Edventures with Kids

Kids Activities, Family Travel & Fun Ways to Learn

Today we are one of 50+ blogs hosting a fantastic 'Booking Across the USA' blog project! 

Together, we will each feature a kids' book and activity for all of the 50 States -- you can travel across the country right from your own couch :-)  This amazing idea was the creation of Growing Book by Book, a wonderful blog with great ideas for sharing books with kids. 

Read and learn along with us as we criss-cross the country!

 

create-a-tornado

 

Welcome to Kansas!

 

The home of sunflowers, BBQ, wheat fields and tornadoes!

I'll bet that I can guess what book comes to mind when you hear the name 'Kansas' --

Is it the one that shares the adventures of Dorothy??! 

I really think that book put Kansas on the map for kids literature.  While we love Dorothy  (along with the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow and Toto) and highly recommend reading "The Wizard of Oz" to every child, we didn't choose Oz as our highlight book. 

But we did choose to Make our own Tornadoes!

More about those in a sec -- first, I want to introduce you to our book.

The book The Bravest of Us All by Marsha Diane Arnold is a story of courage, especially knowing that each person has their own type of courage.

Ruby Jane knows that her oldest sister, Velma Jean, is the bravest of all the 7 kids in her family.  She sees Velma Jean do all kinds of brave things on the farm.  But when a tornado heads toward their farmhouse, Ruby Jane learns that her courage is help her sister is even stronger than the tornado's winds!

The illustrations in this book show the beauty of Kansas -- the wide open sky, the great expanses of land and the connection of family and community.  I also love how the book highlights that each person is courageous no matter how big or small.

Create Your Own Tornado

Kansas is one of a handful of states that is located in 'Tornado Alley', a section in the middle of the US that's most likely to have a tornado occur. 

A tornado is a storm that is created when a cold and warm front meet - when my kids were young, I would tell them that the hot air and cold air get into a scuffle about who's the strongest. There also needs to be moisture for a tornado to occur.

Tornadoes have a very well-known shape -- they look like a long, thin triangle balancing on it's tip.  If you were able to view them from the sky, you would see that the center of the tornado appears hollow - this center area is called it's vortex.  The vortex occurs when the winds are spinning very fast - so fast that nothing can stay in the middle, the force pulls it to the outer sides of the storm.  These fast spinning winds are also what give the tornado it's nickname of 'twister'.

 

tornado-items

 

To make your own tornado, here's what you'll need:

  • (2) 1 liter water or soda bottles (you can also use 2 liter bottles but I like the smaller ones because they are easier for the kids to hold)
  • a washer
  • blue food coloring
  • duct tape

We found all the directions at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  We decided to substitute blue food coloring for the dishwashing detergent and it worked great!

 

tornado-activity

Once you have the bottles put together with all the water in the bottom bottle, just take hold of them and flip them upside down.  As the water drains from the top bottle to the bottom, you will see a vortex form inside the water. 

Here's a closer look at our vortex -

vortex-tornado-activity

 

Pretty cool, huh!  The kids will enjoy turning the bottles around a few times - it's easy to get mesmorized by the swirling water. 

A few books that explain more about tornadoes and the science behind them include:

      

 

I hope you never have to experience a tornado; but if you do, remember to be brave like Ruby Jean!

 

We are covering all 50 States with some amazing books & projects!  Browse the list below for your favorite states and enjoy 'booking across the USA'!

BookingAcrosstheUSAbutton

Alaska: Little Wonders’ Days

Arizona: Simply Kinder

Arkansas: Homeschooling in Arkansas

California: Juggling with Kids and The Outlaw Mom

Colorado: Learners in Bloom and Living Montessori Now

Connecticut: The Teacher Park

Delaware: Mama Miss

Florida: Teaching Stars

Georgia: Fabulously First

Hawaii: Teaching With Style

Idaho: True Aim Education

Illinois: Growing Book by Book

Indiana: Teach Preschool

Iowa: Surviving a Teacher's Salary

Kansas: KCEdventures

Kentucky: Chicken Babies

Louisiana: New Orleans Moms Blog

Maine: Maine Adventure Mom and Country Fun Child Care

Maryland: Picture Books and Piourettes

Massachusetts: Mama Smiles

Michigan: Play DrMom

Minnesota: The Wise Owl Factory

Mississippi: Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

Missouri- Ready. Set. Read!

