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.

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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!

Playful Learning with Spielgaben ~ March 2014

Playful Learning with Spielgaben

This is our very first Playful Learning with Spielgaben monthly post!  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 March 2014

This month we have had our Spielgaben set out more than ever.  My kids have loved it since we originally got it to review but recently all Ladybug wants to do is create freely with the set!  Everything you see in this post took place during this past month.

Below you will see I have divided the post into 5 categories ~ Lessons We Enjoyed, Free Play, Mommy Inspired Play, Nature & Inspiration Guide Play {a BIG favorite right now}, and Recent FAQ. It is a long post, I hope these categories help you find what you are interested in reading.


Lessons We Enjoyed

This month we worked with set 5 and 5b.  For each set, I go through the user guide and choose the lessons I think my daughter {almost 5} will enjoy.  We don’t do all of the lessons in the guide for each set. Usually only 1-3 actual lessons per week.  This has been a busy month, so you’ll see that there are less.

For Set 5 I chose the following lessons for her, 5-3 Making Twin Trees, and 5-5 Birthday Cake. 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 5-3 Make Twin Trees

We made twin trees together, with me helping her create the first one and then her independently copying it.

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We added tape so they could stand up.

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She added a house in the middle of her trees.

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Speilgaben 5-5 Birthday Cake

 

I originally shared her work with this lesson here in our Learning with Ladybug post, you can see more photos there. We made a birthday cake in the shape of an octagon.

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This lesson was a big hit with her, she loved learning about octagons and counting the sides with me. She is getting really good at her spatial reasoning skills and no longer gets frustrated when figuring out how to flip a certain shape to make it fit properly.

Singing Happy Birthday was a highlight, as was “blowing” out her candle.

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When we begin a new set, I always give her time to free play with the set before beginning a lesson. We introduced set 5b and she built for awhile and was soon ready for a lesson. I chose 5b-6 Make a Fruit Pie first.

Spielgaben 5b-6 Make a Fruit Pie

This lesson was so cool for many reasons.  We worked on patterns, symmetry, and more!  The cool part, she had no clue how much she was learning!

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Eating the pie, of course!

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Spielgaben 5b-10 Pretty Girl

I thought she would love this lesson, she informed me however, that it was not a favorite!  She didn’t think the girl’s hair turned out nice enough. Silly girl.

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Free Play

We have an area set up now that is our “free play” area, however she has to ask me before playing with it.  She chooses to sit her and build things during much of her free time.

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Krash thought that looked pretty cool and spent a lot of time playing and exploring himself!

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Building on the flat tray is her very favorite.  Cats, cats and more cats…

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In case this one isn’t clear, that’s me with the awesome rainbow hair, that’s Ladybug with the white hair and our dog and cat.

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My all time favorite of the month the mama bird, feeding her baby bird {in the nest} a worm.  I shared this one on my Instagram here.

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Then she made a new scene, the mama bird flew away to get another worm and was flying it back to the baby. I just love how she added a wing when the mama was flying. 

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Mommy Inspired Play

I set up this one day to inspire any of my kids to complete the patterns and find what was missing. Isn’t it lovely?  Well, before Ladybug could even see it, the boys had done it and cleared it off!  Doesn’t always go the way I planned!

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I set it up again another day and she enjoyed it.  I gave her the missing pieces in a container and she had it done quickly!

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Nature & Inspiration Guide Play

I have our Nature Guide on the iPad also, I just set it up for her if she asks, or if I set up an inspired play {like the ladybugs below}. On the right you can see how nice it is to be able to enlarge an area, so she could see it better to build it.

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I introduced the Nature Guide to her by choosing one of her favorites, ladybugs, and setting out the pieces she would need to see if she would be inspired to create.

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She was immediately drawn to it and got busy.

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She asked if there were more and chose the crocodile to create next. I was amazed that I only needed to help her with the feet.  A couple of the triangle shapes are confusing.

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The crocodile and ladybug have been favorites and recreated a few times.  Here she made the poor ladybug be food for the croc.  Then she “wrote” her name on her work!

