Bring Books To Life

My 9-year old would argue, there is nothing better than a good book.

In fact, I occasionally have to pull her nose out of a book so that she can actually enjoy our life adventures. As a mom, I know this is a really good problem. I love that she loves to read (she comes by it super naturally!) I just need to make sure she doesn’t miss too much of the action happening around her!

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This girl is ALWAYS reading!

Recently we’ve been reading through the The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder AGAIN. It’s at least the 3rd or 4th time for us to read these books together. (Not to mention the countless times she’s been through them on her own!)

However, this is the first time the books peaked my son’s interest. He’s tuning in regularly enough that he’s getting a basic idea of the story line and characters.

Recently Miller asked “are these people real?”

It dawned on me that he’s more accustomed to hearing about Thomas The Train or Sam I Am. And although I’m pretty sure he’s convinced they are both real too, I could tell that he saw a difference. I allowed Mary Grace to explain about the Ingalls family, history and the concept of autobiography. The conversation seemed to sink in a little.

What resonated with me, though, was the fact that the places in the book series are real.

And while the people in the stories no longer live, the places still exist. Laura details many of the landscapes, towns and settlements. In doing a little digging, I found a great collection of Ingalls memorabilia resides in Mansfield, Missouri. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum contains many artifacts described in the books including Pa’s fiddle.

And, their website also has some great quizzes to test your memory (or reading comprehension!)

Example of quiz questions provided on website.

In addition to the museum, there are also several other locations to visit. As avid readers will remember, the Ingalls family moved around quite a bit. Here are a few of the most significant places you can visit to see a little piece of Little House History:

Laura’s Birthplace in Pepin, Wisconsin (Little House In The Big Woods)

Museum in Independence, Kansas (Little House on The Prairie)

The Dugout House Site in Walnut Grove, Minnesota (On The Banks Of Plum Creek)

Wilder Homestead in Malone, New York (Farmer Boy)

Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota (The Long Winter)

Replica of the Ingalls house.

I’ve added each of these stops to my bucket list for these states. Honestly, I’m not sure who in our family will be the most excited to visit these places…it might be me!

*Update: Last summer we were able to spend the night in a covered wagon on the Ingalls Homestead. Read all about our experience: Our Favorite Day Ever.

Did you grow up reading the The Little House on the Prairie Series?

You might also enjoy reading:

South Dakota: My New Favorite State

Books To Read On Vacation

Kid Books For Travel

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