Archives for 2013

Tot School Gathering Place ~ week 50

Gather together here, gather ideas from other blogs, share your own ideas on your own blog. Browse around at the other posts linked up, leave a few comments if you have time, and be sure to check back to see if your blog was featured!


Christmas is almost here!!! I don’t know who is more excited – me or the kids! But the most exciting thing about this time of year is spending precious time with our tots teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas! There are still a couple of days before the big day! Check out some of these blogs for a few ideas to implement this week.

Mama Alicia over at Motherhood in the Trenches shares an adorable nativity accordion book that relates the story of Christmas with our curious tots! Estimated time to complete the project is only 20 minutes! A project that is short and sweet during these busy days!

Motherhood in the Trenches


School Time Snippets Mama Kristina had a great time with Lil’ Sis exploring different Christmas themed Tot Trays. Be sure to check out all the fun activities and maybe put some into action to keep your Tot engaged while finishing up those last minute Christmas details.

School Time Snippets


And just in case the stress of all the extra planning and executing of those plans during this busy season has got you in a dither, take a look at Mama Andrea’s blog, Unschool the Teacher. She gently reminds us that even when we are “off schedule” our Tots are learning and we should RELAX!

Unschool the Teacher



Were you featured?

You are welcome to a button but you certainly don’t have to use it! Totally optional!

Tot School Feature

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

Please read this carefully before linking up! This may no longer be the linky for you, so please glance through this list to be sure you want to stick around and link up with us!
By linking up you agree to the following:
  1. A photo and a link to your post may appear in a future Tot School post. You give me permission to choose a photo from the post you link up, and give me permission to use your ideas in my post. I will link back to you, mention your blog, and give you full credit for any ideas choose to share form your post. If you don’t want me sharing photos, your blog, or ideas, please don’t link up.
  2. Your post is a post written specifically for Tot School and not just an idea for tots. It features your own child{ren} in action. This is a community for moms to come together and share their journey with Tot School virtually.
  3. Provide a link back to Tot School within your blog post {you can use this link: or a direct link to the weekly post you link up to} if you link up. If you do not link back to Tot School, your link will be deleted. Link backs on the sidebar, or in a massive “I link up here” page don’t count ~ they are too difficult for me to find and the first thing I look for when verifying links is the link back.
  4. Link up your exact Tot School post {not your blog homepage} if you are unsure how to do that read this!
    Each week I will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Sometimes it may be one simple idea, sometimes it may be a collection based around a concept .

Do you have your FREE

Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?


See the Tot School webpage here!

New to linking up here? Read this first! Basics: write a specific post about what you did with your tot, link up the permalink from your post, link back to Tot School within that post, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

Learning with Ladybug ~ age 4y 7.5m

Learning with Ladybug Nov 2013

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 set 4 {cuboid blocks} from Spielgaben this week. 

She was copying the shape I made below, I love her look of concentration as she figures it out.

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She LOVES giraffes, so the fact that creating a giraffe showed up in the lessons was a big WIN for her!

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We traced our giraffe pieces and made a flat model.  She then rebuilt it using the model.

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We enjoy many of the worksheet activities.  Here she was working with the faces of the cuboids and matching them.

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We made “wrapping paper” for a cuboid, she loved this.

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Copying different pictures…

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Tons of free play!

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She made a cat!

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FYI ~ I am not being paid at all to continue to share about Spielgaben, I was given the set to review and write one post {this one}.  What you will see from here on out is just because we are loving it so much!

Jim from Spielgaben saw my blog posts and emailed me to say thanks and offer my readers a deal on the pre-orders now being taken!  If you contact Jim from Spielgaben, he will give you a discount if you mention my blog!  Regular price to pre-order is $405, and my readers can pre-order for $355 {these are AUD prices but the conversion is similar, it actually favors USD right now so your price will be lower than AUD}.  Shipping is free. Contact Jim with any questions!

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. 

Squishy Baff was requested again!  See our first post about using Squishy Baff here!

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She loves this stuff. 

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Animals almost always join her.

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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.

I took very few pictures from this week {which was back in November}. Here’s what I did grab…

She almost always has some of her stuffed friends with her.  They join in with just about everything.

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Counting bears {animals} and lily-pad gems on the cookie sheet pond…

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She has been enjoying our felt boards again!

