Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Exploring Kansas Through Little Passports

April 4 is a big day for me. Seven years ago today, I started My Creative Life with this post. Today's post is #1841, which means I've posted an average of 263 times per year. Thank you to all my readers, particularly those who have been with me from the beginning. 

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Time for more virtual travels through Little Passports! This time, Trevor and I learned all about Kansas, the Sunflower State.


The model was of the Chalk Pyramids, also known as Monument Rocks. I'd never heard of them. As usual, Little Passports taught both of us something new the moment we started! And the learning didn't stop there. We did a maze activity based on the geographic center of the contiguous US, located in Lebanon, Kansas. Then we read about the animals of the Flint Hills (home to the densest growth of tallgrass in North America). 

Next we started a science experiment inspired by Strataca, the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. (My list of places to visit when we eventually make it to Kansas is growing. This place looks cool!) For the experiment, Trevor dissolved salt in water dyed blue, then dangled a string into the water. He prepared a second cup with dissolved baking soda in water dyed pink. 


The next day, crystals had formed! The salt wasn't very impressive...


... but the baking soda was coming along nicely. 


We ended up leaving both cups out until the water dissolved completely. Interestingly, the pink baking soda crystals did basically nothing but fade, while the blue salt crystals grew like crazy. 


After starting our science experiment, Trevor and I went back to the Kansas State Journal for more activities. We read about Dr. Brewster Higley, who composed a poem called 'The Western Home' that became the lyrics for Kansas' state song, 'Home on the Range.' We learned about four Kansas inventions: William Purvis' flying machine, the sport of basketball, a combination knife/fork called a knork, and my personal favorite, the ICEE machine. We'll have to make a point to have an ICEE when we make it to Kansas!

We did an activity about the locations in Kansas along the Santa Fe Trail, then read all about famous events in Kansas history. We decoded information about the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, one of the world's biggest space museums, and home of the 2nd largest collection of American space artifacts (#1 is the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, of course). We solved a puzzle inspired by Dodge City, the Cowboy Capital of the World.

The cooking activity for the Sunflower State was, appropriately, roasted sunflower seeds. There were three variations and of course Trevor wanted to make them all. As expected, we enjoyed the Honey-Roasted Sunflower Seeds and Cinnamon-Sugar Sunflower Seeds, but the real surprise was how yummy the Salty-Sweet Sunflower Seeds were. Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and a little salt roasted on sunflower seeds - delicious!


Trevor and I had so much fun on our virtual travels through the state of Kansas and are looking forward to when we can visit in person!

2 comments:

  1. How fun!! And I did not know that about ICEE!!! That's cool!!!! (no pun intended! LOL!!)

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  2. How cool is that experiment!

    ReplyDelete