Solar System Sensory & Imagination Bin

Outer Space Sensory Bin

I have been preparing for this Solar System bin for awhile now, with the generous help of my mom, who sent us a surprise box in the mail filled with items for this bin!

IMG_7434 This bin is really hard to photograph because of all of the black items!  Here’s another view when a layer was peeled off after the kids had played a bit…IMG_7492


This bin has led to many hours of imaginative play with all 3 children, here are some shots from just the first day…







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

  • Astronaut Tube BIG HIT!
  • Planets in a Tube
  • Polished rocks { we got a neat bag from AC Moore for about $2} BIG HIT!
  • mini star bucket {from $1 Target aisle}
  • wooden stars, and moons
  • star erasers and buttons
  • Long furry pipe cleaners {I think from Michaels-my mom sent them}
  • Large bouncy balls {to represent planets} Ladybug’s favorite item!
  • Glow in the Dark-planets and stars {the flat kind made for walls}
  • star/moon/sun shaped cookie cutters were from this set
  • BLACK stuff:  unifix cubes, pom poms,  jewels, marbles, beads, color squares, bottle tops, straws, cups, buttons, spoons {yellow spoons too}
  • 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!

Looking for more inspiration?  Here are some outer space bins I found while searching around online! {if I missed yours, please leave a link to it in a comment on this post}!

I will be sharing our bin in upcoming Tot School and Preschool posts as always, so you’ll be sure to see it in action more!  We play with our bin almost every morning as a whole group.

See more Outer Space Learning Ideas on Totally Tots!!!

See more Solar System Learning Ideas here on 1+1+1=1!!

Use this button to jump to all of my Sensory Bin posts anytime. Sensory-Bins6

Tot School ~ 22 months

~Ladybug is currently 22 months old~


We had a great week, although she was mildly sick and whiney for most of it, we still played a LOT!  Our schedule is still way off, so we just took each day as it came.  I am praying for a completely well house filled with spring air soon!  😉


Blokus, fun for little fingers…IMG_7645


Stickers {the girls LOVES stickers}…IMG_7646


Sorting pegs by color {1st time she stacked AND sorted like this}…IMG_7648


LOVED this ABC puzzle {from $1 Target awhile ago}IMG_7665


Found K’s rocket tracing sheets and colored on the over, and over, and over again!IMG_7575



Stacking Pegs in a line…IMG_7682


LOVED this felt board my mom got the kids to go with our Outer Space theme {it is Creatology from Michaels}

IMG_7708 IMG_7711


More stickers…IMG_7766


Loving the singing Happy Birthday card {that is about 3 years old and all of the kids love it still}



Dress Up time {our exact outfit is from Toys R Us I think}!!

IMG_7805   IMG_7799

I can’t believe she let me put the whole outfit on her!!!!



Of course, lots of readingIMG_7854


& Puzzles…IMG_7867




Helping me do laundry…

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During her exceptionally whiney sick moments, she was loaded into the bean bag chair with her blankee and hooked up with a lovely learning DVD.  Here she is signing more to ask me to watch Baby Signing Time again.IMG_7527


Moms Favorite

This shot cracks me up.  She insisted on wearing her black shoes with her jammies.  I had just taken her piggy tails down and put in a ponytail to keep her hair out of her face and the rest stuck out like wings.  She as not too thrilled with me for wanting to document her extreme sense of fashion.



 More Tot School Links…

Tot-School-Ideas722   tottraybutton522   TotSchool150522   Totbookbutton150522


Raising Rock Stars Preschool ~ Letter Rr

Raising Rock Stars Preschool Letter R

This is the main section of our preschool posts-focusing on what we do for our Raising Rock Stars Preschool Curriculum. I am not sharing photos of each part every week, just what I happen to catch! We do the entire unit even if I don’t show it here in the photos!

Our letter this week ~ Rr, our verse: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.Rr

Here he is coloring his verse page.  Even though this chair position drives me NUTS, I love this picture.  I certainly don’t laugh in the moment, but looking back it makes me giggle.  He is always doing this!!!


Tracing his Rr…IMG_6757

Putting his verse together…IMG_6819

Putting together his church craft.IMG_7191

Here’s the photo of his work from the week before I cleared it off {links to the non-RRSP sheets are below}!IMG_7242

{top middle: Rr sheet from ABC Twiggles, middle left: color by # sight word, middle right: Color by Number Bat, bottom middle: R grid coloring}

 The Power Point lessons are located in the Members Only section. You can see a video here showing a PowerPoint lesson. You can learn more about the Members Only section here. The entire printable unit {everything else you see pictured above} is available for FREE on the main RRSP page…

You can download the entire letter Rr unit here.

