun.com/origami-animals.html

[68] Origami Fun: http://origami-fun.com/

[69] this unbelievable amount of farm-related crafts and activities: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/themes/farmanimals.shtml

[70] Enchanted Learning: http://enchantedlearning.com/

[71] animal finger puppets: http://familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts/season/feature/famf107project/famf107project16.html

[72] Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFTyHKFq3I/AAAAAAAAFBM/RY9pKXodNk0/s1600-h/027.jpg

[73] a local petting zoo: http://www.pettingzoofarm.com/

[74] Pick Your Own: http://www.pickyourown.org/statelist.htm

[75] $5 Dinner Mom: http://www.5dollardinners.com/category/garden

[76] here: http://farmersmarket.com/

[77] Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFTyb6x1LI/AAAAAAAAFBU/jXwwzNQFJZs/s1600-h/2079.jpg

[78] White Chocolate Haystacks: http://www.joyofbaking.com/WhiteChocolateHaystack.html

[79] Joy of Baking: http://joyofbaking.com/

[80] here: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/blog/how-to-make-fresh-butter

[81] Sweetslady: http://twitter.com/SweetsLady

[82] Turkey Cinnamon Rolls: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2008/11/turkey-shaped-breakfast-rolls.html

[83] LifeasMOM: http://lifeasmom.com/

[84] Decorate a Cow Cake: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefinder/display?id=50115

[85] Sheep and Bunny Cake Pops: http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-have-problem.html

[86] Bakerella: http://bakerella.com/

[87] Too cute sunflower cupcakes: http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2009/05/ahh-lovely.html

[88] Cupcakes Take the Cake: http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/

[89] Pretty.Cool.Cakes: http://lifeasmom.com/store

[90] Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_89L9ZoBsR08/SiFYQxGCB6I/AAAAAAAAFCE/0Gv5uFjFdM0/s1600-h/2005+January+070.jpg

[91] Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0060852569

[92] Chickens in Your Backyard: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0878571256

[93] Honey for a Child’s Heart: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0310242460

[94] The Read Aloud Handbook: http://astore.amazon.com/lifeasmom-20/detail/0143037390

[95] subscribe to LifeasMOM by email: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=lifeasmom/oGdA&loc=en_US

[96] subscribe in a reader: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/lifeasmom/oGdA

[97] these themes: http://www.lifeasmom.com/2009/05/camp-wannalaffalotta-stay-tuned-for.html

[98] email me: mailto:lifeasmom@sbcglobal.net

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