Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 73

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! 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!

Tot School Gathering Place Week 73

Happy June!!! Many of you may be taking some time off from “official” Tot Schooling, but don’t forget to link up all the fun activities that you find yourself doing throughout the summer months! Learning takes all forms and we’d love to see what you and your Tot are absorbing under the summer sun.

Maybe you are planning some extra field trips this summer! Check out Mountain Mama Teaching to see what field trip Mama Rachel took Tot Ezekiel to experience! Looks like they had a ton of fun!

Mountain Mama Teaching

 

Triangles were all the rage at Tot Munchkin’s house this week. Take a peek at all the entertaining activities that the Mama from Adventures in Tot Schooling put together.

Adventures in Tot Schooling

 

Maybe you use the summer months to get organized and prepared for the coming school year. Head on over to Kait & Company and see Mama Kaitlyn’s ideas that work well for her and her crew. They might just work for you, too!

Kait &amp_ Company

 


Remember to visit our Pinterest board hosting our featured blogs each week! Be sure to follow the board and re-pin ideas you like, it’s a great way to support each other!!

I also created a Tot School Printables Pinterest Board. If you are using Tot School Printables and blogging about it, will you email me with a link to one of your posts and your Pintrest link? I am opening up the board to allow other bloggers to pin their Tot School posts that feature Tot School Printables in action.

Tot-School-Gathering-Place-Pinterest   Tot-School-Printables-Pinterest-Boar


Were you featured?

You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional!

Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>


Please read this carefully before linking up! This may no longer be the linky for you, so please glance through this list to be sure you want to stick around and link up with us!
By linking up you agree to the following:
  1. A photo and a link to your post may appear in a future Tot School post. You give me permission to choose a photo from the post you link up, and give me permission to use your ideas in my post. I will link back to you, mention your blog, and give you full credit for any ideas chosen to share from your post.
  2. Your post is a post written specifically for Tot School and not just an idea for tots. It features your own child{ren} in action. This is a community for moms to come together and share their journey with Tot School virtually.
  3. Provide a link back to Tot School within your blog post {you can use this link: http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/tag/tot-school-gathering-place/or a direct link to the weekly post you link up to} if you link up. If you do not link back to Tot School, your link will be deleted. Link backs on the sidebar, or in a massive “I link up here” page don’t count ~ they are too difficult for me to find and the first thing I look for when verifying links is the link back.
  4. Link up your exact Tot School post {not your blog homepage} if you are unsure how to do that read this!
    Each week I will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Sometimes it may be one simple idea, sometimes it may be a collection based around a concept .



Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

Where-to-Begin-with-Tot-School-eBook

See the Tot School webpage here!


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).



Spielgaben ~ Is it Worth It?

Recently you may have seen our new blog series, Playful Learning with Spielgaben, We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  Today’s post is a little different and is focused on the overall value to help you make a wise decision for you family.

Spielgaben ~ Is it Worth it

One of the best and most common questions I get about Spielgaben is about the cost.  It is most definitely an investment and most of us don’t have extra money to throw around.  I hope this post helps you decide if it is worth the price for you.  For us personally, the short answer is – YES!


What is included?

Before we go into my thoughts, let me share exactly what you get when you click order.

The current Spielgaben set looks a bit different than mine, this is v3.0.  They update the version frequently which is why you may see different things on different blogs.  The most current set right now contains an addition that I personally don’t have, the peg board and lacing supplies.Speilgaben Complete Package

The set comes looking like this, with wooden trays and a top.  Ours is a flat top, the new set has the top that works with the lacing and pegs addition.

The boxes have handles, and balance nicely.  They are a bit heavy, but I like that since I don’t allow my kids to just dive into it.  I leave ours closed like this when it’s not available for free play.

 

Here’s images of the inside of the trays. You can read the exact details about each tray here on the Spielgaben website.

Speilgaben Tray 1 Spielgaben Tray 2 Spielgaben Tray 3

 

Play Guides

In addition to the amazing learning manipulatives, you also get a plethora of digital guides.  These come in an email and you download them yourself.  You can choose to print them or use them on an e device, which is what we do.

Play Guide

There are 4 user guides, called “Spielgaben Play Guides”  Thinks of these as the curriculum manuals.  You can see them in action each month in my Playful Learning with Spielgaben posts.

We have only scratched the surface using the first guide. We have 3 that we haven’t even touched yet, but we will!

Below you can see more details about each digital guide. We are currently working our way through Play Guide 1 {Basic Play}.

