Our Family

Our Family

Friday, October 5, 2012

Historic Washington State Park Frontier Days for Home Schools

Yesterday was Frontier Days for Homeschoolers at Historic Washington State Park so a homeschool friend and I decided to load up the children and head out there for the day.  The cost for each person 6 and up was $5.50 plus tax which meant it would cost my family about $30 to get in for the day.  A family pass for one year was $30 plus tax, so I bought the pass and hopefully we will have a chance to go back again soon.

We arrived a little after 9 o clock in the morning and checked in and got our map.  We have never been to Frontier Days before and never have toured any of the historic houses that are there.  We started out at the weapon's museum, which of course the boys were fascinated with.

Our next stop was the Print Museum where the children had an opportunity to do their own print work.

Next stop was to the 1836 court house.

 There was a classroom upstairs.

After that, we visited the candle shop where each of the children had an opportunity to make their own candles.

After the candle shop we spread out a blanket and had a picnic lunch.  Then we headed to a homestead where we got to check out a garden, sample some dutch oven cooking, and tour the inside of the building.  The children even had a chance to try their hand at sawing a log.

While we were there, poor Emmie got ants in her pants.  If you do not live in the south and have never been stung by a fire ant, it hurts, a lot.  She must have stepped in an ant hill (they are all over the place right now) and just suddenly started crying, so I pulled off her shoes socks and pants quickly and thankfully she only got 5 or 6 bites.  I had Benadryl cream in the van so I walked back and put some on her which helped with the itching and the swelling.  She kept her pants off for the rest of the day.

The next stop was to the oldest house in the park.  There were several demonstrations set up including period games, spinning wool, carding wool, crocheting, weaving,  frontier camp, weapons, and more, plus we got to see inside the house.

I had to take a picture of this because we have one that looks similar

After we finished up there we had to wait for a little while for our turn to ride on the surrey wagon.  The children had been waiting patiently all day and our turn came at 3:00.

It was well worth the wait!  The children loved the ride and a few of them even got to drive the horses.

By that time we finished with that and made another potty break and walked all the way back, we had just enough time to visit the gift shop and go to the top of that building and it was time to go.  Can you believe that after all of that, there were still some areas we did not get to?  We did not go to the Blacksmith's Shop, the Tavern, or one other building that I think was a schoolhouse.

All in all I thought it was a wonderful field trip.  We did a lot of walking!  A few of the talks were a little long for my little ones, but they could walk away and amuse themselves when they got bored.  It was good for the older children and all of the staff were very friendly and answered lots of questions.  I loved the two hands on activities the children got to do, and wish they could incorporate more of those at every station.

One thing I do have to say is that the park is far from handicapped friendly.  Our friend is 7 years old and in a wheel chair and it was very difficult for him to get around.  A few of the houses did have ramps, but one of them when they got across the lawn to the backside where the ramp was and up the ramp, the door was stuck and would not open.  He had to go all the way back down and around and his mother had to lift him in his chair up into the building (actually she did that several times that day.)  He did manage to get around, but it was very challenging.  I think in this day and age we should be able to make places like this more handicapped accessible. 

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