Rr Lesson Plan

RRSP Rr lesson plan is also on the same webpage!   Included is our exact plan {although I stray from my plan often}, with links to everything we used. Page 2 is blank in case you don’t do exactly what we do!

in the box

{A few things that were in his preschool workboxes for the week, not all activities are pictured}

He painted his sight word using water on construction paper…IMG_6727

R is for Rabbit color by numberIMG_6833

We used our mini pocket chart to do sound sorting with cards from Homeschool Creations


He really enjoyed the Rr search from COAH, even searching for words he can recognize after he searched for the letter R…IMG_6823

We played with our animal puzzles, after making the puzzles we flipped them over and he found the word I yelled out.IMG_6747

He was very proud of his towersIMG_6859

Getting buried in bean bags I much more fun than using them how Mommy had intended to use them.IMG_6878

I wrote a large Rr on our easel and all week we added things that start with the letter R. Pac Man is our big artistic contributor to this!  Krash enjoys when we add stickers!


Magneatos got a lot of play time…IMG_6696

The Valentines Day Sensory Bin continued to be enjoyed.  Krash made a contraption for his cars!!!IMG_6657We used different items to make the letter Rr…IMG_6679He lined and counted a lot!IMG_6685




His new FAVORITE…iPod School Time!!!  I found a few new apps for him now that he has advanced some.  He still loves TeachMe Kindergarten, but his new favorite is definitely our Bob Books app!!IMG_6916

He was sick recently and this was the moment it hit him.  After playing on the iPod for awhile, I found him passed out sound asleep in our big bean bag.  That’s when I knew he was really sick-he never does that!IMG_6920-2



Moms favKrash was pretty sick for about 4 days and was pretty pitiful.  On another evening, I found him like this after I had went upstairs to put L-bug to sleep. 😉IMG_7008



More Preschool Links…

Be sure to visit Preschool Corner to see all of the other amazing home-preschool moms!

Do you have a blog post featuring this unit-RRSP Letter Rr? Link your exact post below, choose a thumbnail showing the program in action for your link!

~any non-RRSP Letter Rr posts will be deleted.

How do I know if my younger child is ready to read?

Children show reading readiness skills at many various ages.

Reading Readiness Signs for Young Children

I do not believe in pushing a child to learn to read at an early age—however some kids will show these signs on their own and I know many parents wonder what to look for and if their child is ready to read.

This is not an exclusive list, but in general these readiness signs should help you know whether it’s time to dive into learning to read with a younger child.  If your child shows these signs but is still resisting the actual process of learning to read, I believe s/he is not ready.  The desire also has to be there for a younger child.  Just continue to do pre-reading activities and games {many ideas are featured in my Tot School and Preschool posts}.

Pac Man did not show any signs any earlier than normal and learned to read in Kindergarten, as I expected him to.  Krash is showing readiness signs a bit earlier so we are plowing ahead, following his lead.  I have seen many children be ready while still 3 and many not learn until age 6…they all turned out OK {as long as no other special needs were present}.  Teaching Kindergarten {in an ESL school with a combined student body of high and low income families} gave me many opportunities to teach different types of children from various backgrounds.  Teaching reading was and still is one of my favorite things to do!


Some Reading Readiness signs…

  • Your child pretends to read books
  • Your child knows the sounds letters make {not just the names of the letters but the sounds they make {think: Leapfrog Letter Factory}
  • Your child notices environmental print—signs, TV show names, street signs, store names, cereal boxes, etc.
  • Your child knows where the words are on a page in a book
  • Your child knows that we read from left to right and can imitate this action as you read.
  • Your child can retell a story you read in his/her own words {showing the ability to comprehend and retell}
  • Your child holds book the proper way {not upside down or sideways}
  • Your child recognizes his/her own name and other familiar names or words {mom, dad, siblings, etc.}
  • Your child shows an interest in writing and pretends to write {or is already writing letters}
  • Your child understands rhyming words
  • Your child understands beginning sounds {ask-what sound do you hear at the beginning of the word “cat”?}
  • Your child is interested in learning to read!

As I said, this is not an exclusive list, and there is no magic formula.  You have to know your own child and time things right for your child. Use this list as a basis to explore.  There are many other blogs sites with similar information if you search reading readiness.

You can read more about learning to read here in my Behind the Scenes: How Do I Teach My Child to Read? post.

CVC Words ~ PowerPoint Show

This is a PowerPoint show that breaks down simple 3 letter CVC words. Words included: cat, dog, bus, web, bed, hat, pig, fan, rat, pen. Target audience would be beginning readers who are just learning to segment sounds in words.

Simple CVC Words

Each letter appears individually to emphasize each sound. Then the word blends and with a click the image appears to self correct the student!

Here is a simple video of me walking you through part of the show as I do it with Krash. Forgive my very unprofessional video making skills.

See more about joining the Members Only PowerPoint section here.

1 members only2[4]

See specific details about what exactly is included and what is coming soon here.