Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits!

Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits

{disclaimer ~ Ivy Kids is a blog sponsor and sent us a kit for this review}

Our love for Ivy Kids Kits continues! These continue to be the best monthly subscription kits I have seen.

Not familiar with Ivy Kids Kits?

Ivy Kits are a monthly educational subscription for children ages 3-8 developed by early childhood teachers with children of their own. You can tell these kits were developed by people who truly know young kids.  The activities are awesome. Not only can you subscribe to a monthly kit, you can also buy past kits.

Each Ivy Kit contains instructions with ways to modify games to best suit each individual child and provide adults with questions to structure a child’s learning. There are enough games and materials in each kit to engage and cognitively stimulate a child throughout the month and can be replayed for years to come.

We were sent Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats for this review.  Here’s ALL that was included in this kit:

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  • The humorous and heartwarming book Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. 
  • Read along Bookmark: Use to assist with reading comprehension.
  • Houseful of Cats: Paint the beautiful wooden house and use it along with the cat figures to retell the story
  • Story Re-telling: Use the board and cat figures to retell the story of Mrs. McTats and Her Houseful of Cats that have names from A to Z. 
  • Cat Puppet: Create your own cat puppet with a personalized name collar 
  • Cat Bingo: Learn about the different cat species while playing bingo. The person to get 3 cats in a row gets bingo.
  • Houseful of Pets – Roll and Stick: Roll the dice, find the number rolled, and cover the number with a colorful cat or dog sticker. Keep rolling the dice until you have found all the hidden numbers and your house is full of pets!
  • Find Your Way Home Board Game: Players take turns moving the cat pawns along the alphabetical path until each cat has reached the house at the end of the board
  • Kitty Bank: Use the paints to decorate your own cute and functional kitty bank.
  • Cat Fact Boards and Trivia: Learn fun and interesting facts about cats and solve the trivia questions
  • Cat Race – Roll and Stamp: Choose from 3 different racing sheets! Player counts the number rolled and then stamps the column displaying that numerical symbol. Continue rolling until the cats reach the top of at least one column. Whichever column has the most cats wins the race.
  • 100 Cats: What does 100 cats look like? Find out by stamping 100 cats onto the hundreds board.
  • Word Families: The first player to collect all the word cards that belong to his or her word family wins the game.  
  • Cat Alphabet: Color these uniquely formed letters. For silly fun, try to use your own body to make the different letter shapes.
    She was SO excited to open our box and see CATS! She loves cats!
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She immediately asked to go read the book and she loved it! Not so sure the dog loved a book all about cats!

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      Activities From Our Box…

      She chose to do the story-retelling activity first and loved all of the little kitties!

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      She always loves the games that are included, I think spending more time with me and playing together is a highlight!

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      She is a craft-loving girl and this one was a favorite!

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      She loved the Cat Facts game, the pictures were awesome!

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      She is a bit too old for rhyming so we just peeked at it quickly.

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      We played BINGO a few times, which she loved!

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      She loved playing “A Houseful of Cats,” and so did I! I loved that there were varying levels included, we played a few different ways.

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      Her very favorite was the kitty bank craft! She also loved the little cat house!

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      We continue to just LOVE Ivy Kids and are thankful to have these boxes! You can buy this kit here!

      We also loved our A House for Hermit Crab kit, Penguin & Pinecone kit, Gotta Go! Gotta Go! kit and Over in the Ocean!

      A-House-for-Hermit-Crab-Unit-Study-w[1] Penguin-and-Pinecone-Unit-Study-with[1] 

      Gotta-Go-Gotta-Go-Ivy-Kids-Kit-Revie Over in the Ocean Unit Study with Ivy Kids Kits[4]


      20% off your first kit for NEW Subscribers to the monthly subscription kits!

      Use code: IVY20

      A huge thanks to Ivy Kids for sending us these kits to review. If you are looking for a simple way to do unit studies with your young child, I highly recommend Ivy Kids Kits!

      When you subscribe to Ivy Kids, each month you will receive a very well organized kit containing a book and ten or more activities based upon the story. Everything you need to learn and play is included in your kit. I mean EVERYthing. These kits are incredible!

      DIY Spielgaben Photo Puzzles

      DIY Photo Puzzle with Spielgaben

      {We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.}

      We had some leftover Christmas cards and I remembered how much Ladybug loved the puzzles we created awhile back so I decided to make her a more difficult version using the colored shapes in our Spielgaben kit instead of just cubes!

