Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Engaging Winter Books

My kids love books, but they tend to gravitate towards books that are engaging or interactive in some way. They love flaps or sounds or other unique elements. Here are some winter books that fit that category.

Interactive Books

  • In the Snow: This book is about animals that live in the snow, but as you turn the pages, the Venetian windows make the scenes "change." Kids have fun opening and closing the pages to watch the changes happen.
  • Into the Arctic - This book has little acetate windows that let you peek through various layers of the snowy scenes. It also features some more unique animals, in addition to the polar bears and arctic foxes.
  • Whose Prints? - This is a board book that has little cut outs that are fun for little fingers to feel. I also like that it uses varying vocabulary for how the animals moved (skittered, slink-slink-slinked, etc).

  • Who's Hiding in the Snow? - This book has tons of flaps for kids to find the animals hiding under the snow. I liked that it has a huge variety of animals.
  • What is a Narwhal? - Technically this is a board book with big thick flaps. What I love about this series (we have all of them), is that they're board books but still have lots of great information in them. Even my middle son can read and enjoy them.
  • Peek Inside Snowy Places - a beginner lift the flap book with big flaps to look behind. Still lots of good information.
  • Don't Tickle the Polar Bear: this book is a lot simpler, so better for little kids. The buttons to active the sounds have textures and are really easy to push. That being said, it is one my toddler is likely to read on her own.
  • Arctic Animal Sound Book: this book I actually like a little better (and my 19 month old really likes too). It is a sound book, but it has more sounds per page and more interesting sounds.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Heart Pattern Matching Activity


For each of my kids I have hit a point where they are good at matching colors and shapes, but I am not ready to introduce letters and numbers yet. Pattern matching has been our logical transition activity (I've made mittens and shamrocks). This time, I made some fun patterned hearts that we can use for Valentine's Day and for our shape activities.

What is nice about these activities, is that they can start off as a matching activity and eventually progress to a memory activity. I do laminate mine for longevity.

Check out more Valentine's Day ideas:

Friday, January 26, 2024

Tot School Gray Week

       We recently wrapped out the gray week of our color themes.  As with the boys, my goal is not for her to learn her colors. You can see my tot school goals here.

Juniper was 19 months
Juniper's little area on our wall. I put up her color poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT. I put out a gray book and some early readers. This week she had me read the early readers on repeat!
Working on her coloring book pages (free here).

We've been starting to use Montessori 3 Part Vocabulary Cards with some color cards. She has really been enjoying the activity and was able to match them all by the end of the week.
Random gray manipulatives and a mold for some one to one correspondence work.
I had some wooden balls I painted gray back when my oldest was little. She had fun dropping them down a tube.
Napkin rings on a pasta drying tree.
Bin of gray items.
We used gray foam and pillows to build a climbing structure (there's a mixture of Nugget, Roo and You and Arches Magoo).
Paperclips in a bottle with a bingo wand.
Working on her little fraction puzzle (she's too little to worry about the fraction aspect, we just work on matching the colors and getting the pieces in). My 5 year old also really enjoys this one.
Playing Go Away Monster. She didn't necessarily get the "point" of the game, but she knew what she was supposed to do and liked yelling "Go Away Monsters!!"

You can check out our other Color Theme posts here:

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Asia Activities and Resources

 As we go through our Around the World Homeschool studies, I thought I'd share some of the resources we used. Here are some of the things we did for Asia. I will post the individual country units as we do them.

We started out with a few Asian books.
He did the Asian pages in the Barefoot Books World Atlas Sticker Book. I think there were actually four Asia spreads.
Asia Spread from Beginning Geography
Asia page in his Flag Sticker Atlas
We also looked through the Asian pages in our various atlases (you can see which ones we use here). This spread is from the Lift-The-Flap Picture Atlas
Asian Page from A World of Gratitude
Both of my younger kids play with animal figurines a lot, so I got out our Asian animals (regular size, not Toob size). We have a red panda, mama and baby panda, gibbon, daddy, mama and baby lion, mama and baby white tiger and mama and baby tiger.
South Asian River Dolphin spread from The Wild Life of Animals
We try to read some poetry every week, so this week Archer read the Asian pages from Around the World on Eighty Legs

He did his Asia tray puzzle and Asia GeoPuzzle.
The continent art was new for us this week. I started by printing an outline of the Asian continent onto cardstock, having him cut it out and trace it on watercolor paper. Then I used a paper punch (from this set) to punch out bleeding tissue paper.
Then he picked out the colors for the continent and other colors for the background. He used a wet brush to stick the tissue paper down. We let it dry and shook the tissue paper off.
Finally, he used a Sharpie to retrace his original outline. As you can see, we did have some bleeding (I think because he didn't clean out the brush between colors). I still think it looks neat. 

Asian Countries Units:

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Winter Dot Magnet Pages

Juniper is now about 19 month and at the point where I can slowly start expanding our tot school activities. We're currently working on a winter theme, so I made these super quick dot magnet pages to introduce her to the idea.
I picked up these dot magnets from Dollar Tree and printed dot magnet pages on cardstock(I probably should have printed on two separate pages for the picture, but I did back to back to save room in my "winter activity" folder).
The first page is just a snowflake with circles for the magnets.
The second was this (slightly creepy looking) snowman. She's super into snowmen, so I'm hoping she will enjoy it.

Check out some of my other Winter Resources:

Friday, January 19, 2024

Tot School Purple Week

      We recently wrapped out the purple week of our color themes.  As with the boys, my goal is not for her to learn her colors. You can see my tot school goals here.

Juniper was 18 months
Juniper's little area on our wall. I put up her color poster was free from Isla Hearts Teaching on TPT. I put out some purple themed books for her. She mostly ignored them in favor of other books in our playroom.
Coloring book pages (free here).
She also used Do-a-Dot Markers and paint this week.
We've been starting to use Montessori 3 Part Vocabulary Cards with some color cards. This week she was able to mostly match the cards by the end of the week. She also enjoyed using the purple foods from our sorting food.
Playdough is used almost daily around here and purple is Juniper's current favorite dough color. We used some shape stampers and some shape cookie cutters because she has been very interested in shapes lately.
Purple pom poms in an ice cube tray for some one to one correspondence work.
Purple items on the light table. We mostly used acrylic blocks and magnetic tiles.
She also ended up doing some color sorting with these little translucent shape cups and dinos.
Lazy day playing in a purple sensory bin. It was just purple popcorn kernels I made years ago, but both younger kids enjoyed it.
Chatting with the little purple people from her sorting houses.

You can check out our other Color Theme posts here:

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