The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 opened up the way for westward expansion. From 1803 up to about 1840 millions of settlers and pioneers migrated west.
Hands-on Homeschool History
Life was hard back then because most of day to day life was about chores and surviving. So we have focused on hands-on activities that kids would have done while on the trail.
Today, I have rounded up 10 westward expansion activities we have done on various unit studies so that most of them are in one place for you. I use the term most loosely because we are always adding an activity or two, but these 10 hands-on history ideas will kick start your study of the westward expansion.
One/ Make soap.
Look at my post here about learning history through the life of Wyatt Earp, Part 2 to make soap.
Two/ Make an easy ink pot, quill pen and berry ink.
Making an ink pot, quill pen and berry ink is another easy hands-on history project my sons did as we learned about westward expansion.
Three/ Make butter and hard tack.
Learning history through the life of Wyatt Earp, Part 1, we made butter and hardtack.
Four/ Play a free printable board game and Five/ Make a diy pioneer journal.
Look at our huge Westward Ho lapbook unit study and activities to print a free board game and make your own diy pioneer journal.
Six/ Make buttermilk biscuits.
In our Lewis and Clark unit study that we revisited, we learned about cooking on the trail and made buttermilk biscuits.
Seven/ Make an edible Louisiana Purchase map.
The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States and pioneers headed west to settle the wild frontier. Grab the activity here at the Lewis and Clark Louisiana Purchase Edible Map.
Eight/ Make a char cloth.
A char cloth is used to ignite tinder on fire. Look at my post here Lewis and Clark: Hands-on History. Make a Char Cloth.
Nine/ Rent a history traveling trunk.
Traveling trunks make great additions to a unit study and museums all over have them and have different guidelines for using them. Look at my post here at 3 Homeschool Co-op History Resources Worth Exploring.
Ten/ Make maple snow candy.
One of the most recent hands-on westward expansion activities we’ve done is attempting to make maple snow candy.
Also, don’t forget to grab the huge and free Westward Ho Homeschool Unit Study we did because it has some more ideas to spark your creativity.
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