Sunday, May 31, 2009

Now I Know My ABCs ~ Hh

It's time for some fun Hh activities!!! We hope you enjoy these! If you are new, you can visit our ABC webpage to find links to any other letters we have done, letters (with books listed) coming up, as well as the PDF of the cover sheet for your ABC notebook!

Houses and Hands Hh's

Summary: Count by twos and fives and have some fun in these exciting boks. Bright illustrations and fun stories make learning to count fun!

Handprint Hh:


To Make:
  • Print off the Hh or freehand
  • Paint your LO's hands and make prints over the Hh's (I used fingerpaint since it's alittle more transparent!)
  • Hole punch and add to your abc book

The Great Blue House by Kate Banks

Summary: When its owners leave, a summer house comes alive with the sounds of a mouse nibbling crumbs in the fall, a cat taking shelter in the winter, and rain falling on the roof in the spring.

House Shapes:

To Make:
  • Print off house shapes page and cut out
  • Glue main house onto the construction paper
  • After your LO makes a House you can write the numbers to your house and even add a picture of your house
  • Punch holes in it and add it to your alphabet book
    (this is great for number recognition)

More Hh fun:
  • Make some fun Handprint art like the Hands down book
  • Play with Hats
  • Hammer golf tee's into Styrofoam
  • Go on a Hike
  • Count the Houses on your Street, talk about the colors of the houses or the numbers or everything

Get Real with God ~ Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

Remember the Fisher Price toy telephone? Of course you do. Your little ones might even have one.

I remember sitting on the floor with my Mommy beside me trying to teach me what numbers to dial in an emergency and drilling me on my home phone number. The eyes on the toy telephone would wiggle and bounce at me and I was too distracted playing with my Mommy to really care about emergencies.

Now I’m the Mommy teaching phone numbers and watching the thrill in their eyes at being beside me to learn. We’ve moved five times since my oldest was born. That’s a lot of numbers. Chances are good they won’t remember these numbers 20 years from now. They’ll remember their time with me.

I think prayer is a lot like this. We need to teach our children to pray. We need to sit with them and teach them the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11). We need to train them to be with God through prayer.

But think about it, do you remember every prayer you’ve ever prayed? They probably won’t either. We need to teach them that prayer is not all about requests or the words we use to communicate. Just like the numbers they’ll remember so briefly, the memory of each prayer will slip away. What matters are the moments that we sit at the feet of God, just being in His presence feeling caught up in His love. We need to teach our children to get excited in the presence of God to the point that everything else fades.

Prayer is as much an act of listening as it is of speaking. Sometimes I imagine God saying “Can you hear me now? Are you ready to listen? I have a plan if you’ll just be quiet and hear it.”

Psalm 85:8 NIV “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints- but let them not return to folly.”

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cute Tots

Tots sure are cute, aren't they? Be sure to click on the photos to visit the mom bloggers of these cute tots!

Is one of these tots your tot (or has your tot been featured as a Cute Tot in the past)? Grab this button for your blog to share with your readers...

Cute Tot

Want to send in a photo of your Cute Tot? Click Here!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Terrific Tot Sites ~ KinderSITE provides a safe place for kids ages 2 and up to find games, music, songs and stories. There are hundreds of activities accessible for free through the site ~ think of it as a central location to find some of the best online activities for your child. From Joel Josephson founder/director:

"The Kindersite was founded in 2003 as I wanted safe and appropriate content for my 2 small daughters, who I have raised bilingually. The Kindersite is being used to introduce technology to very young children and for the teaching of English as a first and second language. Today the Kindersite is used by thousands of homeschooling families globally and over 18,000 schools in 157 countries that have registered."

All games, stories and songs are tagged with an age-appropriate category so you can quickly see if it's something that might work for your child. One of my favorite features of the site is the 'embedding' of the games/activities. Some of the games may come from external sites, but the Kindersite toolbar always remains at the top of the page so your child doesn't wander off into cyberspace.

Once you are a registered user {don't worry, I checked it out first for you!} you can use a search page to find activities for your child based on their age, activity type, educational value, etc. A link list will be provided for you and you can choose an activity from there. It's a great little search feature to help you find something quickly. You can take the Kindersite tour here. If you like one of the activities you are playing you can add it into "My Page" and save it for later too.

