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Monday, April 30, 2018

Galaxy Battle Math- Duel Forces Counters


This Friday is May the Fourth, aka Star Wars Day!  I have one child who thinks he's Darth Vader, and another who wants to take the Millennium Falcon to grandma's house.  We love the Star Wars movies, but we really like the merchandise, concepts, and spin-off movies (like Lego).  We really, really like lightsabers.


Every day this week, I'm going to be posting a Star Wars themed post, counting down to the big party day.  Today, I'm giving you a free printable for preschool/kindergarten math.


Galaxy Battle Math- Duel Forces Counters from In Our Pond #homeschooling #math #kindergarten #starwars #kindergartenmath #education #freeprintables

My boys are working on their number identification and values for 0-10, so I made this Star Wars math board for them.  At it's simplest form, the math board helps kids learn numbers by presenting the 5 or 10 frames and showing kids how those numbers fill out the frame.  For example, "number 1" would have one counter, "number 2" would have two counters, and "number 10" would fill out the frame.  I have included number cards so that kids can practice labeling the quantities and filling out the frames.


When kids have mastered counting and number quantities, they're ready for basic addition and subtraction.  I made a "sunny side" and a "night side" set of counters so you can use them to show addition and subtraction sentences.  For example, you could use 4 "night side" counters and 3 "sunny side" counters to show a sum of 7.  The printable has lots of counters, so kids can work out sums higher than 10.


Galaxy Battle Math- Duel Forces Counters from In Our Pond #homeschooling #math #kindergarten #starwars #kindergartenmath #education #freeprintables


For my boys, I mounted five 5-frames on a bulletin board I had laying around.  To the number cards, I added sandpaper numbers from Etsy.  The sandpaper helps the boys feel where the number is on the card and makes it easier to trace.


I laminated the counters and hot glued them onto wood disks.  Twenty of one type of counter can fit in an altoid tin and the printable comes with a label for the tins.  On the 5-frames and the counters, I added velcro to keep the counters from slipping around.  It helps the boys to see how many counters belong to each number as well.


As always, the printable is free for personal uses.  Come back every day this week for more Star Wars excitement!




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Galaxy Battle Math- Duel Forces Counters from In Our Pond #homeschooling #math #kindergarten #starwars #kindergartenmath #education #freeprintables




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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Slimed! 70+ Recipes from the Experts

Slimed!  70+ Recipes from the Experts // In Our Pond // kids' crafts // silly putty // elmers glue // disney // slime // gak // recipes // toys // games // summer crafts // DIY toys

Slime is everywhere these days!  My kids love it and make it almost every day.  They can't wait to try all the amazing, fun, and sometimes edible slimes in this post.  Once again, I'm teaming up with the best moms in the Kids Blogger Network to bring you a MASSIVE round-up of kids' crafts.  When I started this post, I was aiming for 31 recipes, one for each day in May.  But, instead, I ended up with over 70 ideas- enough to keep you busy all summer!  

Don't forget to PIN all this fun for later!


Slimed!  70+ Recipes from the Experts // In Our Pond // kids' crafts // silly putty // elmers glue // disney // slime // gak // recipes // toys // games // summer crafts // DIY toys







































Slimed!  70+ Recipes from the Experts // In Our Pond // kids' crafts // silly putty // elmers glue // disney // slime // gak // recipes // toys // games // summer crafts // DIY toys

1- Mermaid // Mama Smiles


2- Polymers // From Engineer to SAHM


3- Chocolate // The Soccer Mom Blog


4- Christmas Bells // Play Based Parenting


5- Shamrock // Preschool Powol Packets


6- Pirates' Treasure // The Farm Girl Gabs


7- Pudding Slime // The Soccer Mom Blog


8- Te Ka Lava // As the Bunny Hops


9- Super Stretchy // Steam Powered Family






Slimed!  70+ Recipes from the Experts // In Our Pond // kids' crafts // silly putty // elmers glue // disney // slime // gak // recipes // toys // games // summer crafts // DIY toys
1- Candy // The Soccer Mom Blog


2- Candy Canes // Preschool Powol Packets


3- Heart of Te Fiti // As the Bunny Hops


4- Star Wars // The Farm Girl Gabs


5- Gak // The Soccer Mom Blog


6- Dusty // In Our Pond


7- Simple Slime // Sloely


8- Magnetic // Frugal Fun 4 Boys


9- Pizza // The Soccer Mom Blog







Kid Blogger Network Posts



Friday, April 27, 2018

Montessori-Inspired Printables for Studying Coral Reefs

Montessori-Inspired Printables for Studying Coral Reefs // In Our Pond

Putting together a list of resources specifically for studying coral reefs turned out to be much more difficult than I expected.  I thought that with Pinterest at my fingertips, anything was possible.  Instead, I ended up with a list with some Montessori stuff and some sensory things.  I should have labeled this "How to Use Safari Ltd Products to Study Coral Reefs" since I ended up grabbing so many great ideas with our favorite plastic toys.



