Archives for November 2012

Christmas ~ Just Color!

The idea behind Just Color! is simple ~ theme packs all focused around coloring. There are mostly coloring pages, and a few coloring activities. The coloring pages are all in one download to make it easier to download and print all at once, in case you have coloring monsters like I do!

I have 2 new Christmas sets for you, the first is is based on the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, with many different coloring activities to go along.  I also have another set of printables based on this song here

Just Color 12 Days of Christmas

I made another Christmas set also, which is in a separate file!

Just Color Christmas

Remember, if you want to make a mini coloring book, you can always scale down PDF files! If you have any problems downloading or printing these or other PDF files, see troubleshooting tips here.

Looking for more Christmas fun?

Christmas Printables and More

Tot School ~ Thanksgiving Theme

~ Ladybug is 43 Months Old ~Tot-School_thumb3_thumb_thumb_thumb_[1]

I pulled out our Thanksgiving stuff for Tot School this week, which is always a hit with the kids.  We have had the Little People Mayflower ship and the Thanksgiving dinner set for years.  All 3 kids still love playing with these when I bring them out in November each year!

Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4075

I tried something new this week, to “attract” Ladybug to some of the activities that sometimes get overlooked.  I added little 3M hooks and a metal ring to a few items and hung them up. This worked and she seemed to like the display.

Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4076   Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4079

She also had a basket filled with our Thanksgiving books, which we read from all week.Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4081

She is a big book fan, and will often be found like this…Thanksgiving Theme Tot School -4302

{All Thanksgiving printables in her notebook, and on her trays are pinned to my  Thanksgiving  theme pinterest board!}

In addition to her trays/shelves, I also had an activity notebook ready for her, filled with Thanksgiving printables she might enjoy. Here she was tracing a turkeyThanksgiving Theme Tot School-4101

She loves the little counting books, this one was from this pack.Thanksgiving Theme Tot School -4316

I added in the pages with numbers 11-20 to see how she would do and she enjoyed the challenge!  We counted these together, since she still gets tripped up going from 13 to 14, often leaving one out. I wrote little numbers on each picture as we counted together before she dot painted the answer.Thanksgiving Theme Tot School -4322

She enjoyed singing her ABCs and working her way through the letter path with the dot paintThanksgiving Theme Tot School -4328

Color by number turkeyHomeschool-4292

She decorated her supply caddy this week.  She’s super proud of it now!Homeschool-4290

I love these math games, and used the easiest one with Ladybug.  My mom sent up these neat magnets from Staples recently and we used them as markers.  She rolled the die and marked the correct number until we found them all!Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4083

We read I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and sequenced the story all together on our cookie sheet, using these printables {laminated with magnets attached}. Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4092

They colored each item as it came in the story…Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4088

Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4094

She traced a few cards, but wasn’t too interested in tracing this week.Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4109

She LOVED the Turkey Feathers song.  We must have done this activity at least 3 times each day.Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4260

Loading up the Mayflower and simply playing was the main part of her school time.  Funny how my blog makes it seem like she sits at a table all day long, when in reality she spends 99% of her time just playing.  Her table school time is only at her request and usually only about 30 minutes per day, unless she wants more!Thanksgiving Theme Tot School-4086

Reading is one of her very favorite activities, and her AlphaTales books are a frequent choice, she loves these books!  Once we add a letter {when we do a new Animal ABC unit} I add it to our big stack.  Now that we are almost done, she has a lot to choose from!  We will be using these again with RRSP when we begin in January!Homeschool-4299

The cat likes to read too, and will often catch her off guard!  Ladybug is moody about the cat, sometimes she loves the attention, and other times Stella invades her personal space and Ladybug lets her know.

Thanksgiving Theme Tot School -4309 Thanksgiving Theme Tot School -4304


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

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Tots Gift Ideas...preschoolers


  • 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


It’s been a week of sitting back and really taking notice of the season of life we are in.  We are growing out of the toddler phase and more into the preschooler phase with Ladybug, and the boys are way more used to this “school thing” nowadays. I used to find myself isolating 2 kids to focus on 1, but the need for that is slowly disappearing.  It still helps a lot, mostly when I need to sit and read science or history with Pac, but the need for separation is less.  My view these days often looks like this…


Ladybug loves to be right in the action, and will often ask to sit with me at my desk while I work with the boys.  We often spend her Tot School time on the floor playing with her in the morning, but she will request to join in throughout the day too.  I always have something ready for her to do.

Homeschool -4312

Thankfully the boys are used to her drama, and her many potty breaks, they have learned to go with the flow of homeschooling. If she has a fit, or screams because she has to go POTTY,  we just pause for a break, and get right back to our work.  I am the one struggling with the frustration of the interruptions these days, but I too am getting better.


