As we continue to learn about each of America’s states, I can’t wait for you to learn more about New Jersey! Here are some interesting facts about New Jersey for kids, plus some supplements to really dive deeper into each one.
This is part of the 50 states unit study as we travel around America, learning about the history of each state! Check out these New Jersey facts for kids below!
New Jersey is a small but mighty state – it’s the most densely populated state in the United States. It borders New York and is sometimes overshadowed by it, but still has many different things to do and see within the state.
Five New Jersey Facts:
Did you know New Jersey is home to the most millionaires per capita in the US and New Jersey’s public schools continue to rank the best in America? Find out more about New Jersey with these facts and activities.
Fact One: New Jersey’s nickname is the Garden State.
You can find the nickname “Garden State” on New Jersey’s license plates…but why? The nickname is debated, but on New Jersey’s official website, it’s speculated that even though New Jersey has great neighbors (Pennsylvania and New York), New Jersey still has a lot to offer.
Learn more about flowers and gardens with these activities:
How do flowers grow? Find out with this science experiment.
Create your own flowers with these creative rainbow flowers.
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert celebrates the diversity of gardens and the different flowers they offer.
Try making these chromatography flowers with coffee filters.
Make flowers out of paper plates with this hands-on flower activity.
Fact Two: The state fish is the brook trout.
The brook trout – or speckled trout – are found in Canada and the northeastern part of the US, which is one of the reasons why they are the state fish of New Jersey!
Learn more about the brook trout with these:
Grab some foil for this fish foil craft – and adjust it for brook trouts.
If your kids like fishing, this fishing log specifically meant for kids is a must-have.
Get creative with this rainbow trout craft.
National Geographic’s Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean explores some of the best that wildlife can offer.
Fact Three: Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and phonograph in his New Jersey lab.
Although Thomas Edison was from Ohio, Edison’s lab was in Melo Park, New Jersey. His nickname was the “Wizard of Melo Park!” Thomas Edison was one of the most famous inventors throughout the late 1800s. Despite some controversy, he is known as one of America’s best inventors.
Resources to help you expand on this fact:
Young Thomas Edison by Michael Dooling is one of my favorite picture books for its simple text and beautiful images.
For students who are reading chapter books, they may enjoy Who Was Thomas Edison?
Learn more about phonographs with this sound waves experiment.
Grab some yellow balloons and make this DIY lightbulb balloon!
Make a light bulb light up with a balloon with this science experiment!
Fact Four: New Jersey’s state bird is the Eastern goldfinch.
Have you ever noticed anything different about a goldfinch feeder? Did you know that goldfinches are one of the few birds that eat upside down? That’s just one of the cool aspects of this beautiful yellow and black bird.
Learn more about goldfinches with these activities:
Grab this simple goldfinch coloring page.
Create a goldfinch bird feeder with a water bottle you have on hand.
Birds come in all different types of colors. Baby’s First Book of Birds and Colors by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes highlights several birds, including the goldfinch.
The Atlas of Amazing Birds by Matt Sewell is a great introduction to birds. It doesn’t have the goldfinches, but it is full of rich illustrations. Plus, you can find several of the birds featured in New Jersey.
Learn more about goldfinches with this goldfinch introductory video for kids.
Fact Five: Albert Einstein lived in Princeton, New Jersey.
Albert Einstein was born in Germany and left Europe shortly before WWII. He lived in New Jersey from 1935 until 1955 when he died.
Albert Einstein is arguably the greatest scientist in the world or at least one of the most popular! His theories and even his name have shaped our world forever.
Learn more about Einstein with these ideas:
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne is a beautiful picture book that doesn’t get into the details of Einstein’s scientific achievements but instead celebrates his quirks and creativity.
Kid Scientists by David Stabler introduces kids to a variety of famous scientists, including Einstein.
Create an invention box inspired by Einstein and creativity.
Einstein’s known for his signature messy hair. Create this Einstein out of a toilet paper roll…and don’t forget the hair!
Introduce younger students to science with this science activity.
More New Jersey Resources:
14 Pages: New Jersey State Unit Study
Books about New Jersey for Kids