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!

Gift Idea for Everyone with Kids!

Do you have kids?  Have grandkids?  Have friends with kids?  Teach kids?  Care for Kids?

I have a great gift idea for you!

150  Screen-Free Activities for Kids DIY Gift Basket

{disclaimer ~ I was sent the book free of charge to review}

The new book, 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids,  from Asia of Fun at Home with Kids is simply awesome. The book alone would make an incredible gift, or you can get SUPER fun and create a gift basket with supplies to go along with the book. Asia provides ideas here on her blog, and there’s a page in the Amazon preview sharing the 15 items recommended for a gift basket or a simple get-started list. I compiled many of them here for you to glance through.

150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids contains ~

  • 50% all NEW activities never before featured on Asia’s blog.  It also contains favorites from the blog!
  • 120 activities can be completed using items found at a regular grocery store.
  • Most of the activities were designed to encourage multi-age/sibling play. 
  • All activities are coded and marked with allergy codes to make things easier for those of you with kids who have allergies.

The book is divided into 7 sections, each section contains multiple ideas!

  • How to Use the Book
  • Slimes
  • Doughs
  • Paints
  • Small World Play
  • Simple Sensory Activities
  • Do-It-Yourself Toys

We have already done many of Asia’s ideas, but when I presented the book to my daughter who is 5, she immediately saw the image on the front cover of the Frog World and wanted to make that, she loves frogs and water. 

Frog World Play

I must be honest and tell you that the night she asked wasn’t a night I really wanted to dye water blue and cut out foam lily pads.  It had been a long emotional day and I was tired.  But, I said yes.  It didn’t take me long to set both of my kids up with their frog worlds and it gave me about an hour of peace as they played. 

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They both went on to play with the bins again the next day. The effort I put in at the beginning proved to be totally worth it in the end.

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Sometimes I am super creative on my own and other times I feel my brain is dead and completely emptied of all things creative.  Asia’s book is a reminder that it doesn’t take much to do something creative like this.

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My kids are 5, 8, and 12. The 5 and 8 year old played with the Frog World, extensively. The 12 year old wasn’t home that night but probably would have joined them. My 12 year old has looked through the book and found many ideas he wants to try. It really is a book for a VERY wide age range.

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It is a recipe book for me.  An easy tool to pull off of the shelf to stimulate my thinking and give me the idea and the recipe all in one place.  I am so thankful to Asia for taking the time to write this and know it will bless many people out there, including me!

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See more here ~

This awesome book is available worldwide, most of my readers will happily find it on Amazon, there’s a link here to Amazon

Pond Coloring Printables

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 just added  new Pond Coloring printables!

Free Pond Coloring Printables

Download the Pond coloring printables and more here!

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 Pond fun?

Pond Pinterest Board

Pond Life Theme

Tot School ~ Letter F {frog}

~Ladybug is currently 34.5 months old~


Here is her desk set up for letter F…IMG_1543

The items in the pocket chart are all available here on the Animal ABCs webpage.  I added frogs on her desk, including all of our Webkinz Frogs! {files are released for free when they are posted on the Totally Tots blog for the ABC feature, letter F is not free yet, but it will be once it is posted on Totally Tots!}.

We also had several frog books off to the side in her pink basket. I had a frog blanket I put out as well as our little frog game, which was a BIG hit.IMG_1545

On her shelves, nothing really frog related except for the top…IMG_1552


Here are some Letter F and Frog ideas for you…


  She barely worked in her notebook at all this week, really just on one day.IMG_1560

She colored her frogs happily…IMG_1628

We pressed play doh dots onto a frog dot sheetIMG_1633

She put dot stickers on another frog dot sheet

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Here she is working on Letter F Dot Fun, we used pom pom magnets this time {hot glue small magnets to puff balls}This set is included in the Animal ABC Bundle, or you can purchase the set as a stand alone set for $1.25 on Teacher’s Notebook.IMG_1850

She worked with me to make the letter craft, which is basically an open ended project that you can do whatever you want with!  This week she saw the letter on her desk and went at it with her markers!  She colored the entire thing dark blue!  Another day we cut frogs together, mostly she did it on her own this time!IMG_1801

Then she glued her frogs on her F…

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I snapped a pic of her first 6 letters before I put them in her keepsake notebook for Animal ABCs.IMG_1837


I made some other frog printables for Ladybug, I just don’t have them ready to share yet-gotta adjust and upload the files.  I will, promise, just short on time right now!  I made a letter maze to match the animal.  At first she only wanted to put the magnets on every square, so I let her.  Then she noticed she didn’t have enough and logic set in.IMG_1853I told her she would have enough if she just put them on the pathway of letter Ff’s.  She did and loved it!IMG_1855


She is VERY into play doh letters.  I am working on a new set of A-Z play doh mats that feature the animals from Animal ABCs!  She LOVED these and worked on it a few timesIMG_1862


We made a frog inspired by No Time for FlashcardsIMG_1819


More frog ideas here…image_thumb

Special Note: Please read my post about Following the Child’s Lead if you have a tot and need info about this.  All tots are different and what Ladybug is doing may not be appropriate for your child, even if s/he is the same age!

