Thursday, June 30, 2011

Book Basket ~ July/August 2011


Here is a heads up on the books that we’ll be using during the months of July and August 2011 for the following features: Little Books for Little Cooks, Now I Know My ABC's, and Once Upon a Book. These lists are to help you out so you can be looking for the books at your library, digging through your stacks in search of them, or order those 'must haves'!

If you are reading this post in a blog reader, be sure to click through to read the full post and see the books we have planned. :)

Little Books for Little Cooks

Now I Know My ABC's


Once Upon a Book


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Hands-On abc's and 123's - Rainbow Letters

little handson Abc 123
Once your child is ready to begin printing letters, a fun and artistic way to practice is to make rainbow letters. You can write out the letter yourself on a piece of paper for your child to trace, or print out alphabet templates from the internet.  I just drew our letters to save on printer ink. 
The child chooses about 8 colors and retraces the letter each time in a different color.  That's eight times her arm, hand and fingers are repeating the movement for each letter! 
Just make sure the child begins tracing the letter correctly before walking away.  Otherwise, she will be reinforcing the incorrect strokes eight times.

If you have a younger child, not ready for printing yet, you can still draw the letters for him to color scribble on.  With J-jo, I stay with him as he colors and talk about the letter he is coloring, the sound it represents, and ask him to hear the sound in a bunch of words.  (Do you hear "ppp" in "paper", "puppy", "pen", "up", "top", "upper?") I try to select some words where you hear the sound at the beginning, some in the middle, and some at the end of the word.

Julie Signature Button

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Play With Me ~ Fraction Action

This month our Play With Me toy a fun and colorful math toy from Guidecraft ~ Fraction Action and Fraction Cups


Both are wooden fraction manipulatives made from an eco-friendly rubberwood and then stained with low VOC aniline dyes ~ safe for even your little ones to chew and drool on. See?


The Fraction Action Board is 9.5” square and not quite 1/2” tall and for ages 2 and up. The set has 18 stained wood pieces that fit into the nine shaped spots on the self-storing board: circles, squares and hexagons. Each shape has fraction puzzles of varying difficult ~ whole, halves and thirds. The Fraction Cups are four great little portable puzzles containing 10 pieces that explore the fractions of halves, thirds and quarters. Both sets come with a simple activity booklet for use with your child.

Here are a few fun things that you can do and create with the Fraction Action toys to extend your learning with your little one:

~ Have fun tracing the shapes together


~ Stack the blocks as high as you can!


~ Pretend to slice the circles using a wooden or plastic knife. This is a great way to practice fraction words: whole, half, thirds, and fourths.


~ Have fun duplicating the fractions using Mama Jenn’s Education Cubes along with the Fraction Pie insert cards. Older kids can roll the cube, tell the fraction shown, and then duplicate the fraction.


A few more ideas for using Fraction Action and Fraction Cups:

  • sort the pieces by color
  • create simple color patterns {orange, yellow, orange, yellow}
  • create simple shape patterns {circle, square} after creating shapes with the pieces
  • create a hands-on graph with the pieces once you have sorted by color ~ which color do you have more of?

Much thanks to Guidecraft who provided this toy for us to use and review as a part of the Guidecraft Mom Bloggers team.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What’s in the Tub ~ Sports

sensory tubs

In July, our theme at Totally Tots is Sports.  Here are some simple, but oh so fun ideas for you to use in a sensory tub with your little one to explore the theme up close and personal.   


What’s in the Tub?: 

  • Large plant base planted with quick grow grass seed or plant wheat grass (there is a great tutorial at They Hold My Heart).
  • soccer ball and player erasers (I ordered six sets)
  • pencils (which you can insert into the sides of the players so you can really “kick” the balls.)


We started out by setting the players up like they were on a soccer field ~ Aiden and I playing against each other. 


Then I set up an obstacle course for Aiden ~ “kicking” the ball in between the cones.  


His favorite thing to do was to line the balls up in a row and hit them to the other side.


We added some educational fun into our playtime by keeping track of the numbers of goals we each made, counting balls, players, and cones.

What’s in the Tub? is a feature that focuses on fun sensory tub ideas to go along with the monthly theme at Totally Tots.   Click here to see past sensory tub ideas.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Treats 4 Your Tot


Here are some more cool giveaways for tots/moms of tots, check them out below and let us know if you win something we told you about!!!!

Bolded are items we personally own and love!  If you are hosting a TOT friendly giveaway you are free to leave a link in the comments section!

Friday, June 24, 2011

In My Heart ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

New Creation {2 Corinthians 5:17} is #12 from Seeds of Faith. image

Full Page Verse Printable… image

Verse Mini Book {which could also be cut into mini flash cards to have kids put the verse in order}…  image

Copy Work Tracers {print & cursive}  image

Copy Work Sheets…  image

Full Verse Coloring Pages… image

Seeds Family Worship printables here!

Visit the main Seeds Family Worship Printables page here.