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An old color matching game

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See all items that rotate through our boxes here!

All the Rest

Integrity Time Letter F for FAIR!  The object lesson was to share a graham cracker fairly.

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They enjoyed this lesson since there was food involved!

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A lovely house she built with Krash out of Straws and Connectors.

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See our LETTER S work here,  and our Sofia Preschool Fun, both were done during the same time as what you see above!

Home preschool Letter S  Sofia the First Preschool

Visit Preschool Corner to see more home preschool families!

Home Art Studio Giveaway

Home Art Studio Giveaway

We have been using Home Art Studio for over a year now.  You can see all of the projects I have blogged about here! We are still using it, I am just a bit slower this year with my blogging through our projects. it is my hope to get back on the art wagon after the new year hits!  Home Art Studio really does make it so easy, I have no excuse.

Home Art Studio

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 important art concepts and principles. This program is perfect for parents who don’t have a lot of art experience, but who want to ensure that their children receive a well-rounded arts education.

Here are some helpful direct links:

    Looking to purchase?  Home Art Studio DVDs and supply sets are sold from Jerry’s Artarama, just click here or the “purchase now” button on the Home Art Studio website.
    I am honored to have Home Art Studio as a blog sponsor and to be able to offer an amazing giveaway today! 

    One winner will win the complete DVD series, grades K-5! That’s a $150 value!

    Giveaway is open for USA and Canada, and ends on Dec.30, 2013. Winner will be announced here, and via email and has 48 hours to reply and claim prize! Use Rafflecopter to enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sofia the First Preschool Fun

Sofia the First Preschool

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links are used in this post}

Her Sofia the First shelf ~

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Since she doesn’t have any Sofia toys, I went with a sparkling princess style theme.  I grabbed some wands we had, and some glittery jewels and stars we had.  We also had a few princess theme mini notebooks too.

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Once again, she went straight for the “what’s different?” page!

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She loves the memory game!

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Cutting, counting and gluing!

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She chose to put stickers on Sofia’s dress dots!

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She did NOT like the mini clothespins, and I had to help her way more than necessary.

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So, we switched to our round wooden circles from our Spielgaben set!

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Roll and Graph!

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3-Part matching cards in the mini pocket chart

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Tracing and coloring shapes…

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Most of her completed work…

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This unit was done alongside of Letter S!Home preschool Letter S


See more theme based printable packs here!Printable Theme Packs


See more home preschool fun over at Preschool Corner!

Christmas Crafts for Preschoolers

Christmas Crafts for Preschoolers

This year I planned crafts for my girl since she loves crafts! She is very picky, however, so I chose carefully.  I used my Christmas Pinterest board and let her choose what looked fun to her.  I know better than to just pick what I think she will like.  I had tons of reindeer crafts pinned since she LOVES reindeer, but to my surprise, she had zero interest in any reindeer crafts!

Many of these ideas came from other blogs and the original idea is linked in the title of the craft, so be sure to visit the blog I got the idea from to see more inspiration for the craft!

~ Paper Christmas Tree ~

I had old scrapbook paper and cut up a huge pile for my kids to create trees with!  I helped Ladybug one by one as we measured together and trimmed the edges.

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She chose to used stickers for her ornaments.

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I am so glad we did this, it turned out so cute and she had a blast making it!

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~ Bead Wreath ~

My girl loves beads so I thought this would be a great day.  I was wrong.  It took her awhile to get into this craft, but once she did, she loved it.

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~ Name in Lights ~

This is an old idea from back in my Kindergarten teaching days!  Would you believe she even used leftover lights from my Christmas box that I used when I taught K over 10 years ago. They are just colored light pieces, and black rectangle pieces stapled with a loop at the top for stringing.  All shapes were cut free hand out of construction paper.

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She chose to use only pink, purple and red ~ her favorite colors. She wrote the letters of her name and then I helped her string them on in the correct order.

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She insisted it was a necklace and had me tie it up so she could put it on!

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~ Bead Candy Canes ~

We have made versions of these before, this year we added Perler Beads to the options, she loved that!

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She chose the colors, which is why we have a glittery purple pipe cleaner. 

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We trimmed the final candy canes down to the size she wanted, and hung them on our tree!

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See more of the crafts I let her choose from pinned to my Christmas Theme Board!

Christmas Theme Pinterest Board