Krash is really moving along with his spelling and reading.  He is mastering all of his weekly Calvert spelling tests.  We always practice his words on the iPad with the Word Wizard app before his test.Homeschool-4266

The sight word printables I made for his Calvert sight words are really helping him.  After working with them in 3 different ways, seeing them throughout the Calvert stories he reads during the week, plus on his reading work pages, he has mastered almost all of the new words with ease!Homeschool -4112

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He is flying through math also, and plays several of our favorite math apps to keep his math facts sharp in his mind.  Our favorite math facts apps are Math BINGO {below}, Math Drills, and Operation Math.Homeschool -4265


We are moving along in 5th grade, and I even snapped a picture of the biggest boy this week!  This is a great one because I caught his desk CLEAN, something he struggles with! Every now and then I have to get him to do a clean sweep of the desk and get it back in order.  He always loves it after he does this {so do I}. 


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

Christmas Gift Ideas for 3-5’s ~ 2012 Update

Christmas Gift Ideas

I get asked a lot about gift ideas, so I thought it might be helpful to throw a few out there with some mini reviews on each item. We personally own everything I recommend, and I will never recommend something we don’t love! You will notice some cross-over from my Christmas Ideas for Tots post. If I felt it was good for both, I listed it in both places.

I am also a believer in LESS is MORE, so although I recommend things, please know that things don’t make us happy…they are just a small addition to an already full life in Christ. I don’t in any way believe that Christmas is about stuff. I realize gifts are a natural part {especially from grandparents!}, and I love getting recommendations also, which is why I share with you! I may add to the list as I think of other ideas, so be sure to check back!

This is my list of ideas for preschoolers/Kindergartners, gearing towards ages 3-5. I will link to everything where I find the best online price {most of the time it is Amazon}. Most links are affiliate links, some are not {if I am not affiliated with the particular company}. If you purchase anything through an affiliate link, you give back a percentage to our family…thanks! Christmas Gift Ideas for Preschoolers

Bible for Preschoolers


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Books for Preschoolers


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Sight Word Readers Bob Books First Little Readers

Music and DVDs for Preschoolers



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Learning Toys for Preschoolers

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City Blocks Cardboard Blocks Interlox

 image image imageAlphabet Counstruction Set image Shure Fishing ABC

Games for Preschoolers

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Angry Birds Game Sequence for Kids Connect 4 Gobblet Gobblers

Craft and School Supplies for preschoolers

Animal ABC Letter V-2231 dot paint homeschool calendar

Preschool Gifts

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If you are looking for ideas for younger children, you can check out my Christmas Gift Ideas for Tots post!


Christmas Gift Ideas for Tots  Christmas Gift Ideas for Boys  Christmas Gift Ideas for Jesus  Christmas Gift Ideas for Moms 

Disclaimer: NONE of the companies who make any of these products gave me anything to be included in this post, this is an honest list of items we love as a family.  I was not paid in any way, nor did the companies represented even have any idea they would be included!  Surprise!  Some of these items were review items at one time, and that is noted with a link above.

The Best Seat in the House

Ahh Bean Bag Chairs

AHH Bean Bag Chairs {Ahh Products} have been a part of our life for a few years now!  I wrote a bean bag chair review back in 2010, when we were first introduced! We currently own 3 bean bag chairs, and they are each used daily.  If you follow my blog, you see them in tons of homeschooling pictures!  Be sure to read my full review here, if you are looking for even more details, this review is an update now that we have owned them for a couple of years.

Bean Bag Chair

Because my children use these beanbags not only as places to snuggle and sit, but also as jumping pads, they have had to be refilled. Jade from AHH Products has really helped me understand this and why jumping on them will flatten them out and just sitting will leave them feeling fuller.  Bean Bag Chair

So, I will say, if you have kids who you think will use these for fun, you should expect to refill them in the future.  Jade assured me that when they are used for sitting only, the air in the Styrofoam pellets doesn’t compress and flatten out as much.

Bean Bag Chair

Jade told me her daughter has a 37” bean bag and has had it for 5 years and it has never been refilled, but she only uses it for sitting!  My kids most certainly use ours for active play.  For us, this is great, and the refill is worth it.  They are pieces of furniture for us, but also are durable enough to withstand the craziness of our kids.

Bean Bag Chair

Also, I must share that 2 of our bean bags have been urinated on by our cat, and you would never know.  The covers slipped right off and the waterproof liner protected it as it said it would.  The cuddle fabric we have washed up beautifully and still looks brand new.

Bean Bag Chair

Some specific info on the bean bags from ~

  • Cover, Liner, and Filling: nothing else to buy
  • Zip-off, machine-washable cover
  • Covers made of high quality fabrics, including "true" 14 ounce denims
  • Water-repel, stain-resist liner made of extremely strong microfiber that holds the filling
  • Refillable liners have child-resistant self-locking zippers
  • Double-stitched seams on covers and liners, will not break
  • Hidden seams for finished look preferred by professional decorators
  • Made in Virginia, USA
  • 10 year warranty, will last years beyond that
  • Exceeds U.S. flammability standards
  • Choice of regular or virgin bead Styrofoam filling for what you expect a bean bag to feel like
  • $25 refill discount for AHH bean bag owners only
  • 365-day no-hassle return policy
  • Shipping included