      First, I grabbed a handful of all one color and laid out a pattern on the picture I had.

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      I then used my Open It! {the little utility knife part of it} to cut each shape.

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      Some clear tape and done!

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      She immediately remembered our puzzles when I showed her and loved that this one was a photo!

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      All done!

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      I think we might be making more of these, it was fun and simple! Have a younger child, use the cubes. Have an older child? Challenge your child to create their own pattern with the blocks! Use old photos that you have duplicates of!

      See more fun we have had with Spielgaben!

      Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3[1] Exploring-Symmetry-with-Spielgaben22 Math-Play-with-Spielgaben---ideas-fo[1] Math-with-Spielgaben122 Soma-Cube-with-Spielgaben22 

      Playful-Learning-with-Spielgaben-Sep Hands-on-Math-with-Spielgaben3_thumb Hands on 1st Grade Math with Spielgaben Multiplication-with-Spielgaben246222 Create-a-Clock-with-Spielgaben101221 

      Exploring-fractions-with-Spielgaben8[1] Exploring-Measurement-with-Spielgabe[2] Exploring-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3322[1] Exploring-Angles-with-Spielgaben_thu[1] 

      Exploring-Addition-with-Spielgaben_t Exploring-Parallel-Lines-with-Spielg[1] Exploring-3D-Shapes-with-Spielgaben3 Graphing-with-Spielgaben3


      See version 4.0 here!


      2nd Grade Homeschool Wrap-Up, Oct.-Dec. 2016

      2nd Grade Homeschool Wrap Up Oct 2016

      This year I am doing individual grade level wrap-up posts instead of all three kids in one. I shared 9th grade here and 5th grade here already. I had big plans of getting them all done and then I didn’t. So I am expanding this post to include highlights from 2nd grade during October, November and December!

      Here is the post about the curriculum choices we made for her.





      I seriously cannot say enough fabulous things about Teaching Textbooks 3.  This is our first time using level 3, so our first kid to begin with TT. The boys use it but they started later. She now works through her lessons on her own and comes to me if she needs help. She is consistently scoring 95-100 so it seems to be working!

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      She has recently been in the middle of the multiplication section, so I created some fun games for her to work on to aid with memorization.

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      She also uses the Math Drills app, which I have customized for her. This is to work on being quick with memorize math facts.

      Spielgaben is still a fun addition to our math. You can see the latest post by clicking  below.Graphing with Spielgaben


      She still does Life of Fred with her daddy about twice a week, I just don’t have any photos!


      We use First Language Lessons Level 2 & Growing with Grammar 2 simply because I like both of them and neither takes too long. I do not correlate the teaching topics, we just work straight through each book, which provides some review when one book covers something at a different time. This is partly why I like using both books.

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      We use our Boogie Board a lot for the First Language Lessons now, funny how a new addition like that can bring joy to lessons! Below she was describing Nerds during a lesson on adjectives.

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      All About Spelling Level 2 is a great fit, we do one lesson per week, using the board one day and then writing the words in her notebook the other day. Recently we have started using the Boogie Board for parts of the lessons, she LOVES this.

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      I love our Evan-Moor Geography book! She does too! It is the perfect fit for her. You an see our full review as well as a video peek in the book here.

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      We also practice US states and capitals using our wall map. She puts up a few states a day. We are on our 3rd or 4th time through, I can’t remember! I love this map, and the great review it provides!



      She does Apologia Swimming Creatures with her 5th grade brother and her dad.  She is VERY into this as she loves sea creatures.

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      Daddy is always finding great videos for them to go along with their lessons.

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      Listen to her tell you about her notes here in this video from Instagram!

      A video posted by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on



      She also does The Mystery of History with her brother and Dad. She takes the best notes, I love seeing her learn and work!

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      We are using our Songs for Saplings Questions with Answers Volume 1 printables which you can see here!  She absolutely LOVES these songs and is learning so much.

      We are also using Friends and Heroes!  We decided to stick with the Family Devotional that we reviewed here.  Even though this was written for families, I use it for her and she loves it. It’s a great way to go back through the movies with her.  Below you can see one of her recent activities.

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      My girl loves to read!  See our post all about what we are doing for reading this year! See her ongoing books read list here – I am trying to keep it updated! Currently we are finishing up Little House on the Prairie {3rd in series} aloud together.