Montana: The Honey Bunch

Nebraska: The Good Long Road

Nevada: Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

New Hampshire: Elementary Matters

New Jersey: The Pleasantest Thing

New Mexico: Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

New York: What Do We Do All Day

North Carolina: Realistic Teacher Blog

North Dakota: ND HealthWorks

Ohio: Smart Chick Teacher’s Blog

Oklahoma: Herding Kats in Kindergarten

Oregon: Journey of a Substitute Teacher

Pennsylvania: Land of Once Upon a Time

Rhode Island: Smiling in Second Grade

South Carolina: Cookies and Kiddos and JDaniel4’s Mom

South Dakota: The Wise Owl Factory

Tennessee: No Monkey Business

Texas: Curls and a Smile and Kid World Citizen

Utah: Teach Beside Me

Vermont: Burlington Vt Moms Blog

Virgina: Once Upon a Story, and The Freckled Homeschooler

Washington: Home Learning Journey and Boy Mama Teacher Mama

West Virginia: This Week @ Great Peace Academy and Mamas Like Me

Wisconsin: Reading Confetti

Wyoming: No Twiddle Twaddle

USA: The Corner on Character

 

 

All 50 States for Booking Across the USA Blog Hop A book review and crafts, activities, or freebies are included in each post. All the posts were live on February 25, 2013.
Booking Across the USA Host: Growing Book by Book
Blogging Across the USA Blog Hop button
AlabamaFlag of Alabama from Wikipedia CommonsAlabama Blog Post by Everyday Snapshots Blog Alaska Flag of Alaska from Wikipedia CommonsAlaska Blog Post by Little Wonders' Days Blog
Arkansas Flag of Arkansas from Wikipedia CommonsArkansas Blog Post by Country Fun Book Files ArizonaFlag of Arizona from Wikipedia CommonsArizona Blog Post by Simply Kinder

CaliforniaFlag of California from WikipediaCalifornia Blog Post by Juggling with Kids

Flag of CaliforniaCalifornia Blog Post by The Outlaw Mom

 

ColoradoFlag of Colorado from Wikipedia CommonsColorado blog Post by Learners in Bloom

Flag of Colorado from Wikipedia

Colorado Blog Post by Living Montessori Now
ConnecticutFlag of Connecticut from Wikipedia CommonsConnecticut Blog Post By Teacher Park Blog DelawareFlag of Delaware from Wikipedia CommonsDelaware Blog Post by Mama Miss
FloridaFlag of Florida from WikipediaFlorida Blog Post by the Teaching Stars Blog GeorgiaFlag of Georgia USA from Wikipedia CommonsGeorgia Blog Post by Fabulously First Blog HawaiiFlag of Hawaii from Wikipedia CommonsHawaii Blog Post by Teaching with Style

Idaho

Flag of Idaho from Wikipedia Commons

Idaho post by True Aim Education Blog

IllinoisFlag of Illinois from Wikipedia CommonsIllinois State Post by Growing Book by Book IndianaFlag of Indiana from Wikipedia CommonsIndiana State Post by Teach Pre-School Blog
IowaFlag of Iowa from Wikipedia CommonsIowa Blog Post by Surviving a Teacher Salary Blog KansasFlag of Kansas from Wikipedia CommonsKansas Blog Post by KCEdventures KentuckyFlag of Kentucky from Wikipedia Commons wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Kentucky.svgKentucky Blog Post by Chicken Babies
LouisianaFlag of Louisiana from Wikipedia CommonsLouisiana Blog Post by Your Child's Next Book and Project Blog MaineFlag of Maine from Wikipedia CommonsMaine Blog Post by Country Fun MarylandFlag of Maryland from Wikipedia CommonsMaryland Blog Post by Picture Books and Piourettes
MassachusettsFlag of Massachusetts from Wikipedia CommonsMassachusetts Blog Post by Mama Smiles Blog Michigan Flag of Michigan from Wikipedia CommonsMichigan Blog Post by Play Dr. Mom MinnesotaFlag of Minnesota from Wikipedia CommonsMinnesota Post by the Wise Owl Factory Book a Day Blog

