Showing posts from May, 2015

Turtle Counting Busy Bag

To download, click here.

My other Pond stuff:
- duck number line busy bag
- pond spelling folder game
- frog hop race and turtle roll and cover
- frog metamorphosis games

Dino Bones Measuring Busy Bag

To download the game, click here.

Z is for Zoo

Theme: Z is for Zoo

Work Boxes:  Which Animals Am I? matching game
land, sea, sky sorting
habitat sorting with tongs
                        Which One is My Home? folder game (free)
                        Zoo Animal Matching (free)
                        Animal Roll and Cover game (free)
                        Mommies and Babies Matching (using wild animal and babies toobs)


Life Size Zoo- This is a book that we keep coming back to and one that we'd like to own in the future.  Opening this book brings you face to face with wild animals in a way that few people ever see.  And it's all life-size!  So, for the elephant, you only see an eye and part of an ear.  For the koala bear, you see the entire animal.  Each page also includes a little informational box about each animal and a diagram showing you how much of the animal is included in the picture. Although my kids enjoy this book, I would actually recommend it for ages 4 and up because of the size of the book and the pages…

Flower to Hive Pollen Folder Game

To download, click here.

Safari Spelling Words

I'm working on a big packet of learning printables in a "safari" theme.  The first in the series is a busy bag game for spelling practice.  I seem to be a bit obsessed with spelling words lately.  Maybe because I always hated it as a subject.  Now I'm the teacher/mom and I'm trying to make it fun.
To download, click here.

Resurrection Spelling Words

Another day, another free printable.
To download, click here.

Juggling CVC Words

There aren't a lot of circus themed printables available, so I'm making my own.  This folder game is a spelling game with five game boards (one for each vowel).  The kids can help the juggler keep the CVC words in the air.
To download the game, click here.

We're linked up!

Pond Games

This pack contains two kinds of pond games: a roll and cover one with turtles and a frog hop race with a paper dice.  Both are available for free here.

Sorting Bugs

Believe it or not, I actually don't like writing about my printables.  So, here's another one.  You can download it here.

How Much Are Words Worth?

These two activities combine reading, math, spelling, and money counting for the "ultimate" activity.  The "menus" list food items with spaces below to place Scrabble tiles.  After spelling the word, they are then asked to add up the value of the tiles to get the "price" of the item.  Next, they should count out correct change for the item.  This could be used in a pretend play setting or as a folder game for quiet independent work.

Alternatively, the students could be asked to spell the words, count the number of letters (instead of the Scrabble values), and then count pennies for the price.  Of course, the math aspect could be completely left out as well.

Candy Shop
Cocoa/Coffee Shop

We're linked up!

J is for Jungle (rainforest)

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The preschool community seems to be divided on what the "jungle" is.  Some think it refers to all big, exotic wild animals (lions, tigers, elephants, etc).  I'm choosing to make "jungle" mean the rainforest, specifically, the Amazon Rainforest.

Monday:  We started our week with a taste of fresh pineapple (from Costa Rica) and talked about how and where they grow.  The kids decided that they liked pineapple even though it was a bit "spicy" on their tongues.  While they were eating, I introduced them to the concept of the rain forest in a very broad way.  I also began teaching them our songs-of-the-week, "Whose the King of the Jungle" and "Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree."  Later that afternoon, Dragonfly (3.5) and I played the "frog game" using beans that have been painted red on one side and blue on the other.  The beans (we started with 6) are placed in a cup, shaken, then spilled …

Mammals Busy Bag Game

I created this game for our preschool unit "b is for babies."  The game features 17 pictures of mommy animals nursing their babies (and 1 picture of a human mom).  Children can use the cards to play memory (print two of each pages), can match their animal figurines with the pictures, or can simple flip through them as flashcards.  There is also a bonus poster (pictured) that can be used as a room decoration.  The non-mammal pictures were chosen because they show how non-mammalian animals feed their babies vs how mammals are fed.
Download the packet HERE.

Mickey Color Matching Busy Bag

In the Pinterest world, the paint chip busy bag is pretty common.  Unfortunately, the paint chips have been discontinued, leaving many sad parents behind.  I finally decided to stop looking for the paint chips and to make one instead.  HERE is a free downloadable matching game.  Enjoy!

Penguin Measuring Activity

One of our theme weeks in Mommy School is P for Penguins.  I found this cute idea on Pinterest (here) and decided to DIY one for myself.  The graphics are from "My Cute Graphics" dot com and everything else was created with my digital scrapbooking program.  The penguins are meant to be measured with Goldfish crackers (which are 2 cm long) or you can use the "Goldfish Ruler" included in the packet.

To download it, click here.


1 Sensory Bin/ 2 Ways

Sometimes, the simplest things are needed to entertain your toddler.  This bin was requested by Skimmer (2.5) and he played for a long time.  When I first set it up, I gave him six animals (pairs of giraffe, elephant, zebra) and a small handful of beans.  The beans became food for the animals in his pretend play and he also enjoyed matching up the animals into families (mommies and babies).  After he tired of playing in the dry bin, I asked him if he'd like to wash his animals.  The second bin had a half inch of warm water and a dot of dish soap.  When he was finished playing, he set the tray on the table and asked me to get him down out of his highchair.  That method was a big improvement over his previous one of just dumping the bin when he was done with it.  He's growing up.

