The Little House on the Prairie. - The Magic Onions

The Little House on the Prairie.

I was honored to be asked by Cassie from the wonderful The Crafty Crow to present a review on our favorite book. She is hosting a fun summer meme called ‘A Book and a Craft Series’. This was our guest post.

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Hi, I’m Donni from The Magic Onions. When Cassi asked me to share our favorite book, the choice was easy… Little House On The Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder! We began reading the series at the beginning of last year, when Kitty was 6. Our ‘evening chapter’ soon became the favorite times in both of our days. We would often break our ‘one chapter a night’ rule and read on way into the night, often until Daddy popped his head into Kitty’s room to ask if I was aware that it was past ten o’clock!

The series begins with The Little House in the Big Woods. This book remains both Kitty’s and my favorite of all. The story is told through the eyes of a pioneer girl, Laura. It starts when Laura is 4 and travels with her across the American prairie until she blossoms into adulthood in the last book in the series.

It was pure delight for me to see my little girl connect so deeply with a character in a chapter book. The happenings would resonate so deeply within her that it was often all we talked about for days. I know that she is not alone in letting Laura into her heart as she and her friends still play ‘Little House On The Prairie’ at every available opportunity. They cook and bake, they milk their cows, and they run through the meadow as if they are truly pioneer girls running through the long grasses of the prairie.

We were so sad when we came to the last word in the last book. In fact, both of us shed many tears.
A few months ago, Kitty asked if we could start at the beginning again and I agreed eagerly. This time, Teddy has joined in too. He is only 4 and it has amazed me how much he is enjoying it, although he can only concentrate through one chapter at a time.

A few nights ago, Kitty sighed deeply while we were reading. I asked her what was making her sad and she replied that she wished we were a family who washed our clothes by hand like Laura and Ma did in the book. (I smiled inwardly). ‘Well’ I said, ‘Lets make some clothes for you and Teddy to wash in your Little House in the Big Woods.’ (we have made a little outdoor house for them to play Little House on the Prairie in). ‘Great idea!’ she agreed.

Today, we had a wonderful day making, and washing, prairie clothes.

I assembled my fabric scraps and we used a permanent marker to draw the outlines of clothes onto our fabric scraps. Kitty and Teddy used scissors to cut them out.

Our fabric scraps

Use a permanent marker to make the outline of your clothes.

We made a shirt, a skirt, a dress and a pair of shorts.
Teddy and Kitty used scissors to follow the lines and cut out their clothes.
Voila! Teddy’s shirt.

It was time for washing day, prairie style. We filled a bowl with some warm, soapy water.

Collected our clothes and cloth pins in a basket.

We washed our clothes.

The children loved working in the warm soapy water.

They rinsed their clothes and wrung them out.

And then hung them on the line to dry.

 Just like good little prairie children.

Oh, it is a delight to see… clean washing flapping peacefully on the line, drying in the sun. And the children have been playing ‘Little House on the Prairie’ all day long. Teddy has washed his clothes and hung them up on the line to dry three times :-)

Thank you for having me on the Crafty Crow today, Cassi. I hope we have inspired you to read, or re-read, the Little House on the Prairie books.

Blessings and magic,
Donni
www.themagiconions.com

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Dear Readers, please check out Cassi’s super summer Series… “A Book and a Craft Series.
As we have now fallen back into utter love with Little House on the Prairie… Kitty and Teddy have been playing ‘Prairie’ endlessly. I’ll bring you more of their sweet play for the next two days. 
Blessings and magic, 
Donni
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Donni

Donni Webber is the mom behind the popular natural living Waldorf website and blog, The Magic Onions - where the magic of nature and the wonder of childhood collide to make each moment a precious gift. She is a photographer, writer, crafter, wife and mother of two inspiring young children. Her work has been featured in many popular publications, including HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens, Disney and Apartment Therapy.

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  1. When I re-read the set at around 12 years old, I stopped using lights and would only use a candle in my room to do my homework and read and sew by. This lasted maybe a week or so, but makes me laugh to this day!! I cannot wait to read these with my kids….I just keep waiting to find a used yellow paperback set – like the one I used to have! Such a great memory -Thanks for the reminder Donni :)

  2. lol, oversewn! I read by candlelight too. So fun to pretend like that. I can’t remember what book it was. I just remember we were studying the pioneer days in 5th grade and at the end of every day each table in class would have their own candle to read and work by. I then went on to do this at home. I cannot wait until my girls are old enough to read longer chapter books like this! There are so many that I am eager to reread.

