Friday, June 13, 2014

Things to Do With Kids in Fort Worth: Visit Log Cabin Village

We were looking for a fun outing in Fort Worth and decided to go to Log Cabin Village.  It was the perfect field trip for the kids since we studied early American life this year in our homeschool.  

Things to Do With Kids in Fort Worth: Visit Log Cabin Village

Although Log Cabin Village tends to focus more on Texas and pioneer history in the mid-1800s, many of the artifacts we saw correlated with the colonial times we studied as well.  

There are many real log cabins from the 1800's on the property.  Each one represents a different aspect of early American life.

Signs at Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth, TX


I loved showing the kids the old spinning wheel in the Seela Cabin.  It is so easy for kids today to have no concept of how their clothing is made.  They just know it is bought at a store.  But it is so important for kids to understand the history of how things used to be made so they can appreciate the advances that our culture has made in just a couple of hundred years.


Old Spinning Wheel

There are so many wonderful hands-on activities for kids at Log Cabin Village.  Rachel seemed to enjoy the little farm area the most.  She learned how to work a real water pump.


And she collected pretend eggs from the plush chickens in the chicken coop.


Nicholas learned how to use a mortar and pestle to grind wheat berries.


Rachel learned how to use a manual grinder to grind coffee beans.  This is such a different experience than just hitting a button on the coffee maker at home and having the beans ground and coffee made for us right there.


Of course, the kids loved the cabin full of old fashioned toys like the ball and cup game!  


And a simple wooden man that dances as you vibrate the board he stands on.


The antique stereoscope was cool to look through.  It is like an early version of a modern day Viewmaster toy for kids!


There are wonderful staff at each cabin to talk to us about the different things we will see there.  We learned about sugar cones and how they were made.


Nicholas checked out the old wood burning stove.  Oh, how I'd love to have one of these!


We saw this cool tin lantern.  I bet we could come up with a way to make these ourselves with some aluminum cans.  I just need to figure out what to use to tap out the holes.


Oh, back to the farm area!  Rachel grabbed the little wheelbarrow and headed over to the garden area where she had pretended to plant seeds earlier.


Look!  Her seeds have grown into vegetables!  Time to harvest.


One of my favorite cabins is where the woodworking tools are found.  I love watching basic wooden logs turned into amazing creations.


We learned about the lathe.  This one is foot-powered.  The pedal turns a wheel which then turns the lathe where the wood is placed.  


As the wood turns, the craftsman presses different tools against the wood to shape and form it.

How a lathe works

The kids weren't allowed to use the lathe but they did get to try out some basic hand tools.  Nicholas has used a drill press before but this hand drill was a very different experience for him.

Learning about woodworking with hand tools

We made our way down to the Marine School House.  The kids loved ringing the big bell outside.  We learned about the old one room school houses that held children of all different ages and grades.  It is a lot like our homeschool!

Rachel sat in the teacher's chair while I pretended to be her student.

Little girl playing teacher

Of course, big brother wasn't going to obey this teacher so he stayed outside and taunted her through the window!

Kid taunting through window

We learned about the how food was cooked and even how it was preserved as in this old smokehouse.  There were no refrigerators back then!

old smokehouse

The blacksmith wasn't at his shop today but we enjoyed checking out some of the tools and furnace he would have used.

Blacksmithing tools and furnace

We enjoyed visiting the Shaw Cabin where we got to see the water wheel in action.  The water wheel powered a mill inside the cabin which was used to grind grains.


Candles were an important source of light in early American life.  People hand dipped wicks in hot wax and let them hang to dry.


It was a slow process that took a long time to complete.  Each candle would be dipped and dried many times before enough wax was built up on the wick to burn as a candle.


Here is the rack that we used to let our candles dry.


We had a wonderful visit to Log Cabin Village.  The interactive exhibits and helpful staff made the activities fun and educational.  It was a great field trip for our homeschool but also a place my kids enjoy going to just for fun.  Isn't that the best way to learn - by having fun?


Log Cabin Village is located at 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane, off University Dr.  It is almost across the street from the Fort Worth Zoo.  Their hours are Tues - Fri 9:00 - 4:00, Sat and Sun 1:00 - 5:00.  They are closed on Mondays.  Admission is $4.50 for ages 4-17 and $5.00 for ages 18 and up.  Kids 3 and under are FREE!  Be sure to check out their EVENTS PAGE for special activities coming up!  For more information, check out the Log Cabin Village website and follow Log Cabin Village on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. To tin-punch a can fill it with water and freeze it. Then you can use a hammer and awl to make the holes with out crushing the shape! you may want to make a design on paper and tape that on the can so you have a pattern to follow. let the water melt and insert a candle. Enjoy!

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