We are taking our All About Reading Pre Level 1 lessons slowly.  I am not expecting mastery from Ladybug, just using this program as a way to expose her to the Big Five Skills. 

This week we did lesson 6, continuing our work with rhyming words.  No photos of that part this week!

She loved the letter page this week!IMG_1823


She was SO proud of her completed work.  As you can see she worked for a long time and really focused on the details.  She chose all colors herself!IMG_1842

Learning-Toys_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thu[1]It was learning toy week for her.  Usually she is more of a table gal, but she played TONS with her toys, which I loved!  All of this was her choice, if it were up to me we’d do way more of this every week!

Matching shapesIMG_1583

Noah’s Ark, she insisted on putting the animals in their proper holes…IMG_1568

This is the best baby toy ever.  All 3 of my kids still play with this thing!  Here she was spinning her frogs around!IMG_1574

She loves the Animal Train PuzzlesIMG_1587

Pattern Blocks on the dishwasher with Krash…

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My girl loved the new colors of play doh.  She got busy cutting snakes right away!

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She is in LOVE with Skylanders {it’s a video game if you don’t have school age boys, and I recently added a Kindergarten Pack to my website here!} and this is her favorite, Wrecking Ball.  She made him with the Play Doh.  She is such the little sis of BROTHERS!IMG_1709

She didn’t used to like this toy, but she went to it several times this week.  It is a challenge for her, but she can do it!IMG_1714

More pattern block time, she loves that her magnets are all organized now {I got that little click together box set at Target, actually I got several of them!}IMG_1717

Hanging ith the big Kids

This is a new section for Ladybug, it will contain all of the things she does because she simply wants to do whatever the boys are doing!

Here they are doing their Calendar Notebooks, while she sits and colors in her Tot Time Notebook.  She said to me several times, “Mommy, I wuv my notebook.”  😉

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We are back to focusing on our virtues from We Choose Virtues.  We started learning about being Diligent this week.  She LOVES the cards and asks to hold them.  Guess they make good telescopes?IMG_1778

We are studying Brazil thanks to our Little Passports.  I have brought out all of our South America stuff and we just do a little each day-nothing major.  She LOVED the puzzle and wanted to do it herself!  She repeated all of the countries with me too!IMG_1864

Moms FavoriteThe girl is obsessed with her tutu collection and often has one on.  Her recent activity of the day is running around the living room and dancing.  It’s really just running, but she thinks she is doing a very fancy dance.IMG_1612


More Tot School Links…

Tot-Books-10052222222222222222222222 Tot-School-Printables-10052222222222[1] Tot-Trays-10052222222222222222222222 Tot-School-Ideas62222222222222222222[1] smaller-rectangle-blog-button6222222[1]

Please put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (41 mos)

Are You Connected to 1+1+1=1?

You can subscribe via RSS, subscribe via email, follow on Twitter, or follow on Facebook!

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Pond Theme Printables and More!


Pond Life Theme

In this post, I will direct you to the page where the file is hosted on my website, since they are in various places! I hope this helps you find things within themes! I will try to gather anything I have done, created, or posted about surrounding this theme!

Pond Life Clip and Learn {Beginning Sounds}

Clip and Learn Pond Beginning Sounds

Pond Life Montessori Match Up

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Pond Life Montessori Nomenclature Cards

Slide2 Slide3


Pond Life Word Cards

Word Cards Pond Word Cards Pond2

Pond Songs

Pond Songs Frog Pond Songs

Pond Life Tot Bookimage

Pond Life Sensory Binimage

The Frog & The Fly Pocket Chart Printablesimage

Pond Theme Letter Crafts {click on images to see directions and details}

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Pond Mural

The idea was from Totally Tots, you can see the posts with details here: post 1, post 2, post 3, post 4, post 5

Click on the photos to see our specific posts when Krash made his mural!

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Color by # F is for FrogColor by Number...Ff is fr frog

Pond Life Theme in Action on the Blog

Pond Life Theme Kindergarten  Pond Life Theme Tot School

Pond Life Preschool Pack {Jolanthe made this one}


Pond Life Books & More…image

Are you on Pinterest?

Pond Life Pinterest Board

You can check out my Pond Themed Finds here!

I will be adding any new ideas or pond printables I create to this post!

Will you leave links to your POND themed printables or ideas in the comments section? I’d love to check your ideas out too!