Archives for March 2011

Cruising the Ocean Blue ~ Sensory Bin

In honor of our vacation with the grandparents {which is where we are NOW-this post is scheduled!}, I made the kids a Cruising Sensory BinIMG_9244

I hid tons of blue items underneath blue aquarium rocks, and then put the cruise/ocean related toys on the top…

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They LOVED this bin!!!The boys found all of the blue toys and decided to keep these in a separate bin, so they could sail around in the rocks…IMG_9305



Ladybug had a great time with the rocks, and loved transferring them into a metal bowl…IMG_9386Feeding the fish was a big hit too…IMG_9396

This bin was great fun and a great way to share our excitement for our upcoming vacation, I will share all about our trip when we return! IMG_9555

A bit of info on where I got some of the stuff:

  • BLUE aquarium rocks-from the pet store
  • Cruise Ship Toy Set {got on a former cruise}
  • Fish toys {from various places}
  • Sea Shells {collected from past beach trips}
  • BLUE stuff:  unifix cubes, marbles, beads, color squares, bottle tops, straws, cups, buttons, spoons, clothespins
  • Oriental Trading has tons of awesome sensory bin items, just search by theme! We got the mini star erasers from them for sure, and a few other things!


Use this button to jump to all of my Sensory Bin posts anytime. Sensory-Bins62

Tot School ~ 23 Months…Letter Bb

~Ladybug is currently 23 months old~

We had a GREAT week!!!  I am so glad God gave me the idea of the units, she is really loving them!  I have gotten lots of great feedback from many of you also!  I hope our tots continue to enjoy what I create!


Tot School Printables

Tot School Printables B is for Ball

Letter: Bb

Object: Balls

Vocabulary Development Theme: Outdoor Fun

You can find the printables for this unit here on the Tot School Printables webpage.

To prepare for this week, I had the boys help me fill a laundry basket with every {indoor} ball we had in our home!  Ladybug LOVED this basket all week long and played many, MANY times with the balls {so did the boys}.


Her favorite was to sit in the basket with the balls!

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Again, she loved her printables and her “cool” {school} time, dot painting being a favorite…IMG_9326

Her table high chair is just perfect, I am so glad I ordered it on a whim!!!IMG_9335


She tried her best at the lacing, which was more than she did last week!  She did enjoy watching me do it!IMG_9352

I held the color cards for her as she scribbled a bit…IMG_9354

She really just wanted Krash to color them for her though!IMG_9359



I took the photos for the ball sequencing photos so she really loved that we had the actual ball in the photos!IMG_9421


She did NOT like the stamping this week!IMG_9538



She asked for purple, and spent a VERY long time coloring the Bb objects!!!IMG_9609

I added tiny magnets to our 3 part puzzles and gathered letters from our wooden set, and our Leapfrog set and added them to the dishwasher.  I will continue to add each week!  She LOVED this!IMG_9500

Letter Bb printables here!

Tot School Printables Toys and Books Letter B

Learning Toys

I put her toys in baskets this week, just for a change, she didn’t really seem to care though.  Here she is matching shapesIMG_9372

She loved the alphabet Ladybug puzzlesIMG_9478

Here she was dancing and yelling along to our Laurie Berkner DVDIMG_9377

I made the kids a haphazard squishy letter writing baggie, using things we had that we don’t eat or were expired…deciding on syrup and cornstarch!  The boys had fun digging through the cabinets with me!  It worked well, but the letters disappeared quickly!  Ladybug loved squishing it around!

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A little easel drawing!  She told me this was a star!IMG_9621


After she finishes her Tot School printables time, I have been letting her watch aBaby Signing Time DVD while I work with Krash, which she LOVES!IMG_9525



Techy Tot

She is in LOVE with the Starfall App on my iPod!!!  I can’t believe how good she is with it!



Life School

A little chillin’ with the big brother while he lays his DSi while lounging in our giant bean bag chairIMG_9520She is still an avid reader!IMG_9474

Moms Favorite

Our church had a college football mission team here serving and they hosted a football camp for the neighborhood kids.  Ladybug REALLY enjoyed her time on the sidelines with Daddy!

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This Weeks Tools


Alphabet Ideas for Tots


I am honored to share a guest post filled with my favorite ABC ideas for tots over on A Heart for Home today.  Keep in mind I wrote this post a month ago to prepare and hadn’t even come up with Tot School Printables!!!  That sure would have been a nice addition to the post, huh?