 

Play guide Part 1 (Basic Play) : Focuses on how to play with each Spielgaben set in order to build competence in sensory, fine motor skills, basic math and problem-solving skills. Ideal age group: 3 to 7 years.

Play guide Part 2 (Creative Play) : Focuses on progressing creativity, self-expression and language skills to further develop your child’s brain. Ideal age group: 5 to 9 years.

Play guide Part 3 (Mathematical Play – Arithmetic) : Covers mathematical concepts that your child will learn at school from Years One to Six. It provides a solid basis for understanding arithmetical calculations, measurements. Ideal age group: 7 to 12 years.

Play guide Part 4 (Mathematical Play – Figures) : It covers mathematical concepts such as 2D & 3D figures, angles, weight and volumes that your child will learn at school from Years One to Six. Once your child has mastered all of these concepts shown in these User guides, your child will excel at mathematics and ready to tackle more advanced problems in senior school. Ideal age group: 7 to 12 years.

 

Worksheet Packs

in addition to the Play Guides there are worksheet packets.  For each Spielgaben set there are 3 worksheet packs. These packs are organized by level, you can see my file below to give you a feel for how many packs there are. Each pack has about 20 pages.

Spielgaben Worksheets

 

Nature & Instpiration Guides

Two of our favorite downloadable products are the Inspiration Guide and the Nature Guide.  These have provided hours and hours of play at my house.

Spielgaben Inspiration Guide Spielgaben Nature Guide

There are also Story Mats, we personally haven’t used those yet.


We use our Spielgaben set in a few different ways…

  • Guided Lessons {1-3 per week with Ladybug during school year}
  • Free Play {when mom allows the trays to be opened, all kids love to dive in}
  • Nature/Inspiration Guide Play {Ladybug does this a LOT}
  • Mommy Inspired Play {I set up something to draw them in}
  • Along side of other curriculum {especially K’s 2nd grade math}
      I am a visual person so instead of more written lists, I wanted to share a visual list with you. Here are a few images with the different categories labeled for you to see some examples.  If you

click on the photo it will take you to the blog post

    where I explain what we did.

Home Preschool -6457 Spielgaben -7612Spielgaben_-4 Spielgaben -5635Spielgaben -5680 Home Preschool -5245Spielgaben -6353 Home Preschool -1642Home Preschool -9499 2nd Grade -0573Home Preschool -1727 Home Preschool -8323Spielgaben -5442 Home Preschool -84972nd Grade Homeschool -6485-2 Home Preschool -6590Spielgaben -6338 Home Preschool -5487Home Preschool -6441 2nd Grade -8221


FAQ

Now that you know all that is included, and have seen exactly how we use it, here are some FAQ I have gotten regarding the value. Some of these have been posted elsewhere but I wanted to share them in this post too so you don’t have to jump around.

Can’t you just duplicate this with other more inexpensive toys?

This is a question I get and have seen a lot.  Honestly I thought this before I had the set. Now that I have had the set for almost a year, I can definitely say the answer is no. It is a complete learning program, not just another set of toys.  The Play Guides are another aspect that make this set unique.  That’s the short answer.

My question is, now that you’ve used it for 6 months or so, would you personally find it a good investment to buy outright if you had a 3 yr old and 6 yr old, or would you use that money towards other similar “toys” and curriculum?
If I had a 3 and 6 year old, I would buy it if money were not tight, for sure. I understand it is a huge investment so if money is tight, it can be a hard decision that only you can make.
The toys themselves are amazing, and worth so much, but the digital guides are invaluable.  It truly is a full curriculum, not just a set of toys. It takes the guess work out of how to use it in MANY different ways.  Plus you have the amazing benefit of the open ended free play. If you desire only the toys, maybe it wouldn’t be a good investment, but if you desire the guides and having that kind of helpful direction, it is definitely worth it.

I don’t feel the same idea can be duplicated with other various toys and curriculum, but it is an investment so you have to desire something like this {a play based curriculum}.  If you have the money to invest, definitely buy Spielgaben and forget getting other toys with the money. I would gladly give up many of the toys we had before Spielgaben {in fact I have} that are somewhat similar. The other toys have always been just free play toys, but Spielgaben is all interconnected and I love that.

We only use the guides 1-3 times a week, mostly we enjoy the free play.  But the guides have empowered me to introduce concepts to Ladybug that I would never think of {symmetry, open and closed spaces, 3D shapes, etc.}.  I truly enjoy the guides beyond what I even thought I would!

