Fall Discovery Basket and Sensory Bin

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Summer is 14 months old.

I love this time of year!  The temperature is starting to cool down and the leaves are slowly beginning to change colors.  In celebration of the new season, we had a Fall themed week.

I made two sensory bins, one for each of the girls.  Abby's had smaller pieces (acrylic pumpkins, acorns and leaves and fall colored pom poms), while Summer's included some silk leaves from an old wreath and little containers for transferring.


She was very interested in Abby's bin, so I stayed nearby to supervise and that seemed to be her favorite!

Sensory Bin Collage  

While Summer doesn't sit still for very long, she does enjoy being read to.  Most times, I'll read a story to her while she's roaming around and she will stop now and then to look at the pictures.  One afternoon, Abby got Summer's attention while reading her easy reader to me.  

Abby reading to Summer

She also tried her hand at dot painting.  I love her artwork!

Summer Dot Painting
Summer's Painting

And, we traveled to a local market with my husband's family for an afternoon of fun for the kids!  Summer enjoyed her first hayride to the pumpkin patch.

Summer and Pumpkin Patch

K4: RRSK: Letter W and Independent Discovery Boxes

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Abby has always been enthusiastic about learning, until recently.  Her motivation seems low and she's just not into it anymore.  I feel like part of the problem has been my lack of motivation/planning and she's just responding to that.  She is a very active little girl, imaginative and loves hands on activities and creative play...the messier the better.  To be honest, I haven't been giving her much opportunity in many of the areas she enjoys and thrives in.  I have also noticed her struggling lately with sharing her time with me when I'm working with Summer.  In an effort to ignite that flame again and encourage the independence she once had, we started something new with her this week, Independent Discovery Boxes.  I was inspired by a post written by Carisa at 1+1+1=1 awhile back and her take on quiet boxes, All About Me Preschool Boxes.  While it's still experimental, I have seen our little girl excited again and doing so much better working independently!

Label printables can be found here

On a recent trip to Walmart, I got five large plastic containers (15 qt) and five smaller plastic containers (2.5 qt), one for each day of the week.  Then, I printed the daily labels (link above) and laminated, cut and taped them.  I went through all our school supplies looking for educational toys/games, puzzles, manipulatives, sensory fill items and fun tools (to transfer, scoop, funnel) and a magnetic cookie sheet.  Many of the educational toys/games, I placed in large plastic bags for her to easily clean up and for easy storage.  To see the general guidelines I'm following until I get my own system going, click here

Next, I began filling the smaller containers which are filled with sensory related items.  For this particular week, I used cotton balls, lentils, colored pasta, foam shapes and beads.  I added one small container to each of the larger containers--which I then filled with various items like a puzzle, animals for playing, learning games/toys and a few books.  Once I introduced her to the boxes, she was very eager to explore.  

My goal is to have her work alone for about an hour every day.  This allows me time to intentionally play with our younger daughter or work on something else.  We are still working on her staying put, but for the most part she does pretty good with a few reminders here and there.  

I tried not to bother her too much during her time, but I did peek in to capture a few pictures.    

She used pattern blocks to complete the picture.

Beading a pipe cleaner...

abby beads

It seems she mainly heads straight for the sensory bin and that seems to occupy most of her time. Her only request so far...more time to play in her boxes. :-)

All the featured printables and information on K4 can be found here.

Here are just a few activities she did this week from K4.

Filling in the missing letter...

missing letter
And, using letter tiles to make the number word.

number words

Supplies We Used This Week

Tot School- An Eclectic Week

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Summer is 13.5 months old.

I've been in the process of reorganizing a few things, which in turn, has led to not much planning.  However, Summer has had the opportunity to dig into whatever she can find in my supply treasure basket and has had a blast!

She loves carrying things around.  She found a little bucket and I gave her a few pom poms.  She spent her time placing each pom pom in one by one, dumping them out and repeating the process.

summer pom pom bucket

Her favorite activity this week...the colored rice!  She absolutely loved it.

summer and rice

summer and blue rice
summer and rice

And, she enjoyed watching Abby's first soccer game.  She loved clapping, playing in the grass and discovering leaves.

summer in grass

K4: Inching Closer To The End

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I must admit, as much as I've enjoyed using Confessions of a Homeschooler's, K4 program for Abby's "in between" stage...I'm ready for a change.  I've got big plans for Abby and I couldn't be more excited for what's to come.  I'll be posting our 2013-2014 Curriculum Choices in the next month.  In the meantime, I'm still praying over a few options and hope to solidify my decisions within the coming weeks.

We recently made our first batch of colored rice.  I couldn't be happier with results and Abby has very much enjoyed searching for her sight words using it.  Here's my post featuring the recipe, if you missed it. She gets disappointed when the letter tiles are visible, so in the future I'll be making sure they are absolutely covered and hidden well. :-)

rice sight words

Her sight words were two and who.

sight words

She worked on building silly sentences...one of her favorites.


And, we worked on lots of math activities, reviewing numbers 1-100, skip counting by 10's, 5's and 2's, subtraction.  Here--she's using stickers to count 1-30 in the maze.

number maze

Abby ended the week with her first soccer game!

Throwing the Ball
Abby Practice



Tot School

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Summer is 13.5 months old.

Lately, it has been a challenge to catch Summer during our playtime.  She's constantly on the go and rarely stays in one spot for very long...a typical toddler.

Summer loves making noise..banging, crashing, anything loud!  I gave her my mixing bowl with a few kitchen utensils (spatula, whisk, measuring cups, measuring spoons, wooden spoons) and she really enjoyed herself.  Abby threw in some pieces from her clock toy so they could make "soup" together.  That was a big hit!

TS- Stirring 
Abby grabbed a few more items, for even more noise.

We also worked on trying to get the various pieces to slide down the wooden rod. I gave her 5 pieces and we worked on this daily. At first, she banged the shape on the rod. But after a few attempts (the larger pieces were easier for her) she was able to make the piece fit and slide down the rod.

Her favorite activity this week...the ping pong balls. She played with this for several minutes each day and loved getting each ball in the hole!

We were also given the chance to review a new toy from VTech, Cora the Smart Cub. Both my girls have played with the cub daily. You can read my full review and enter to win your very own here.

Summer and Cora

K4: Raising Rock Stars- Letter V

Friday, September 13, 2013

Our annual garage sale made for a short school week, but we are caught up and inching closer to the end!

We worked our way through letter V in Raising Rock Stars Kindergarten.

Bible Verse:  Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me  hath everlasting life.  John 6:47


Abby loves doing beginning sound work.

Her math portion of RRSK was a bit more challenging this week.  She had to find the number that comes before or after the given number.  She did really well with this. 

And, tracing her verse.


All printables are from the K4 Curriculum.

Each week, Abby learns a new word family.  This week was -ine.  We used letter tiles to make several words.

k4 word family

Her sight words were see and too. She searched for the words in her box of lentils and put them together to spell each word. We also talked about the difference between to and too.

k4 sight words

She continues to enjoy stamping her sight words.

k4 sight word practice 

We used pom poms for subtraction pracice.

  k4 subtract

Practiced 1:1 counting with pom pom magnets.

k4 counting

And, did some number handwriting practice. Lately, some of her numbers have been backwards...so this is something we need to spend more time on.

k4 number practice

For letter practice, she did one of her favorite letter hunt activities. We read the story together (her reading the words she knows) and then she finds the specified letter.

k4 letter hunt