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We are continuing in our history unit on westward expansion for kids. Today we are exploring the Oregon Trail for kids. We made a salt dough map, a covered wagon, crackers, and tried line dancing as fun hands on history projects. You will also find great westward expansion books and free printables for homeschoolers.Oregon Trail History for Kids - kids will have fun learning about the oregon trail with these clever oregon trail activities, history crafts, free oregon trail worksheets and more for elementary age kids as they learn about american history and the westward expansion. #historyforkids #homeschooling #oregontrail

Oregon Trail History for Kids

Dangers of Traveling West on the Oregon Trail

We discussed the dangers of heading West  – bandits, snakeroot poisonous for cows (which if not caught people would drink in their milk), exhaustion, and the length of the trip – it took several months. Families had to save up about $1000 to go, so it wasn’t cheap! They traveled in caravans for safety & protection! We also talked about the 1862 homestead act that gave every single or married couple 160 acres. Sounds like a lot of land, but it wasn’t the fertile land they had before and it took more land to feed their herd.

Free Westward Expansion Notebooking Pages about the Oregon TrailWe drew pictures from Draw Write Now that goes along with our study this week. We alternate between letting him free write, dictating, and writing the same copy work as is provided in the book.

Oregon Trail Salt Dough Map

hands on geography project with easy to make salt dough map
We painted our Salt Dough Map according to elevation. We added 4 major rivers and the Oregon Trail Route (in black). It was such a fun, memorable project. Making the map has certainly helped Goofy to remember a lot of Geography facts!!

Covered Wagon Craft


We made our own covered wagon.  We used cardboard for the base & wheels, a skewer to hold the wheels on, paper for the covering, and our Wild West Toob characters to go with our wagon. I love doing projects like this that really make history come alive for my 1st grader!

Make your own Crackers (like they did on the Oregon Trail)

How to make crackers project for kids - homeschool history westward expansion unit

We also made ‘supplies’ for traveling out west – crackers. They are simple to make. Just mix 1 cup flour, 1 teas baking powder, and pinch of salt. Blend in 1 TAB butter. Add 1/4 cup milk and mix until ball forms. On floured surface roll out your crackers, cut, prick with fork, and place on greased cookie sheet. I wish we’d gotten ours thinner…. so keep rolling!  Bake at 450 for 9 minutes. Enjoy!

Practicing Counting by 1s, 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 10s


We practiced counting wagons in the caravan by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. (This is part of the {free} Oregon trail Skip Counting File Folder Game)

Square Dancing for Kids

Square Dancing as part of hands on westward expansion homeschool history unit
The kids and I learned a little square dancing and had fun dancing together!

Wonderful Oregon Trail Books to Read

Lewis and Clark for Kids - this lewis and clark lesson helps kids learn about the period of american history covering the westward expansion. It includes DIY mocasin activity, free printable animal tracks activity, worksheets, book recommendations, and so much more! #lewisandclark #historyforkids #homeschooling cute wild west worksheets are a fun way to sneak in some math and literacy skills! Use these wild west printables to teach toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. The cute cowboy, cactust,horse, covered wagon, boots with spur, cowboy hat, and more on the free printable kindergarten worksheets will make children eager learners! Simply print pdf file with free preschool pages and you are ready to leran with fun themed worksheets. Oregon Trail History for Kids - kids will have fun learning about the oregon trail with these clever oregon trail activities, history crafts, free oregon trail worksheets and more for elementary age kids as they learn about american history and the westward expansion. #historyforkids #homeschooling #oregontrail This Westward Expansion Reader is a great way to work on reading skills while learning about how the US expanded west into the Louisiana Territory and beyond. Add this westward expansion printables to your westward expansion lesson as part of an American history study for preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th graders. Simply print the westward expansion summary for kids to read, color, and learn about US history of the 1800s.
There is so much more to the wild west than just cowboys, Indians, covered wagons, and dust bowls. See the rest of our westward expansion activities with everything you need to make history come alive for your elementary age kids! See the rest of our unit here:
  • Lewis and clark for kids – Start out the way with wild west did with the journey of Louis and Clark after the Lousiana Purchase in 1803.
  • Oregon Trail for Kids – learn about the dangerous Oregon Trail and make a salt dough map, covered wagon model, and learn how hard life was for settlers traveling west.
  • Pony Express for Kids plus the gold rush and first transcontinental rail road are just a few of the fun topics explores in this final week of our wild west for kids unit!
  • Free Wild West Worksheets – over 70 pages of math and liteacy skills for kids 2-7 years old with a fun cowboy theme! Perfect to do alongside this history lesson and to keep younger siblings engaged at the same time
  • Oregon Trail Skip Counting Game allows children to practice skip counting with a fun themed activity
  • Westward Expansion Flip Book
  • Dig in to history with this engaging, Wild West History Sensory Bin ideas
  • Geography is Fun with a Salt Dough Map – learn about US geography and features as you mark the path the westward travelers too
  • Westward Expansion for Kids Book to read, color, and learn!

