Explore Kansas, the Sunflower State
We have so much more to tell you about our trip to Kansas. Sam and I loved learning about the Flint Hills and the prairies of Kansas. We were very excited to visit some farms and ranches during the second half of our trip to the Sunflower State. We stayed with a Kansas native named Matthew. He’s a farmer, so we knew he’d have a lot to share with us.
On the first day, Matthew took us on a tour of his farm. With the sun shining above us, we walked through fields of golden wheat. The fields stretched out for miles in front of us. We watched as the wind rolled against the tall wheat stalks. They wobbled in the breeze like they were dancing.
Matthew told us that farmers grow all kinds of crops in Kansas, but wheat is one of the most popular. “The seeds are called kernels,” he said. “There are about 50 kernels in the head of one stalk of wheat. Mills grind the kernels to create flour.”
It was so interesting to think that most of the wheat used in America comes from Kansas. That’s why it’s often called the Wheat State!
The next day we woke up early to ride our scooter down some country roads. We passed old barns and fences and ended up by a lake. Matthew said it’s called Lake Inman and it’s the largest natural lake in the state.
Matthew brought over some fishing poles and we spent the morning by the lake. We didn’t get many bites, but right when we were getting ready to leave, I felt a tug on my fishing line and caught a flathead catfish! We released the fish back into the lake, but it was so exciting to catch one.
We had an amazing trip. It was fun exploring Kansas’s countryside and visiting its popular cities. Learn about the cities Sam and I liked best, see some of the pictures we took and learn about the Kansas Aviation Museum and build your own paper airplane.
Sofia and Sam
The nighthawk is a nocturnal bird. It sleeps during the day and wakes at sunset to hunt for insects. It doesn’t use a nest. It’s feathers blend in with bark and fallen leaves helping to keep it safe and hidden.
Nature Preserve: Tallgrass Prairie Nature Preserve
Tallgrass used to grow across millions of acres of North America. Today, a fraction of the acres remain, mostly in Kansas. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects these remaining acres.
The Kansas Pacific Railroad brought cattle cars to Abilene, making it one of the first cowtowns in Kansas. In the 1800s, the city was governed by a town marshal named Tom “Bear River” Smith.
Bird: Black-Necked Stilt
The black-necked stilt hunts for small fish in the wetlands of southern Kansas. It’s named after its long legs, which are so tall they look like stilts. The birds height allows it to wade through the shallows.
Nature Preserve: Konza Prairie Biological Station
Konza Prairie Biological Station is a nature preserve dedicated to field research and environmental study. It’s often also called an outdoor laboratory because scientists explore the prairie to study its ecosystems.
Topeka is the capital of Kansas. The state capitol building is located here. In 2014, the capitol had a grand reopening to reveal its new visitor center. You can tour all of Capitol Square and learn about Kansas state history.
Craft: Make a Paper Airplane
In the early 1900s, the Wichita Municipal Airport was one of the busiest airports in the USA. The United States Air Force used Wichita as a center for pilot training and aircraft manufacturing. Major aviation companies built many new planes in the city, making Wichita the Air Capital of the World. While in Wichita, Sam and Sofia visited the Kansas Aviation Museum and learned how to make paper airplanes. Follow the directions below to make a paper airplane of your own.
Download a Printable Version:
Little Passports Paper Plane Instructions