      Below you can see her most recent stacks of completed books. See all of her completed books for 2nd grade here!

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      Another series she has enjoyed from the library recently is the Ask Me Why books.

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      See these books on Amazon below…





      We are using Home Art Studio 2nd grade this year. I am aiming to do one project per month. See our post about her recent project, The Blue Dog, here.

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      All the Rest

      She continues Ivy Kids Unit Studies. Our latest was Leaves and now we are into Mrs. McTats and Her House Full of Cats, which she LOVES – we will have a full review on that one coming soon!

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      She continues to love her swimming lessons and tolerates her weekly gymnastics class. We leave her in it for the purpose of keeping her active and social. She does 30 minutes of swim a week and 1 hour of a homeschool gymnastics class.


      Christmas fun has filled our homeschool room the past few weeks of course! 

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      2nd Grade Subjects

      Follow along with us on Instagram to get peeks at our homeschool life {and our life in general!}.

      Linking up with Weekly Homeschool Wrap-Up

      GoldieBlox Review

      GoldieBlox Review

      {disclaimer ~ Educents provided the GoldieBlox for this review. Affiliate links are included in this post.}

      Educents is the trusted resource for every child’s education. Whether you’re looking for curricula and science experiments, or tips and ideas, we hope we can help you discover new ways to make learning fun! logo-highres126214

      Click here to find innovative products and ideas created by a community of experts in education!

      Recently we were sent the GoldieBlox Craft-Struction Box from Educents to review! This was pretty exciting since we had never had any experience with GoldieBlox!

      Want to jump straight to the VIDEO review? Click here!

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      The Craft-Struction Box combines the best of crafting and construction for the ultimate open-ended play experience!

      • Builds spatial skills, engineering principles (prototyping), and confidence in problem-solving.
      • Perfect for ages 6+
      • Comes with 275+ pieces, including a poster, new construction pieces, stickers, and pompoms for the best crafting session ever!
      • All building pieces are compatible with existing sets.
      • Perfect gift for a curious and crafty kid.


      My daughter wasn’t so sure what to think at first since she had never seen this. Once she realized what it was she got busy and spent hours creating!

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      She chose to make the Leap Bot first and absolutely loved him!

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      She made the Pom-Pom-apault next!

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      I took several video clips of her in action and shared our thoughts as we built new creations. She shares her final thoughts at the end of the video. She’s gotten to be quite the toy reviewer!

      My 10 year old loves these too, and sat by her building. When we get review items they are usually intended for one of our children and this was obviously sent for Ladybug. But he soon realized that this “girl” toy is not just for girls. He loves building and creating too!

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      His car…

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      Final Thoughts…

      As we mention in the video, we love our GoldieBlox set! I definitely recommend this kit, but there are a few things to note. My daughter is 7 and had very little trouble putting things together or following the plans. She did have some trouble taking some of the pieces apart and had to bring them to us for help. We had to use a pliers on some, they were pretty tight. This didn’t bother my kids, as they like that their creations don’t fall apart easily. They were fine with needing a bit of disassembling help.

      My daughter ended up making all of the creations outlined in the kit and several of her own creations. I ask her in the video if she would like more GoldieBox and she does! That’s the true test for me.

      As a mom, I love the concept, love the creativity involved, and even love the challenge of sticky pieces.


      Save on GoldieBlox and more!


      You can buy the GoldieBlox Craft-Struction Box here on Educents.

      See more GoldieBlox sets here!

      EXTENDED - Home School Sale_600X300

      15% off + free shipping on orders under $250. 
      Use code: GIVEJOY

      25% off + frees shipping on orders over $250.
      Use code: BLISS

      Order by Dec. 16 to receive your gifts in time for Christmas!

      Home Art Studio Project ~ The Blue Dog

      Home Art Studio Project -The Blue Dog


      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 I bought the 2nd Grade DVD to use with my daughter this year.

      Recently she completed the Blue Dog project and loved it! First, she watched Ms. Volin read a story and then explain how to do the art project.

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      She likes to change things up a bit and make it her own, which I love. She often likes to do a test drawing before using her real paper which is what she is doing below.

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      Then, I set her up and let her work! She is pretty independent now and loves creating. The blue mat under her is something we use a lot!

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      Her finished project!

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      Home Art Studio Information

      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:

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