Montessori-Inspired Printables for Studying Coral Reefs // In Our Pond
Reef Grammar Farm // Grace and Green Pastures
Free printable tags for nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and more.

Sea Turtle Sensory Bin // Every Star is Different
Use the Safari Turtle Life Cycle pieces to reenact their journey with a fun sensory bin.

Reef 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond
Montessori style matching cards for the Safari Coral Reef toob.  Print and match.

Fish 3-Part Cards // Child Led Life
Studying the Coral Reef is a great time to study fish.

Sensory Bottle // A Little Pinch of Perfect
The activity could be about following directions if all the supplies and instructions were provided on a tray.

Counting Sea Turtles // Living Montessori Now
I loved this ideas when I read about it a few months ago.  The activity uses Safari Turtle Good Luck Minis.

Sweeping Seashells // Our Country Road 
A very Montessori activity- sweeping practice.

Ocean Slime // Little Bins for Little Hands
We're very into slime now, so I bring slime into our studies any time I can.




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Montessori-Inspired Printables for Studying Coral Reefs // In Our Pond








Montessori-Inspired Printables for Studying Coral Reefs // In Our Pond







Thursday, April 26, 2018

Montessori-Inspired Mosquito Life Cycle 3-Part Cards

Montessori-Inspired Mosquito Life Cycle 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond // homeschool // life cycle // school // summer // learning opportunity // montessori at home

When Dragonfly (age 6) found out that female mosquitoes use the blood they take from humans to nurture their babies, she decided that being bitten by a mosquito wasn't very bad.  She speaks very tenderly about them and gets very happy when they're near her.  I anticipate this changing very soon, but I wanted to capitalize on her interest by creating these Montessori-inspired 3-part cards.

Montessori-Inspired Mosquito Life Cycle 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond // homeschool // life cycle // school // summer // learning opportunity // montessori at home
Click on the Picture to Download the Printable


The pictures came from Wikimedia Commons and are from a few different types of mosquito breeds.  I have included male and female cards to show that male mosquitoes drink flower necter and females drink blood.  The cards are match the toy life cycle set.


A study of mosquitoes could lead to their place in the food chain.  Or perhaps a look at preventing and treating mosquito bites.  Or diseases carried by mosquitoes and why they carry them.




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Montessori-Inspired Mosquito Life Cycle 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond // homeschool // life cycle // school // summer // learning opportunity // montessori at home


Monday, April 23, 2018

The Best Group Games for Camping (with free printable)

I've been enjoying Travel Time Tuesday so much and have been posting so much content (twice a week lately) that I decided to move all of it to it's own blog.  The Group Games blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.

Click on the picture to go to the camping games post.




Sunday, April 22, 2018

What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging

What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday

Every year on the founding of my blog, I like to take some time to review what I've learned and look at how the blog has been doing.  For example, last year I talked about using Inlinkz to organize the blog and figuring out HTML.  I'm sure that I've learned more than I am listing here, but here are the few newsworthy items that have caught my attention.


News

Tailwind
I recently have began using Tailwind to organize and schedule my Pinterest posts.  I have only been using it for a month, so I don't have a lot of data on it yet.  One thing that I love about it is that it allows me to spread out my pins to go out on different days and times.  I can set intervals to space them out evenly or even have the same pin go out at the same day and time every week or month.  At the moment, I have 12 pins scheduled a day.

I often pin each blog post and all its pictures to more than one board, and Tailwind allows me to select which boards to put them on all in one place instead of pinning them manually and individually.

Tailwind also has a community aspect, where you can put your pins into a "tribe" and expose them to other bloggers in your niche.  It's yet another way to get your pins circulating.

There are many aspects of the plug-in that I haven't tried, but I'm excited to learn more over the next year.  For a free month, visit my affiliate link.


SEO

I'm sure I should have been more aware of SEO (search engine optimization) and using picture descriptions, search descriptions, and post permalinks to get my blog seen by more people.  Honestly, when I began the blog, playing the website development game was very low on my priorities.  I was more interested in just recording our learning.

This year, I joined a few blogging facebook groups and am learning so much from them.  I anticipate that I will continuing becoming better at SEO and marketing in the future.


