Wednesday, 26 March 2014

King Philip's War activities

The kids finished reading the book Our America series--King Philips War by Susan Kilbride and we completed a few crafts that she suggested on her website.

First we made some Indian beads using sculpty clay

We tried to add some purple to the clay with markers,  as Indian Wampum bead are usually white and purple.  I thought we could color the clay purple but it didn't work and I didn't have purple clay on hand so ours turned out white.  I thought I saw someone else do this somewhere but I must have missed a step:)

Using a wooden dowel we rolled out the clay along the dowel

we used a knife to cut the beads into shapes, we weren't particularly careful with measuring 

our beads which we then baked in the oven according to directions

We then took the beads and learned how the Indians would have woven them onto their belts or clothes.

We used the beads we made and the kids worked together to complete the project, as we didn't make enough to complete a belt.  At first I thought it was going to be hard since we weren't very careful in making our beads consistently the same size, but after looking at pictures online of Indian bead work we realized that the shell beads they made weren't consistent either.

Our finished work, Ms. Kilbride's website  give the complete directions and it was easy to do.

 Next we read about how the Indians traveled using the travois system.  The kids hadn't heard of this before so we looked it up on the computer and examined pictures and then using Ms. Kilbride's directions made one for ourselves.
Rather then finding and chopping down 6 foot saplings we made do with wooden dowel rods I had in the house:)

kids reading the directions and tying different sections together.

Our was about the size for a small animal to use...Firedrakes stuffed Lion was very cooperative

In the story we read about an injured man being carried using this system, so we  tried it with a teddy bear

and walked it around to see it the bear would stay on

In the pictures on the web we saw this system being used to carry supplies via dogs or horses.  This gave the children a better idea how this system works and how easy it was to construct.
The final activity the kids wanted to try was making corn husks dolls.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find corn husks in the grocery store in March!!!!  After visiting 3 National park sites hoping to find corn husk doll kits and failing.  I finally had an inspiration and headed to the art store :)
I bought several twisted paper strands

The kids cut them to their desired lengths and then tried to unwind the paper.  My kids gave up after one and I spent one evening doing the rest.  It actually doesn't take that long but my kids are so impatient and ripped several strands because they couldn't take their time.  We used 6 strands of paper for each doll plus one for the arm

after cutting and unraveling the paper, line up all the strands together

Then tightly wrap a rubber band around the end

Looks like this

then we just followed the directions on the website to make the dolls

It worked out just fine and looks like a real corn husk doll :)  Sometimes I  amaze myself with my ideas (just kidding)

This is Firedrakes corn husk doll

MarioFan made a boy version.  Legs are easily made by splitting the paper strands in half and tying off the ends.

Mine version, I gave it a apron just to be different:)

our corn husk family:)
We also read the Indian story that goes along with making these dolls which can be found on Mrs. Kilbride's site.  We are now reading Ms. Kilbride's third book about the Salem witch trials and learning about the Puritans and we will begin working on some of her ideas for studying that period:)


  1. Oh wow, those crafts are fantastic. I love the beading, and your corn husk family is awesome! I'm off to investigate the website now :-)

  2. Wow! I can't wait until Sola is old enough to use these books! What a great bunch of crafts!

  3. I love the travois you made, and the beads, very cool.

  4. i loved this project and the things that you made. What a wonderful hands on adventure.
    Blessings for another good read.

  5. Excellent post! The paper corn husk dolls turned out great. I love the green. Thanks for the beading ideas. We're always crafting here and will definitely try out the technique.