Monday, November 4, 2019

Christmas Book Advent Calendar Upgrade

Ever since Xander was little, I've done the Christmas Book Advent Calendar that has been circulating Pinterest. The idea is that you wrap 24 (or 25) Christmas books and the child gets to unwrap one every day leading up to Christmas. This year, I decided to upgrade how we do it A) to make it more special, B) to make it more environmentally friendly and C) to make it MUCH easier on myself in the future.
That first year, we didn't have enough Christmas books, so I used several "winter" books or other books I could kind of connect.  Over the years, we've collected more than the necessary 24, mostly second hand, so now have to open two on a few of the days. (I use the same books every year).
I used to wrap each book, every year. It took a long time and created a lot of wrapping paper waste.  Since most wrapping paper isn't recyclable and I've been trying hard to minimize the disposables we use, I made some simple cloth bags for the books. To be even more environmentally friendly (and economical) I used tablecloths I found really cheap at Salvation Army for the fabric.  I even had enough left over for a few bags to use for regular Christmas presents.
Now believe me, I am not professional seamstress.  The bags are very basic and took more ironing than sewing. I was worried about bending the thing paperback books when cinching the bags, so I made several of them extra tall, and floppy, as a result. Altogether, though, I think they look very festive.
The best part is, I never have to wrap them again! No cutting, folding or taping!  Just throwing them in a bag and tying the ribbon, where I'll store them for next year. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Halloween Tot School

How can it almost be Halloween?!?  I had big ideas for all sorts of Halloween related Tot School activities, but house renovations have thrown us into chaos, so this is what we were able to accomplish.

Halloween Vocabulary Matching (free printable here)
Halloween Sensory Bin 
Cauldron Shape and Color Matching (free printables here)
Spider Rings on Posts
Magna-Tile Jack-O-Lantern 
Halloween Books 
Felt Jack-O-Lantern

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Elementary Economics Book Club

Back in August I posted my Afterschooling goals for Xander. One of the areas I had wanted to focus on was economics.  He received the Tuttle Twins series by Connor Boyack for Christmas last year. It's a great set of books that focus on economics in an approachable, easy way.  He's read all of the books multiple times, but I decided to do a "Book Club" with him, to make sure he was understanding the take home messages from the books.
For September, we both read and discussed The Law by Connor Boyack. To guide our discussion, I made a set of discussion questions.  I included a key with some possible answers, based on the story. You are welcome to download them here.

As we work our way through more books, I'll update with the new discussion questions.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Cauldron Matching

With Halloween approaching, I was looking for themed activities to do with Archer.  I ended up making him these printables to practice matching his colors and his shapes. For both sets, I left the cauldron page intact and put it in a dry erase sleeve.  I cut up the manipulatives and laminated them. If your little one isn't reading, you could easily read the words for them and have them find the correct candy/pumpkin.

Color Matching Cauldrons
This one has candy in different colors to match to the cauldrons.

Shape Matching Cauldrons
This one has pumpkins with different shapes on them to match to the cauldrons. 

Here's a video of my little guy the first time I showed him the pumpkins.  We definitely go at his pace and only for as long as he is interested.

You may also enjoy these free Halloween 3 Part Cards

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Knight and Dragon Play Dough Kit

There are so many wonderful play dough kit ideas out there, but I feel like a lot of them are geared towards girls.  I had a great time making a Fairy Garden Play Dough kit for our cousin, which she loved, so I thought I'd try making a couple for some male cousins.
We had two cousins turning 5 at the same time, so I was able to get some things to split between their kits. 
I used Latchmate storage boxes to store them (although, IKEA boxes are supposed to work great if you are close to one). Each one included part of a Knights Toob set and part of a Dragon Toob set. I used some pearl and gem vase fill, some rocks and then Mini Geometric cookie cutters. Below, I put some teal and some orange homemade play dough. 

Affiliate links used, at no cost to you!  Thank you for your support!

Friday, October 18, 2019

Orange Week

Archer is 17 months

In August I posted our Color Themes Goals. Those are what I had in mind while we started Tot School this week, not actually learning the color.
His little shelf had several books about colors or Orange.  I also got out two of his Non-Fiction Sight Words books and one of his Meet the Sight Words readers (he likes those better than story books at the moment).  The poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT. I also hung up the pages to his color book (free here).
Playroom shelves this week.  The goal of the toys is to entertain him and give him some fine motor practice.  Things like building, sorting and puzzles also provide some spacial awareness (math and even physics). 

The magnet board had a Magna-Tile Jack-O-Lantern, that will stay up through Halloween. The shelves included a super sorting pie, color blocks, a car track, orange sorting food, spinagain, magnetic balls and sticks, a sound puzzle, a shape book, a bin or random orange objects, stacking garages and cars and his shape and color game.
Orange foods 3 part cards (free here). He is starting to do most of the matching himself. We also did the corresponding Little Reader lesson to go with most days. We also used his orange sorting food to match to the words and pictures.
 Coloring his Orange Book (free here). We used crayons, markers and Do a Dots.
Bin of miscellaneous orange objects.
The ears and goggles were a big hit!
For sensory play with used orange soap foam.  More details on this post.
He has started asking for the light table pretty frequently.  One day we used it with lots of orange magnetic tiles.
Playing his shape and color game.  Free printable dice here.
Since he loves sight words, I got out some of his orange fall words to play with. Free printables here
Some random shots of him playing.

Affiliate links used, at no cost to you!  Thank you for your support!
Kaysha @ Memorizing the MomentsColorsFollow On

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Soap Foam Sensory Play

I've been trying to do some sort of sensory play with Archer every week (sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't). This week I decided to try out some soap foam.
To make it, I put 2 tablespoons of dish soap in the mixer with 1/4 c water.  I added some liquid water color, just to make it slightly orange for our Color Themes. Then I put the mixer on high until some peaks formed. 
Since it has been to cold to do messy play outside, I set him up in the tub.  I put water in the two sides of his little lap desk and popped him in. 
He discovered he could use the sides to rinse his hands. 
Since he was already in the tub, cleanup was a breeze.  I just drained the water and used the shower attachment to rinse him off really well.  Definitely something we will try again sometime!

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