Playful Learning with Spielgaben ~ 1st Grade Homeschool Fun

Playful Learning with Spielgaben is our monthly post sharing Spielgaben in action!  If you missed the introduction to this series, you can see it here. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.

Playful Learning with Spielgaben September 2015

Lessons We Enjoyed

Speilgaben is a wonderful addition to our 1st grade math curriculum.  For now, I am choosing lessons based on her needs.  She has mastered many 1st grade level skills so I knew she didn’t need a full 1st grade curriculum.  Spielgaben is a great fit for her right now!

Each week I choose lessons or worksheets for her and write them into our lesson plans.  Yes, this takes a bit more time than following a pre-written math curriculum, but I want her working on what she needs and will enjoy. I wouldn’t have been as confident in doing this years ago, but now I am after homeschooling 2 other kids at this grade level!

We finished up our work with 3 Dimensional shapes using Worksheet Set 2, Level 3, Activity 5 – Cut in Half {in case you own Spielgaben and are looking for these specific worksheets, I label them like this so you can easily find them}.

This activity was tricky and involved imagining the shape cut in half.   and checking what it would look like on the inside.

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 Worksheet Set 3, Level 3, Activity 1 – How Many Cubes  involved focusing on how many blocks were shown on a particular view.

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Worksheet Set 3, Level 3, Activity 3 – Stacking Play involved rebuilding figures with cubes and counting how many blocks were used.  Before building each one, she guessed by only looking at the worksheet {2D image}.  Then she built it and checked her guess.

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We are still enjoying our unit study about frogs, so of course we had to build a frog!  The Spielgaben Nature Guide {shown below on my iPad} had an adorable frog with tadpoles for her to recreate.  I showed her the picture and she gathered the needed pieces and put them in that big blue bowl.  Then she built the scene herself.

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See more math fun we have had with Spielgaben!

Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3 Exploring Symmetry with Spielgaben Math Play with Spielgaben - ideas for learning addition to 10 Math with Spielgaben Soma Cube with Spielgaben


See version 4.0 here!

I can’t say enough about the new storage system, it is AWESOME!


Spielgaben offers a special discount to my readers, just send an email to [email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

Acorn Friends ~ Fall Craft for Kids

Acorn Friends Craft for Kids

One morning last week I was out running errands for hours.  I came home expecting to find my husband studying in his office {he is in grad school full time right now}, but instead found these adorable acorn friends on my dining room table!

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I looked down and saw this huge bucket filed with acorns from our yard and just smiled.  What a great Daddy!

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He showed me how they were making them, using a skewer to poke holes for the legs and arms, and a stand to make them prop up.

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Pipe cleaners, Sharpies and googly eyes…

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One VERY happy daughter hard at work on her next acorn friend.

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I admired the collection and noticed they had made a few minions. How cute!

Acorn Minion Craft

They continued on for awhile and now we have an awesome collection of little fall craft friends to play with and set out during the fall season!

Have acorns? Make your own Acorn Friends!

  1. send your kids out to gather acorns, this is loads of fun by itself!
  2. poke holes in the acorn where you want holes, use something sharp like a skewer {adult job}
  3. cut pipe cleaners for arms, legs, and a stand
  4. carefully push pipe cleaners into tiny holes {my daughter was able to do this}
  5. color acorn with Sharpies as desired, add eyes and whatever else you desire
  6. Admire the cuteness!

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Tot School Gathering Place Week 142

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!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature!


Happy fall! Fall is officially upon us and with it thoughts of apples, pumpkins, cool crisp days, and maybe a little leaf playing with our Tots!! Whatever activities you have planned for this fall we’d love it if you would share them with us at the Gathering Place! Be sure to link up and let us know what you are up to!

Grandmama Deb from Living Montessori Now and GrandTot Zoe are diving into fall with a beautiful fall sensory bin. Check out how she made the sensory bin and incorporated it into Tot Zoe’s Montessori learning!

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Mama Tara from The Magnolia Barn was thrilled with how this past weeks Tot School went! Check out the many activities she and Tots Summer and Kaitlyn enjoyed while studying the letter A!

Magnolia Barn

Are you looking for a “cool” art project with a little bit of science thrown in? Check out the art project that Mama Swapna from The Practical Mom enjoyed with her Tot this past week. Your Tot may enjoy it as well!

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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="" target="_blank"><img alt="I was featured for Tot School!" src=""/ ></a></center>

Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?


See the Tot School webpage here!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Tot School Ideas on Pinterest.

We have loads of free ABC printables, here’s just a few!  Find them all here!

ABC-Dot-Fun4  Color-By-Number-ABCs4  ABC-Wall-Posters4

 Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this! 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).

Weaving with Home Art Studio and a Giveaway!

We have been using Home Art Studio for a long time now.  You can see all of the projects I have blogged about here! Home Art Studio sent us curriculum to review years ago and has been a blog sponsor ever since.  We love working with them and sharing Home Art Studio with you!

Home Art Studio 1st Grade Project ~ Weaving

Ladybug loved her next art project from the Home Art Studio 1st Grade DVD, weaving!  We watched the DVD lesson together and she got to work painting!

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On another day we watched part 2 of the lesson and did the weaving.  She tried to cut the paper on her own but ended up needing me to help. Love the tongue.

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She was thrilled with her final project!!

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For a look back, here’s our post from when my boys did this same project! As you can see below, she joined us on the painting day, but at age 3 the weaving part was a bit much for her!

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Home Art Studio Giveaway

Home Art Studio is an award winning DVD/ROM based art education program, taught by Lindsey Volin,  designed for homeschooling families. Every fun art project teaches students experience, but who want to ensure that their children receive a well-rounded arts education.

Here are some helpful direct links:

Home Art Studio Giveaway 3 DVDs Winner Choice ends 10.5.15

I am thrilled to be able to give one of our readers 3 Home Art Studio DVDs, winner chooses grade levels!  use Rafflecopter to enter to win below.  Giveaway is open to US addresses only and ends 10/5/15.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Inspire Me! Story Starter Photo Cards ~ Fall Fun Theme

Inspire Me! Story Starter Photo Cards feature a simple photograph on the front, with word ideas on the back.  You can see more about why they were created and how we use them here in our original post!

Free Fall Story Starter Photo Cards


We have a brand new FALL FUN set for you today, with 12 different photographs. Six of the photographs are of people in fall, and the other 6 are all funny squirrels and a chipmunk. We haven’t used these yet, but I wanted to share them since it is fall for much of the world right now!

Below you can see the photographs included in this set, there are matching word idea cards for each photo also! If you look you’ll see my boys in a few of the photos!

Fall Fun Story Starter Printable Photo Cards Fall Fun Story Starter Printable Photo Cards


See a video walk through here showing you how we use and organize our cards, and the extra printables we use alongside of them.

We have more themes coming and many will be released here on my blog for FREE.  I am also listing sets in my Teacher’s Notebook Shop.  Be sure to subscribe to our blog posts so you don’t miss any of our free printables!

Have a theme idea for a set? Leave me a comment!

Download your free Fall Fun Story Starters here!

Inspire Me Story Starters Fall Fun

The printables shown below were were created to go along with our story starters! 

Choose-your-Own-Writing-Paper43121  Choose-Your-Own-Alphabet-Chart4121  Young-Writer-Printables21

Grab our other Story Starters…

Summer-Fun-Story-Starters-Printables[1]  Bugs-Story-Starters-Printable-Photo-  Cats Story Starters Printable Photo Cards

Looking for more FALL fun?


See more Fall ideas here on our Pinterest board!

Follow {1plus1plus1} Carisa’s board Fall Theme on Pinterest.