Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Now I Know My ABC’s ~ Rr is for Robot

The Robot Book by Heather Brown
Summary: What are robots made from? What makes a robot tick? It isn’t a gear or a bolt but what is in the heart. The interactive nature of this book (moving parts on the pages) capture the imagination of young children.
Letter Theme Ideas:
We started off our robot week with a Letter R sensory bin. After seeing the robot sensory bin that Counting Coconuts put together, I knew that my girls would love one too. This took me 5 min. to throw together. I put our letter R objects and materials for the girls to build their own robots. We hid the letter R objects and letters in the fill. Then the girls glued together their own robots.
I cut out a letter R from a piece of sandpaper. Then I taped it on the table and taped a piece of white paper over it. The girls did not see me place the sandpaper letter under the paper, so while they were rubbing, they were surprised when the R appeared. We talked about the sound R makes and then I lifted the paper so that they could feel the letter. How did it feel? (Rough) Rough has the same sound as what letter? I always try to work on the sounds of the letters while they are working. Sometimes we sing silly songs or think of other words that have the same sound.
We went over our Letter R poem and handwriting page.
Robot Theme Ideas:
little_robot Of course we had to build our own robot! My older children had just as much fun helping my younger kids create a robot mask out of an empty. box.
My daughter also built a robot out of her Bristle blocks.
robotmagnetsteachpreschool (photo used with permission from Teach Preschool)
I wanted to share this cool robot-building activity from Teach Preschool. I am planning on creating a set soon because it is a wonderful hands-on activity that leaves room for so much creativity. This would be an activity that toddlers and preschool could easily do independently. Deborah created a magnetic robot building station for her preschool students. I love this idea!
Robotcoloringpage Robot_Preschool_Pack_Button_copy
We also colored a robot coloring sheet (see link below) and used some of the printables from Homeschool Creation’s Robot Preschool Pack.
Letter Rr poem and coloring page
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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feel & Find World Icons ~ Play With Me

This month our Play With Me toy is a bag filled with a fun sensory toy from the Guidecraft eco-friendly toy line for your little ones ~ the Feel & Find World Icons.


What’s in the Bag?

The Feel & Find World Icons come with 20 wooden disks and matching puzzle-piece shape inserts as well as a cloth bag to store the pieces in. The pieces are made from rubberwood and then stained with a low VOC aniline dye, so you don’t need to worry if they get chewed on by little ones in the home. 

To play the game, you typically lay the disks out and reach in the bag to find the matching shapes to fit the disk puzzles. But…here are a few different ways that you can play with the Feel & Find World Icons.

Play a matching game. Pick a smaller amount of the disks {8 to 10}, turn them facedown and take turns playing a matching game. When it’s your turn, flip a disk over and try to find that shape in the bag. If you can match it, you can keep it! Who will make the most matches?


Color Matching Memory game. Rather than match the pieces, place the disks face down on the table and flip them over in pairs. See if you can find two disks that are the same color. If not, turn them back over and let the next person try!


Stack them!! How high of a tower can you build with the pieces when they are in puzzle form? How high can you stack the pieces themselves?


Tell a story. Pick three shapes out of the bag and make up a story to go along with the pieces. If you’d like, continue pulling shapes out of the bag and adding them to your story {love this idea from Mama Jenn!!}.


A few more ideas for using the Feel & Find World Icons:

  • sort the pieces by color
  • create simple color patterns {orange, yellow, orange, yellow}
  • create a hands-on graph with the pieces. Pick 10 pieces out of the bag, sort by color and see which one you have more of.

Find Out More

Feel & Find World Icons can be purchased directly from the Guidecraft website, via their NEW Facebook page, or from Amazon. Want to win a bag of your own? Head over to visit Thanks, Mail Carrier to enter. Giveaway ends on September 7th!

Recommended for ages 3+


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

Saturday, August 27, 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, August 26, 2011

Get Read with God ~ Mercy


Oh how I need His mercy! Maybe it’s just my age, but the older I get the more aware I become to what a gift mercy is. I am so undeserving, so unqualified. A wretch. But God in his infinite ability to love overwhelms me with his goodness, envelopes me in peace and washes me clean.

"The Steadfast Love of the Lord NEVER ceases, His Mercy NEVER comes to an end. They are NEW EVERY MORNING! Great is His Faithfulness!"

