Exploring Washington Through Little Passports

Our latest adventure through Little Passports took us on a virtual trip to Washington, my parents' home state. I've spent a lot of time in the Evergreen State and Trevor has been there three times, so it was a lot of fun to get to know the state a little better.

First, Trevor made the model of the iconic Space Needle. I went to the top as a kid, but Trevor has never been there. Someday!

We learned that the Space Needle is 605 feet tall, with 25 lightning rods on top. The elevator ride to the observation deck (located at 520 feet) takes 43 seconds. It took 400 days to build and can withstand a wind speed of 200 miles per hour!

Our next activity taught us about neighborhoods in Seattle. We decoded the names of Washington's National Parks and learned that the Olympic marmot and Olympic short-tailed weasel are endemic to the state. We did a hidden picture activity about mushrooms and a word search about volcanoes. We read about famous events in the history of Washington and then did a crossword to translate Washington's state motto (Alki). We did a rebus about orcas and a dot-to-dot about the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. 

It's always fun to see what recipe Little Passports has chosen to feature for each state. For Washington it was blueberry jam! Blueberries are one of Trevor's favorite foods, so he was very happy. 

His jam tasted great in a peanut butter sandwich!

The science experiment in the Washington state journal investigates how the Space Needle can withstand strong forces from winds and earthquakes. We learned that the Needle is designed to sway around one inch for every 10 MPH of wind. Wow! The experiment is easy to do and really helps kids visualize how the Needle stays standing in extreme conditions. Give it a try!


  • cardboard
  • newspaper
  • masing tape
  • tennis ball
  • hair dryer


  • Roll newspaper into a tube. Add tape so it holds its shape.
  • Place the tennis ball on top of the tower. The tube should not buckle. If it does, use extra newspaper to make a tube that is stronger. When the tower is strong enough to support the tennis ball without buckling, remove the ball and proceed.
  • Tape the tower to the cardboard base. If it is not stable, make the base wider or heavier. (The base of the Space Needle weighs 5850 tons!)
  • Put the tennis ball back on top of the tower. Turn on the hair dryer on low and point it toward the tower. If you've built a strong structure, it will sway but not fall. 
  • Try putting the hair dryer on high. Does your structure still stand? Trevor's did!


We had great fun with our virtual trip to Washington and look forward to visiting there in person again!


  1. How fun are those activities!?!?! We are debating between visiting there for our 10th anniversary next year or Frisco! :)

  2. I'm really impressed with all the learning in these virtual tours. And Trevor always looks like he's having fun!


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