Archives for September 2012

I Spy Color Hunt Photo Collage

I Spy Color Hunt

One of the best things we did as my tots were learning colors was have a Color Hunt!  I did this with Krash when he was a tot and wrote about it in our Tot School posts on the blog. 

Over a period of time, we worked through all of the colors, spending time together on certain mornings running around the house gathering everything we could find {of reasonable size} in that color.  We would lay it all out together and make it photo-worthy and I snapped a picture.  After all of the photos were taken, I turned these into an I Spy book for the boys and they loved it!

I Spy Color Hunt-2315

After we finished years ago, I never shared the tutorial for how we did this, yet I still get asked.  So finally, here is the how-to post!  I used Photoshop to create mine, but know that most of you don’t have access to it, and if you do you certainly know how to do this on your own!

Recently I found the online gem PicMonkey, so I am using this for my tutorial since it is free and online!  You all can use it!  I walked through the process, taking screenshots along the way, I hope this helps!  Most of these shots speak for themselves telling you what to do in each step…

Upload the photo you want, using “edit a photo”…Pic Monkey Tutorial 1


Pic Monkey Tutorial 6


Pic Monkey Tutorial 7


Pic Monkey Tutorial 5


Pick a font you like and that is easy for kids to read, and add the list of your items to the bottom,  As you place your words, keep in mind that most printing places will crop off a small portion of the edge, so always leave a buffer around the edge so no words get cut off!Pic Monkey Tutorial 8


Add in your “I Spy” and the color word, in the fonts you like, placing them where you like best on the image!Pic Monkey Tutorial 9


Pic Monkey Tutorial 10


Be sure to save at a high quality if you plan to print!Pic Monkey Tutorial 11


There you go! You now made a page for your I Spy Colors Book!  Pink Collage


Keep going until you have all of the colors you want and then you’ll have your very own custom made I Spy Color Book! We printed ours on 4×6 matte paper and had them spiral bound. 

I Spy Color Hunt-2305

You could slip yours into a little 4×6 album to make it easier.  Make a neat cover for your book in PicMonkey too, have fun being creative!

You could do this for numbers, shapes, or letters too!  We just might be doing an alphabet one soon!

Tot school ~ Letter V

~ Ladybug is 41 Months Old ~Tot-School_thumb3


V is for Vulture, but I sure don’t have any stuffed vultures for her to play with!  Since we are doing letter baskets now I don’t have a fancy desk set up to share, but here is her Letter V basket…Animal ABC Letter V-2274

She enjoys digging through it, especially to find the puzzle pieces and then magnets.Animal ABC Letter V-2266

Here she was putting all of the magnets on her Letter Vv Dot Fun. This set is included in the Animal ABC Bundle, or you can purchase the set as a stand alone set for $1.25 on Teacher’s Notebook.Animal ABC Letter V-2269

After it was all out, I arranged it and snapped a pic so you could see what was in it! Alphabet Soup set, ABC peg set, Magnetic Letters, Ladybug Alphabet Puzzle, and more!Animal ABC Letter V-2271

The printable items shown below are all available here on the Animal ABCs webpage. {files are released for free when they are posted on the Totally Tots blog for the ABC feature, letter V is not free yet, but it will be

She was thrilled to do her cutting, and did it with ease!Animal ABC Letter V-2230

We dot painted her letter V…Animal ABC Letter V-2225

Gluing her vultures down…Animal ABC Letter V-2247

She colored all of her vultures and then Krash hid the for her to find…

Animal ABC Letter V-2231 Animal ABC Letter V-2250

She colored and worked on all of her other Letter V extras, I just forgot to take any pics!

We are back to doing All About Reading Pre Level 1 once a week.  I am not expecting mastery from Ladybug, just using this program as a way to expose her to the Big Five Skills.