Updated Printables

I have been working on updating many of my old printables.  Be sure to check out all the printables by clicking on the menu button.


Travel Time Tuesday

One of my favorite features on this blog is Travel Time Tuesday, my series of crafts, DIY, tips, buying guides, and more.  This is my 4th year doing the weekly course, and I anticipate topping 100 total posts this year.  I seem to be gaining momentum, instead of using up all my ideas.  I'm planning many more free travel printables, themed road trips, and crafts for kids.  In fact, I have almost the entire year planned already.  Stop by every Tuesday to read the latest!



What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday


Birthday Week Posts
As a pre-birthday celebration, I posted one article each day.
I tried to show off my most common blog topics.


Sunday- Songs that Celebrate Adoption


Montessori Monday- Coral Reef 3-part Cards


Travel Time Tuesday- Felt Travel Activities for Kids


Wordless Wednesday- Finding Nemo Bathroom Sign


Thursday- A Celebration of Bees- Homeschooling Ideas


Fun Friday- Easy Circular Felt Foods


Saturday- Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids



What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday


Stats
For my own fun, I like to write down to the stats for each year.
It's interesting to look back at each birthday post and see what was popular.


Number of Blog Posts: 700 (636 published and 65 coming)

Most Popular Blog Post This Week: Foster to Adopt Party Theme Ideas (read 20,000x)


Number of Blog Visitors a Month: 11,000


Most Popular Blog Post Last Month: Free QR Codes for Read-to-Me Books (read 9,000x)


Number of Visitors Total: 210,000


Most Popular Blog Post of All Time: Foster to Adopt Party Theme Ideas


Number of Free Printables: 225 (find them all here)


Number of Followers on Facebook: almost 500 (can you bump me over the top?)




Over 200 Free Printables for Home and Homeschool // In Our Pond // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday


Top 10 Printables
Here's the countdown of my most popular printables!


10- Paleontologist Anchor Chart

9- Bee Life Cycle 3-Part Cards

8- Be a Rainbow Reader

7- Montessori-Inspired North American Animal 3-Part Cards

6- Travel Journal

5- Zoo Train Play Mat

4- Montessori-Inspired Australia 3-Part Cards

3- Montessori-Inspired Backyard Birds 3-Part Cards

2- Montessori-Inspired Dinosaur Skulls 3-Part Cards

1- Free QR Codes for Read-to-Me Books






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What I've Learned in 4 Years of Blogging // In Our Pond // free printables // recent posts // top 10 printables // blogging statistics // news // recent content // blog birthday

Birthday Posts

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids

Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting

Once a month, I got to a mom's encouragement morning, where we do a craft, talk about everything, and listen to a lecture.  This week, our topic was on "feeding our kids healthy foods, physically and spiritually.  There's a lot of information online about getting your kids to eat good food, but there is less available for helping your kids get good spiritual food.  I thought I'd share a few of the resources that we've used with our kids.  My kids are still young (6, 5, and 4) so the recommendations are going to be geared toward younger children.



Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting


One of the easiest ways to get good information into our kids minds and hearts is through music.  We often have music playing in the car or in the house, and while it's not always "Christian" albums, we still manage to play quite a bit.  I love hearing my kids singing good doctrine, reciting Scriptures, and humming hymns.

Our Favorite Music

Seeds Family Worship- Scripture verses around a theme

Songs for Saplings- catechism questions with answers and verses

The Ology- basic Christian theology for kids

Getty Kids- modern hymns

Selah- hymns collection 1+2


We also use good books like "The Complete Illustrated Children's Bible" and the full-text Bible  We'd like to use the "The Ology" book in the near future as a companion study to the CDs.  I have also heard really good things about "Stick Figure Through the Bible" curriculum, which I'm considering for our homeschool lessons soon.  The kids also do AWANA (Bible memorization club), which has been really good for cementing the things we've taught them.


Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting

I've been thinking about the verse in the above picture.
If we're faithful to plant good seeds in our children,
then we will see the harvest- if we do not give up.



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Planting Good Spiritual Seeds in Your Kids // In Our Pond // Resources for Training in Righteousness // Bible // Christian // kids // children's ministry // Bible study // Christianity // church // parenting

Friday, April 20, 2018

Easy Circular Felt Food with Patterns

Easy Circular Felt Food with Patterns // In Our Pond // free printable // pretend play // kids play // play kitchen // crafting // diy // sewing

Continuing my celebration of this blog's fifth birthday, I've made a bunch of felt food!  And, I'm offering the patterns to you for FREE!


(fun fact- did you know that the first felt food I ever posted was on this blog's 1st birthday?)


