Friday, July 17, 2009

Little Pioneer Children hunting chips for fuel

Thanks to my fabulous brother Nat, and his clever ideas, i'm making Buffalo chips for singing time. Not real chips of course but something the kids can actually gather. The chips appear in the Little Pioneer Children song and I love to explain to the kids what chips are and how they were used. Finding real ones would be impossibly difficult (and a little gross) so my brother invented a recipe.

Making Buffalo Chips
Make a recipe of salt dough. I then poured it into a big bowl. I added very dried weeds that I had torn into pieces. I also added a few cups of coffee grounds that were donated by Starbucks (apparently all you have to do is ask and you get them free! although they didn't seem super excited that I was using it to make "poo" if I ever go in again i'll just say it's for the garden).

I also added some lentiles and oatmeal and mixed them up. It looks pretty bad in the picture, and smelled like the dried dill and coffee grounds and salt, not very appealing.
I sort of shaped them into nuggets and placed them in the backyard. I figured the sun would pull all the moisture out of them by early afternoon, Nat baked his in the oven.
This is how they looked after a few hours of desert sun (it's about 113 degrees today).
I am going to have the children gather the chips as we sing. I have this great apron that my mom made when I was a little girl and I often pull it out in July for pioneer occasions. It is a small apron that converts to a bonnet using only two buttons. It's perfect to put on the bonnet, talk about pioneers and collecting chips and berries, then take it off, tie the apron on and I have the perfect place to put the chips as the children gather them.


  1. theyt are going to love that!! So funny!! They might think chips to eat ;) i don't envy your 113 degree weather! I'd like to hear how yours goes!!

  2. Awesome idea! I really appreciate your blog. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  3. How funny - I did the same type of activity yesterday! Your "chips" looked great. I bought a bag of large bark chunks for mine. It was a hit! Thanks for the helpful resources.

  4. My friend is a genius, my genius is a friend! Okay your bonnet/apron is toooooo funny! Love the buffalo chips too.

  5. Button, Button, who has the button. Where is your button?

  6. I was asked to sub for our Primary Chorister this week. She said I can choose what I want to do or use her plan. Well, she doesn't have any pioneer songs in the plan so I'm frantically trying to find a good plan. Are you just singing that one song?

  7. We did The Handcart Song, The Oxcart, Little Pioneer Children and Pioneer Children Sang as They Walked.