Booking Across the USA: California

We are exciting to be a part of “Booking Across the USA”, which is a collaborative blogging project hosted by Jodie at Growing Book by Book.  Over 50 bloggers have come together to choose a picture book that represents their state, and have put together a craft or activity to go along with the books.

Living in California, we chose a phenomenal picture book that blended both factual narrative and an adventure of  California’s Redwood forests.  Jason Chin’s Redwoods follows a young boy as he learns about the redwood forests. As he reads, the information unfolds, and his imagination travels him all the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. The information was probably a bit too much for my 4 year old to understand, however my son, who is a first grader, loved this book.

Some interesting facts that we learned from this book:

“The coast redwoods are among the oldest trees in the world. Their ancestors lived about 165 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.”
“They are the tallest living things on the planet. Redwoods regularly grow to be more than 200 feet tall.”
“If you see a ring of redwoods in the forest, they probably sprouted from the same stump.”
“It takes a long time for water to travel all the way from the roots to the top of a redwood, and the fog helps the trees by preventing them from losing moisture to evaporation.”


To make your very own Redwood forest, here are some supplies you will need…


  • Paper towel tubes (quantity depends on how many trees you want)
  • Paint (brown and black)
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Green craft paper (12×12″)
  • Twigs (optional)
  • Tissue paper (green)
  • Scissors
  • Large cardboard box
  • White glue/glue gun


We first used a brown acrylic craft paint to paint our tree trunks brown, using a foam paint brush to apply the paint.
We then cut out a side from a cardboard box and painted it brown also.  The size will depend on how big you want your redwood forest to be.
While we were waiting for the paint to dry, we made the tops of the trees, simply by using a 12×12 piece of green scrapbook paper.
First we folded that paper in half and then drew a straight line from one corner of the paper to the other end.



And then we cut along the line, making a large triangle.
We then cut two slits across from one another on one end of the paper towel tube.

And then inserted the tree top into the two slits.
My son had the idea of puncturing holes in the side of the paper towel tube so we could insert twigs to make some tree branches (he used a tiny screw driver to make the holes).  Please also note in the photo below that we cut multiple slits at the bottom of the tube and folded them out for easier gluing onto our cardboard box.


We collected some thin twigs from our tree outside and inserted them into the holes.


Next my son took a small sponge brush and painted a little roadway for the cars to travel on, because there are some Redwood trees in Northern CA that are drive-thru trees.


Next we used white glue to glue green tissue paper around the road, to create the effect of the plants growing around the trees.

And lastly we glued our trees on our cardboard with a glue gun  (it dries faster and holds better).

My kids had a great time playing with our Redwood forest that we created.

My daughter had a box of tiny worry dolls, which were perfect size little people to show off the grandness of of our forest, so she used them in her pretend play.

My son also had the perfect toy cars called micro charger cars, which were the perfect size to go through our drive-thru trees.

Some dolls got out of their car to view the trees.

Hopefully, one of these days, we’ll take a road trip up to Northern California so we can experience the tallest living thing on the planet ourselves.

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If you are looking for more fun crafts representing a different state, please check out the list of blogs below.

Alabama: Everyday Sanpshots
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