One of my favorite parts of the site for the toddler age group is the Lullabies of Europe. The lullabies came from a European Union funded education project called Languages from the Cradle. This page features lullabies in seven different languages {with translations} ~ a fun way to introduce new languages to your tot! Just choose one of the stars and you'll be able to watch a video version of a lullaby with a translation as well as several other lullabies. The lullabies will soon be offered as audio files to download also.

Kindersite also offers educational games/links for older kids too. Head over and take a quick tour. Hope you enjoy this Terrific Tot Site! To see more featured sites, click here!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Once Upon a Book ~ Farm Crops...FARM week 4


Farm Cropsby Jennifer Blizin Gillis
Summary: Introduces young readers to farm crops.

Cornmeal Dough

This dough is grainybut so neat feeling! I will be making it again my 2 girls (8 and 3 years old) love it, they even asked if i could make other colors! It will air dry to a hard finish so besure the lid is on. If it air dries youcan paint it to make look like a concrete finish. This play dough doesn’t require cooking at any stage.

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup salt
  • 1 cup water

To Make:

  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Add enough water to make a dough, with no dry pockets.
  • Shape and then allow finished projects to air dry before painting.
  • Store any leftover dough in an air tight container.

The Seed Cycle
Tune: Farmer in the dell

  1. The farmer sows his seed....heigh ho the derry o, the farmer sows his seed (seeds curl up)
  2. The wind begins to blow... (winds fun and wave)
  3. The rain begins to fall... (rain hang fingers like raindrops)
  4. The sun begins to shine... (Suns walk slow, arms in circle over head)
  5. The seeds begin to grow... (seeds rise)
  6. The farmer cuts his grain... (as with scythe, seeds/grain fall)
  7. The farmer binds his sheaves... (farmer touches three at a time, they stand back to back)
  8. And now the harvest's in... (all skip around sheaves, hands joined)

Crop Seed Transfer:


  • Any type of beans, corn kernals or a mixture
  • 2 bowls or cups
  • Tweezers
  • Tray or shallow box

To Do:

  • Place the crop peeds in one bowl
  • lace both bowls on the tray or shallow box with tweezers
  • Show your LO how to transfer the corn kernals one by one
**for younger one or ones who aren't ready for tweezers, use a spoon**

Want to see what's coming next (and books we've done in the past)? Click here to see our Once Upon a Book webpage!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009



Rachel is 37 months old, and is a delight for Mommy and Daddy, as well as big sister Abigail (14), and little twin brothers Adam and Thomas (12 months). Rachel loves to laugh, sing "You are my Sunshine", and play outside. She is a budding artist, and loves to draw pictures for her family with chalk, crayons, and markers! She will soon be a soccer whiz, just like her father, and has already had her first marriage proposal!

Her (& Mom's) Favorite Tot Toys...

  1. Bead Table
  2. LeapFrog® Learn & Groove Musical Table
  3. Melissa & Doug Wooden Play Food
  4. Step 2 Kitchen
  5. LeapFrog Fridge Phonics
  6. Noah's Ark
  7. Fisher Price Farm
  8. Crayons & Markers
  9. Chalk
  10. Play Doh
Her Favorite TV Shows and DVDs...

  1. Dora
  2. Wonder Pets
  3. Mary Poppins
  4. Toy Story
  5. Barbie movies (Rapunzel, Princess and the Pauper)

Her Favorite Books...

Rachel's Mommy blogs at The Kennedy Adventures.

Do you want your tot to be featured one week? Go here to read more details!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In My Heart

We are launching another new feature here at Totally Tots, all directed at hiding God's word in your little tot's heart. We will be giving a memory verse, along with ideas for applying that particular verse to everyday life. Also, will be a packet of PDF files to download and use for your tot (and even older kids). The materials available for download will follow the same format each time, so you and your tot will know what to expect and have similar tools for teaching each time you are ready for a new verse.