She totally shocked me this week.  The lesson was sorting 1, 2, and 3 syllable words.All About Reading Syllable Sort-2264

I thought certainly this would be a model and follow lesson.  Oh was I ever wrong.  I showed her one time and she did them all.  After a few cards in I quickly grabbed my phone to take a video!

Learning-Toys_thumbShe is very into making letter with whatever she has.  Here she was showing me the T she made with our Measuring Motors roads…Homeschool-2186

“Wook Mommy, wettah L!”Homeschool-2187

Seeing how much fun she was having, I got out our How to Build an A book and supplies, she loved it!Homeschool-2194

Wedgits building…Homeschool-2204

We made long patterns with learning links. She was unhooking the chains for me so we could use certain colors in our pattern.Homeschool-2206

Our new Color Cubes from Learning Resources were her favorite activity this week!  She sat with me for so long and would have continued if we would have had more time! 

Learning Resources Color Cubes-2236 Learning Resources Color Cubes-2245Learning Resources Color Cubes-2239 Learning Resources Color Cubes-2243


I am working on a more organized way to manage the apps we use for school time.  An idea I am testing out right now is printables, cut into cards to show the apps I want her working on.  You can see the sleeve of choices to the right on the table.  I DO plan to share this full idea and our feedback as soon as I can.  I will also share the printables and a how-to-make-your-own! Already she was reminded of a beloved app I think she had recently forgotten about, The ABC’s of God.  She saw the image in her choices and picked it first!Homeschool iPad Apps-2256

After sitting at my desk for awhile, she moved to the bean bag! {her purple tray is here, but get it at Michaels if you can, it’s only 4.99 or less with a coupon!} Homeschool iPad Apps-2259

She also loves BINGO Junior and had asked k for a bit of help here…Homeschool-2208

Another iPad favorite is our Readeez videos.  She loves these so much, so do I! {she has the iPad propped up in an old photo frame stand}Homeschool-2215

  • Favorite Apps ~ Part 1
  • Favorite Apps ~ Part 2
  • Our iPad Cases
  • How I Find Free Apps {that usually cost $$}
  • Our Squaretrade Warranty Experience


    My girl is gonna learn to read simply by sitting in on her brother’s All About Reading and Spelling lessons!  Anytime she sees me doing them with him, she scoots herself close by and just soaks it in.  It really is crazy how drawn she is to this.All About Spelling-2284


    Ladybug’s week on Instagram {I am using Printsgram to make the layout for the week!}


    We are 1plus1plus1 on Instagram, follow us here!


    Friday is our day off and this past one I spent the day CLEANING massively while Daddy hung out with kiddos!  At one point I walked down and saw this…homeschool-2300


    A Few Popular Tot Posts…


    • Tot School Blog Roll 2012-2013 will be coming soon!
    • New to linking up here? Read this first! Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

  • Weekly Wrap-Up

    The Weekly Wrap-up is a perfect way to throw some random things together each week! I don’t take photos of everything we do, but here is where I share what I do capture, either with the boys, or with all of the kids together during our group activities. It will look different each week, or every other week, depending on how much I keep my act together!


    We continue to use our morning board {see full board here} and Ladybug is really enjoying the Songs for Saplings verses. We have completed 4 now and review each one during the day. Homeschool-2160

    This is how we listen to them during our morning meeting time, I use my iPhone and our portable mini speaker.  I have a playlist set up on my phone called “this week” and have all of the new songs {Seeds, Songs for Saplings and hymn} as well as the ones from the previous weeks so we can review.Homeschool-2159

    One of the favorite parts of our morning board for all 3 of my kids is the letter of the day ABC movement cards.  Thankfully I have a 10 year old who still thinks this is an awesome thing to do.Homeschool-2168

    W is for Windmills in action…

    Homeschool-2162  Homeschool-2165

    They also all 3 love it when we sing the Name-O song {scroll down for video}, it isn’t just Ladybug who runs with her name, the boys get really into it too!

