LETTER G | GIRAFFE, GRAPES & GUMMY BEAR + GIVEAWAY

Summer is 43.5 months.
Our letter G week has been extended over several weeks while we adjusted to new schedules, planned and celebrated a birthday and played catch-up around the house.  It happens and I love the flexibility that allows us to do several activities a week or a few over an extended period when life happens.
Our set-up…
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Closer look at our trays…
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Top Left: Maze | Top Middle: Grape Pasting | Top Right: Letter G Sort
Bottom Left: Roll and Spoon | Bottom Middle: Pre-write | Bottom Right: Rhyming Puzzle
At the beginning of the year, I printed and prepped all our themed printables and organized by letter in folders.  It was alot of work up front, but I’m so thankful I made the effort, as it saves me so much time now.  As I find new printables or activities, I can print or make notes in my specific letter folder for future use and planning.  Most weeks, I try to change out certain activities on her trays (mostly printables that we used only once) so she has something new each day.  However, there are some weeks that I’m short on time and when that happens I can just pull random printables from my folder for her to work on or ask her opinion on which she would like to do, which is what we did this week.
We love these Spot It printables from Bitty Beginnings, always a favorite!

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She worked on two-part puzzles.
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Pre-writing with these Write ‘n Wipe Cards, free printable here.
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Summer is always playing dress-up and loves accessorizing with her letter crowns.
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We normally do a letter hunt, but this week I wanted to switch things up and have her sequence the letters.  She loved this!
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We made grape Kool-Aid playdough
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I made a simple grape pasting activity.  We talked about circles, the color purple and counted how many grapes she added.
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I will definitely be adding more mazes into our weeks, she loved this!
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We also worked a bit on rhyming.  I noticed recently she enjoys playing an app featuring Dora the Explorer and it focuses on rhyming.  I gave her a few of our rhyming puzzle pieces so she wasn’t overwhelmed and we worked a bit on them.  I think she enjoys the app more at this point, but we will certainly revisit the puzzles in a few weeks.
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Summer has become increasingly eager to sit in with Abby as we do her school.  I try to make extra copies of history coloring sheets, geography, etc so she can be included.  This week she sat in on Bible with us and it’s so cute to watch her keep up and learn.
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Now for the Giveaway!
Jen from Bitty Beginnings is offering one of my readers a chance to win her Letter G | Alphabet Letter Learning Pack filled with 12+ activities!  The pack includes the option to print certain activities in either pink/purple or green/blue depending on your child and she details how to prep each activity along with fun ways to play.  Keep checking back for more opportunities to win each week as I share each letter!

PRESCHOOL | WINTER THEME

Summer is 42 months old.
Summer loves snow!  She was excited this past weekend to wake up to a fair amount of it, so in celebration I put together a few activities with winter in mind.
Here’s a look at our set-up…
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And, a closer look at the activities.
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Top Left: Counting/Transferring | Top Middle: Alphabet Puzzle | Top Right: Pattern Block Snowflake
Bottom Left: Shape/Color Puzzle | Bottom Middle: Name Recognition | Bottom Right: Scissor Practice
My main goal this week was to focus on letter recognition with Summer.  We played different games and she loved it!
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We also practiced spelling her name.  This was a favorite!
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Shape and color recognition…
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Summer loves scissor practice and she does really well with control.
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I should have made this activity a little more challenging.  The muffin tin had numbers in each cup from 1-6.  The idea was to transfer that particular number of “ice” into each cup.  Next time, I’ll be using larger numbers. 😉
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She made snowflake patterns using these worksheets.

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And lots of free play, though she preferred the less messy activities.
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FALL DISCOVERY BASKET AND SENSORY BIN

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

100 DAYS OF PLAY: SUMMERTIME OUTDOOR PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT

I am so excited to join the 99 other bloggers participating in the 100 Days of Play Challenge hosted by Sun Scholars and Life at the Zoo! I have been inspired by many of the fun ways other moms have been playing with their children and look forward to seeing the ideas presented in the near future.

Kids love exploring the outdoors, my girls included, so an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt is always a perfect activity for us!  Scavenger hunts can happen any time of the year, indoors/outdoors, with one person or many.  The list of items can be customized to fit your individual environment and can be written, printed or in picture format.  It’s the ideal game, in my opinion.  Collecting items allows children to use their five senses to see, feel, smell, hear and possibly taste.  Plus, they get a sense of their surroundings and are able to experience the beauty around them.  While Abby was able to do just that, I also gave her the opportunity to document her hunt with a camera.  She loves taking pictures and this allowed her to explore and act like a big girl at the same time.

I made a special Summertime Outdoor Scavenger Hunt sheet.  It’s all about using your creativity to see what you can spot in nature.

On our scavenger hunt, we searched for different textures (soft, hard, smooth), shapes (triangles, circles, squares), colors of the rainbow, animals, nature (trees, grass, clouds) and alphabet letters (T, X, Z) to name a few. You can download our exact checklist here to use as inspiration or to use in your hunt.

Even little Summer got to help….

Here’s a collection of some of her photos.

DISCOVERY BASKETS: WEEK TWO

This past week, Summer went from taking several steps here and there to walking back and forth short distances.  With her new found freedom, it has been a bit challenging to keep her in one spot for very long.  Our “Tot School” time together usually lasts about 30 minutes.  Depending on her mood, it can be shorter or longer if she is content and having fun.  I try to have our 1:1 time when Abby is watching Speekee or working on independent work.
Here’s a look at her Discovery Baskets this week.
Summer did not seem too interested in her stacking blocks.  She mainly liked tossing them around or chewing on them.  Lately, she will hand items to you when asked and continues to enjoy placing items into various containers.
She loved the caterpillar gear toy!  Each time I would turn the gears, she would giggle.  Then, she would take each gear off, play with the wood board and hand me the pieces to put back on.
I’m not sure who enjoyed the basket of random kitchen items more, Abby or Summer.  This was the favorite by far and so simple to put together.
As I’ve mentioned before, Summer loves being outside.  She loves swinging and sliding down the bumpy slide with assistance, of course.  After awhile though, she gets pretty drowsy. 🙂
She also enjoys watching Abby, trying to be just as big.  We are fortunate to have such a sweet, caring role model for her to look up to.