I was very thankful for the nice large trees that were over us providing shade because it was close to 90 degrees the day we went. They started out by splitting the children up into groups and talked about what an archeologist does. The children did an exercise that simulated an archeologist trying to figure things out with certain clues. The groups each chose a room in their house and drew 4 different pictures of things that could be found in those rooms. Those cards got passed to the other groups and they had to guess which room it was. The first time they got all 4 cards, the second time three, and the last time just one card. It was very hard to tell what room it was with just one clue.
Then the groups got bags with a variety of items in them that they had to sort into different categories. All of the groups had the same items, but they all sorted things differently.
After that the archeologist showed the children some artifacts most of them were Native American and talked about what they were used for. There was a variety of things from clothing, to needles and fish hooks made out of bone, to bows and arrows. They also showed the tools that are used at an archeological dig.
Next the park interpreters came by with some sifting boxes. The children were allowed to sift dirt from some gopher holes and see if they found anything interesting (we have done this before out there and found some really pretty pieces of pottery.) They did find some small things like nails, glass, and bricks, and those were put into a find bag to be cataloged by the park.
For the next activity the children were given some pieces of pottery from a broken pot and they had to try to tape the pot back together.
Then we had lunch outside under some shade trees.
After lunch they did one more activity. There was a map of a pretend salve quarters that was marked by letters and numbers. The groups were given cards with the letters and numbers that had pictures of artifacts on them and they had to lay them in the appropriate squares on the grid. Then they made conclusions based on what was found in which location.
Then we had an opportunity to tour the open buildings. We have done the tour several times and were already very tired from being outdoors all day, so we did not go to all of the locations. We went to our favorites: the log cabin, the Block House, blacksmith shop, candle shop, and weapon's museum.
My children think this looks very comfortable.