Friday, December 13, 2019

Christmas Activities 18 Months


Archer is 18 months

We're taking a break from our Color Themes to do some Christmas themed Tot School activities.  With family visiting and many many festivities going on, these shelves will probably stay up for at least a couple of weeks. 
Here are our shelves. On the top I have a sensory bin and some Magna Tile "trees." The shelves have a felt Christmas tree activity, Christmas word 3 Part Cards (free printable here), a spinagain, some finger puppets, sight words matching activity (free printable here), a shapes game, a jingle bell exploration basket, a pom pom activity, lalabloom and a Christmas puzzle.
The sensory bin used white kidney beans as a base for plastic ornaments and accessories.  I used colored jingle bells with the Magna Tile "trees."
This basket had a felt tree with various colored ornaments and a big star for the top.
I love it when Archer can use activities I made for Xander! He can match pretty much all of the words to the pictures, but only has the attention span to do 4-5 at any given time.  He seems to like matching them on the pocket chart better than having them lie flat on the ground or a table.
Archer really likes the sight words trees and ornaments, but mostly just likes to go through them all and read all the words.  Matching is a skill we're still practicing, so I get out just a few at a time to have him match.
This was a huge hit with both the 9 year old and the 18 month old.  I got a bunch of jingle bells in various sizes, some metal and some plastic containers, and some magnets.  I showed them how to use the wand to move the bells up the sides of the plastic containers.
A scooping activity, that ended up just being a picking up and dropping activity.  Still good one to one correspondence. :)
I put out the lalabloom because it kind of reminded me of garland.
A play dough kit I made for Archer. I haven't actually shown it to him yet, so I've very excited to have him play with it.  Hopefully, several times in the next couple of weeks!

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Sight Words Matching Game

Christmas season is in full swing and I found myself wanting some more hands on activities for Archer.  I ended up making this ornament/tree sight words matching game for my word-loving little guy.



You are welcome to download the files and use them with your own little one.  I made both a color tree page and an outline page, so you can print on green card stock (and save ink).


You can download other free printables here.



Wednesday, December 11, 2019

1500 Book Reading Challenge


Way back when Xander was a toddler, I did a 1500 Book Reading Challenge.  The idea was to read 1500 books with him over the course of the year. I thought it was a fun and beneficial challenge (research suggests reading to kids improves their brain development, vocabulary and academic success). 1500 books means a LOT of exposure to words, books and cuddle time! I made the challenge just that much harder for myself by choosing to do 1500 unique books (so reading the same ones again and again didn't count towards the goal). It works out to slightly over 4 new books a day, so we made lots of trips to the library!
I have decided 2020 is the time to do the challenge with Archer! I'd love for others to join along (#1500BookChallenge)! If you just want to read 1500 books, I think a tally would probably be the easiest way to keep track.  However, if you want to do unique books, I made a spreadsheet where I can write the books we read each week and it will count them.  You're welcome to copy this template (Google Sheets) to keep track for your little one.
With Xander, I updated periodically with some of our favorite book finds, so will probably do something similar this go round.  I'm open to suggestions as to whether it should be on the blog or somewhere on social media.





Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Flower Play Dough Kit

Another cousin birthday, and another play dough kit assembled! This was a cute little flower themed kit.  I love how fun and girly it turned out!


I used a taller Latchmate storage box that had a cute little storage tray. In the top I put a flower toob and a little wooden rainbow. I added some flower buttons in different colors and different sizes and some flower cookie cutters, as well as some homemade purple play dough.
The bottom had a tub of pink homemade play dough, a rolling pin, another flower shaped cookie cutter and a little metal tub with handle. I also threw in some flower vocabulary cards (free here) that included all the flowers from the toob.
Here's hoping that our cousins like it!



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Flower Vocabulary Cards

Combing Little Reader Lessons with Montessori style 3 Part Cards is one of my favorite ways to build vocabulary.  Both my boys have loved new word lessons.  Whenever I can, I also make lessons that have Toobs or other toys to go with them, for a tactile matching activity.

Recently, I made a lesson and vocabulary cards to go with the Flower Toob.
You're welcome to print the cards for free from here.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Brown Week


Archer is 18 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 (that included brown).  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).
Brown 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. 
 Coloring his Brown Book (free here). We used crayons, markers and Do a Dots.
Painting (and tasting) with chocolate pudding. It provided a fun sensory experience for him, although he was pretty upset when I took the cup of pudding away.
Bin of miscellaneous orange objects.
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). 

These shelves had some two part puzzles, a magnetic tracing board, Unifix cubes, a rainbow stacking toy, our Hide and Seek Positional Word game (free here), a couple of puzzles and a bin of brown foods.
Hide and Seek Positional Word game (free here)
When he doesn't feel well, so wants to cuddle, but still play.

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

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.


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