Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Traveling the States with Gage – Indiana and Arizona

I had the best of intentions of working our way through many states this summer, but as  the first days of school looms we have managed only two.

fpoExploring the States:Arizona, the Grand Canyon State

This was the first state that Gage chose himself and I have no idea why, but was happy to see him take an interest.  We started by reading through the book and then I chose some  5-10 minute activities over the three days.  My goal is really just two activities  for each of the three days and then a book or two.


  1. Traced the state map, marked the capital and put on some stickers having to do with Arizona (thank you Jill!).  Wrote Arizona.

2. Colored the state flag, state reptile (ridge nosed rattlesnake) and state flower (cactus blossom).

3. We made our own cactus blossom using this pin as an inspiration.  We used a brown paper wine bag since it was brown and we could cut it to make it stand up.  First we painted his hand green (he looked very Hulkish), then he used the dot paints to make the flowers.  After the paint dried he added the ‘ouchies’, wrote his name at the bottom (any excuse to get him to practice), and he cut along the line I drew.  Wha-la!  a perfectly lovely cactus blossom.IMG_3832IMG_3836IMG_3843

4. Since the state coloring page included a snake we used this pin and made our own snakes.  Here’s Gage making his.  This activity is great for fine motor. First he cuts the strips, then he has to make a chain.  He had to concentrate but he did it.  We drew on eyes an a tongue and had snake fights.IMG_3899IMG_3903IMG_3905

5. Kay sent me this great book and it’s an Arizona spin on the Three Little Pigs.  fpoThe Three Little Javelinas was PERFECT for learning about Arizona.  Javelinas are sometimes called wild pigs, they are related to swine and hippopotamus and instead of them running from the Big Bad Wolf they are on the run from a coyote.  The two brothers and one sister use traditional southwest things for their three houses; tumbleweed, sticks from inside a cactus (called saguaro ribs), and adobe bricks.  Along the way you learn a few Spanish and Native American words and about how the traditional things are made or where they come from.  The illustrations were wonderful and Gage loved it!  So did I – thanks Kay!  32 pages and perfect for ages 3-7.

fpoExploring the States:Indiana, the Hoosier State

I found myself very uninspired by Indiana when we did this state so we didn’t do as much as I would have liked.

  1. Traced the state map, marked the capital and wrote Indiana.
  2. Colored the state flag.
  3. Drew lots of racetracks.  IMG_3036
  4. Watched the movie Cars.IMG_3066
Yes, I know, lame.

Keep sending me ideas for your state – especially book ideas!

Our Michigan activities. Ohio activities. Pennsylvania activities. West Virginia activities.

August 15, 2015 - Posted by | Gage, Kids Books


  1. You are such a great mom! I love seeing Gage’s tongue sticking out while he’s working with scissors – he’s adorable!

    Comment by BermudaOnion | August 15, 2015 | Reply

  2. I agree with Kathy! And I love javelinas (Arizonans call them “javvies”). We even have a javelina cookie cutter!

    Comment by rhapsodyinbooks | August 15, 2015 | Reply

  3. So glad to see Gage having a good time with his state learning! That cactus blossom project was great, as was the snake paper chain. What a good idea! Pleased that the Arizona pig book worked well. Did I tell you that we had a herd of feral pigs that visited our back yard for weeks and weeks last year? They finally seem to have moved on, but Texas is full of them. Everywhere. They are very destructive.

    I’ll be on the lookout for other state books that might work or even other things. I always think about it. This is such a wonderful learning event that you are doing with Gage. I concur with Kathy’s and Jill’s praise of you! Great mom, indeed, Stacy. Hugs.

    Comment by Kay | August 15, 2015 | Reply

  4. I love that you do these learning books with Gage! I see he sticks his tongue out when he concentrates. Too cute!

    Comment by Vicki | August 15, 2015 | Reply

  5. Such a great project and informative fun way to learn.

    Comment by Diane | August 15, 2015 | Reply

  6. Wonderful projects, Stacy. The javelinas book sounds cute.

    Comment by Mary | August 16, 2015 | Reply

  7. Arizona was the state I was born in. 🙂 I love the catcus.

    I love that you are doing this with Gage!

    Comment by Literary Feline | August 18, 2015 | Reply

  8. […] Arizona activities. Indiana activities.  Michigan activities. Ohio activities. Pennsylvania activities. West […]

    Pingback by Traveling the States with Gage- Hawaii « Stacy's Books | October 4, 2015 | Reply

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