This is a set we will enjoy for years.  I am already excited about using it more for Kindergarten next year with Lili, and I use the manipulatives all of the time for my 2nd grader during math!

Do you use Spielgaben daily?

Yes, almost! Formal lessons 2-3 times a week {during school year}, free or guided play usually several times a day! I actually have a hard time keeping Ladybug away from it, she is in a stage of wanting to sit at our free play area many times per day and often asks me for my iPad for the Nature/Inspiration Guide.

In your opinion do you think it would be worth the money for a 5 and 7 year old.

If I had a 5 and 7 year old, I would buy it if money were not tight, for sure. But, if these are your only kids and you aren’t planning on having more I would think more about the purchase, especially if money is a bit tighter.  I am using it a lot with my daughter who turned 5 in April, and can see us using it for years. She loves this style of learning.  My 7 year old loves it too, I am not using the lessons with him {although I might start next year} I understand it is a huge investment so if money is tight, it can be a hard decision that only you can make.

The toys themselves are amazing, and worth so much, but the digital guides are invaluable.  It truly is a full curriculum, not just a set of toys. It takes the guess work out of how to use it in MANY different ways.  Plus you have the amazing benefit of the open ended free play. If you desire only the toys, maybe it wouldn’t be a good investment, but if you desire the guides and having that kind of helpful direction, it is definitely worth it.

This is a set we will enjoy for years.  I am already excited about using it more for Kindergarten next year with Ladybug, and I use the manipulatives all of the time for my 2nd grader during math!  I think you would get a lot of use out of it, especially if you like the idea of the guides, and your kids would enjoy this type of learning and free play.

Here’s a post from Homeschool Creations sharing specifically hos she is using it with her 4 kids, all 7 and older

Here are a couple more reviews focusing on the value from other bloggers who have reviewed Spielgaben…

Remember there is a special discount for 1+1+1=1 readers…

Spielgaben is offering an exclusive discount to 1+1+1=1 blog readers –

AUD 370 | USD 337 | GBP 200

including shipping to AU | USA | UK, which is over 15% off of the already discounted online price. Prices are approximate depending on conversion rates.  All you need to do to claim your discount is send an email to [email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

Please check directly with Spielgaben for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.



Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 72

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! 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!Tot School Gathering Place Week 72

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all who serve (or have served) our country in the armed forces! Your service has granted us the freedom we have to do what we are doing – teaching our children at home and enjoying each moment! Thank you!

Many of you may be traveling this holiday weekend! It is the perfect opportunity to talk about transportation! Check out Mama Ellen’s ideas over at Cutting Tiny Bites for some fun and creative activities centered on transportation!

Cutting Tiny Bites

 

With this weekend being to “unofficial” start to summer, bugs may be starting to invade your space! Head on over to Angelicscalliwags to see how Mama Claire helped her crew create a bug observatory.

Angelicscalliwags

 

Sometimes learning has to take place away from home to completely understand certain concepts. Take a peek at Mama Alecia’s post on Learning to Walk to see what Tot J learned while visiting Grandma’s house!

Learning to Walk

 


Remember to visit our Pinterest board hosting our featured blogs each week! Be sure to follow the board and re-pin ideas you like, it’s a great way to support each other!!

I also created a Tot School Printables Pinterest Board. If you are using Tot School Printables and blogging about it, will you email me with a link to one of your posts and your Pintrest link? I am opening up the board to allow other bloggers to pin their Tot School posts that feature Tot School Printables in action.

Tot-School-Gathering-Place-Pinterest[1]   Tot-School-Printables-Pinterest-Boar


Were you featured?

You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional!

Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>


Please read this carefully before linking up! This may no longer be the linky for you, so please glance through this list to be sure you want to stick around and link up with us!
By linking up you agree to the following:
  1. A photo and a link to your post may appear in a future Tot School post. You give me permission to choose a photo from the post you link up, and give me permission to use your ideas in my post. I will link back to you, mention your blog, and give you full credit for any ideas chosen to share from your post.
  2. Your post is a post written specifically for Tot School and not just an idea for tots. It features your own child{ren} in action. This is a community for moms to come together and share their journey with Tot School virtually.
  3. Provide a link back to Tot School within your blog post {you can use this link: http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/tag/tot-school-gathering-place/or a direct link to the weekly post you link up to} if you link up. If you do not link back to Tot School, your link will be deleted. Link backs on the sidebar, or in a massive “I link up here” page don’t count ~ they are too difficult for me to find and the first thing I look for when verifying links is the link back.
  4. Link up your exact Tot School post {not your blog homepage} if you are unsure how to do that read this!
    Each week I will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Sometimes it may be one simple idea, sometimes it may be a collection based around a concept .



Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

Where-to-Begin-with-Tot-School-eBook[1]

See the Tot School webpage here!


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).



1+1+1=1 App

You might have noticed we have a new blog header, similar to the old one but adjusted a bit to include a few more quick links for you. One of the new icons up there looks like this…

App Button 1plus1plus1

I created an app for my blog using AppGuppy a long time ago but never shared it.  Honestly I didn’t see the use for my readers, but recently with the changes Facebook has made {meaning less and less of you actually see my posts in your newsfeed} I figured it might be useful for those of you who want to be in the loop in an easier way on a mobile device. It is a nice way to follow a few of my accounts in one place and just jump to what you want.

I went in and updated the app and am now sharing it with you! It does not go through an app host {Apple, Android} it is set up differently and once you see it will make sense. You click here from your computer and you are given this screen where you can then send yourself a code or scan the QR code from your mobile device.

1plus1plus1 App

Once installed, the app basically becomes an icon on your homescreen and you can use it to check in with my blog feed, Facebook feed, Pinterest feed all in one place!  There’s also an About tab and an Instagram tab {which just shares my Instagram name and a link}.

Facebook shows my posts to a very small number of my followers and many of you miss what I share.  I use Facebook to share my own posts {some old and of course new} and I also use it as a way to share great posts from others that I love. All will show up on this app for you!

Below you can see screen shots of each section in the app to give you a feel for how it looks.

App Blog Feed App Facebook App PinterestApp Instagram APP About

I hope some of you enjoy this and it helps you stay in touch. Download our app here!



Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 69

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!

Tot-School-Gathering-Place_thumb1_th[1]

May is FINALLY here! Sunshine, green grass, blooming flowers….all point to fresh beginnings and the anticipation of long summer days with our Tots! I’m getting so excited! While we wait for those lovely days take a look at the different blogs to see if there are any activities that will captivate your Tots mind!

Over at Our Crafts-n-Things, Tot Hunter explored the letter Q through various Tot tray activities. Be sure to check out the neat sensory bins his mama put together for him this week!Our Crafts-n-Things

 

The letter F and frogs were the theme of the week for Tot Bo! Go check out the different activities that Mama Michelle from Delightful Learning planned to investigate the letter F! Looks like he had FUN!Delightful Learning

 

The activity in this blog, Living In This Season, will delight some while terrify others! Be sure to take a look and see which category your Tot would fall into!

Living in this Season

 

 


Remember to visit our Pinterest board hosting our featured blogs each week! Be sure to follow the board and re-pin ideas you like, it’s a great way to support each other!!

I also created a Tot School Printables Pinterest Board. If you are using Tot School Printables and blogging about it, will you email me with a link to one of your posts and your Pintrest link? I am opening up the board to allow other bloggers to pin their Tot School posts that feature Tot School Printables in action.

Tot-School-Gathering-Place-Pinterest[1]   Tot-School-Printables-Pinterest-Boar


Were you featured?

You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional!

Tot School Feature

<center><a href="http://bit.ly/W32RDO" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src="http://bit.ly/13tsB2r"/ ></a></center>


Please read this carefully before linking up! This may no longer be the linky for you, so please glance through this list to be sure you want to stick around and link up with us!
By linking up you agree to the following:
  1. A photo and a link to your post may appear in a future Tot School post. You give me permission to choose a photo from the post you link up, and give me permission to use your ideas in my post. I will link back to you, mention your blog, and give you full credit for any ideas choose to share form your post. If you don’t want me sharing photos, your blog, or ideas, please don’t link up.
  2. Your post is a post written specifically for Tot School and not just an idea for tots. It features your own child{ren} in action. This is a community for moms to come together and share their journey with Tot School virtually.
  3. Provide a link back to Tot School within your blog post {you can use this link: http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/tag/tot%20school/ or a direct link to the weekly post you link up to} if you link up. If you do not link back to Tot School, your link will be deleted. Link backs on the sidebar, or in a massive “I link up here” page don’t count ~ they are too difficult for me to find and the first thing I look for when verifying links is the link back.
  4. Link up your exact Tot School post {not your blog homepage} if you are unsure how to do that read this!
    Each week I will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Sometimes it may be one simple idea, sometimes it may be a collection based around a concept .



Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?

Where-to-Begin-with-Tot-School-eBook[1]

See the Tot School webpage here!


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).