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In Utah, 4th grade social studies is dedicated to Utah History.
The 4th graders at our local elementary school celebrates the ending of their Utah History study by having a big Mountain Man Rendezvous in honor of the explorers of the state. The kids look forward to and plan this party the entire year! The teachers and kids spend MONTHS preparing. When the day finally arrives, they play mountain man and native games, hear tall tales from local mountain men, make “possibles” and medicine bags for their treasures, learn songs and traditions of the Utah native people, and eat tin foil dinners. At the end of the day, the kids lay out blankets in the gym and trade items they’ve made. It’s the coolest day of their elementary school experience!
The Rendezvous is extra special to my kids because it reminds them of their Papa, my dad. When I was a little girl, Dad traveled around the western mountains competing at mountain man rendezvous. Our family times at the rendezvous are very special memories for me. My dad was huge into archery and I wanted to be just like him! I didn’t know then how unique those adventures were. I had no idea every kid didn’t grow up with a dad who threw tomahawks wearing handmade buckskin breeches! Oh man, I love that guy.
These are my baby moccs from when I was a little papoose.
Aren’t they sweet?
My June has been patiently waiting her turn to be in 4th grade, watching her brother go to the rendezvous, and then her sister. This year it was finally her turn and she was beyond excited! Girl had big plans for her trading post and started planning it all back in October. While clearing old wood at my family property, my brother helped June cut branches of a dead tree into slices. We sanded the slices to clear the splinters and then saved them in the basement for her special rendezvous project.
Be-UTAH-ful Wood Slice Magnets
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Now back to the post…
- Start by cutting a branch into slices then sand smooth. Our branch was about 3 inches around and we cut the slices anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide. It wasn’t exact and that’s perfectly fine, it’s a rustic project so don’t stress.
- Attach the basic woodburning tip into your tool. Plug it in and let it start heating up.
- Use a pencil to lightly draw a shape of the state of Utah (or whatever state you live in!) in the middle of the slices.
- Wood burn the state into the slice of wood. I found the basic wood burning tip to be the easiest for this. Thankfully, Utah is a super simple state to draw! You’d probably want to play around with more of the tips if you have a difficult shaped state to woodburn.
- Change the basic tip for a round tip with a pair of pliers. I used the round tip to make the heart. I started by burning 3 circles and then using the tip to blend the circles together into a heart. I’m sure there is a better way but this worked great for me. My first hearts were a little rough but they got better with time.Try practicing on a scrap piece until you get the feel of it.
- Once cooled, use the eraser to clean up any left over pencil marks. A good art eraser won’t leave colored streaks on your project. We found that out from experience. Oopsies!
- Using a hot glue gun, attach the magnet to the backside of the wood slice. We found that one side of the magnet was stronger than the other, so make sure to test the magnets first on a piece of metal. You’ll want the weakest side glued to your slice and the strongest side facing out.
When we were all done, Miss June made herself a little sign for her trading post.
$5 Beaver Bucks for a BeUtahful wood slice magnet!
Girlfriend was pretty darn proud of herself and was all smiles on Rendezvous day!
It was a whole lot of fun.
These beUTAHful wood slice magnets are simple, inexpensive, and oh so cute! With a little imagination, they could be customized to any state. Man, am I glad I don’t have to woodburn Rhode Island! That would take a majorly steady hand and some confidence! Oh, and don’t feel like you have to put the heart where we did. You can set your heart anywhere in the state you’d like.
Hope June’s little project inspires you as much as it has me.
She loves where she lives and that warms my mama heart.