We spent a little over a week checking out the sites of Central Kansas. Our studies centered around the Holling Clancy Holling book, Tree in the Trail, but we got a bit sidetracked. Scroll down for your free Santa Fe Trail unit study!
We discovered Lindsborg, Kansas, this wonderful little town packed with Swedish History! You could spend an entire day just exploring the Old Mill Museum, hiking trails at Coronado Heights Castle (free), and 1840's Dugout (free).
A short drive away was the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum in Abilene, Kansas. Far be it from me to miss a chance to teach hands-on history. Plus, they have a program for Cub Scouts to earn patches....win-win!
Hutchinson, Kansas has a plethora of science-based museums and activities. We chose to see the Cosmosphere and Underground Salt Mine. Be prepared to spend a full day (possibly two) just to see these two places.
Getting back to our unit on the Santa Fe Trail, we hit the Smoky Hills Museum (free) in Salina, Kansas. It covers the history, geography, economics, and ecology of Kansas, and has several children's activities, including scavenger hunts (with prizes) and a hands-on 'Discovery Room.'
Afterward, we made potato boats, buffalo masks, pressed flowers, felt moccasins, windmill and a tipi.
Free Presidential Resources :
Santa Fe Trail unit study: