Playful Learning with Spielgaben Plans

If you are new to our monthly Playful Learning with Spielgaben posts, you can see our introduction here. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter is doing with this learning set!

Spielgaben in Homeschool Kindergarten

We are not actually using our Spielgaben set for formal lessons right now, and honestly I haven’t been using my camera much so although the kids are using our set for free play, I don’t have anything to show for it!

Since I don’t have a plethora of photos of the set in action,  this month I wanted to share my plans for incorporating Spielgaben into our Kindergarten. We will begin lessons again soon, and I have put together a loose plan for how our Spielgaben lessons will fit in.

Last year for preschool, we worked with Play Guide 1 and will continue on with it right where we left off. The really cool thing is that the section we are up to, begins the “Advanced” work recommended for ages 5 and up. 

Spielgaben Advanced Package ages 5  and up

 

Our first lessons will begin with set 7, which features tablet shapes. She already loves these for free play, so I know these lessons will be a hit.  Here’s a peek from the introduction lesson.

Spielgaben Exploring Shapes

I looked through the lessons and plan to do all 8 of them.  They are the perfect step up from the lessons prior to this! I also love that with this transition we are now into the colored sets.  We worked with only the wooden brown sets last year for our formal lessons, I know she will be excited to learn with the colored sets too!

My plan for the Kindergarten year is similar to last year.  We will do 1-3 formal lessons per week, and tons of free play. We will also use the pieces for other things too, like we do now.  You can see many uses here in our Spielgaben, Is it Worth it? post.

We DO use the worksheets from the packs. Below are just 2 I have chosen to use to go along with set 7. One of the awesome ways Spielgaben has responded to parent/teacher concerns and requests is by now offering the full color version of the worksheets with NO background color {to save on ink}.  This is such a great change, everyone loves to save money on ink!  One way you could save even more ink is by slipping the set into sheet protectors and using a dry erase or Vis A Vis marker, so you can reuse the same worksheets with multiple children! 

 spielgaben 7 1 white   Spielgaben 7 white

 

She knows when it is Spielgaben lesson time, and loves it. I love it because it is so Spielgaben Tessellationdifferent than anything else we do.  It is more abstract, more playful, and more fun.  It teaches things I sometimes don’t even realize! Honestly, it would be easy for the Kindergarten teacher in me to put this type of learning aside and opt for the way I taught school {when I was a classroom teacher}, but I know how valuable this type of playful learning is and how much she loves it. I may not be able to check off a box that says “developed combination skills and an artistic sensibility through tessellation play”  on a normal Kindergarten checklist, but man is it cool that we get to learn and play this way!

I know many of you purchased Spielgaben recently,  I am curious to know what YOUR plans are for using your set. Please share in the comments, and also any questions you have about our plans.  I will be blogging once a month, so you’ll continue to be able to see exactly what we are doing with our Spielgaben learning set!


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 info@[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.

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.

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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.

Playful Learning with Spielgaben April 2014

This is our second Playful Learning with Spielgaben monthly post, our first post is here!  If you missed the introduction to this new series, you can see it here. We were given the Spielgaben set to review and are honored to have them as a blog sponsor.  I will be sharing once a month a detailed post featuring Spielgaben.  You can also see my Learning with Ladybug posts to see what my daughter is doing with this learning set!

 

Playful-Learning-with-Spielgaben-Apr[2] 



This month we have been a bit off of our regular school schedule as my daughter is having a few weeks off of “planned school” time. She finished up her preschool plan with me and I am in the transition for gearing back up with her soon. Thankfully Spielgaben keeps her learning even when I plan little, as you will see below. Everything you see in this post took place during this past month.

Below you will see I have divided the post into 4 categories ~ Lessons We Enjoyed, Free Play, Mommy Inspired Play, and Nature & Inspiration Guide Play {a BIG favorite right now},  It is a long post, I hope these categories help you find what you are interested in reading.


Lessons We Enjoyed

This month we began our work with Set 6.  We only did 2 lessons since we are not doing much planned school time right now.

Spielgaben-6_thumb1

We always begin with free exploration before starting any of the lessons.  She loves this and I try to give her as much time as she wants, even if it means we don’t actually get to a lesson that day!  She got straight to work making a cat!

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For Set 6 I chose the following lessons for her, 6-1 Crocodile Family, and 6-2 Telephone. I took small screen shots of the manual for you so you can see how the lessons are laid out.  They are very easy to follow and help me so much. I keep the user guide on my iPad and we use it for the lessons.  She likes that she can enlarge each step if needed to see exactly how something was built. it’s a nice bonus to a PDF digitally instead of printed!

Spielgaben-6-1-Crocodile-Play_thumb2Speilgaben-6-1-Crocodile-play-2_thum

 

She loves crocodiles so I knew she would love this lesson and I was correct!

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We made 2 crocs together, complete with taped on eyes.

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She wanted to hold them and add spikes so we taped them together and added green pieces to them!

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Speilgaben-6-2-Making-a-Telephone_th

Making a telephone was a BIG hit also. She followed the user guide to create the entire phone by herself.

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She LOVES using tape!

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Number stickers for the buttons.  We used our real phone too so she could see how they compared.

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Think she liked it?

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We added in the phone number printables from Spell Outloud and switched up our original phone design to match our phones at home.  She liked it better this way!

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Thankfully, her big brother was happy to play telephone with her!

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Free Play

This is a full shot of our free play area currently.  I don’t leave the boxes open all of the time, but when they are allowed to free play, I set them out like this.  She will often ask me to open them when they are shut!  Our rule is that they can only be opened by me, basically I have to give permission for free play time.  This is so pieces don’t grow legs and walk away.

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She does so much freely, I often don’t even capture it with my camera. I did get this one, of the baby pterodactyls being saved from the storm {the red dots behind the mom} by the momma.

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Ladybug and Krash love Hexbugs and set up a course for their bugs.  They also had fun building walls for their bugs to wiggle out of.

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Mommy Inspired Play

I set up this one day and with in seconds of her walking in the room, it was like a magnet.  My husband happened to be standing in the area and was amazed with how quickly she noticed it and went right to it.

Spielgaben--7508_thumb1

I didn’t say anything, just set it up like this to inspire her play.  She immediately put the rings on the yarn balls.

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Then she wanted to twist them all up.

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She realized she could unhook the top and took a few off and explore swinging them over the top of the bar!

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Spielgaben--7546_thumb1

 


Nature & Inspiration Guide Play

I have our Nature Guide on the iPad also, I just set it up for her if she asks.  She asks a lot, she really enjoys this. Here she was building a zebra, one of her favorite animals.

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Home-Preschool--6457_thumb2

Another favorite is being built here, a horse!

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Then she added a baby…

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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 360 | USD 320 | GBP 195 including shipping to AU | USA | UK, which is over 12% off of the already discounted online price.  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!

Learning with Ladybug ~ Age 4y, 11.5m

  Home Preschool April 2014

Welcome to our weekly preschool at home blog feature, Learning with Ladybug!  As you probably know, I scrapped our preschool plan and built a new one based around our current needs. This will be our FINAL Preschool post, however not our final Learning with Ladybug post as I plan to blog through Kindergarten too!

We have a few main preschool categories, you can read the entire plan here, I will break my weekly posts down by category so you can see what she did each week within a certain area. If we have a letter focus, I will do a separate post to make searching easier.  I will do the same for any themes we do.

See our entire Home Preschool Plan here!

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used in this post}


Spielgaben ~ Play Based Learning

We introduced box 6 in Spielgaben. She enjoyed her free play with the new set and immediately built a cat.

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Home Preschool -6409

 

We then made crocodiles with lesson 6-1 and she LOVED every moment!

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She loves tape too, so googly eyes got taped on too!

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She loved making the zebra from the Nature Guide…

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This is our free play area. I just stack the boxes up and put the top on when it is ‘closed” and lay the trays open when they are allowed to play freely.

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See our Playful Learning with Spielgaben posts here, as well as a discount for my readers!


Messy Fun

We carried on with Moon Sand but brought it outside and made a new batch in our water table!  Ladybug had her 5th birthday party recently and we called it “kitty litter” for the kids to play in since her theme was Cats and Dogs! My husband suggested putting tootsie rolls in it {hee hee}, we did not want to totally freak the kids {and parents} out.  It was a good enough laugh telling the kids they were supposed to play in kitty litter!.

Moon Sand -6914

Sensory-and-Messy-Play-Pinterest-Boa


All By Myself Preschool Boxes

She spends about an hour in the afternoon playing with her boxes. Usually this hour starts right after lunch, but if she wants to play messy stuff first, I let her. 

We haven’t been able to do school on the 5th day recently in the afternoon {when she has her box time} so I only make 4 boxes now.

In her mini sensory bins ~ unifix cubes, small foam flowers, mini frog/pond collection, and colored macaroni.

I got very few photos, mostly because I was working with the boys a lot.  When I get going with them and she plays quietly, I often forget to take photos!

Monday’s box ~ books, wooden animal puzzles, shape creator set, color matching cards, mini pond collection

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Tuesday’s box ~ macaroni, books, Animal Train, Shape Puzzles, wooden balance game

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Wednesday ~ Mr. Potato head, books, pattern toy

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Thursday ~ books, magnetic letter construction, unifix cubes, measurement cars, Octonauts heads/tails

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See all items that rotate through our boxes here! 

See our Simplifying Sensory Play post here!

All-By-Myself-Preschool-Boxes6222  Simple-Sensory-Bin-Collection522


All the Rest

We are currently reviewing the Bible based version of Integrity Time and went back to Letter D is for Determination!  I am absolutely in love with the Bible version {full review here}!  The character and Bible story was Joshua and the wall of Jericho. We built the wall together to prepare.

Integrity Time Bible Letter D -7455

 

The story was acted out {and enjoyed immensely by my two younger kids}.