Each week we will include:
  • A poster to hang up with the verse on it
  • The verse set to a familiar tune
  • Memorization cards, building the verse a bit at a time, to be put together into a mini book when it is memorized
  • A 2nd poster with the verse, in rebus form, for those older tots beginning to learn to read themselves (or for older siblings)
  • Mini cards with one word per card, for older tots and siblings to put the verse back together

Although we will be offering a new verse each frequently, many tots won't be ready for a new verse so quickly. We have created a new webpage for this feature, that will provide links to all verses and files to download, so you can easily come back and get a new one when your tot is ready.

Not all tots will be ready for everything we offer, so we wanted to share some thoughts about what would be appropriate for each stage. These are not set in stone, but a starting place for those of you needing some guidance about what to expect from your tot at the stage s/he is in.

Ages 12-18 MOS- This is a time to just expose your tot to the Word. The simple verse songs would be great, adding any motions you can to the songs. Even if your younger tot never sings along with you, just filling his/her mind and heart with God's Word is enough! Memorize the verses yourself and the tunes, make them a daily part of your time with your tot.

Ages 18-24 MOS-Some tots will be ready to sing along with you at this stage, and depending on their vocabulary, may even begin to repeat verses back to you, in small chunks. Not many tots will be ready for this, so don't be surprised if your tot wants nothing to do with it yet. Just keep singing and memorizing yourself, in preparation for your tot to be ready to join you! Keep things FUN, and be ready to offer more to your tot as s/he progresses in development.

Ages 2-3 YRS- This is the year most tots will transition in more as their vocabulary grows and develops. The posters will be more useful, the songs will most likely become a together activity rather than you singing by yourself. The actual verbal memorization will most likely begin during this year. This is also the time to begin explaining God's words and the verses you are memorizing to your tots as they are ready. Don't overwhelm them, but explain the things to them that you feel are on their level.

Age3-4 YRS-This is the big year to really dive into this as a team with your tot! Most tots at age 3 will sing along with you if you are having fun! Most tots will be able to understand your explanations as you not only teach the verse for memory, but also teach it to their heart(what the verse means). Many tots will be able to begin to memorize the entire verses, and using the mini-books(memorization cards) will be beneficial as you teach the verses part by part.

Older Children: If your tot is very advanced or you are involving an older sibling, we will also be including the verse written 1 word per card to mix up and put back together, and also the verse in rebus form with graphics. I plan to include my 7 year old in on and know many families who don't just have tots around. It will be fun to have all siblings young and old learning and applying the same verses (not to mention Mom and maybe even Dad!)!

Always remember that these are just general thoughts and that ALL tots are different! Don't expect too much out of your tot just because someone else's tot is doing it. You know your precious little one the best, go with your heart and pray for God to guide you as you teach His Word to the child He has given to you.

Here are 2 great resources we are using along with this feature,
My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts
My First Read And Learn Favorite Bible Verses

Look for our first verse to be featured soon!!!

Tot Food ~ What's on YOUR Tot's Plate?

Here's what was on K's plate one day last week...
Kiwi, apples, and strawberries ~ Broccoli with Hummus to dip (we use the kind from Costco) ~ Arnold Sandwich Thins with PB (organic from Costco) and Jelly (Polaners all natural).

I also found a new favorite snack from Amazon, Oskri Organics Coconut Bars, K and I both LOVE them!!! If you love coconut, I highly recommend them!!! We also made YUMMY coconut oatmeal cookies from the great book, The Coconut Oil Miracle. The ONLY naughty ingredient was 1 cup of brown sugar, the rest was all healthy and they tasted SOOO good! We will definitely be making many more things from this great book!

Please add any tot-food type links. You can share your tot's plates, share a favorite tot recipe, or share your favorite healthy tot snacks. You are welcome to add your "What's on Your Tot's Plate" link anytime between now and Monday. We will put up a new Mr Linky each Tuesday. Please link directly to your Tot Food post and provide a link back to Totally Tots! You can right click and copy the graphic at the top of this post if you would like to use it in your post. You certainly don't have to, but are welcome to.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bible Bites ~ Your Local Church

Week 4: Your Local Church

Bread: Galations 6: 1 - 10

Bite: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” Galations 6:6

Believing: We’ll be learning about our local church for a couple of weeks! This week, let’s teach our tot how to honor and bless the pastors of our churches. The best way to do this is to get up-close and personal!

