Tuesday, March 5, 2013

{Ten for Tuesday} Things That Go -- In Nebraska!

This week for Ten for Tuesday, I am doing something a bit different for my Things That Go post and focusing on Things That Go -- In Nebraska as part of Booking Across the USA. I am so glad I am FINALLY able to share my Nebraska post as part of this cool series that includes 50+ bloggers. 

When I was putting together our activities that relate to C is for Cornhusker: A Nebraska Alphabet, our Nebraska book for the Booking Across the USA project, I realized that so many of our activities connected, somehow, with things that go, so I decided to include it in my series. Hopefully, you will not mind that there are a few things that fall outside of the normal ideas of things that go. We try to be creative and innovative around here, and this is definitely another example. 

1. Trains! In the book, we learned that the headquarters for the Union Pacific Railroad are in Nebraska and of how important the railway was for the growth of Nebraska as Union Pacific recruited individuals to settle along the railroad routes in the Nebraska Territory. Plus, every 24 hours, 10,000 railroad cars are sorted and sent to their destinations from the Bailey Yard in Nebraska. So, we put the railway on our map, created our main train station and had some fun (while learning about geography too!). 

2. Trucks! Nebraska offers great opportunities for some fun corn kernel and cornmeal sensory play. We did both: corn meal sensory play focused on letters, and revisited our corn kernel sensory play with trucks pushing around our materials. Through these activities (and eating popcorn and regular corn), we also learned about all of the different forms corn cake take. 
With Wild Thing, the Corn Meal sensory play was a literacy activity.
And I love this photo Wild Thing took.

Caterpillar also loved the cornmeal sensory experience.
3. Tornadoes - Okay, this is my first stretch in the list. Tornadoes do go -- actually quite a lot and sometimes vehicles get caught up in them, so I think it counts. Tornadoes and twisters are very common in Nebraska and most of the Great Plains, and in the book T is for Tornadoes, so this offers a great way to teach some basic science, and this make your own tornado activity from KC Edventures is a great way to do that. At the coffee shop the other day, a boy had one of these and all of the other kids that happened to be there were mesmerized!

4. Tractors! Of course, farming is a very big part of Nebraska -- important to the country historically and today. I love this tractor craft from Learn Create Love, and this Farm Sensory Bin from Learning to Be A Mom. Several times as we read this book, Wild Thing started singing Old McDonald Had a Farm. 
5. Horses - We also learned from the book of the importance of the Pony Express in Nebraska, particularly in linking Nebraska to the East and West of the U.S. So, we did some fun pretend play, galloping around on sticks and delivering mail all over the backyard. (I did not get any photos -- we were having too much fun), but I also hope to do a pony express variation on this Letter Delivery Activity from Growing Book by Book, our wonderful host and brain child of Booking Across the USA.

6. Bees - Horses and bees are probably two of our favorite animals that go, and two animals that constantly inspire pretend play as we go, go, go just like them. From the book, we learned that honeybees are the state insect of Nebraska and that the honeybee is connected with the legend of a major folk hero of the state, Febold Feboldson who created, as the legend goes, beeagles -- a cross between eagles and bees to create a beeline for the border between Nebraska and Kansas. I think we might be creating some beeagles soon, but in the meantime, I thought I would share our fun Bee Sensory Bins -- an edible one for babies and a 5 senses bee bin for tots and PreK kids.  

7. Cranes- Birds are also another wonderful animal that goes -- and that often prompt pretend play in little ones. I associate cranes with Japan, but learned that half a million sandhill cranes migrate north each year in North America with many of those cranes making a rest stop at the Platte River in Nebraska. My Small Potatoes shared some beautiful Paper Cranes for Peace on her blog. 

Okay, the next three relate to Nebraska, but squeezing into the Things That Go theme is extremely difficult, so hope you do not mind that I have taken quite a bit of liberty this time, as I really enjoyed still sharing so many fun things that go!!  