A Heart for Home is hosting an “Alphabet Craze” filled with guest posts and giveaways!  See more info here and join in the fun!

Go see more of my favorite ideas here…Alphabet Ideas for Tots

Kindergarten Plans for Krash

I have gotten a few emails recently asking about our Kindergarten plans, and it is about time I share our plans with you!  We are not fall grade starters, but move up when they are ready.  Krash is ready and we actually just began Calvert Kindergarten, while also finishing up his last few RRSP lessons.

Why both?  Well, we get Calvert through our state Cyber School for free {info here in this FAQ post, and here} and I used it with Pac Man and know what to expect.  I supplement a lot of my own stuff, but use Calvert as the base.  Pac Man began Calvert K right around this time {when he was almost 5-their birthdays are both in spring} and has done really well.  I want to finish our RRSP units, even though Krash has “grown out of” much of it.  I still want to do the Bible applications and finish it to completion! 

Transition Plans…

I plan to do simple posts for the last few RRSP letters, basically so new users can see each letter in action with a blog post.  Krash is no longer doing any additional preschool letter work based around the unit as he was.  His supplemental work is now coming from his K program and also a new sight word program I developed for him {MANY details coming in a couple of weeks}.

I plan to start sharing “Kindergarten with Krash” posts every couple of weeks to keep you posted on what he is doing. 

While we are in the transition phase of completing RRSP and beginning Kindergarten-I will try to do both blog posts.  We have 6 RRSP units left to complete and I may actually do 2 per week, because he has really advanced beyond the program for the most part.  We are only doing a few components currently.

If we wouldn’t have skipped so many weeks of RRSP {vacations, other focus themes, and some laziness on my part} we would be finished with RRSP by now and the timing would be perfect, but for a few weeks we will overlap and he won’t even know the difference-it’s all just school to him!

Tot School Printables

Tot School Printables


Edited to add…

The Tot School Printables A to Z Bundle is now available! See details here!

TSP Bundle Horizontal


I am so excited to share my new project with you ~ Tot School Printables!  I am most excited to Tot School Printablesshare because it has been successful with my girl-so far!  She was showing the signs of being ready to begin more table Tot School time and was very interested in what the boys were doing.  In order to stay organized I decided to re-invent the wheel and pull many ideas into one set of printable activities for her {and for you!}.

I must being by telling you that this experience has solidified my belief that ALL KIDS ARE DIFFERENT in a huge way.  She is interested in doing activities that I would have never been able to get Krash to do.  So, I say that to remind you that just because Ladybug likes this type of stuff, don’t be discouraged when your tot refuses it all!  If you have a wild, active child like my Krash, this probably isn’t for you.  Feel free to try, but I wouldn’t go printing everything off just yet!  This will only be for certain types of tots-and my age target is approximately 2 year olds {Ladybug is currently 23 months old}.

Each unit has a focus letter, focus object to emphasize the main letter sound, a focus color and a vocabulary development theme that is based on the object. The focus color isn’t a big focus, I just made some of the letters that color and I am using the color to choose her dry erase marker for the wee {although she asked for purple one day this week so I gave it to her}. Numbers, shapes and other concepts will be as a whole each week.  I mainly did this so that the units can be done in any order.  We are going A-Z, but you certainly don’t have to!

Tot School Printables A is for Apple

This week’s Letter: Aa

This week’s Object: Apple

This week’s Color: Red

This Week’s Vocabulary Development Theme: Fruit


I will share each printable and then show you how I am using it. You will also notice what she did each day, based on her clothes!  Some activities that she enjoyed were repeated, but I am not showing them more than once.  Like I said, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get Krash to do much of this, and certainly not for as long as Ladybug interacts.  So far she is going strong for about 10-20 minutes each day.  I was lucky to get 5 from Krash even at 2 1/2!



