Building a Colonial Wattle & Daub House

Our homeschool history for kids  is moving on from early explorers to early american settlers in our colonial america for kids unit. we will explore the various colonial america settlers in our hands on history unit for homeschoolesr. Today we have a fun history project - building a traditional Wattle & Daub house from the early settlers era.
This is such a FUN hands on activity for learning about colonial america, early settlers in an American history unit at school, homeschool, coop - includes lots of other fun american history activities for kids!

Early Settlers in Colonial America

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.

Wattle & Daub History Project

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.

How to Build an American Early Settler Wattle & Daub House for Homeschool Kids
We then used gathered sticks and dried vines to weave through the sticks on all three walls all the way up to the top.
How to Build an American Early Settler Wattle & Daub House for Homeschool Kids
Then we mixed up some soil, water, and straw.
How to Build an American Early Settler Wattle & Daub House for Homeschool Kids
Goofy used his hands (Mommy used the shovel) to fill in the walls with the mud & straw. (We opted not to use dung!!)
How to Build an American Early Settler Wattle & Daub House for Homeschool Kids
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.
How to Build an American Early Settler Wattle & Daub House for Homeschool Kids
We stuffed straw into socks to make mattresses (stuffed like they did in Colonial times).
How to Build an American Early Settler Wattle & Daub House for Homeschool Kids
Then we added the mattresses, wood for a fire, kettle for cooking, and some people to complete our house.
Hands on Homeschool History Colonial America Project for Kids
Here is a close-up of our three-walled Wattle & Daub Colonial House.
Hands on Homeschool History Colonial America Project for Kids
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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Beth Gorden
Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is a homeschooling mother of six who strives to enjoy every moment with her kids through hands-on learning, crafts, new experiences, and lots of playing together. Beth is also the creator and author of 123 Homeschool 4 Me where she shares 1000+ free printables, creative homeschool lessons, crafts, and other fun ideas to help preschool and homeschooling families have fun while learning and exploring together.