8. Quilters - My mom is a quilter, and believe me, quilters definitely go. I cannot keep up with my mom most of the time, and I love all of the quilts she has made for our family. We created Quilt Twister with one of our favorite quilts that she made. One of the largest quilt collections is on display at the International Quilt Study Center in Nebraska. Wild Thing loved learning more about quilts with this book. 

9. Messes - Certain messy play activities can go EVERYWHERE!! especially with an 18 month old and 3 year-old, and this one is no exception, so we have Kool Aid that goes. We  learned from the book that the creator of Kool-Aid was Edwin Perkins, from Nebraska. So, we had some fun (but messy) Kool-Aid sensory play. Not sure we will be doing it again anytime soon, but the floor needed to be mopped, so this just got me to do it a bit sooner than I had planned. 

Caterpillar is 18 months and went straight into the tub after playing.

10. Helpers, Givers, Volunteers - I have actually done an entire Things That Go post on the concept of giving, since giving to others definitely goes and goes and goes. Since, Omaha is home to Boys Town, a home and school that was originally set up to care for homeless and underprivileged boys by Father Flanagan, and the Irish-American became a symbol of spiritual and material hope for millions, I thought I would wrap up by sharing some of my favorite posts from the blogosphere (and from my own blog) about helping others. (I also love that teaching your kids about Father Flanagan would be a great tie in for St. Patrick's Day activities).

A favorite from my blog recently was the post I did as part of the 100 Acts of Kindness Challenge from Toddler Approved: 10 Acts of Kindness Kids Can Do That Cost Nothing. Some other favorites: Hugs for Heroes from Kids Stuff World, which can be recreated any time of year; Being a Kindness Superhero like The Pleasantest Thing did with her kids; and Happy Notes from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

Plus, I absolutely love this Random Acts of Kindness Coin Jar from Inspired By Family Magazine. I also love being part of Moms Fighting Hunger -- join us on our Facebook page and get involved, and I often share ways to help others on my Be the Change Pinboard, which has a different theme each month.

Sharing at: Montessori Monday, Tuesday Tots, Mom's Library, It's Playtime, Kid Lit Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Blog Hop, Read.Explore.Learn, The Children's Bookshelf.            


  1. I love this series! I think it is so cool that you were able to do it with Nebraska!!!

  2. I love all of your tie-ins to the Nebraska. What a great idea! Thank you for participating in the Booking Across the USA project!

  3. We love our corn sensory tub. It's one that is around all year. Love the idea of Quilt Twister. I was part of an I-Spy fabric swap and this activity might work really well for using up some of those blocks.

  4. It is so awesome that you tied this series in with Nebraska!

  5. You are such an awesome mom. Cornmeal play is a favorite with my kids, but we haven't done it in ages. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. You definitely are thorough in your post! Great job! Thanks for the shout out. ~Mari

  7. Visiting from KidLit. Great review!

  8. I really like this feature. It's funny, being Canadian, when I think of Nebraska, I totally think of corn! lol Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop. :)

  9. My kids and I were just talking about Nebraska last night and wondering what the jobs are there! Thanks for a thorough understanding of all things Nebraska! I love that 50 states series!

  10. Thanks so much for linking up on the kid lit blog hop yesterday! I love how you tied together a book and activity - you're so creative! :)

  11. Fun! I love that you used the map to play trains. We just got a rail map of Ireland in the mail yesterday to learn about the country & geography through trains...looks like it should be a successful activity!

  12. What a totally amazing post. I love all of the activities for Nebraska!Thanks for the fantastic information.
    I am stopping by on the Kid Lit blog Hop.

  13. My kids actually did a lot of cornmeal activities back in the late 1980s and early 1990s! This brings back lots of memories - both from our cornmeal adventures and growing up on a farm in South Dakota! I featured your post and photo in my 40+ Farm Sensory Tubs post at http://livingmontessorinow.com/2013/06/17/montessori-monday-40-plus-farm-sensory-tubs/