Main Letter Sheet…this is just a simple letter sheet.  I put it in a sheet protector and let her “trace” the letter as we said it together, emphasizing the sound and the word apple.  She scribbled while I talked to her and she loved it!IMG_8836




Find the Apples…Similar concept to the sheet above, but with the emphasis on finding the apples on the Aa…purpose is just another way to talk to her about the letter/sound/object while she has fun scribbling!IMG_8838




Apple Shapes…You can cut these apart and laminate-which we may do, but I decided to leave hers in a sheet protector so she can color the shape I call out.  So far she knows star, circle, moon {crescent}and heart every time and loves to find them!  You could also choose to focus on just one shape per week, in that case-choose your shape and cut it out and only use it for the week.IMG_8844




Dot Paint the apples!  She loved this and did a really good job with her dot painting!IMG_8851The idea is for her to just paint the apples, but I am well aware that is she is having fun, it will certainly end up like this, and that’s OK!IMG_8859



Slide6Dot Paint the Letter… She loved this and found every Aa and said A when she dotted it!  I did the first 3 for her, modeling and then I let her go to see what she would do!  Total copy-cat! 😉IMG_8863




Lacing and Puzzle…in each set there will be a simple lacing card as well as a 3 piece puzzle.  Ladybug is not ready for the lacing yet-but I am doing it with her sitting in my lap {thus no photo yet}-eventually she will do it herself!  We focused on top-middle-bottom while working with this puzzle.IMG_8902




Vocabulary Development…with each unit I am using the main object to spring into a vocabulary development theme.  I am sure some weeks I will go nuts and do an all out theme, but some I will just work on some simple vocabulary development.  I plan to include a sheet with objects on it, and I also plan to try to gather as many objects from around my home for her to go along with this theme.  For the A-Apple unit, the theme is fruit, so I gathered much of the fruit from her play food..IMG_8922

After she explored awhile, I gave her the sheet and she colored items as I named them!  We will do this a lot in one week, to learn the names of many fruits!  I plan to cut these up at the end of the week, and then will bring the cards back out in following weeks for review {I plan to laminate them also}IMG_8928



Slide7Connect the Apples…Although the idea of this looks a lot like tracing-it is actually more to reinforce the concept of left to right.  I stood behind Ladybug and modeled, holding her hand in mine as I started on the upper case A and modeled drawing left-to right while saying the letter and sound.  She did attempt to copy me when she was independently working. Eventually she will trace the lines, but the idea is more for modeling at this early stage.  IMG_8937




Stamp the Letter…I bought her a new set of Alphabet Stamps, and stood behind her as we did all of the stamping together.  She was a bit freaked out by the ink, as this was the first time she has seen stamps.  I worked behind her the entire time, except the moment I stepped away to snap a photo!  Eventually she will stamp on her own, but much assistance will be needed for awhile unless I would love an ink-covered tot!IMG_8938



Slide10Colored Apples…I cut these apart {printed on cardstock} and worked with Ladybug on coloring them.  She scribbled a bit and then wanted me to color them, which is totally fine.  Krash saw us working and asked if her could help-OF COURSE!!!  I love how she is looking at him in this shot!

IMG_8945After we had them all colored, I gave her a set of small objects to match to each card as we practiced colors!IMG_8951I also gave her a tray to put them in and out of…IMG_8959


Letter Aa Printable for Toddlers 123

Numbers 1-10…You could cut these apart, but we are leaving them in a sheet protector and Ladybug finds numbers and counts with me as she scribbles!IMG_9051


What Starts with Aa?…Ladybug loves dry erase markers so for now she is coloring like this!  Eventually I hope she will like crayons as much so I can have some keepsakes!  In this photo you can see her making the ahhhh sound as she colors, because I was in the background talking to her and making the sound!

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Slide11Sequencing…Each unit will have a simple 3 part sequencing activity.  Ladybug really loved the 2nd apple and pretended to eat it each time we did these!

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Shadow Matching…I made the shadows lighter to save on ink and also to make it easier for younger tots.IMG_9080


Need some book and toy ideas?  Visit my Tot School Printables Store to see ideas for Letter Aa here!

Tot School Printables Toys and Books Letter A

See all of our Tot School Printables posts here!

Tot School Printables A-Z

See other families using Tot School Printables here on our Pinterest board!

Tot School Printables Pinterest Board

The Tot School Printables A to Z Bundle is now available! See details here!

TSP Bundle Horizontal

There’s More…

  • Tot School Printables Store…I created an Amazon store to sort out ideas for toys and books to go along with each unit.  Many of these toys wouldn’t need to be purchased, but might give you ideas for what you could find in your own home! I also made a “Helpful Basics” section for materials that would be used week after week.

Please leave any questions related to this post here in the comments so I can answer them in the comments for all to see!  I truly hope many of your tots enjoy this!

Free Letter A is for Apple Printables for Tots