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A seagull…

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Flowers from the Inspiration Guide…

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Reindeer, also from the Inspiration Guide {she added the dog to be his friend}.

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Recent FAQ

I post a lot of our Spielgaben play on my Instagram and get questions a lot there and via email.  Here are a few of the recent ones with answers in case it might be helpful to anyone.

I’m a little concerned I’m not using our set the best way….I want to be wise since we chose to make the investment.  How have you approached using it?  What order have you gone through?  What’s your strategy?

    Basically what I do is sit down every Sunday night and choose 2-3 lessons from the manual, we do not do them all, I pick which ones she would enjoy best.  I also choose 2-5 worksheets from that same set {we put those in sheet protectors and use dry erase since the ink is heavy and we may use them again}.  I also have been letting her use the nature guide as desired {she loves it}.

I do allow monitored free play, but I don’t want to lose pieces so it is only when I am in the room. 

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, free or guided play like this 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.


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, 10.5m

Home Preschool March 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 continued our work with box 5 in Spielgaben, which contains cubes and triangular prisms.  We only did one official lesson again this week, creating a birthday cake while learning about octagons.

Learning the shapes that work together to create a small octagon…

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Then a bigger octagon…

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Then for a birthday cake!  We used pieces from other Spielgaben sets for the decorations.

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Blowing out the “candle” on her cake!

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Then silly girl wanted to “eat” the cake…

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We have had LOTS of fun with our free play area I have set up now.  One day she asked to put together the spinning shapes again {she first did it here}.  She had the best time making her own papers for the shapes and spinning them.

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More cats.  She always makes cats.

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I set up the Nature Guide on my iPad for her and she was THRILLED! 

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After she completed the ladybugs, she chose a crocodile!

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Messy Fun

I don’t always follow my plan.  It is my goal to make something new each week, but I did not.  She played with Play Dough again.

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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.  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 ~ buttons, pom poms, shells and bird seed.

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There’s always a few books in each box, and many days that’s the first thing she goes for.  She is definitely a book lover!Home Preschool -5333

I wanted to get a shot of her naturally playing, and she jumps in her bin and cheeses for me!

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The pom  poms and the grabbers were a big hit.  She has loved these grabbers for a long time!

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She has a cute little pony set from Playmobil and I keep it bagged up and surprise her in her boxes every so often.  It keeps it fresh and exciting when she gets it!

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She always plays her own special way, often combining toys together.  Below she had little foam shapes {from Target awhile back}, Froggy Feeding Fun, Fraction Puzzles {she was using them as feeding troughs for the horses}, and the Playmobil set!

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Sorting buttons was a big hit, all her idea!

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Enjoying her books, again.

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Her Automoblox “limousine.”

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Those are the muffins from the mini muffin match up set.  She had them in all sorts of our containers!

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See all items that rotate through our boxes here! 

See our Simplifying Sensory Play post here!

All-By-Myself-Preschool-Boxes62  Simple-Sensory-Bin-Collection5


All the Rest

We are currently reviewing the Bible based version of Integrity Time and went back to Letter B is for Behavior!  I am absolutely in love with the Bible version {full review coming soon}! 

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The characters are a big favorite.

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For the object lesson, we took pom poms and the printable target provided and used this as a way to talk about how even when we love God, we often miss the mark.

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Needless to say, they loved this lesson and we had some great discussion throughout. 

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See our LETTER W work here, and Wall-E here, which was done during the same time as what you see above!

Home Preschool Letter W  Wall-E Preschool Fun

Visit Preschool Corner to see more home preschool families!

Playful Learning with Spielgaben

Playful Learning with Spielgaben

First, I want to share my heart on this new series on my blog.  If you’ve followed me for awhile, you may remember I was given the Spielgaben set to review here. We absolutely fell in love and have been using it for our home preschool ever since {in our Learning with Ladybug series}.  I was never paid for any of that, only received the set for free {which was a tremendous gift}.

Many months have passed and I have continued to share with no affiliate or financial compensation, just simply because I love the set.  I was contacted recently by Jim from Spielgaben, wanting to be a blog sponsor.  I said yes, and will be writing a once a month post featuring all of our Playful Learning with Spielgaben.  There is also now an ad on my sidebar. Yes, I am getting compensation for this, but I was doing it for free already, now my family is just being blessed by this!  This new monthly series will take more of my time, and it is such a blessing to be hired to write about something I already love.  Each month I will be doing a Playful Learning with Spielgaben wrap up post, featuring everything we did {that I have photos of} using our Spielgaben set!

It is my prayer that this new series will help many of you decide if Spielgaben is the right investment for your family.  You will see many ways we are learning with the set, and I will be sharing more about the value in my opinion, as there are many questions about this since the upfront cost is a factor for most. We will also have a giveaway soon!

I have a new Pinterest board called “Spielgaben Fun” where I am pinning from our blog and other blogs so you can easily see even more!  If you already have the Spielgaben set, this will inspire your creativity.  For those of you on the fence, this can help you see all that can happen while learning with this set.

Spielgaben Fun Pinterest Board

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 in[email protected] mentioning 1+1+1=1 and you will be provided with a discount coupon!

See our available Playful learning with Spielgaben posts below…

Playful-Learning-with-Spielgaben

 

Learning with Ladybug ~ Age 4y, 10m

Preschool at Home Feb 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 continued our work with box 5 in Spielgaben, which contains cubes and triangular prisms.  We only did one official lesson, creating and copying trees.

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Once the trees were done, she created a house between them!

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She played almost every day freely, creating mostly cats!

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Here she was making Lilo and Stitch {see it on Instagram here}

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Messy Fun

We have always had lots of messy fun but I am making it a more intentional part of our plan.  Almost all of my ideas are pinned here on my Sensory play board.  I am trying to have one planned messy creation experience per week, even if it’s just making a new batch of something we’ve already done.

We made a new batch of homemade play dough! She helped me make it from start to finish, and loved every moment!

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I let her choose 4 colors {she chose white, pink, teal, purple} and she picked the scent for each one {Christmas Spirit Essential Oil, Vanilla, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Stress Away Essential Oil}.

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She played with the play dough alongside of the Love Sensory Bin almost every day!

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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.  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.

 

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In her mini sensory bins ~ gems, popcorn, cotton balls, and abc pasta.

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She played a LOT this week, and was very engaged during her “box time.”  This is probably because I got slack with changing her boxes and she was thrilled to have a new set!

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She LOVES these mini ABC puzzles, we got them years ago at Walmart for a couple of bucks!

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Making a necklace…

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Turtles {an old school toy} and popcorn fun…

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Family Counters {a favorite} and ABC pasta…

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Dollar Store pony puzzle…

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Another Dollar Tree puzzle, this was the first time she completed a 48 piece on her own entirely!

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Lots of Wedgit play all week!

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Matching shapes

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Yup, it normally looks like this {or worse} before we clean up.  She still struggles with clean up sometimes, but she does it.

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Happy shape face!

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I tried to remember to snap a few photos of boxes before I gave them to her {I always forget} Here’s the only one I remembered, this was Tuesday’s box! Let me know if these photos are helpful to you and I can try to be more intentional about taking them and including them in my post!

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See all items that rotate through our boxes here! 

See our Simplifying Sensory Play post here!

All-By-Myself-Preschool-Boxes6  Simple Sensory Bin Collection


All the Rest

We are currently reviewing the Bible based version of Integrity Time and started back at Letter A is for Attitude!  I am absolutely in love with the Bible version {full review coming in April}! 

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She colored our verse and really enjoyed the Jesus puppet.  After she colored her verse, she told me, she drew herself "calling to God." Then she told me she drew herself again next to God because "He told me to come to Him, so I went." The entire lesson was wonderful and both Krash and Lbug were engaged. I shared this on my Facebook page recently here!

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She got two sets of Duplo blocks for Christmas and loves them!  She asks for her new bin a lot.  This day she was putting the ABC set in alphabetical order!

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A massive dot painting session was enjoyed one morning!

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See our LETTER V work here, and Despicable Me here, which was done during the same time as what you see above!

Home Preschool Letter V  Despicable Me Preschool Fun

Visit Preschool Corner to see more home preschool families!