Friday, June 14, 2024

Popsicle Shape and Color Spinner Game

With the school year done, we've been embracing summer! To that end, I made this popsicle color and shape matching game. The popsicles are different colors and have different shapes on them. Then I made two different spinner sheets depending on whether you want to match colors or match shapes.

I taped one of these spinners to a CD case and then can just switch out the spinner inside. I gave her little blue glass beads and told her they were bubbles.
Color version of the game

Shape version of the game


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Tot School - Pentagons

We have been working on a shape a week, as well as doing other themed activities
These are the shape related activities. Juniper was about 23 months.
This was her little area on our play room wall. The poster is from The Learning Effect. The rest is her completed work for the week.
 I put her pentagon page dot page on her easel and she used pom pom magnets to fill in the circles. For extra fun I used her pentagon magnetic tiles to hold up the paper.
Doing a little puzzle that included a pentagon (giraffe for moral support)
She did some watercolors that I then cut into a pentagon.
Coloring some pentagons (Printable found here).
Tracing some pentagons in her dry erase center. She still needs a lot of help tracing, but she enjoys it.

Monday, June 10, 2024

At the Beach 3 Part Vocabulary Cards


Montessori 3 Part Cards or vocabulary cards have been a huge tool for me in teaching my kids to read. My third baby is less "into" words than her brothers were, but she LOVES the Little Reader lessons I have made (I've been having trouble uploading lessons, so send me a message if you'd like the file). She also seems to like matching the cards. This set is focused on beach vocabulary.

Check out other vocabulary cards:
Free Printable Montessori 3 Part Vocabulary Cards

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Tips To Prepare Your Child For School

 It feels like they only arrived in your arms yesterday but a lot of time has already gone by. You blink and you feel as though life has flashed before you when it comes to your kids and how quickly they grow. It’s important to prepare yourself and your child for school when the time comes.

Making sure they’re ok and that you’re ok are two vital steps in ensure they get the best experience of school that can possibly be had. Here are some useful tips to prepare your child for school this year. 

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Encourage independence

When it comes to school, it’s important that they feel confident to be apart from you for the day. That means building up their independence in the lead-up to their first day at school.

Allow them to have a little more freedom and to spend time with others that are not you or the immediate family. Even going to a friend’s house for the day can give them some separation from you to help encourage and nurture that independence. 

Find ways to help grow this independence and hopefully, they’ll feel a little less nervous to be apart from you.

Visit the school 

It’s important to visit the school prior to applying for the school and hopefully get accepted. Visiting the school is necessary to get a feel for the institution from meeting the teachers to exploring the classrooms to ensure everything that your child needs, is provided for.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure your child feels comfortable in the school space and it might be worth observing their behaviors as you navigate the halls.

Establish a routine

It’s good to establish a routine in order to get you and your child used to getting up early and going to bed to get a good night’s rest.

Establishing this routine should be what works for you and your family. For example, you might want to consider giving your child a bath, getting them into their PJs, and reading them a bedtime story so that they go to bed every evening at the same time.

Complete your school supplies list

Completing your school supplies list is a must before the big day. You want to make sure that your child has everything they need for their school year. From their backpack to a notepad and pens. 

For some, an autistic ID might be required, but this is something that you should consult with the school as to the guidelines required for children with special needs.

Get a good night’s rest 

Finally, make sure you get a good night’s rest ahead of the big day. This is important, especially as it means they’ll get the most out of the day, which is likely to be exhaustive in itself. 

Preparing your child for the first day of their school year is highly influential to the rest of the school year. Use these tips to prepare your child for school this year.

Friday, June 7, 2024

Tot School: Ocean Theme

Recently big brother did an Ocean Unit for homeschool. We decided to do some ocean themed activities for tot school too!

Younger Kid Ocean Books:


Ocean themed playdough had ocean animal beads, aquarium plants, ocean rollers, an Ocean Play Doh kit and shells.
Feed the Shark counting activity. Juniper actually did not really enjoy this all that much so only did a couple of spins. I think it will go better in another year or so.
Under the Sea Water Wow. She really loved this activity.
We did some 3 piece puzzles.
This ocean sensory bin was a huge hit. I used aquarium rocks and plants, shells and the Coral Reef Toob figurines, then I filled it with water.
Sea Turtle pattern blocks
Using ocean animal beads on beginner 10s frame cards.
We ended the school year with a road trip to the Shedd Aquarium. The kids enjoyed the dolphins and whales best!

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Tranquil Toddlers Through Mixing Learning and Play

CC0 Licensed Image Courtesy of Pexels

Mixing learning and play has excellent benefits for toddlers, children, and even teens. At a young age, certain activities can help your children develop fine motor skills, language abilities, and social advancement. From color-based learning to puzzles, here are some suggestions.

Focusing on a Letter

Learning the alphabet is one of the fundamentals of early-age education. There are numerous ways this is done, and schools and educational establishments choose specific methods. However, there have been reports of failing children based on methods that don’t use phonics. Phonics helps kids understand how the sound of a letter fits its function. Letter f plush toys for example, will help children understand how to read it, where the letter should be used and how

Color-Based Learning

There are tons of learning and play toys you can buy for your children. They are almost always bright red, blue, green, or yellow. This is because bright colors help your baby or toddler’s eyes develop. Additionally, bright colors are used to hold a child’s attention. Their little eyes are more likely to catch the colors and ensure they focus on them. This has the bonus of encouraging them to explore what the toy is and helps their vision improve while doing so.

Mixing Learning and Play with Devices

You may or may not agree with children using screen devices. However, with controlled exposure they can be a massive help. There are math activities and apps designed for toddlers and children, and even adults to develop skills and memory. Today, around 48% of toddlers use smart devices and apps to learn and play online. There is nothing wrong with this. It is, of course, up to you as a parent to control how much your children are exposed to the internet.

Simple Puzzle Games and Toys

Some of the best ways for kids to learn and play at the same time is to play puzzle games. Good examples and slot-based toys, shape sorters and simple puzzles. Any of these will help develop various skills and features such as logic, visual development and emotional control. You can buy these pretty cheap and almost all nurseries, schools and daycare centers will have these for your kids to play with. Wooden versions are available if you don’t like plastic toys!

Pushing, Pulling, and Riding

Any learn-and-play nursery will have to push and pull toys and even toys for kids to ride. These are fun alone. But they also encourage children to play and learn together. Without even realizing it, your toddlers will >>develop essential social skills This includes sharing toys, interacting with others, and being patient. As an added bonus, the physical activity involved with playing with these toys means your kids will also be getting the mild exercises they need.


Focusing on letters with phonics will help your kids develop language skills with learning and play scenarios. Smart devices like phones and tablets also have apps developed for kids to learn. Traditional pushing and pulling toys offer exercise while developing essential social skills.

*This is a Contributed Post

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