Visit Seeds Family Worship to learn more about their ministry here!

Simple verse cards from Seeds, and also a verse memorization checklist can be found here on their site!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Once Upon a Book: In The Small, Small Pond


Bible Verse

I didn't choose a specific verse for this one. Instead, we chose to talk about the Plague of Frogs that God sent to punish Pharoah when Moses was trying to free the Israelites from Egyptian captivity. These can be found in Exodus 7-12. One of our children's Bibles (The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories) features the plague stories written on a preschool level.


Prep: I cut out simple lily pad shapes (they looked like a green Pac-man) and labeled them 1-10. I also purchased a few packs of plastic frogs at the Dollar Tree. We used these to work on several math skills.

~ Counting Frogs on Lily Pads: Jonah counted out the correct number of frogs and placed them on the lily pads.

~ Frog Sort: Jonah sorted the frogs by color and placed each "frog family" on a lily pad.

~ Lily Pad Number Line: I mixed up the numbers and asked Jonah to place the lily pads on the floor in the correct order 1-10. We used a frog to count on the number line various ways.
I asked Jonah to make the frog "jump 2 times"  and we did some beginning skip counting. I pulled the numbers out of the line that he "skipped" (the odd numbers) and Jonah yelled out the number that he landed on. Once the odd numbers were out of the way, I had Jonah practice counting by 2's on the even numbers. We also started at 10 and counted backwards.


~ Frog Jump ABC's: Much like Look, Jump, Letter Stomp, I wrote the ABC's with sidewalk chalk on the driveway and had Jonah pretend he was a frog. For added difficulty, I wrote random letters nearby so Jonah had to think about which letter was next.


In the book there are a lot of words describing how the pond animals move. We played one of our favorite songs, Animal Action from the Greg & Steve CD "Kids in Motion". (If you want fun music for tots, Greg & Steve CD's are some of our favorites!)This got Jonah moving and thinking about how animals move. We talked about other animals from the book and acted out their movements.

We also sang "Five Little Speckled Frogs" alot! We used the plastic frogs to act out the song.

Five Little Speckled Frogs
FIVE little speckled frogs,
sat on a speckled log,
eating the most delicious bugs,
Yum! Yum!
One jumped into a pool,
where it was nice and cool,
Now there are FOUR green speckled frogs.
(Repeat and change the numbers appropriately)

I found this video on YouTube and we watched it a few times. Jonah enjoyed the animation. (As always, use caution when using YouTube with children and preview videos first!)


Instead of making "Ants on a Log", we made "Frogs on a Log". Same thing, different name. I had Jonah count out FIVE frogs (raisins) for his logs. To make "Frogs on a Log", take celery sticks and spread peanut butter in the concave. Place raisins on top of the peanut butter. Enjoy!

Ants on a Log
photo credit: Mitchell Bartlett via Flickr


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Know I know My ABC’s ~ Mm is for Moon

Goonight Moon
Summary: Goodnight Moon is a short poem of goodnight wishes from a young rabbit preparing for--or attempting to postpone--his own slumber. He says goodnight to every object in sight and within earshot, including the "quiet old lady whispering hush.
Letter Activities:
We practiced sorting objects. Those that had a “m” sound went on the black mat, all the others went on the white mat. When I first introduce a letter sound to my tot, I hold up the object and say the name, emphasizing the beginning sound. Then we decide together if it makes the “m” sound or not. After playing this game/reviewing the pictures and letter sounds over several days, then my child can sort some of the objects on her own.
Theme Activities:
Did your child notice that the moon “moves” during the book? If not, when reading point out the position of the moon in the window. Talk about how the moon in the book is a full white circle. We call that a full moon. This is a great opportunity to introduce your child to look at the moon each night and see if it looks the same as it did in the book.
Here’s a yummy phases of the moon craft using cookies and frosting.
I pulled out a picture of the moon from NASA. We talked about craters and the fact that the moon has bumps and isn’t just a big, white, smooth object in the sky.
Book Extensions:
Of course we had to eat mush. Well, ours was actually oatmeal, but we pretended it was mush.
Observe the clock-hands in the book. Did you notice they move?  (Took little bunny quite a long time to go to bed—lol!) I picked up this clock at the Target Dollar Spot. Of course I’m not expecting my tot to tell time. We used the clock to practice counting our numbers. I used sticky-tack and stuck both hands together. Then we used the hands like a spinner. My daughter had to tell me the number that the hand was pointing to.
I thought this clipping mittens activity  from Delightful Learning was a great idea. You need to check out Michelle’s post on all the other Goodnight Moon activities they did. For a small toddler’s book there are so many directions you can go with it!
Other Mm Resources:
Letter Mm Post from Totally Tots
Goodnight Moon Printables from Homeschool Share
Other ABC Resources
ABC Printables from Homeschool Creations
Letter of the Week Curriculum from COAH
ABC Flashcards and More from 1+1+1=1
ABC Letter Crafts
Songs for Saplings ABC Verses