MississippiFlag of Mississippi from Wikipedia CommonsMississippi Blog Post by Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

MissouriFlag of Missouri from Wikipedia CommonsMissouri Blog Post by Ready, Set, Read Blog MontanaFlag of Montana from Wikipedia CommonsMontana Blog Post by The Honey Bunch
Nebraska

Flag of Nebraska from Wikipedia CommonsNebraska Blog Post by The Good Long Road

Nevada

Flag of Nevada from Wikipedia CommonsNevada Blog Post by Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy Crafts Blog

New Hampshire

Flag of New Hampshire from Wikipedia CommonsNew Hampshire Blog Post by Elementary Matters

New Jersey

Flag of New Jersey from Wikipedia CommonsNew Jersey Blog Post by The Pleasantest Thing

New Mexico

Flag of New Mexico from Wikipedia CommonsNew Mexico Blog Post by The Enchanted Homeschooling Mom Blog

New York

Flag of New York from Wikipedia CommonsNew York Blog Post by What Do We Do All Day Blog

North CarolinaFlag of North Carolina from Wikipedia CommonsNorth Carolina Post by the Realistic Teacher Blog North DakotaFlag of North Dakota from WikipediaNorth Dakota Post by ND Health Works Ohio

Flag of Ohio from Wikipedia CommonsOhio Blog Post by the Smart Chick Teacher Blog

Oklahoma

Flag of Oklahoma from Wikipedia CommonsOklahoma Blog Post by Herding Kats in Kindergarten

Oregon

Flag of Oregon from Wikipedia CommonsOregon State Post by Journey of a Substitute Teacher Blog

Pennsylvania

Flag of Pennsylvania from Wikipedia CommonsPennsylvania Blog Post by the Land of Once Upon a Time

Rhode Island

Flag of Rhode Island from Wikipedia CommonsRhode Island Blog Post by Smiling in Second

South Carolina

Flag of South Carolina from Wikipedia CommonsSouth Carolina Blog Post by Cookies and Kiddos

 

South DakotaFlag of South Dakota from WikipediaSouth Dakota Blog Post by Wise Owl Factory Book a Day
Tennessee

Flag of Tennessee from Wikipedia CommonsTennessee Blog Post by No Monkey Business

Texas

Flag of Texas from Wikipedia CommonsTexas Blog Post by Curls and a Smile

Flag of Texas from WikipediaTexas Blog Post by Kid World Citizen

Utah

Flag of Utah from Wikipedia CommonsUtah Blog Post by Teach Beside Me Blog

Vermont

Flag of Vermont from Wikipedia CommonsVermont Blog Post by Vermont Moms Blog

Virginia

Flag of Virginia from Wikipedia CommonsVirginia Blog Post by Once Upon a Story Blog

Flag of Virginia from WikipediaVirginia Post by the Freckled Homeschooler Blog

Washington

Flag of Washington State from Wikipedia CommonsWashington Blog Post by Home Learning Journey

West Virginia

Flag of West Virginia from Wikipedia CommonsWest Virginia Blog Post by Great Peace Academy Blog

Flag of West VirginiaWest Virginia Blog Post by Mamas Like Me

Wisconsin

Flag of Wisconsin from Wikipedia CommonsWisconsin Blog Post by Reading Confetti

Wyoming

Flag of Wyoming from Wikipedia CommonsWyoming Blog Post by No Twiddle Twaddle

USA

Flag of the United States of America from Wikipedia CommonsUSA Blog Post by the Corner on Character Blog