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We learned the movements for the verse, talked about the meaning and the meaning of the word determination.  After our lesson she wanted to decorate her “horn” with stickers!

Integrity Time Bible Letter D -7464

 

We had fun outside {finally} digging for treasure, and playing hopscotch!

Spring Outside -6498 Spring Outside -6525Spring Outside -6596 Spring Outside -6610

Her 5th birthday party was this month, she chose a puppy and kitty theme.  It was her very first birthday party and she loved every moment!

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See our LETTER Y work here, and Letter Z Work here, both done around the same time as what you see above!

Home Preschool Letter Y Home Preschool Letter Z

Visit Preschool Corner to see more home preschool families!


This is our last Preschool post but NOT our last Learning with Ladybug post!  I do plan to blog throughout her Kindergarten year, we are just taking a bit of a break from structured learning right now. our

See our Transition to Kindergarten plan here!

The Transition to Home Kindergarten

Learning with Ladybug ~ Age 4y, 11m

Home Preschool April 2014 

Welcome to our weekly preschool at home blog feature, Learning with Ladybug!  As you probably know, I scrapped our preschool plan and built a new one based around our current needs.

We have a few main preschool categories, you can read the entire plan here, I will break my weekly posts down by category so you can see what she did each week within a certain area. If we have a letter focus, I will do a separate post to make searching easier.  I will do the same for any themes we do.

See our entire Home Preschool Plan here!

{disclaimer: affiliate links are used in this post}


Spielgaben ~ Play Based Learning

We worked with box 5b in Spielgaben. We made a girl which she was unimpressed with.  She asked to sit up on my table and work on it using the iPad {where the manual is}.  

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I thought the girl was pretty cute, but my real life girl disagreed.

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The “make a pie” lesson was a BIG hit and an awesome learning experience. We worked on patterns and symmetry while creating the pie itself…

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Soring and fractions were also a part of our play time as we created different “kinds”of pie within the pieces.

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Of course she wanted to eat the pie.

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We did a few worksheets from this set, here she was finding the missing piece.

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We have had LOTS of fun with our free play area I have set up now.  The Nature Guide is out a lot, as is the Inspiration Guide.

She loves making crocodiles now…

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She also made the seagull…

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This is her and her house.

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See our Playful Learning with Spielgaben posts here, as well as a discount for my readers!


Messy Fun

This week we made Moon Sand again!  See our original moon sand post here!

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We use our MessMatz for this, and an assortment of goodies always come along to play.

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I dislike homemade moon sand for one reason, it gets moldy when closed after about a week.  Thankfully the huge bag of play sand we bought was cheap so it’s not a big deal.

Sensory-and-Messy-Play-Pinterest-Boa[1]


All By Myself Preschool Boxes

She spends about an hour in the afternoon playing with her boxes. Usually this hour starts right after lunch, but if she wants to play messy stuff first, I let her.  I am basically requiring her to float between her boxes or the messy play table, or if she wants to be difficult, she can take a nap.  I sneak in to snap photos, but mostly she plays alone.  Sometimes she comes to get me to show me something too.

We haven’t been able to do school on the 5th day recently in the afternoon {when she has her box time} so I only make 4 boxes now.

In her mini sensory bins ~ rocks, lentils, beads, and colored wheat berries.

 

I actually remembered to take photos of her boxes this week!  Here she is posing with Monday {books, garden critters, geo boards, rocks}

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She is always sorting by color, it’s a favorite of hers.

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She loves the mini geo boards.

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On Tuesday ~ {books, colored wheat berries, Large Tinkerbell puzzle, fishing ABCs, frogs on a log}. And a dog.

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With each new day she is also allowed to go back to any of the previous day’s toys.  This week she played with the bugs every day.  They joined her in the wheat berries.

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On Wednesday ~ books, lentils, beads and a string, pet puzzles, interlox

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She made a house out of Interlox, for the critters of course.

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She loves these puzzles.

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Thursday ~ books, beads, stacking cups, old wooden sorting toy from my teaching days, number clip cards and a goofy girl sneaking in the picture!

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Sorting, again!

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See all items that rotate through our boxes here! 

See our Simplifying Sensory Play post here!

All-By-Myself-Preschool-Boxes622  Simple-Sensory-Bin-Collection52


All the Rest

We are currently reviewing the Bible based version of Integrity Time and went back to Letter C is for Cooperation!  I am absolutely in love with the Bible version {full review coming soon}!  The lesson was about the Tower of Babel, the kids loved the blocks we used as the object lesson.

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We talked about cooperation and how when used for the right thing, great things can be achieved. 

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My girl builds animals and people out of everything now.  I am pretty sure this is thanks to Spielgaben. It has been so inspirational for her, sparking her creativity like this. These are magnetic pattern blocks.

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This is a dinosaur {made from our foam blocks}…

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A bird she made out of the cubes Krash had been using to learn area.

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See our LETTER X work here, which was done during the same time as what you see above! Home Preschool Letter X

Visit Preschool Corner to see more home preschool families!