Posts Tagged ‘USA’

Make Your Own State Puzzle

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

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You can make your own state puzzle by cutting out each state from a wall map, gluing the pieces onto poster board, and cutting them out again. The pieces are then more durable, and your kids can put the puzzle together over and over until they learn the location of each of the states. The fun thing about this puzzle is that it’s like a floor puzzle–it’s so large. You can store the pieces in a Ziplock bag.

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Other geography activities you can do with this puzzle:

  • Hold up a state, and the child has to name the state from the shape.
  • Name the capital of the state you are holding up.
  • Blindfold the child and hand the child a state. See if the child can figure out which state it is.
  • Hold up a state and name the bordering states.
  • Time yourself to see how fast you can put together the puzzle. Hold races between children to see who can put the puzzle together the fastest.
  • Hold up a state and have the child say the two-letter abbreviation for the state.
  • Grab a slide projector or an overhead projector. Hold up each piece and look at the silhouette. Name the state.

Take a look at how you can make your own state puzzle:

Multnomah Falls in Oregon

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

multnomah-fallsIf you are driving through Oregon, just off Interstate 84 you will notice a spectacular waterfall, Multnomah Falls. You should definitely stop, because it’s absolutely beautiful. It cascades down a cliff, plummetting 620 feet.

As an unexpected bonus, when my family hiked up the short, easy hike to the bridge, I felt like we had entered a tropical rain forest, except for the fact that it was slightly cold. Birds chirped, fallen logs covered with moss lay across bubbling brooks, and you just wanted to take a deep breath and enjoy the fascinating world you just stepped into.

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St Louis Arch

Monday, July 12th, 2010

st-louis-archOn our way to Tennessee a few years ago, we stopped to see the St Louis Arch. It is a metal, upside-down “U” with a museum under it. The workers there expect you to cram yourself into a small metal box to go up to the top of the arch. I’m surprised that our family of six actually fit in one elevator. When we arrived at the top, the children couldn’t see out the windows, so they had to climb onto the slanted rug platform in front of the windows. They were all excited and happy to see the shadow of the arch beneath us.

The museum under the arch had a stuffed buffalo, a covered wagon, a teepee, and other items relating to traveling west, since many families hundreds of years ago began traveling west starting at St. Louis. Supposedly the arch represents a doorway to the west, where families could have a fresh start.st-louis-arch-2st-louis-arch-3st-louis-arch-4

Trip Across the USA

Friday, July 9th, 2010

trip-across-the-USAOn our trip home from Tennessee, more disasters awaited us. While visiting my sister’s family, we had gotten our air conditioner replaced, because it had stopped working, and it was July. Keep in mind we live in Washington, and the trip back would take a week. The temperatures were scorching.

As soon as we crossed the border into the next state over, we heard what sounded like a small explosion. We pulled off the freeway into a parking lot. My husband opened the hood and told me something had exploded. It was the brand new air conditioner. Green liquid covered everything like an invasion from outer space. My husband asked me for a rubber band, a bag, a twistie, and other odd objects. He thought to himself out loud, “I need a bungie cord.” Keep in mind that I was praying the whole time because it was around 7 pm, and all repair shops were closed. We would be stranded in the middle of nowhere if God didn’t help us.

Suddenly a little old man materialized. He had a bungie cord in his hand. He helped my husband jerry-rig the exploded air conditioner in place so that we could limp to the next town and not be stuck. He had such a cheerful disposition that I couldn’t help asking, “Do you know Jesus?”

“Yes,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. As he walked away, I had an odd feeling that he was an angel. I told my husband what I was thinking as we pulled away.

He answered, “The man had a pickup truck.”

“Oh,” I said.

I was glad that it was evening, even though it was still light outside. It was sweltering hot, 89 degrees even with the windows down. I looked behind me at the children. They were beet red with sweat dripping down their faces. I’m not joking when I say that all four of them had wet hair. They looked like they were going to faint. Once again, I cried out to God in desperation.

I had barely finished speaking my prayer when a boom of thunder cracked overhead, and rain started pouring down. Within five minutes, God had cooled the car by 10 degrees. I had a lump in my throat as I looked at my husband. There’s no way that wasn’t God.

We had just studied weather in our homeschool, and we were in “Tornado Alley.” One of my sons said there was a funnel cloud off to the right hand side in front of us, and he started crying. I asked my husband if we were driving into a tornado. He calmly answered, “That’s not a tornado.” The rain was pouring down so hard, our windshield wipers weren’t fast enough.

At long last, we arrived in the next town. We found a Motel 6, and my kids, after staying in motels for two weeks said, “Home sweet Motel 6.” We slept well that night with the air conditioner cranked up.

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