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We’ve moved on from studying about Early Explorers and are now studying Colonial America. As we began reading about the Jamestown Colony we took a closer look at how they built their homes – wattle & daub. Wattle & Daub Houses are made by using a woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle and then daubed with a sticky material usually made of some combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung, and straw. Wattle and daub has been used for at least 6,000 years, and is still an important construction material in many parts of the world. So based on the suggestion from Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself! by Kris Bordessa we made our own.
We choose the size of our miniature house based on the size & number of sticks we found laying around our backyard. It was about 16” x 16” x 12” tall. We started by putting thicker sticks in the four corners, putting at least 2-3” in the ground. We then added one stick in the middle for all sides except the front which we left open to see inside our house.
We then used gathered sticks and dried vines to weave through the sticks on all three walls all the way up to the top.
Then we mixed up some soil, water, and straw.
Goofy used his hands (Mommy used the shovel) to fill in the walls with the mud & straw. (We opted not to use dung!!)
Then we laid some branches over the top and added more straw (no pointy roof for our wattle and daub house). Here is the back of our Colonial Wattle & Daub house.
We stuffed straw into socks to make mattresses (stuffed like they did in Colonial times).
Then we added the mattresses, wood for a fire, kettle for cooking, and some people to complete our house.
Here is a close-up of our three-walled Wattle & Daub Colonial House.
It was a super fun project that made Colonial times come alive to my Kindergartner. Now he wants to know – what’s next?!?!?
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