All 50 States for Booking Across the USA Blog Hop A book review and crafts, activities, or freebies are included in each post. All the posts were live on February 25, 2013.
Booking Across the USA Host: Growing Book by Book
Blogging Across the USA Blog Hop button
AlabamaFlag of Alabama from Wikipedia CommonsAlabama Blog Post by Everyday Snapshots Blog Alaska Flag of Alaska from Wikipedia CommonsAlaska Blog Post by Little Wonders' Days Blog
Arkansas Flag of Arkansas from Wikipedia CommonsArkansas Blog Post by Country Fun Book Files ArizonaFlag of Arizona from Wikipedia CommonsArizona Blog Post by Simply Kinder

CaliforniaFlag of California from WikipediaCalifornia Blog Post by Juggling with Kids

Flag of CaliforniaCalifornia Blog Post by The Outlaw Mom

 

ColoradoFlag of Colorado from Wikipedia CommonsColorado blog Post by Learners in Bloom

Flag of Colorado from Wikipedia

Colorado Blog Post by Living Montessori Now
ConnecticutFlag of Connecticut from Wikipedia CommonsConnecticut Blog Post By Teacher Park Blog DelawareFlag of Delaware from Wikipedia CommonsDelaware Blog Post by Mama Miss
FloridaFlag of Florida from WikipediaFlorida Blog Post by the Teaching Stars Blog GeorgiaFlag of Georgia USA from Wikipedia CommonsGeorgia Blog Post by Fabulously First Blog HawaiiFlag of Hawaii from Wikipedia CommonsHawaii Blog Post by Teaching with Style

Idaho

Flag of Idaho from Wikipedia Commons

Idaho post by True Aim Education Blog

IllinoisFlag of Illinois from Wikipedia CommonsIllinois State Post by Growing Book by Book IndianaFlag of Indiana from Wikipedia CommonsIndiana State Post by Teach Pre-School Blog
IowaFlag of Iowa from Wikipedia CommonsIowa Blog Post by Surviving a Teacher Salary Blog KansasFlag of Kansas from Wikipedia CommonsKansas Blog Post by KCEdventures KentuckyFlag of Kentucky from Wikipedia Commons wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Kentucky.svgKentucky Blog Post by Chicken Babies
LouisianaFlag of Louisiana from Wikipedia CommonsLouisiana Blog Post by Your Child's Next Book and Project Blog MaineFlag of Maine from Wikipedia CommonsMaine Blog Post by Country Fun MarylandFlag of Maryland from Wikipedia CommonsMaryland Blog Post by Picture Books and Piourettes
MassachusettsFlag of Massachusetts from Wikipedia CommonsMassachusetts Blog Post by Mama Smiles Blog Michigan Flag of Michigan from Wikipedia CommonsMichigan Blog Post by Play Dr. Mom MinnesotaFlag of Minnesota from Wikipedia CommonsMinnesota Post by the Wise Owl Factory Book a Day Blog

MississippiFlag of Mississippi from Wikipedia CommonsMississippi Blog Post by Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

MissouriFlag of Missouri from Wikipedia CommonsMissouri Blog Post by Ready, Set, Read Blog MontanaFlag of Montana from Wikipedia CommonsMontana Blog Post by The Honey Bunch
Nebraska

Flag of Nebraska from Wikipedia CommonsNebraska Blog Post by The Good Long Road

Nevada

Flag of Nevada from Wikipedia CommonsNevada Blog Post by Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy Crafts Blog

New Hampshire

Flag of New Hampshire from Wikipedia CommonsNew Hampshire Blog Post by Elementary Matters

New Jersey

Flag of New Jersey from Wikipedia CommonsNew Jersey Blog Post by The Pleasantest Thing

New Mexico

Flag of New Mexico from Wikipedia CommonsNew Mexico Blog Post by The Enchanted Homeschooling Mom Blog

New York

Flag of New York from Wikipedia CommonsNew York Blog Post by What Do We Do All Day Blog

North CarolinaFlag of North Carolina from Wikipedia CommonsNorth Carolina Post by the Realistic Teacher Blog North DakotaFlag of North Dakota from WikipediaNorth Dakota Post by ND Health Works Ohio

