Archives for December 2013

A Surprise a Day Christmas Sensory bin

A Surprise a Day Christmas Sensory Bin

We have had a Christmas Sensory Bin for years now, but I have never written a full post about the part my kids enjoy the most. The new surprise each day! The bin itself begins with only the red/green base of items. The fun little Christmas additions come out one a day until they are all in the bin!


The Base:

  • red and green pom poms, jewels, and other small items
  • red and green tongs, spoons, scoops
  • sorting tray {ours is red}, ice cube trays, etc.
  • stockings {for playing feel and guess games, what’s missing, etc.}

Listen Carefully Sensory Bin Game


The Daily Surprises

    When adding one item per day, I also add in my little special containers. They love to play with the containers almost as much as the little stuff!
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    Getting a new item an a new container each day is really cool!
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    I collected most of my little items from craft stores and dollar stores.  I hit the after Christmas sales each year for new additions at really low prices!
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Ideas for daily items to add in…

  • pretend mini candy canes, candy
  • small bells
  • scented pine cones
  • small Christmas toys
  • red and green stars
  • mini Nativity figures
  • red and green glittery balls
  • mini gifts
  • mini drums
  • mini trees
  • mini lights
  • mini stockings

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I start in early December and add surprises one per day until they are all in.  The full bin then stays out through December to play with! This year the kids {all 3 of them} were so excited to see the bin again!  The boys insist on still being involved when the new item is revealed each day! 

Christmas Theme Pinterest Board

Home Preschool Letter R

Each week I share 2-3 posts sharing our home preschool learning.  This post is only sharing our letter focused work. If we have a theme of the week, it will be a separate post too.  All of our general play based learning will be in a final weekly wrap up post called, “Learning with Ladybug.”  I am separating out the posts to make them easier for people to find down the road when searching for specific letter/theme activities.  See our entire home preschool plan here!

Home Preschool Letter R

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used in this post}

Her Letter R ABC Basket… 

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We had LOTS of stuff for letter R, she loved it!  One day she gathered all of the magnets and asked for her cookie sheet!Home Preschool Letter R -0625


We also worked on our ABC felt board together, putting on all of the letters up to R!

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We made the Letter R Rabbit craft from Totally Tots!

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She loves the paint cut and glue crafts from Learn, Create, Love.  This week we made the reindeer!

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Animal ABC lowercase r is for reindeer…

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She also did the Animal ABC Q-Tip painting in a new way.  I gave her tempera paint and a straw cut down teen tiny.  This really forced her to work on her grip, which she continues to struggle with.

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We did the Letter R for Robot Q-Tip painting with a Q-Tip & water colors…

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Painting her letter R from our  Tot Time Notebook

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I printed the Letter R dot-to-dot from, she really liked this!

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Below are activities from the Letter R  pack which is available here. This printable pack was given to us from a kind blog reader who also creates printables!

We used the sentence strips and word cards a bit differently this week.   We used her ABC basket and found some of the items that were on the cards and matched them. 

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We put together the mini book with CVC letter R words

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We also did the mini strip book of letter R items…

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Our All About Reading Pre lesson for lowercase r was a rabbit raking leaves, after she colored we glued leaves on!

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Our finished Letter R work…

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See more Letter R ideas on our R  is for Pinterest board, and even more ABC ideas on my ABC Ideas board!

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See more theme based printables to go with the Letter R here!


Visit Preschool Corner to see more home preschool families!

Choose Attitude over Activities

I share many activities on my blog.  I do many activities with my children.  But, I have never written a post directly about the thought and belief I hold that overrides any activity I share.  I have mentioned this quote here, here, and here, but never dedicated an entire post to this idea, Mommy’s ATTITUDE matters more than the ACTIVITIES.

Mommy's Attitude matters more than the Activities

As we begin our month of fun filled Christmas activities, it is my prayer that we all remember this.  Memories will be made more by the attitude we display, rather than the crafts we make. I am not always the most peaceful, joy-filled momma.  I struggle with anxiety, stress and a temper.  I find myself on my knees almost every night praying to do things better the next day. I am definitely a work in progress.

I realize I will never be a perfect Godly momma here on earth, but that doesn’t stop me from praying, and trying to be better for my kids. I used to think better meant more fun things for them to do.  I now realized that it means having a more JOY FILLED attitude.


{not activity-filled}

These smiling faces will certainly smile more if I smile more.

Find the JOY

Tot School Gathering Place ~ week 47

Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!



I am amazed that today is the beginning of the last month of the year! You Mamas have been busy women helping your Tots explore and learn about the world around them. It is so exciting to see our Tots grow and develop into little people. Be sure to check out all the different links to other ideas Mama’s have come up with to help your Tot discover and flourish!

Over at Wildflower Ramblings, Mama Amy discovers that organization is the key to allowing life to run smoothly despite the unexpected incidents that pop up in life! Check out the fun and stimulating activities John and May participated in despite Amy’s broken arm!

Wildflower Ramblings


Mama Erica from To the Sea shares her experience as a Tot School newbie! Take a look at the fun activities and experiences she shared with her beautiful Tot Eva! Maybe you will want to share with her your first experiences with your Tot and encourage her – even as a certified teacher, patience with our own children can be a challenge!

To the Sea2


Check out the fun undertakings Mama Claire shared with her daughters in learning about Mr. Greed! Who knew learning about Mr. Greedy could be so much fun! I really enjoyed the “Feed Me” activity – and so did her two older children! Be sure to take a look!



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Tot School Feature

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