Vikings for Kid s- this is a fun hands on history unit that will help make history come alive including history activities, history crafts, free history printables and more for learning about early explorers #vikings #history #homeschooling Native Americans Plains Tribes Lesson civil war for kids free printable board game Learn all about the Eighties for kids with this American History for Kids reader for kids to color and learn! Learn about life in the 1980s with elementary age students from pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students.  Simply print pdf file with 1980s for kids for kids to learn about life in the 80s while having fun coloring the cute pictures and learning about big hair fashion, the walkman, Rubik's cube, video and the Presidents of the US during this decade.

History Lessons for Kids

Check out one of or MANY engaging, Free history lessons for kids

  • Explore American History for kids including lots of fun, hands on activities and free printables
  • Dive into Mesopotamia History to learn about Gilgamesh
  • 4 week lesson about Early Explorers for Kids
  • Learn about castles, knights, and more in this exciting Middle Ages for Kids
  • Make a teepee, dig for arrowheads, color our printable books and more in this Native Americans for Kids lessons
  • The Colonial America for Kids lesson takes kids on a journey back to the first permanent settlement in America – Jamestown. Students will learn about colonial life with lots of hands on projects like eating Gruel, making a Wattle & Daub house, and creating a tin lantern will make the settlement come alive.
  • We will make westward expansion for kids come alive for kids as they learn facts about the time period from about 1783-1898. In addition to learning about the Oregon trail, pony express, gold rush, transcontinental railroad, students will also learn to match animal trails, map the united states, and learn about North American animals too.
  • Civil War for Kids – students will learn about slavery, famous Americans from the Civil War, famous battles, and how our nation stayed together. Lesson includes printable worksheets, mapping activities, printable civil war board game and more!
  • Learn about US States for Kids – state coloring pages, president coloring pages, state report forms, states and capital printables, and so much more!
  • Pennant History Posters to see US History At-a-Glance
  • Learn about the Roaring 1920s for Kids – Printable Book to Read, Color, and Learn
  • Rosa Parks for Kids Printable Reader to Color and Learn
  • Martin Luther King Jr for Kids Printable Reader to Color and Learn
  • Titanic for Kids Reader to Color and Learn
  • Learn about the Roaring 1920s for Kids – Printable Book to Read, Color, and Learn
  • 1930s for Kids – Printable Book about the Golden age of Hollywood, Great Depression for Kids and more to read, color, and learn
  • Life in the 1940s America for Kids Reader
  • Anne Frank for Kids Printable Reader to read, color, and learn about this Jewish girl who lived behind the wall in Holland during World War 2
  • 1950s for Kids Reader to Color, Learn and read about what life was like in America in 1950
  • Life in the 1960s for Kids Printable book to read, color and learn about life in the 1960s
  • Learn about platform shoes, disco, the beginning of Star Wars and more with this 1970s for kids Reader
  • 1980s for kids Reader to read, color, and learn!
  • 1990s for Kids Printable Reader filled with information about fashion, technology, Presidents, and more!
  • Learn about life for early 2000s Kids with these american history printables to read, color, and learn!
  • Review what you’ve leanred with these American History Worksheets (Notebooking)
16 Printable Country Studies for Kids - children will have fun learning about countries around the world with this fun resource perfect for pre k, kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 including Kenya, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Netherlands, Mexico, China, Philippines, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Chile, Colombia, Australia, and Costa Rica. FREE Printable Maps for kids -blank maps of the world, africa, asia, australia, south america, north america, united states, antarctica, Europe and more. Include blank maps and labeled maps. Use them with any social studies / geography program with kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and 7th grade students to visualize the world at a glance or dive deep into finding countries, continents, rivers / mountains, oceans, etc. Includes both blank printable maps and labeled as well. tralia, united states, europe and more both blank and labeled for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, elementary, middle school, and high school #printablemaps #geography #homeschooling  Make geography come alive by using these free printable passport for kids. Childrne can pretend like they are traveling all around the world as they study and learn about other countries while keeping a record of where they've been. This free printable passport activity is fun for toddler, preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students. Inside their passport for kids they can put their picture, personal information, signarure, and informatin about the countries they travel to. Simply print pdf the free printable passport for kids file and you are ready to go around the world! FREE Lego Challenge Cards - free printable STEAM education uses lego or duplo bricks to help students learn about famous buildings and landmarks from around the world. This fun learning activity is great for parents, teachers, school at home and homeschoolers from preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade students.

Geography for Kids

Looking for more resources and free worksheets to teach students about geography for kids? You will love these coloring sheets, printable maps, books, activities and games:

us presidents coloring pagesIt is important to teach children about how we elect the president of the United States of America. This simple, no prep Voting for Kids reader will help pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. This printable election book is perfect for preparing children for November elections! FREE Printable 50 Us States coloring pages  american-symbols-for-kids-read-color-and-learn

United States Lesson for Kids

Help children learn about the great country of the United States with these free printables and resources:

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  1. Julie Avatar

    In your cracker recipe you call for 1 cup flour and later a pinch of flour. Did you mean a pinch of salf?

    1. Beth Gorden Avatar

      sorry about that Julie. You are exactly right… a pinch of salt.