The items in these pictures are quick mock-ups of the patterns that I made in a day.  They're put together with hot glue mostly and some machine sewing and hand sewing.  I used simple, cheap craft foam.


If I was going to make these pattern for long-term use or a gift, I would use a nice wool blend felt from Prairie Woolens.  They have over 150 colors, and give you the option of buying the felt in sheets (9" x 12") and double sheets (12" x 18"), and by the yardage (36" x 9/18/27/36" AKA 1/4 yard, 1/2 yard, 3/4 yard, and 1 yard).  At less than $10 a yard, it's a great option for the felt crafter.


My absolute favorite part of buying from Prairie Woolens is that they include the DMC floss color right on the felt buying page.  It takes all the guesswork out of it.  It's even more awesome for a country crafter like myself since the nearest craft store is more than two hours away.


My Supply List


Thursday, April 19, 2018

A Celebration of Bees- Ideas and Printables for Kids

A Celebration of Bees- Ideas and Printables for Kids // In Our Pond

I LOVE bees.  Every since I was a little girl and first saw the hive through a window, I've been hooked.  Of course, it probably helps that one of my names means "industrious like a honeybee" (which also might explain the flightiness).

As part of my blog birthday week, I'm bringing out all of my favorite things.  I recently joined the Kids Blogger Network, so this "Celebration of Bees" is a collection of all the best from those writers and creators.



A Celebration of Bees- Ideas and Printables for Kids // In Our Pond // Coloring Pages // free printables

Nearly everyone loves to color, draw, or doodle.
Here are some bee themed ideas.






Wednesday, April 18, 2018

FLUSH! Finding Nemo Bathroom Sign for Kids

FLUSH!  Finding Nemo Bathroom Sign for Kids // In Our Pond // Finding Nemo // Finding Dory // Disney // Pixar // Tropical Fish // kids' bathroom // free printable // home decor // kids' decorations

For my countdown to my blog birthday, I've declared today to be "Wordless Wednesday."  Of course, I can't get away with writing zero words, but I'm going to keep it very short.

My kids have a Finding Nemo/Dory bathroom, which was recently reopened to them after almost two years of being forbidden.  I decided to add some new printables to their decor- starting with this one.


Can any moms relate?


(I am not Disney or Pixar and do not own these images.  They came from Disney Wiki, and I am making this printable available as a free service for my blog readers).

FLUSH!  Finding Nemo Bathroom Sign for Kids // In Our Pond // Finding Nemo // Finding Dory // Disney // Pixar // Tropical Fish // kids' bathroom // free printable // home decor // kids' decorations
Click on the Picture to Download the Printable


I'll be posting every day this week leading up to the grand blog birthday post on Sunday!

Thanks for hanging out with us in the pond!


Finding Nemo Adoption Party Printables // In Our Pond // Finding Nemo // Finding Dory // Disney // Pixar // Tropical Fish // adoption // free printable // kids' party // foster-to-adopt

Oh, and did you know we had a Finding Nemo adoption party?  You can get the free printables by clicking the picture.



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FLUSH!  Finding Nemo Bathroom Sign for Kids // In Our Pond // Finding Nemo // Finding Dory // Disney // Pixar // Tropical Fish // kids' bathroom // free printable // home decor // kids' decorations

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

DIY Felt Travel Activities for Kids

I've been enjoying Travel Time Tuesday so much and have been posting so much content (twice a week lately) that I decided to move all of it to it's own blog.  The Felt Activities blog post is now at my new site- Party Through the USA.  Click on the picture to go to the felt post.





Monday, April 16, 2018

Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards

Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond

It's been very brown around here lately.  Uhh!  I'm dreaming of the tropics, especially the colors.

I have been working on updating the Safari Ltd printables, putting in better graphics and making more Pinterest images.  As I was going through all of them, I realized that I had never made matching cards for the Coral Reef toob!  I couldn't believe my oversight as this is probably one of the the original toobs.

Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond
Click on the Picture to Download the Printable

Like the other Safari toobs, the Coral Reef figurines can be used in sensory play.  Try them in slime, play dough, water beads, or the bathtub.  They can be used for math- addition, subtraction, and counting.  Use the matching cards to practice reading, spelling, and grammar.

The cards can also be used as traditional Montessori 3-part cards if you print two copies of the printable.  Cut one set of cards so that the picture and label remain connected.  Cut the label off the pictures for the other set of cards.  The child can then work to match the picture with the label.

Happy Homeschooling!


Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond



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Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond








Montessori-Inspired Coral Reef Toob 3-Part Cards // In Our Pond