Workbox Fun for Pac Man…

We are still using the Workbox System and it works for us. Currently Pac Man uses 9 boxes per day, which means I add in 1-3 extra items a day on top of his regular curriculum (Calvert 2nd grade). One of his favorites was this ASL file folder game I made for him. He is very into sign language, and had fun using the folder, and the book The Handmade Alphabet, to match them all up.

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Tot School

~Krash is currently 41 months old~

** links to all toys and books are at the bottom of the post

It was a fun week at our house, but I forgot to have my camera close by for most of it! I just kept forgetting it, which is very unlike me. But we had fun anyway and I reminded myself what I always tell other moms, the moments are more important than capturing them! Our tots could care less if we have any photos of Tot School, we do that for each other…and for Mommy-memories right? So, I spent most of our week just in the moment with Krash! Here are a few of our captured moments…


Learning Toys

Our Bottle Top Name Cards made an appearance this week. Krash still loves to spell Pop Pop’s name first! He did really well with this, as always…it’s one of his favs!We LOVE our Bloem and Grow Blocks. Krash can spell his name now, and he adores lining the letters up with his special block set. He played with his blocks tons this week, since he just recently learned to spell and recognize his name…he’s so proud and goes around spelling it for us all the time!

We haven’t had our latches board out in awhile, so he loved this! I couldn’t believe how much better he was with it!

Another hand-made favorite is this awesome Itsy Bitsy I Spy bag, which we WON from Baby Love Blankies, back when Itty Bitty Bookworm had their blog celebration! This is an animal bag with letters in it also, and Krash LOVES it!!! He found animals for a really long time!!! I plan to get a few of these as Christmas gifts, they are wonderful!

Lots of packages came this week, providing us with some free Tot School tools…

Krash played with Dominoes a lot, doing many different things with them. They are a great learning tool!

Alphabet

We did Rr for Robots, using some special robots stickers I had bought just for the letter R!

Photo Learning Book

We only got to one color this week, brown. We only have white left and then we will move on to another topic! I am working on printing them all up for the boys now!
Theme…Monsters

Yup, we had one last week of fun monster stuff, honestly because I don’t have our next theme quite ready yet and we had so much fun with monsters!

Matching Shape Monsters to their “Shape House”.
I bought Krash a monster notebook and pencil from the dollar section at Target, it was the best $1 I have ever spent! He LOVED this notebook and “wrote” in it all week!

Recess…

We brought our riding toys up on the deck and had a blast! The Plasmacar continues to be a loved toy by all…even Mom and Dad!
Mommy’s Favorite…

Not that this is the best photo, but I love what it symbolizes. Krash is VERY happy with the lunch I made for him…a concoction I came up with myself (I will share on Lil Ladybug this week). I love that he is happy for lunch and not whining.

Monsters Tot Pack

I began making the Tot Packs in place of the smaller Tot Books back when I was pregnant, but honestly I haven’t even used the ones I made much, as I was making them for readers! BUT, the monster one is made for Krash so I put a ton of trial into it all.

It took me the longest to come up with a storage method I liked, as the Tot Books were no longer working for us. K wasn’t able to go back to them easily, as they were a bit too flimsy. I also wanted something, simple, inexpensive and Tot-proof to a degree (meaning he wouldn’t dump everything out or destroy it in a second).

Here’s what I came up with…

I took a simple clasp folder and a gallon size freezer Ziploc bag. I folded the bag to the right size, so I could 3-hole punch it on the folded part to hook into the clasps, like this…

I then got little Ziploc bags, whatever size was right for the item, and placed each individual item in a baggie by itself, with the cover image facing out so K could easily dig through them if he wanted to. I still need to open and shut the baggies for him, but he can easily sift through the folder without destroying it now.

I added the file folder game I made to the front pocket, as well as the mini book, “Monster Eyes.” The mini book could easily go into a baggie too, I just kept it out for now. The pockets are also great for storing projects that we are partially done with, so I don’t forget about them (if there’s coloring involved or something like that).

When it’s ready for storage, I store the tiny baggies into the bigger bag and seal it. Close the folder and it’s done! Compact, sturdy, cheap, easy. Also, with a storage folder like this, you can easily add other activities you may find on the web. It’s just a great way to store everything for a tot for a particular theme. AND, I like that I can easily take this with us if I want to-like to church, a doc appt, etc. Since it’s all separated, I can grab a folder and go, with pre-made games inside to play with!

