Archives for July 2014

littleBLAST ~ Review and Giveaway

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{disclaimer ~ we received our BLAST free for this review and littleBLAST is a blog sponsor}

We are excited to share something new with you, littleBLAST!

littleBLAST science for young children

littleBLAST offers monthly themed science BLASTs for little scientists! These are created for your preschool aged child or can supplement early education (suggested ages 3-7).  I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old and they both enjoyed our projects immensely!

We were sent the Air Pressure BLAST to review and it came neatly in a package with EVERYTHING we needed.  This is a huge bonus for me, as I am not a science-y person and don’t like gathering tiny materials. The all-in-one feature was very appealing to me.

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Each activity in the BLAST includes all the materials needed to complete 3-4 experiments. This includes instruction guides for the adult, all supplies, an adventure map, super achievement badge chart, and badge.  Read more about the BLASTs here.

Ours had what you see below, which was basically all resources for 3 experiments revolving around the theme of Air Pressure.  When I say it was all included, I mean ALL.  I didn’t need to go hunting for a thing.

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Here’s a detailed shot of all included for the first experiment, Air Cannon.

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The guides are very simple and easy to follow step by step.  We were able to clear a table and jump right in quickly.  The kids were blowing the pom pom across the table in no time!

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See the holes in the bottom for the experiment?  They were pre cut like that which made me oh-SO-happy!

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There’s even a recording sheet included to keep track of our results.

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We also completed the Rocket Balloon experiment and this too was a big hit with both kids. Everything we needed was included as you can see, even tiny pieces of tape.

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Ladybug was my coloring and cutting helper to get the rocket ready.

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This one was more hands on for me so I wasn’t able to take as many action shots.

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The only thing not included for this one was our chairs!  We tied the rocket balloon between two of our dining room chairs.

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After the experiment was complete, she continued to experiment and play on her own with the rocket.  It was really fun.

We have one experiment left to complete, which is entitled Barometer.  We will complete this one soon, once we officially begin school!


Overall Thoughts…

I absolutely love the idea of littleBLAST and it is perfect for moms like me who dislike gathering all of the materials.  They also have a digital download option for those of you who don’t mind gathering materials but just want the instructions for the experiments.  You can save money and use your own stuff, or spend more and get the all in one kit sent straight to you!  I love that there are choices.

My kids loved the experiments but honestly I think they loved the attention the most.  They loved that we had something special to do together.  They know I don’t like science much {sadly} and were thrilled to know this was a box of “experiments.”  Ladybug calls them “experiences” and I think that sums it up for me.  It is about the experience of doing this together, it’s special.

I do recommend littleBLAST and think it would be a great fit for many families. You can see all of the purchasing options here. You can purchase a monthly subscription or buy individual BLASTS {digital or the all in one box}.  They are adding new BLASTs and currently have the following available…

  • Air Pressure
  • Float-Sink
  • Ice
  • Construction
  • Bubbles
  • Magnet
  • Lubricant
  • Seed
  • Ramp


I am excited to be able to give one of my readers the Air Pressure BLAST we reviewed!littleBLAST AirPressure

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below {come to the blog if you are reading in RSS or email}

Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends 8/8/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Playful Learning with Spielgaben ~ July 2014

Welcome to our monthly Playful Learning with Spielgaben post!  If you missed the introduction to this new series, you can see it here and also see links to our past posts.. 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 July 2014

This month we have been a bit off of our regular school schedule but have begun to build our Spielgaben lessons back into our school and free time.

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 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 7.  We only did 2 lessons since we are not doing much planned school time right now.

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!

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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!

The intro to set 7 included a chance to give each shape a nickname as well as learning the proper name.  She loved this!

Spielgaben 7

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In addition to this we made our own chart and wrote the real names and her nicknames.  She only wanted nicknames for the different triangles.

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In the end, she made some of the shapes creatively!

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Lesson 7-1 was called Explore the Circle, and was all about making different things using the circle and semi-circle pieces.

Spielgaben 7.1


First, we made butterflies…

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A caterpillar, a boy and girl too!

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In the end we used the square to add to the semi circle to made hearts.  She then created this square heart on her own.

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Free Play

One day I set the trays on the floor an encouraged the kids to work together to create a game.  After a few minutes of encouraging, they had a blast and set up two different games together.

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The first was a ring toss…

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Then, they turned it into a disk toss.  They used the rings as the targets and the little circles to toss into the rings.