Begin by printing out a picture of your pastor and hanging it on the refrigerator so that you and your tot remember to pray for him through the week.

Plan ahead for your tot to greet your pastor before or after church this Sunday.

Have your pastor (and family!) over for a meal that your tot can help prepare, serve, and host. (With your tot’s help, plan 3 questions that your tot can ask about your pastor’s life, job, passion, or hobbies.)

If you’re able, stop by your pastor’s house with some tot-artwork and a fruit basket so that your tot can see that your pastor is a person - just like us - who has decided to love and obey Jesus with his whole heart! (I remember when my daughter’s eyes got as wide as saucers to realize that our pastor lived in a real house and didn’t just sleep in our church building. She adores our pastor; the two of them make a point to connect with each other almost every Sunday.)

Find links to all of our past Bible Bites posts here on our Totally Tots website.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Now I Know My ABCs ~ Gg

It's time for some fun Gg activities!!! We hope you enjoy these! If you are new, you can visit our ABC webpage to find links to any other letters we have done, letters (with books listed) coming up, as well as the PDF of the cover sheet for your ABC notebook!

Green, Gold, Glitter, and Goodnight Moon...welcome to Gg week!

Summary: Color illustrations and simple text describe the grassland environment and the animals that live there.

Green and Glitter Gg:


  • Gg template or freehand
  • Green or Gold paint (or both)
  • Glitter (opt) we used it but it didn't show up in the picture
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper

To Make:

  • Print off Gg template or freehand
  • Have LO paint the Gg
  • Let Dry
  • Cut out and Glue to construction paper
  • Hole punch and add to your abc book

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown

Summary: In this classic of children's literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

GoodNight Activities Poster:


To Make:

  • Print off the Goodnight activities poster or make your own with your LO as the star ( I made it 8x10 so you can print if off at any photo lab)
  • Hole punch and add to your abc book

More Gg fun:

  • Make Gingerbread Cookies
  • Make Gingerbread playdoh or Glitter Playdoh
  • Go looking for Green Grasshoppers
  • Take some scissors outside and cut Grass
  • Take a Family field trip to a Mini Golf place

Get Real with God ~ On the Level

When I was little I loved playing with a really cool toy level. It sort of looked like a rattle with big round yellow squeaky sides and a thin clear tube in the center. Inside the tube was a red bubble that floated like a little blog of jelly as it was tipped from side to side. If you were a kid in the 80s you can probably already picture what I am trying so hard to describe. Good luck finding an image of it online though.

Anyway, when I was little this toy mesmerized me. Even though I understand the concept of a level now, I still marvel at the thought of that red blob marking the center of the rattle.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that important things happen in the middle. Balance is achieved in the middle.

This applies biblically too. In the middle of the Garden of Eden was the Tree of Life. In the middle of the temple was the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies. Three crosses were at Calvary and the one in the middle held our Savior. In the center of the throne of Heaven is Jesus.

So why do I often feel stuck when I’m in the middle? Today I tore down the crib and converted it into a toddler daybed. She’s not a baby and she’s not quite a big girl either. Sometimes I feel like all I do is stand still and wait. I have these adorable little ones who grow bigger everyday and I can’t go back or I’ll be off balance and I can’t plow ahead or I’ll miss these precious moments that slip away all too quickly. I’m in the middle of the beginning of a very long road. As a mommy of a toddler, you are there with me. Rest assured that God likes the middle places. He dwells there too. He’ll never leave us there alone. He’ll make this a time of great love, like a monument that will steady our children throughout their lives. If, like me, you want balance and you strive for peace in the middle places and the long periods of waiting—make God the center of your world.

Isaiah 26:7 NIV says “The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.”

It’s no small thing that the bubble in my rattle was red. Christ’s blood makes us righteous. Through Him my world is level, balanced and centered. Your can be too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cute Tots

Tots sure are cute, aren't they? Be sure to click on the photos to visit the mom bloggers of these cute tots!

Is one of these tots your tot (or has your tot been featured as a Cute Tot in the past)? Grab this button for your blog to share with your readers...

Cute Tot

Want to send in a photo of your Cute Tot? Click Here!