    Homeschool-2171 Homeschool-2169 Homeschool-2170


    We are up to DVD3 with What’s in the Bible.  Here they were working on some coloring pages {see links and how we are using these DVDs here}. Homeschool-2174

    While they do things like this, I often play music from the “this week” playlist so they have a natural way to review songs we are learning.  I love this shot of Krash getting really into his singing as he colors!Homeschool-2176

    PS-the color coded school supply caddies continue to work out perfectly for us!


    Krash is back to his All About Reading Level 1 lessons. We are up to about lesson 30. His reading assignments in Calvert are a bit below where he is at with AAR, so it is a good review for him.  We are slowing down with AAR, as I make sure he is solid with certain skills and gains more fluency.All About Reading-2182

    This week we did All About Spelling 1 ~ Lesson 3, 4, and 5 and worked on vowels. He did really well with this, thanks to knowing the song from the Talking Words Factory DVD!  That song really helps with the concept of vowels {and many other reading skills}. All About Reading-2185

    One of the activities was to have him write the letter of the sound I said.  We used our iPad and stylus {the app he is in is the drawing on the window portion of Bugs and Bubbles}.Homeschool-2221

    He does really well with manipulating sounds, and enjoys working with the letter tiles…All About Spelling-2280

    Ladybug always wants to sit close by and listen in, here he was writing words as I said sounds and she was trying her best to copy him.All About Spelling-2284

    With Calvert, the kids get assessed every 20 lessons beginning in first grade.  Krash just completed his first round of these “tests” and did well!  He’s such a big boy now!Homeschool-2224

    We are moving along with Draw, Write, Now ~ this week we worked on drawing a cow!Homeschool-2286

    Pac snapped this sweet pic of Krash and I reading together…Homeschool-2287


    Pac also completed his first assessment of the year and did really well.  I honestly couldn’t believe how much information was packed into it, even I had to study just to help him study!Homeschool-2198

    And again, one of the sweetest parts of homeschooling…Homeschool-2217

    That’s certainly not everything we did, but a glimpse of what my camera captured! To see more weekly wrap-ups, visit…

    Bloggers who use Blogger…

    Word Verification on Blogger

    I always visit blogs who link up to Tot School, and Moments to Remember.  I don’t always leave comments, but often I try.  When I go to leave you a comment on your blogger blog…


    and I see this…image

    I just delete my comment and move on.  I know many other bloggers who will not leave comments on blogger blogs with word verification turned on too.  It is very difficult to read and not worth the effort of missing it many times. 

    So, how do you turn it off?  From your Blogger dashboard…

    Settings ~ Posts and Comments ~ Show Word Verification = NO


    Please, please turn this off!  If you are concerned about spam, I recommend turning on comment moderation, so that all comments come to you via email before they are published. Another option is to install a 3rd party comment system, I use Disqus now and used Disqus when I was on Blogger too

    On a funny note, as I was going in to take screenshots and get the how-to portion, I noticed that in a couple of my blogger blogs {they are private and ministry related} that I had word verification ON without even knowing, so it must be a standard thing.  So, many of you might not even know that it is turned on for your blog!

    A HUGE thank you to all of you who take the time to turn this off so I can easily leave you a comment when I visit your blog!

    What’s in the Bible?

    We have the entire What’s in the Bible Old Testament Collection shown above!  I was given two and loved them so much I bought the rest!  With this amazing deal, you can get $25 off of an already discounted bundle set of DVDs 1-9 ~ total coming to only  $84.99, with free shipping!  This makes each DVD less than $9.50!

    Make sure you enter the code: OTSAVE25 to get the additional $25 off!

    We are up to DVD 3 in our homeschool, you can see how we are using the What’s in the Bible DVDs here.  Here are my What’s in the Bible shots from Instagram this week!


    Already have a few of the DVDs?  Give the new ones you get in the set as Christmas gifts!

    This amazing deal expires on October 1, 2012,  so hurry hurry if you want it!