Today we traveled back in time where a cave would have been your home, a time where you had to hunt and scavenge for food, where a lizard scurrying across the ground made your stomach grumble.
Today we talked about the first nomads and the caveman. We started off reading part of chapter one from Story of the World about the first nomads. I also handed out a printout I made up using real cave paintings for the kids to look at and add to their history binder. I did want to wait though for a discussion until we were in our very own cave.
Okay, so it was only our bathroom with the lights off but you get the picture. I knew I wanted to do our own cave paintings, and I had found many variations of this activity. In the end I decided the bathroom would allow us to paint in the dark. We cut apart a brown grocery bag and hung each piece on the wall. I had three different metallic paint colors that matched the colors in the pictures we had seen. I put the paint on a paper plate, grabbed a flashlight, and headed to the cave. I didn’t make it very far before I heard the sweet voice of my daughter. “Um, mom we aren’t using a flashlight for fire are we?” I knew this was going in a direction that was going to take some serious brainstorming, so I blew out a breath and calmly set my stuff down. Now, let me start off by telling you what was really going on in my house. The children were
gathered jumping around my living room grunting like cavemen poking me with pencils sticks while I gathered materials for us to do a fun and exciting cave painting. So as you can imagine, I was ready to get on with the painting portion of the day, but I let kids take the lead. What they came up with amazed me. After much debate and a veto from mom about starting a fire in the bathroom, they downloaded a free app on the kindle. It was a fireplace app and even had a crackling sound you could turn on. So, with the fire problem solved, I gathered up the materials once again and headed in the cave. Want to know what I realized? I was all alone. I head back out of the cave to find the kids rummaging around our supply closet. I quietly observed what they were doing. Both lost in conversation, until they pulled out two large scrapes of leather, then dancing up and down at their find. They looked at me, all smiles, held up the leather and told me they were just like the kids in the story with their own leather square to lay on. Well, in their cases, to sit on. We made our way into the cave, got the fire started, and got busy painting. As we all gathered around the bathroom floor, we discussed what life would have been like back then, always moving around worrying about food.
Even though this project took twice as long as I had planned, the time spent snuggling around the fake fire was worth all the trouble.