Exploration Stations or Centers for Kansas Day

If you’re a Kansas kindergarten teacher, you likely know that Kansas Day is coming up on January 29th.  I grew up in Iowa and although we learned about Iowa symbols and history, I don’t recall taking a specific day to celebrate Iowa.  But when I moved to Kansas and started teaching kindergarten, I realized that Kansas Day is definitely celebrated here!  It’s a fun day full of sunflowers and fun, and I am excited to share a brand-new resource with you today!

I have several Kansas Day activities in my store already, including a sunflower counting by tens craftivity (one of my all-time favorites!), a flip-up book, and a set of mini books.  In the last couple years, I’ve had several teachers ask me for more ideas on ways to celebrate Kansas Day.  I love finding ways to incorporate themes with everyday learning activities, so I decided to create a set of activities that could be used as exploration stations, centers, morning tubs, or in any way to celebrate Kansas Day.  I ended up creating 12 different activities that focus on different literacy, math, science, and fine motor skills!

If you need evidence of learning or would like practice pages, I’ve got you covered!  The math, literacy, and science activities all include a corresponding activity page.  I also provided black-and-white versions for most of the activities!

Letter or Sight Word Sand Tray Writing:

These prairie animal-themed cards can be used in a variety of ways.  I love sand and salt trays, so I added some gold glitter to white sand for this activity.  There are uppercase and lowercase letter cards and editable sight word cards.

Kansas Vocabulary Cards:

If you’re familiar with my morning work tubs, then you’ll recognize these for sure!  I included ten cards for a variety of Kansas vocabulary, including Kansas, sunflower, wheat, and cottonwood.

Honeybee Hive Word Sort:

The honeybee is the state insect, so I created this word sorting activity with a fun bee theme.

Scrambled-Up Sentences:

Here’s another morning work tub favorite with a Kansas twist!  Each of the sentences is color-coded with mixed-up words.  The picture supports the text and will help your students put each sentence together.

Sunflower Seed Counting:

This is one of the more simple activities, but sunflower seeds are a fun counting object!  I recommend buying the unsalted sunflower seeds.  🙂

Sunflower Ten Frames:

There are ten frame cards for numbers to 20.  I used plastic linking cubes, but you can use whatever objects you want: cubes, mini erasers, sunflower seeds, etc.
Sunflower Counting or Addition:

There is a counting version of this activity and then there are 0-5 and 0-10 addition versions.  I love using pony beads because they’re great for fine motor work!  Students will either show the number or the addition sentence using the beads.
Kansas Graphing:

For this activity, I provided a cube that you can print and assemble or you can print the cards and place them into a pocket cube.  
Planting Sunflowers Sensory Tub and Sequencing Cards:

You will have to create the sensory tub; I used dry black beans for “dirt”, artificial sunflowers, and plastic gardening tools from this set.  I’m including sunflower sequencing cards for students to put in order as well.
Sunflower and Honeybee Cut and Punch Activity:

Students will cut out around each shape (the honeybee is more complex, FYI) and then use a hole punch to punch on the dots.  
Rainbow Sunflower Transfer Activity:

This is a simple activity that I use tongs or tweezers for to add a fine motor component.  The spinner is optional but most kinders can’t get enough of using spinners!  I laminated the spinner mat and hot-glued one of these spinners on top.  You can add more difficulty by adding a six-sided die and incorporating that into the activity.
Line Tracing Cards:

These cards feature a Western meadowlark (the state bird) with lines toward a nest.  The cards practice left-to-right directionality with a variety of tracing line styles.  Laminate them and provide dry-erase markers so they can be reused.
Check out this activity (and more Kansas Day resources) in my store by clicking on the image below!

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