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For both games they used tally marks to keep score {the boys, not Ladybug}.

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Mommy Inspired Play

I set this up to go along with her You Can Read unit, she loved seeing her words made with her Spielgaben pieces.  I had hoped she would be interested in recreating them, but she wasn’t!  She just enjoyed reading them!

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I set this up to inspire the kids to add onto it.  I am not sure which kid even did the adding on, but I saw some additions later in the day, but then it was destroyed by another kid!

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I made the yellow spiral in one of the rings, using Wikki Stix.  Ladybug was immediately drawn in and made her own, on the right.

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The play continued and became a big creation.

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Little houses, people and lollipops.

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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.  Summer keeps us busy so there’s not much down time, but she did build this adorable dragonfly one day!

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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 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 via email for current discount available, prices change with version updates and conversion rates.

Last Day for a Great Deal!

This sale is now OVER

The Build Your Bundle Homeschool Edition ends tonight {7/28/14} at 11:59 PM EST!  If you have been researching what to buy and waiting, today is the day for you to buy!

The Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition is ending soon!  Sale Ends at 11:59PM EST on 7-28-14!


Remember, the amazing Buy 2 Get 1 FREE deal, and the incredible bundle of bonuses with any purchase!

Tot School Gathering Place ~ Week 81

Welcome to Tot School™ Gathering Place! 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!

Each week we will feature photo{s} and ideas from blogs who link up. Remember, provide a link back to Tot School Gathering Place within your post that you link up, so you can be considered for the feature!

Tot School Gathering Place Week 81

The final approach to summer is on its way! I hope you have taken advantage of the “lazy days of summer” and made many beautiful memories together with your Tot!

Take a peek at what Mama Stacy from Life with a Toddler put together for Little Guy to help him explore the letter U!

Life with a Toddler


Mama Lindsay from You Are the Roots is spending her summer days recapping the alphabet with Tot Ethan during their limited free time! Head on over and see the fun activities she planned for the recap of letters Q, R, and S!

You Are the Roots 2


Is your Tot really into planes? Then this activity from Mama to 5 Blessings is for you! Check it out!

Mama to 5 Blessings


Remember to visit our Pinterest board hosting our featured blogs each week! Be sure to follow the board and re-pin ideas you like, it’s a great way to support each other!

Love Tot Trays™? Check out our Tot Trays for Tot School Pinterest Board!

Using Tot School Printables?  Visit ourTot School Printables Pinterest Board. If you are using Tot School Printables and blogging about it, email me with a link to one of your posts and your Pinterest link so you can pin to this group board!

Our Tot School Ideas Board is filled with ideas from all around the web, maybe even some of yours!

Tot School Ideas on Pinterest   Tot-School-Gathering-Place-Pinterest[1]   Tot Trays Tot School   Tot-School-Printables-Pinterest-Boar[1]

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>

Do you have your FREE

    Where to Begin with Tot School eBook?


See the Tot School webpage here!

Are you NEW or have never been featured? Read this!

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 {or your blog won’t be considered for a feature}, put your tot’s age in months in ( ) like this: (43 months).

Home Preschool Year in Review

Home Preschool Ideas

We had an awesome home preschool year and I am a bit sad to know it is over.  My days of homeschool preschool are completely done {sniff, sniff}.  It is such a special and fun time for me, even with all of the trials that preschoolers can bring {especially my little drama mama}.

Here’s a look back at all of our posts in order from start to finish, with my daughter.  I hope this helps you jump around when looking for ideas for home preschool! If you are just looking for preschool letter based ideas, here’s my A-Z home preschool round up.  Those posts are included in the list below also, so you can see how it all fit together.

We began home preschool with my Raising Rock Stars Preschool {RRSP}, and then switched gears. I will link the posts in order so you can see how it all happened. She began preschool in January of 2013, when she was 3.5 years old. We schooled through the summer and then I revaluated near the end and we began a new plan for the fall of 2013.

You can see it all linked in order below…

Here’s a few more of our preschool posts…

All By Myself Preschool Boxes  Hands on the Alphabet  Homeschooling Preschool

Homeschooling Preschoolers and Tots  Home Preschool A to Z from  Simple Sensory Bin Collection

We are now enjoying homeschool Kindergarten, if you missed our Kindergarten math and literacy goals they are linked below…

Homeschool Kindergarten Literacy Goals    Homeschool Kindergarten Math Goals