Flag of Ohio from Wikipedia CommonsOhio Blog Post by the Smart Chick Teacher Blog

Oklahoma

Flag of Oklahoma from Wikipedia CommonsOklahoma Blog Post by Herding Kats in Kindergarten

Oregon

Flag of Oregon from Wikipedia CommonsOregon State Post by Journey of a Substitute Teacher Blog

Pennsylvania

Flag of Pennsylvania from Wikipedia CommonsPennsylvania Blog Post by the Land of Once Upon a Time

Rhode Island

Flag of Rhode Island from Wikipedia CommonsRhode Island Blog Post by Smiling in Second

South Carolina

Flag of South Carolina from Wikipedia CommonsSouth Carolina Blog Post by Cookies and Kiddos

 

South DakotaFlag of South Dakota from WikipediaSouth Dakota Blog Post by Wise Owl Factory Book a Day
Tennessee

Flag of Tennessee from Wikipedia CommonsTennessee Blog Post by No Monkey Business

Texas

Flag of Texas from Wikipedia CommonsTexas Blog Post by Curls and a Smile

Flag of Texas from WikipediaTexas Blog Post by Kid World Citizen

Utah

Flag of Utah from Wikipedia CommonsUtah Blog Post by Teach Beside Me Blog

Vermont

Flag of Vermont from Wikipedia CommonsVermont Blog Post by Vermont Moms Blog

Virginia

Flag of Virginia from Wikipedia CommonsVirginia Blog Post by Once Upon a Story Blog

Flag of Virginia from WikipediaVirginia Post by the Freckled Homeschooler Blog

Washington

Flag of Washington State from Wikipedia CommonsWashington Blog Post by Home Learning Journey

West Virginia

Flag of West Virginia from Wikipedia CommonsWest Virginia Blog Post by Great Peace Academy Blog

Flag of West VirginiaWest Virginia Blog Post by Mamas Like Me

Wisconsin

Flag of Wisconsin from Wikipedia CommonsWisconsin Blog Post by Reading Confetti

Wyoming

Flag of Wyoming from Wikipedia CommonsWyoming Blog Post by No Twiddle Twaddle

USA

Flag of the United States of America from Wikipedia CommonsUSA Blog Post by the Corner on Character Blog

Comments

Guest
Ashley Monday, 25 February 2013 · Edit Reply

My girls love making tornadoes like this especially when we add glitter! Can't wait to see what everyone read for their states!

Guest
Country Fun Monday, 25 February 2013 · Edit Reply

Haven't made these tornados in a few years. Thanks for the reminder of how fun they can be to explore and now I'll have some rich literature to use with them.

Guest
Jodie @ Growing Book by Book Tuesday, 26 February 2013 · Edit Reply

Love the tornado theme and very appropriate for Kansas. Actually, blizzards seem the most appropriate the past week :-) . I love the tornado book by Gail Gibbons. She is one of my favorite authors for non-fiction. Thank you so much for participating in the Booking Across the USA project!

Guest
Carolyn Wilhelm Friday, 01 March 2013 · Edit Reply

Pinned! I never knew how to do this without a part from a science store, this is wonderful. The book sounds very good for children who experience these storms. I am sorry, i do not have the right code for this link and I will fix it tomorrow.

Guest
pinkoddy Monday, 04 March 2013 · Edit Reply

How really interesting. Great way to learn too.

Guest
Emma Monday, 08 April 2013 · Edit Reply

That is very cool! I must try it.

Guest
Emma Wednesday, 28 August 2013 · Edit Reply

The tornados are fantastic, something else I really want to try. Thanks for linking to Challenge and Discover.

Leave your comment

Guest
Guest Thursday, 31 July 2014

About the author

Jacquie Fisher

Jacquie is the founder & owner of Edventures with Kids, a site that shares unique kid’s activities, fun ways to learn and inspriation for family travel.  She is an educator, nature lover and mom to 2 great kids.  Jacquie enjoys exploring new places with her family and loves encouraging kids to be creative & curious!  Visit our About Us section for more information about Jacquie & Edventures with Kids!


 

 

 

 

 

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