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Pioneer Activity

Make it a family day and go to a local park and have a lunch time picnic and games. ~Kate

A fun group game is tug-o-war.  Another fun game I recently saw involved water and marbles.  You will need a couple child sized wading pools filled about halfway with water, dump a bag of marbles into each pool.  The children, two at a time in a pool try to pick up the marbles with their toes, they put the marbles in a frisbee off to the side, the child with the most marbles wins, you may want to set a time limit or let them go until the last marble was picked up. ~Cami

Have three legged races, eggs on spoons race, horseshoes (adults and kids both loved that!), sack races, etc. ~Deanna

One of the most fun things we have done as an activity is to make large bubbles.  You make gallons of the solution and give the kids their own little bubble maker which is made of  a straw cut in half threaded onto a circle of string.   It really works and even the teenagers love it. ~Stephanie

Have you ever panned for gold?  Spray paint pebbles gold and mix with mud and other rocks.  Use disposable pie pans with punched-out holes.  Then use the gold pebbles as tokens for other games. ~Karen

A fun food item is to make Pioneer Ice Cream for Dessert.  You use ice with salt inside #10 cans (the big ones) and put formula sized cans inside with the mix.  The kids then kick the can back and forth until the ice cream sets.
The recipe for the "ice cream" is:    (This will fill 4 formula size cans)

1 liter orange soda
1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Just mix and place in the cans. ~Lauri

Perform church ads--give each group a product and perform the ads 20 minutes later (for a pioneer theme try cricket control, seagull treats, wagon replacement parts, the flour cookbook, hunting equipment, bonnets, public service message against "menaces to society," etc.

Sing "Come, Come, Ye Saints" (#30)

Cricket Toss (black clothes pins tossed into a barrel or bucket for points)
Relay games--eat a cracker and whistle a hymn, pull a handcart to "Promised Land," dress in pioneer clothes and pull handcart back to next team member
Pie for refreshments or
serve fried corn meal cakes, honey taffy, oatmeal cookies, etc.  (OR Word of Wisdom waffles, fruits, vegetables, milk, Humble Pie, Mississippi Mud Cake--see Fun Foods to Make, Celestial Punch--see Drinks for ideas)
Broom pull
Taffy pull
Square dance
Fishing (for prizes)
Bob for apples
Dress as pioneers, decorate wagons, have a parade (indoor or outdoor), prizes for costumes and participation

Our primary did an activity like this a couple years ago.  Scone dough was brought (pre-made).  After playing a couple games such as those that have already been suggested to the list (tug-of-war, three-legged race, etc.), each child was given a baby food jar filled half way with whipping cream.  Each child shook the jar until the whipping cream turned into butter (this does take patience--it will go a little more quickly if the whipping cream is very well chilled).  We explained that this is how the pioneers made butter.  While they were making their butter, the presidency fried up the scone dough and the children were able to put the butter they made on their scones.   Maybe you could tell them a couple pioneer storied to keep them from getting bored while they make their butter. There was also honey to put on the scones.  Hope this helps.  The children had a great time, and some of them even dressed up as pioneers with bonnets, long dresses, etc.  I have a recipe called Brigham Young Donuts.   Those might be fun to do instead of scones. Have fun! ~Kristin

Skit Ideas

1) "To be a Pioneer" (Children's Songbook p. 218) Have half of the stage be modern and the other half be in the 1840's. Switch from pioneer scene to modern scene. A narrator says, "Our pioneer forebears were great examples of strength, courage, sacrifice, commitment, and faith. Though much has changed since then, much has stayed the same. Our times require a similar show of character." First, show pioneers learning about the Word of Wisdom. Then show a girl refusing a cigarette or beer. Show pioneers leaving their families and friends to join the Church and go out West. Then show a girl who joins the Church. She tries to help her friends understand why she won't watch R-rated movies anymore, or swear, or do what she used to do on Sundays. They do not support her change so she chooses to make new friends that help her uphold her standards. Show a pioneer praying for help on a farm. Then show a girl praying about school. End by singing "Come, Come, Ye Saints" (Hymns #30). (Use Young Women's Meeting talks for ideas--see April General Conference)

2) Start by singing "The Handcart Song" but with the words changed.

When Monica moved from her home,
She missed her friends, She felt alone,
The only Mormon in her school,
She sang these words to keep her cool:
For some must push and some must pull
As I march up to my new school.
But Heav'nly Father's always near
I am a modern pioneer.

Monica is faced with a variety of choices: will she tell anyone that she is a Latter-day Saint? Will she live her religion? Will she tell her new friends about the Church? What if they laugh at her? What if someone wants to her do something that she knows is wrong, but she wants to be friends with them and not have everyone think that she isn't fun to be with? Make up verses in between scenes to the song to match with the action. She decides to follow her pioneer examples and stay true to the faith, no matter what. She gets some true friends that like her and respect her beliefs. They even come to Church. Monica is a modern-day pioneer. (see "Modern Pioneers" by President Janette Hales Beckham and "Pioneers All" by President Thomas S. Monson in the May '97 Ensign.)

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