I am very excited to be part of the Booking Across the USA project hosted by Growing Book by Book. Today I am joining over 50 other bloggers in sharing a children's book and activity for my state. The Rocky Mountains always come to mind when people think of Colorado, but I wanted to cover a different aspect of the state. I was happy to find a new picture book called Dreaming of Colorado: A Children's Bedtime Story, written by Grant Collier and illustrated by Stephanie Lowman. The book takes its characters through a magical canoe ride backwards in time through Colorado's history. So the girls hopped into their own magic canoe (laundry basket) and we set off on our own historical adventure...
I showed the kids photos of Dinosaur Ridge where you can see dinosaur footprints on the side of the hill right next to the road. We talked about some of the things that dinosaur footprints can tell us about dinosaurs like whether they walk on two feet or four, how large they were, whether they traveled in groups, etc...
With a bit of paint and the kids' collection of plastic dinosaur figures, we made some of our own dinosaur footprints and made observations about them like telling the difference between the theropods and sauropods.
The next stop for the magic canoe in our book was a time period where sequoia trees grew in Colorado and volcanoes were active.
We looked at pictures of sequoia trees online. Then we made our own 'volcano' using aluminum foil. The girls were mesmerized when I made it 'erupt' using baking soda and vinegar. This is the first time we've done this, so the level of excitement was pretty high.
I showed them some pictures of the petrified sequoia trees that were preserved by volcanic ash in the Florissant Fossil Beds in Colorado. I'll have to add it to our list of places to visit this summer.
The story then takes us to the plains where we meet an Arapahoe Indian hunter on a horse chasing a herd of bison.
The fourth aspect of Colorado history in the book was meeting a prospector who was looking for gold. So we decided to do a little gold panning of our own...
The book Deaming of Colorado was a fun launching point to start teaching my kids about their home state. Obviously all four topics we covered through our introduction to Colorado history can be entire units themselves, but the little activities we did were just right to spark my Preschoolers' curiosity.
To see what the other bloggers in Booking Across the USA did for their states, visit the links below: