This year, my daughter's Christmas presents will be bought with a theme in mind. At a recent Heritage festival, she was introduced to the Colonial style of using a wringer washer. The kids were allowed to scrub the clothes and hang them up on a clothesline. My daughter remarked that she could wash clothes all day long!
For Christmas, I will purchase an old fashioned wringer washer, an old metal tub, one prairie bonnet all at a second hand shop. I will purchase new for her the set of Little House on the Prairie books. The moral of the story is to find something your child is very interested in and expand on the idea.
I think its nice that you want to encourage your daughter's interests, but may I suggest a few alternatives to a wringer washer:
A handmade book of old fashioned recipes (I think you can google Laura Ingalls Wilder recipes and find a few that way.)
The ingredients to make the food in old fashioned containers, as well as old fashioned looking baking/cooking pans.
A small pack of quilting squares, with needles and thread. A pack of "fat quarters" cost a few bucks at Walmart, and your daughter may only need a few squares to see if she's interested in quilting like the pioneers.
With adult supervision, many kids make candles just like the pioneers did. Although the pioneers didn't use paraffin that's available in most grocery stores, lol, you should be able to find directions online to make "pioneer candles". You don't have to worry about the looks of the candles, because many of the pioneers weren't concerned about the looks, as long as it gave out light.
She may also want to try her hand at embroidery. Depending on her age, many pioneer girls started embroidering pillow cases for their "hope chests" at a very early age. If your daughter doesn't want to do her own pillow case(s), maybe she'd want to do a sewing sampler like this one: http://www.margaretandmargaret.com/samplers/40.html
If you google "sewing sampler", there are lots of models available, and you may even be able to find a free pattern.
Another source of ideas for more gifts may be to google for "civil war food", "civil war clothes" or something similar.
Again, I admire you for wanting to stimulate your daughter's mind, instead of giving her "typical" Christmas presents. However, I would strongly caution against buying an older wringer washer. They can be VERY dangerous for kids as well as adults.
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