Skimmer Story:
Today he was running his truck up my arm.  "Up a hill," he exclaimed.  Then, he pushed it back down my arm.  "Down the hill."  He was pretty excited with the opposite …

Continent Boxes (post 1)

I found the idea of "Continent Boxes" on Pinterest last year, and they immediately became part of my "to-do" list.  Continent Boxes (CB) are an organized way to store and present content about the seven continents.  The boxes can be filled with pictures, maps, objects, food, artwork, informational cards, souvenirs, currency, flags, or anything you want.  They were originally a Montessori idea, so most of the materials available for CB are Montessori in nature.

The founder of the Montessori teaching style/lifestyle assigned colors to each of the seven continents to help children identify them (and the material that goes along with them) easier.  North America is orange, South America is pink (although for aesthetic purposes, I think I'll be using purple),  Africa is green, Europe is red, Asia is yellow, Australia/Oceania is brown, and Antarctica is white.  Nearly all of the printed materials I've found have used those colors, which is why I mentioned it.  I&…

q is for questions (hummingbirds)

When I was writing the Mommy School Curriculum last summer, I thought it would be a good idea to turn the letter "q" into a unit where the kids' could pick the area of study.  Last week, when we had seven birds at our feeder, Dragonfly asked if we could study hummingbirds this week.  I've decided to expand it into a study of birds, nests, and eggs.

Theme: q is for questions (hummingbirds)


Sensory: bird seed bin

Educational: comparing different size/colors eggs
video of hummingbirds from birth to flight

Work Boxes:

Books: "A Hummingbird's Life"
            "Dancers in the Garden"

Song: "Rocking Robin"

Outing: a chicken house on a friends farm to see nesting boxes, hens, chicks, and eggs.

My lungs weren't very good this week so a lot of what I planned didn't get done.  I had hoped to make candy nests, cheerio bird feeders, and a sensory bin.  I also had several work boxes planned but we didn't end up doing any of…

Zoo Animal 3-part Cards

Updated- May 29, 2019

Wow!  This zoo animals printable was one of the very first things I made when I started blogging five years ago.  I've learned a lot since then, so I thought that now would be a good time to update the printable.  I used pictures from Pixabay, which is a royalty free website, and I think the pictures are amazing.  Just like the original printable, these Montessori-inspired 3-part cards are designed to match the Safari Ltd Wild Animals toob. 

This is the original picture from this post (2015) showing how my toddlers matched the babies and mamma animals to the printable.  Although the printable is now completely different, the activity can still be done with the Safari Ltd Wild Animals and the Safari Ltd Zoo Babies.  These animals are also very good in sensory bins and messy play.

> > > Click Here to Download the Printable < < <

To make the PDF into a set of Montessori-inspired 3-part cards, print two copies of the cards and laminate bot…

Insect 3-part cards

It's springtime!  Time to think about bugs and insects.  I would love to hatch butterflies, ladybugs, or praying mantises this year with the kids.  We haven't done it before, but I think they would love it.

We also love Safari Ltd products, including their animal toobs.  They're so great for homeschooling.  We put them in sensory bins, sort them between insect and non-insect, and match them with the Montessori-inspired 3-part cards.  The cards can be used in the traditional 3-part way or used to for spelling practice and other things.

> > > Click on the Picture to Download the Printable < < <

As I was working on the insect printable, I had a few card slots open.  I decided to stick in a bonus printable- the Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle. These cards match the Safari and Insect Lore life cycle sets.  These would be wonderful to use as part of a butterfly hatching activity.

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Roll and Cover Games

I've recently started looking at my Mommy School curriculum and making lists of the subjects/areas where I'd like to add more material.  Thanks to my digital scrapbooking program, it's pretty easy to make up my own worksheets, busy bags, and games.  Here are five "roll and cover" games that I've made:
Candy (L for Lollipop)
Zoo (z for zoo)
Pirates (X marks the spot)
Circus (j for juggle)
Space (u is for universe)

To play a roll-and-cover game, print out one game page per player (this can be a solo game too).  Grab something to "cover" the game squares, like buttons, candy, plastic stars, pompoms, etc.  Take turns rolling the dice and covering up that many squares.  The game ends when one person has covered their entire board.  Alternatively, you can play a subtraction game where you start with a covered board and then take away as you roll the dice.  Additionally, you could ask the child to record the math as number sentences (20-5=15 for example).


Candy Themed Activities

One of the new themes for next year is "L is for Lollipops."  I know this is a controversial theme, but it's also fun and whimsical and colorful.  Lollipops have a special place in our family, so it makes since to do a theme based off of them.  Besides, it give me a good "in" for a dental unit.

There isn't much on the internet for "candy themes" so I'm making up a lot of it myself, which I enjoy.  Here are three:

Colored Candy Graphing

Lollipop Matching (busy bag)

Rainbow Candy Patterns