If you’d like to make your own Monster Tot Pack, you’ll find all of the printables here on the new site. You’ll also see Pac Man’s monster’s as a part of the Tot Pack! This was also my first time “drawing” my own clip art…I made the monsters myself in Publisher, it was fun!

 

1000 Subscribers Celebration ~ Strider Bike Review

 

Words can’t even express how THRILLED I was when we were given the opportunity to receive this bike for review!!! When our new orange Strider Running Bike arrived it was an exciting day for all!!

What is a Strider Running Bike?

*words in italics are taken from the Strider site.

The Strider™ running bike is free from any cables, chains, sprockets, pedals or protrusions that can harm your child.

And the Strider™ is steady, stable and safe. At the first feeling of instability, your child will instinctively place both feet securely on the ground. So there are no “tricycle tip-overs” or “training-wheel wobbles” that stir-up a fear, hesitancy, or dislike of bike riding.

The Strider’s lightweight design and low center of gravity make it easy to maneuver and control, giving your child a safe and secure feeling. And the bike’s adjustable seat height starts at 11 inches from the ground, accommodating the shortest of legs.

Control is further enhanced with a low and flat handlebar design. Kids can now reach forward rather than up, which gives them better leverage and maneuverability. And as the your child becomes more confident, the Strider’s integrated foot rests provide a place for both feet while coasting along.

This is the absolute perfect bike for a young child. The age recommendation is: 1-5, and Krash is 3 1/2 so it was just perfect. Now owning it, I can see where it would have been wonderful to have long before now! I look forward to letting Ladybug start riding it much earlier than K did. Here you can read the advantages of a Strider Running Bike on their site, in case you are unfamiliar with these awesome bikes.

We live in the inner city, so we ride bikes in weird places. Here’s Krash in action on our deck, which he loves, and rides around in circles for hours!


Krash had a bit of trouble for the first day, as he realized he actually had to learn to balance. He enjoyed the challenge and was so proud of himself the first time he was able to glide with his feet up. It was giggles and smiles galore as he proudly displayed his new talent!


My favorite things about this bike:

  • Lightweight~ I was shocked with how light it was
  • Smooth and safe ~no rough edges (like pedals, chains)
  • Reasonably Challenging ~ Krash had to learn how to balance, and I loved that it was a bit of a challenge for him, but one he could easily figure out quickly and feel a sense of accomplishment!
  • Looks Cool ~ I love the dirt-bike look. It looks like a real big kid bike!
  • Awesome Color ~ We love orange (and they have tons of other cools colors too)

Our older son, Pac Man is 7 and fits in the weight limit (5o pounds) for the Strider Bike, and believe it or not, he too LOVES this neat bike. He knows it belongs to Krash, but when K is feeling gracious, P sometimes gets a little spin on the Strider! It doesn’t usually last long though as Krash wants his awesome bike back!

Anyone who has a young child should definitely put this on a Christmas list…or just buy one now if you can afford it! I promise you won’t regret it. You can get your own, here on their site, or here on Amazon.

1000 Subscribers Celebration ~ Itty Bitty Bookworm Review

For those of you who do not know, I am a former Kindergarten teacher and I have an early childhood education degree. Teaching young kiddos is my speciality and I love it! When Tara from Itty Bitty Bookworm offered to send me both the Bo and Bailey curriculum to review I was thrilled! I have heard a lot about it and was very curious!

The CD arrived, containing an entire year’s worth for both age groups and I began browsing through it all. Without being long-winded, I will tell you that this is an extremely developmentally appropriate program, which exposes young kids to the joys of early literacy. I was beyond impressed with the many resources offered. It gives you everything you need, besides the books themselves (which you can easily find at the library!). It is thorough not only in the lessons themselves bu also in educating you, the teacher/parent, about young children. It was basically my college education all wrapped up in a nice little package!!!

The curriculum is written for a group setting so it does take some minor adapting for a homeschooling mom, but it worked fine for us! The books featured are wonderful, and I had a hard time choosing 1 to work with for our review!

Krash is 3, I knew I could choose from either program, so I decided on Is Your Mama a Llama (from Bo, year 1, February) and chose a few of the activities to do for our Tot School time, which ended up including Pac Man too since it was fun and artsy! This was an awesome activity and one I would have never thought of on my own! We made silhouette paintings using templates provided on the CD, for each animal in the book!

It was a fun activity and we have done a few others too and will certainly be doing more! The Cd’s we have now are FULL of great ideas and book extensions. I am so excited to have this awesome resource for our homeschool.