By some weird twist of fate, I was put in charge of the 5th grade colonial fair. It was only K's, class, so only 27 kids. But, I was a nervous wreck. Mrs. F sent a note home, asking for volunteers. I emailed her, and she asked me to come to a parent meeting for it. One other parent showed up. Being a bossy, know-it-all loudmouth as I usually am, I found myself leaving the meeting in charge of putting the whole thing together. That'll learn me! I emailed all of the parents, and ended up having a good 7 or 8 parents total, which was wonderful. We even had a couple dads, which I think really made the stick pull activity even funner.
I put together four activities: Quill and ink writing, stick pull game, cat's cradle, and candle making.
QUILLS & INK
I made the ink myself- I crushed up (well, by *I*, I mean I made my two eldest children) walnut shells, and boiled them in a little water for a couple hours. Then I got some nice feathers from a craft store ($1.59 per 6 pack), and trimmed the bottoms to make "quills". The kids then tried to write in old style manuscript.
To play this game, two kids sit with their legs bent, facing each other, soles of feet touching their opponent. They are each grabbing a common stick (I usually use a broom). When the signal begins, they each pull. The first person to have their seat leave the ground loses. This was by far the most popular activity.
This was the old fashioned yarn game. The girls liked this better than the boys.
I bought the biggest, cheapest candle I could find. I also bought plastic crock pot liners so that I wouldn't have to clean wax from my crockpot. After I dropped the kids off at school, I put the candle in the pot, set it on low, and didn't worry about it. At school, the kids each got a piece of twine with a loop tied in the top. They dipped the twine in the wax, and then into a vase of cool water. After the water, they'd smooth out the bumps. Or they were SUPPOSED to smooth out the bumps. At the end of the activity, the candles looked more "artistic" than functional, but it was fun.
But, the crowning point of the day was when a classmate of K's accused K of being a liar when K claimed I was her mother, and not her sister. Decrepit old hag? I guess not! Ha!