Sunday, June 21, 2009

Gibbs Museum

field trip

The Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakota Life is a hidden gem. We went there on a field trip with a local Homeschool group a couple weeks ago. I had never been before. It is nestled in the middle of the city. Really, on the edge of the city, but sandwiched between the big city and the suburbs. It is FANTASTIC! They have recreated a sod house, brought in an old school house, and have the original farmhouse. All of these are furnished with items from the time, some of them original to the Gibbs family. For our field trip, they had a guide at the school, the sod house, and 3 inside the main house. There was also one outside to teach us about making ice cream (YUM!) which we later got to sample.

We have just been reading the Little House books, and this farm was from about the same era. It was great for Kiddo and Kutey to get to see some of the things that we had been reading about! Understanding just how small a sod house really is, witnessing exactly how much work it would have been to make ice cream, seeing all the tools they used in the kitchen and for housework. It was the perfect accompaniment to the books, and a fun activity in general. The only thing that I thought could have been improved was the amount they told us about the Gibbs family. That personalizes it so much, but it was sparse. And at least one of the guides didn't know much about the family. Maybe she was new, but she couldn't answer questions and there were things I found out later (from the plaques around the estate) that she had all but contradicted in her comments.

It was a great field trip, Kiddo and Kutey loved it, and I hear there are plans for another one in the fall involving butter churning...

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