Kids’ Geography: Learning About California

February 25, 2013 in All Posts, First Grade, First Grade Literacy, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Geography, Kindergarten Literacy, Play, Preschool, Preschool Geography, Preschool Literacy

This is a bit new, we have been doing a lot of kindergarten and preschool geography activities lately! Today we’re sharing our contribution to the Booking Across the USA project spearheaded by Jodie of Growing Book by Book, which explores all 50 states…you guessed it:  book by book.


Our state, since we live here and because it is nothing short of awesome, is California.

Preschool Geography Book

We read Our California by Pam Munoz Ryan, which has wonderful illustrations and is packed full of information about the history, culture, and geography of California.  In terms of the language and reading level, this book is more suitable for an elementary school reader, but it was an excellent learning tool for my toddler and preschooler with me reading the book aloud. It was also a great refresher course for me!
Pam Munoz Ryan Our California

Preschool Geography Activity

To go along with the book, we played a matching game with California state symbols:

Outlaw Mom Booking Across the USA California 3Outlaw Mom Booking Across the USA California 1Outlaw Mom Booking Across the USA California 2

You can download your own set of the matching cards here, which includes 12 different state symbols or significant geographical features specific to California.

First, we printed out two copies of each matching card and then played a simple game of memory with just the photos, talking about what was shown on each of the cards.

Kindergarten Geography Activity

Next, we used the reading cards to match the photos to the words, read the words, and then we talked more about what the words and photos represented.

Outlaw Mom California Reading Cards

You can download your own set of the reading cards here, which includes text to go along with the photos from the matching cards set.

These activities were definitely a fun hands-on reinforcement tool to extend our reading experience!

More Preschool, Toddler, and Infant Books

If you’re looking for a simpler book for preschoolers and kindergarteners, try Good Night California by Adam Gamble 

Gamble Kelly Good Night California

I have to warn you that while the simplicity is appealing and the illustrations are charming, this is not a book for learning syntax or sentence structure! Even though I cringed at the awkward language, Good Night California is still an entertaining read for kids and a good way to introduce your child to the different aspects of California.

And 123 California: A Cool Counting Book, which is a simple counting book, is good for babies, toddlers, and even younger preschoolers.

Puck 123 California

Don’t stop here…continue your journey around the 50 states with these fabulous bloggers who are also showcasing books and activities to go along with your adventure:

Alabama: Everyday Snapshots

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

Happy Trails!

Parents and friends: for more ideas, activities, and inspiration for #RaisingThinkingKids, click on an icon below to join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Tips for Raising Thinking Kids + Creative Living.

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