  3. I love it when a story or book inspires an entire day, or days, of creative activites!

  4. Us too! We finished the series about a month ago and we were so sad! Michael said Mom let’s start the whole series over! So we’ve been re-reading “Little House in the Big Woods”. Also our favorite of the series. Recently I found a large print, hard cover copy at our used books store. We were so excited! The pics are even more fun large. I love your idea to wash clothes. I think my son would love this!

    We’ve done some of the baking projects- sourdough bread, pancake men and doughnuts. Pancake men was the favorite.

    Becca

  5. That is so stinkin’ cute. At 4 my son wanted to smoke meat in tree log worse than anything. Making maple candy this winter was also a huge hit!

  6. Oh what fun! We’re on the next-to last book now and are dreading the end of the series. My 4 1/2 yr old son has been making serious plans to move to Canada, buy land, build a log house on it (with his dad’s help) and live off the food we grow! Thank you, Laura Ingalls Wilder! But, I think some practice living her life might be in order first…your play clothes idea is perfect for that! :-)

  7. totally on board with this review. we are an ingalls family, through and through! lovely cloth hanging idea. so sweet…

  8. I just finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek to my kids, 4 and 6 yrs old. We’re all loving the whole series, and after breezing through the 1st four books in half a year, I can feel myself wanting to slow them down, knowing there will be an end to the stories.

    Thanks for the review!

  9. I love these books. We took a class last year based on the Big Woods book. The kids made oil lamps using axle grease like Ma did during the long cold winter. It was a great class. I would have loved to take the whole series but it was over an hour and a half away. Great topic.

    Kathi

  10. This is one of my favorite series. My daughter has already had the entire series read to her twice as we rock her to sleep. I cannot wait to read it to her again when she is old enough to remember it and do projects like this.

  11. I have just recently found you, and am SO inspired by Waldorf Education!!! I “use to teach” at a public school, but was becoming increasingly disheartened by the lack of creativity and imagination and STORY. I’ve decided to homeschool my children this year and am being chiefly guided by Waldorf. It is like someone put words to what was brewing in my heart. Thank you for being an inspiration!!

  12. Also, I read “Little House in the Big Woods” and “By the Banks of Plum Creek” to my Kindergarteners, though my colleagues laughed at me saying kids that little wouldn’t get it, nor would they listen. HA! They got it just fine and I was known to read for almost an hour some days!!! I love your ideas!!

  13. we read this series every winter as a family…much loved in our home.

  14. These books were my favorite when I was little, and now a favorite of the whole family. It was so wonderful to get to share these stories with my girls, and yes, it sure is hard to stick with just one chapter. We read the whole series so fast! Right now we are actually finishing up the series that follows Laura, Almanzo, and their daughter Rose. It is very good, but of course not as incredibly great as the original Laura books. We also really liked the series of books that tells of Caroline Ingalls when she was a little girl.

  15. These are also my favorite series of books! Big Woods is also my favorite. I recently re-read them myself, and was struck by how tragic the later stories can be ( Although still filled with so much joy!) I never really caught on to that as a child though. I too felt sad every time I got to the last book ( I must have read the series 20 times growing up!) I still felt that way this most recent time. As I finish the last word, I always have this feeling of wanting one more book to read! As a child, I would daydream about explaing to Laura how a car worked, or what an airplane was.

  16. How cute! You made me smile today. love, Beth

  17. What a lovely tale! When I was a child, I would “hunt”, and hang up the “skins” of the animal to dry (they were wet paper towels that we hung. Apparently I had a long imagination). I also am guilty of reading and doing homework by candlelight… sometimes, those magical stories just feel right in our real lives! Your children are lovely, and so are you. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Kate,
      Thanks for your kinds words.
      Childhood memories are SO precious. I only discovered Little House on the Prairie with my daughter but I know I would have ‘been’ Laura too if I had read it as a child. Such a beautiful story.
      xo Donni

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