Welcome to Kristi from Creating a Great Day! Kristi is an amazing and creative friend who brings us another great classic to our Picnic Parade–The Boxcar Children. Hop on a train a let’s get moving…
There’s a wonderful chemistry that happens when we read out loud to our children. Our favorite books become a secret language between us all. We have inside jokes around them and openly discuss the characters like we’ve known them and we have adventures with them! Yes, in our household we tend to bring parts of the stories to life either through role play or experiencing something that happened in the book that we haven’t enjoyed before.
The Boxcar Children
We are currently reading through several book series, but have been bringing The Boxcar Children series to life! This was one of my favorites as a child, so it’s wonderful getting to experience it again with my children.
I’m sure you’ve heard about this wonderful series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It’s been around for decades, but just in case you haven’t, here is a short synopsis. In the first book in the series of 130 titles, four orphaned children have set off to find their grandfather. In the process, they end up living in a boxcar; hence the name Boxcar Children. Lots of fun, giggles, and even a few mysteries pop up. After finding their grandfather, they end up going on all sorts of adventures and fun mysteries. These children are kind, resilient, imaginative, grateful and hardworking. Perfectly, wonderful characters for our family to enjoy.
Since the Boxcar children lived in a Boxcar for a while, we decided to head over to the Oklahoma Railway Museum , which is FREE to enjoy. (If you want to ride the train, that is not free, but playing all around and in them is. You can also pay a small fee to host a birthday party there!) We spent several hours exploring, running up and down the train cars, having our own little mysteries like the Boxcar children have, and enjoying the miniature train collection.
And of course, having a picnic. In honor of the Boxcar, children we packed a simple dinner that we found in the 2nd book, Surprise Island.
All you need is:
- A cup
- A spoon
- A loaf of bread
- And Milk!
If you’re from the south, it’s much like eating cornbread with milk, but this is just plain ole’ bread! Tear the bread into small pieces, pour the milk over it and enjoy. Even though it was simplistic, all my kids gave it a thumbs up!
For dessert, enjoy a favorite treat from the first book, The Boxcar Children.
All you need is:
- A cup
- A spoon
- Lots of Blueberries (If they are frozen, it makes a delicious frozen treat.)
- And Milk or cream!
Your taste buds will seriously enjoy this and the fact that the milk turns blue is an added bonus!
At this time of year, the tracks were loaded at the Railyway museum with all sorts of train cars, locomotives, and we even found a Boxcar that had been turned into a Caboose! It was so much fun playing inside of it and pretending to be Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny.
When we found a little red caboose, we couldn’t help but sing our favorite train song, which just happens to be named Little Red Caboose.
Little Red Caboose
Little Red Caboose
Behind the Train
Smoke Stack on it’s Back
Shimmering Down the Track
Little Red Caboose Behind the Train
Our second favorite Train Song by Spaghetti Eddie also accompanied our fun!
Other Activities you can do:
Take a train ride or a virtual train ride.
Turn a large refrigerator size box into a Boxcar, replicate what is inside the children’s boxcar and read your children the story while they play inside.
Use several medium to large size cardboard boxes to create a train.
Use paper towel and toilet paper rolls as well as any other cardboard pieces you have to make a toy size train.
There are so many wonderful lessons that can come out of these stories, one being to be thankful for what you have even if it’s just a tin cup and some plates found in the local dump or the best thing to have around – your family!
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Have you read The Boxcar Children Series?
What are some of your favorite parts or foods that they enjoy?
Kristi F. is the Owner and Co-Founder of CreatingaGreatDay.com. She is an Oklahoman by birth and current living situation, but claims the world as her playground. She loves to travel and hopes someday soon to take her family on adventures to far off lands, where they can share Jesus with others and experience all the wonders He has created. She is the mother of 4 crazy, homeshooling children ages 8 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of a King! She enjoys reading, making kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, exploring, learning to play guitar, and dusting off her piano skills. One day, she hopes to run again, but until then she is learning patience. Check out more of her posts at Creating a Great Day Blog.
Check out these inspiring Picnic Parade ideas:
A Nighttime Picnic with Night Animals
Picnic at the Oklahoma Land Run
Burgess Bird Book–Welcome Spring!
Imagination Station’s “Light in the Lion’s Den”
Picnic with a Purpose: Who Was Mother Teresa?
If there’s any milk and cream (and berries) left over 🙂
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You are so much fun! I love the Boxcar books and I can’t imagine going to a boxcar and having the picnic with the bread and butter that they ate! Great idea!
I never read any of the Boxcar books. Neither of my children did either, as I never recall seeing the books lying around. I don’t really know WHY we never read them. No particular reason, I suppose. We did something similar with a refrigerator box, but it was a “bus” that we drew windows and wheels on. Imaginative play is very important for children!
My daughter is in a Story Stretchers class in our homeschool co-op where she does imaginative play with various books. It has made a huge impact on her. She recently read Roxaboxen–a story about kids playing with boxes. Boxes are claimed quickly at our house. I love to see my kids at play!
What a fun idea! What age group is appropriate to start reading this series? My oldest is 5.
These are very wholesome stories, so the content is appropriate for about any age level. I would say that they are about a 3rd grade reading level, depending on your child’s individual reading abilities, of course. We all learn at different rates. Most libraries should have them, so I suggest checking them out and seeing how they work for your children. If they aren’t able to read them yet, you could always read aloud to them. I hope you enjoy them!
brianna george says
som of my favorite books form my childhood
Nicole Escat says
Never read that book before. I need to check it out! Sounds so fun and great read.
Lisa Rios says
I have never heard much about these Boxcar books, but sounds like a fun stuff that my kids would love so much. I will keep Oklahoma Railway Museum in mind next time when I visit there with my kids.
Carrie Anderson says
So cute! Pinned it!
Carrie Anderson recently posted…What Exactly IS an Apologist? [Mysteries of Life Revealed!]
Maria Hass says
My husband loves the Box Car children and got us a few books. We haven’t gotten into them yet, but after reading this I’m going to start a read-aloud revival in my house! This was adorable. Thanks!
I’m glad you got inspired too. There is also a movie that might help get you all in the mood for the books!
funny idea, your adorable kids look so happy. haha i wish i was a kid being there and playing with them. my 2 little kids love that book very much and i’m thinking about making them their own boxcar.
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That would be awesome. My kids love cardboard boxes better than any toy!
Susan @ Babygearland says
I’ve never read the boxcar serious before, but I will try them soon after this post. Your lovely children look so happy. They might have enjoyed being in the boxcar story, not only boxcar trip.
Susan @ Babygearland recently posted…Baby Sleeping On Stomach? Here’s What You Need To Know.
Lydia J. Cohen says
Just love your idea. It looks so nice and your kids seem to have lot of fun out there. Definitely wanna try this with my kids. Thanks a lot for sharing.
We do have a lot of fun. I hope your kids do as well!