Geography: Washington and what we did

Did you know it’s incredibly hard to find books on the state of Washington?  I looked it up and I mostly got books on Washington D.C. or a lot of books on George Washington and his teeth and something about a cherry tree……
So, I emailed Debbie over at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn and asked her what she would suggest studying about Washington, and she gave me a great list:
Captain Gray and Grays Harbor, Marcus Whitman, Lewis and Clark, The Hudson Bay Company (a fur trading party) known for Fort Colville, Fort Spokane, Steptoe Butte and the Great Battle
Indian Tribes: Yakima Indians, Spokane Indians, Nezpierce Indians
You could even look at things like: Grande Coulee Dam, Columbia River, Pallouse Country, Grays Harbor, The World Fairs of 1962 in Seattle and in 1974 in Spokane, Mount St. Helens and it’s eruption in 1980, Mount Rainier, North Cascade, Levenworth, WA, Snoqualimie Falls, WA

Isn’t that a great list?  And then I went down to our little library, and was able to only find a couple of books on Lewis and Clark, and one on Mount St. Helens, but I found some fun books on some of their symbols.

Washington Symbols– cool website of their pictures

So, I can’t find all the cool stuff we did for the lapbook, or the lapbook.  I’ve since remedied that situation for future lapbooks by hole-punching them with my super cool new binding machine, and putting them straight into a notebook before they’re even done.  That way as we make pieces I can glue it in.  Smart…..
We learned about dragonflies and made a dragonfly to play with (I also used this as a model at our local MOPS group of crafts to do).  Then we learned what they eat and such.
And of course if you’re going to read about Washington state you have to learn about Mount St. Helen, which my kids were fascinated by.

So, what do you do with kids who are fascinated by it, of course you make one, and then they tell you about it:
Washington Flip Book
And, ummmm….. that would be with the stuff I can’t find.  So pretend you read something really cute about volcanoes and how there are no volcanoes in Texas, and that they love fossils.

stART: Sir Small and the Dragonfly

This is such a cute and fun book, and it let me do a craft I had been thinking of ever since I saw that dragonflies are the state insect for Washington.
Supplies: old-fashioned clothespin (also called a doll clothespin), coffee filter, washable markers,  2 pipe cleaners cut in half (I had to fight Batman off of these to have enough for the craft), googly eyes, scissors, and glue

Start off by coloring your clothespin and the coffee filter.  Superman totally covered every single square centimeter of his.  I don’t think it was possible to add another bit of color to it.


Next spray your coffee filter with a spray bottle full of water.  Your kids will be very excited if you let them do this.  Just watch them, or else they might do like Superman do and so completely and totally soak it that you can’t put together their dragonfly until it dries out some.

Hmmm, I tried to get a picture so you could see what I was talking about, but it didn’t turn out so good.   Basically, scrunch up the coffee filter at the “neck” of the clothespin, and use one of the pipe cleaners to twist around it and hold the wings in place.  Put the other pipe cleaners on the bottom and wrap the other around it.  Does this make sense?


Glue on the googly eyes, and you’ve got a super cute dragonfly.  You could also call this a butterfly.  Though, I’ve usually seen the butterfly version with the spring loaded clothespin.

In order of who made it: Batman, me, Princess, Superman’s is off somewhere probably chasing monsters.

Head on over to A Mommy’s Adventures to get more great book inspired ideas.
Oh, and extra points to whoever can tell me why these are not really dragonflies.
And one more day before I draw the winner of the CSN giveaway.

Science Sunday: Volcanoes

I know I said I wanted to blow something up this week, but there was no way I was doing that inside and the one day the weather was good enough to be outside I wasn’t prepared for it, so you’ll have another week to wonder what I’ll do.  And no, it won’t be homemade fireworks.  Jeff convinced me to wait on that until the kids were a little older, but I do have a good project planned.  I just need to actually get a water bottle, we don’t use them, but for this I need one.



Continuing on, we started learning about Washington this week.  I’ve come to the conclusion, that I just can’t do a state a week, I’d like to so I don’t spend two years on states, but it’s not going to happen, I need about two weeks to really do it right.


We read the book above, and I highly recommend it.  When I was checking it out I was a little leary of it, and didn’t get the other book on National parks in Washington they had because I wasn’t sure if they’d like it.  But, it did a really good job of talking through what happens in a volcanic reaction and how it affects the surrounding wildlife.  And it was right on the kids level.  We all enjoyed it.


And of course if you’re going to read about volcanoes, you have to make one.  Now, I’ve seen all of these blog posts where people go all out and build up volcanoes, and all of that, but that’s not me.  Mainly because I didn’t get it organized in time to do that, and they weren’t going to wait for us to build one and the time it would take to dry.  They’re more of a “Do it now Mommy!” type of kids.



I had a bunch more pictures to show you, but Princess was just wearing underwear, so I’ll stick with this one of Batman.  We kept repeating this over and over and over again.  They LOVED it.  But, then I know grown men and women who loves this, so it’s no surprise my preschoolers did.


And hint: our upcoming explosives will use similar materials…….



Afterwards we talked about how lava rocks are made, and we made rice krispie treats to look at how they’re formed.  This part would have made more sense if they were up for learning about the different types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and ___________(I am totally not remembering the third).  Lava rocks are a type of metamorphic if I’m remembering correctly.


And then, just because I was amused we made a second batch of rice krispie treats with non-chocolate, but with leftover marshmallow Easter candy.  Here’s what happened:

025And right after I took that picture I dashed over 2 seconds too late to stop it from going all over my microwave.  See what I do for my blog?  Now I have this great big mess.  And I would highly recommend eating these after eating something.  Wow, was that ever a sugar buzz.  I then took 2 advil to get rid of the resulting sugar headache.  15 years of hypoglycemia and I still haven’t learned my lesson.


If I get in our explosives tomorrow (this is written on Friday), I’ll add them to this post, but I’m not holding my breath……..


I know that Almost Unschoolers does science with food all the time, anyone else have some they did?  As always link up any science related post you have, I love to read them, even if I’m slow to comment sometimes.