Lamentations 3:22-23

Just like when you put your children to bed after a long, hard day...seeing them sleeping sweetly, so peaceful, renewing your love for them, so is the Father to his children. Isn't it something to think that Lord may in fact love to see his children sleeping sweetly also-not fighting, not striving, not worrying? He sees our vulnerability, our need for Him and once again His LOVE towards us is renewed. Great is HIS faithfulness!

Basking in His Mercy,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Once Upon A Book ~ We Are Alike, We Are All Different

We Are All Alike . . . We Are All Different
by Cheltenham Elementary Kindergarten Students

Book Summary: With original drawings and their own lyrical words, a class of kindergartners share the ways they look and feel, the games they play, the foods they like, the homes they live in, and the families they live with, concluding that "We are all alike. We are all different. We are a family."

Bible Verse:  Psalm 139:14~I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Social Studies:

In the book, one of the differences mentioned were types of housing. Using a quick search through the internet and clip-art, I pulled up several different types of housing. This was mainly for vocabulary purposes because I realized that he'd never been to an apartment building since we live in the suburbs.


We went outside and looked at our shadow. We noticed that Mommy's shadow was longer than Jonah's. And then, this very pregnant Mommy decided that it was way too hot to be out in the August sun and changed my "lesson plan". Had it been cooler, I wanted to stand at the same spot and mark our shadows at different times of the day to allow Jonah to see that his shadow changes with the sun's movement/position in the sky. I'll reschedule this for cooler weather, but still wanted to share it with you!


First, we did Muffin Tin Sorting using small Foam Beads shaped like People (I purchased these from Oriental Trading many years ago and cannot find on their site to link to.) We talked about how when we sort items, we find the things that are alike and put them together. I tried to use the terms "alike" and "same" interchangeably to increase vocabulary skills since "alike" was a term from the book.

Once we were finished sorting, we used the foam beads to make patterns. At first, I started the pattern and asked him to tell me what would be next. Later, I had him make his own. If your child is not quite on this level yet, give them a pattern to copy.

We also used the foam beads to practice counting.

Reading & Art:

At our house, we've been working on the sight word "my". In order to continued practicing that sight word, I made a simple book on the computer and Jonah helped me finish the pages. Since the book is illustrated by a class of Kindergarten students, I think it encouraged Jonah to draw. He loved looking at the drawings in the book. He's been somewhat timid with drawing and saying "He's not good at it" or "I don't know how", but this book really encouraged him to try. He saw that drawing doesn't have to be perfect to be in a book.

He drew a picture for the "My Family" page that made me tear up...

Jonah included his brother, Asher, about to be born (any day now) and the sister we're in the process of adopting from Ethiopia. I love that he already sees her as family and we don't even know who she is yet! (Feel free to read our adoption story that is still unfolding.)

Here are the rest of the pages....


After we assembled the book, we went on a word hunt to find the word "My". I showed Jonah how to use a highlighter to highlight the word and let him find them throughout the book.

*If you'd like to use the "My" sight word book I made, you can download it here on my blog.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little Hands-On abc's and 123's - Upper Case and Lower Case Matching

little handson Abc 123
There are countless ways of practicing lower case and upper case matching. 
Puzzles, purchased or homemade.

Matching uppercase stickers with lowercase stickers on paper. This has the added beauty of fine motor development.
I love these magnetic ABCs because they come in upper and lower case. 
I use them for many things (they live in my alphabet drawers) and one of those things is an extremely simple active lowercase/uppercase matching activity.  Kids love to be active, and I try to use this love of movement in a lot of our learning play.

Here's how to play:
I place all the upper case letters at one end of the room and keep the lower case letters with me.  I hand my child one of the lowercase letters and she goes to collect the matching uppercase letter from across the room.  If she brings back the incorrect one, she just tries again, or I may give her a clue. 

You can start with just a few letters so as not to overwhelm the child.  Using only four or five letters at a time certainly works much better with my two year old!

Julie Signature Button

Monday, August 22, 2011

What’s in the Tub ~ Pets

sensory tubsNext month our theme at Totally Tots is Pets.  Here are some 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?: 



So, what fun things did we do with the tub? 

  • We identified all of the pets.
  • Counted them and counted the buttons.
  • Grouped our pets together that have fur, scales, and feathers.
  • Talked about what kids of food each pet likes to eat.

We also talked about which pets live mainly in water.


Which pets like to climb ~ birds, lizards and cats (not the bunny),


and about pets that like to have hiding places.


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, August 20, 2011

Treats 4 Your Tot 8/20


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!