Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Playschool Week 1

PlaySchool- Tot School Summer Review Week 1 - Cowboy Currently 4yrs old (50 months Old) 
Butter Currently 24 Months Old 

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You Can read about our Definition of PlaySchool for Summer HERE!

Letter Recognition Review- 

This is simply a little activity I made up that I thought would be fun for Cowboy, and would give me a general idea of what letters he knows as soon as he sees them. I use our Letter Bean Bag Set and a basket for this activity. I simply pull a letter/number/or color bean bag from the bucket and he has to quickly tell me the letter. If he has to think longer than a few seconds about what letter it is, it goes into a pile by me. If he answers the letter correctly I quickly throw it to him and he gets to try to throw and make it into the basket. Other times we might also try him holding the basket while mommy tries to make it in just to change it up sometimes. So far he really enjoys this activity :P

He loves making a basket!! 

For the Summer, I also made these charts for numbers and letters. 

As he gets quicker with learning the letters to the point they just immediately come out as soon as he sees them, he gets a star to add to the chart. I hung these on the wall so that he sees each week how he is progressing. He also gets a small prize each week (sticker, candy etc...) for any new letters he recognized really quickly. I decided to do this because one week, he may be able to immediately recognize the letter D each time it is shown to him, but then the following week he may forget it or just might want to play stubborn. So this works for him and gives him incentive. 

What do we do with the stack of letters he didn't recognize that day?

This is when he gets his ipad time and he will go on starfall, Letter School, or ABC's of God and choose any of the letters in his stack and works on becoming more familiar with them. 

Reading Center

Each Day, after Bible, and before we start his activities for the day, Cowboy gets to go to our Homeschool Library and Fill up a Basket with as many books as he would like to read that day. Throughout the day we read all of the books together. He loves being in charge of his own reading list! 

I still Set up his trays with regular tot school educational toys. Here he is playing with 1 2 3: Sesame Street Slide & Learn Flash Cards and working on counting and numbers. 

He also does puzzles pretty much everyday of the week. This puzzle is from Discovery Toys Progressive Puzzle Pack in which I couldn't find a link on amazon for :( But here is a link directly from Discovery Toys- Progressive Puzzles

Lou, as I mentioned in our Summer Plans Post, is still working on the Human Body. Here she made a Double Helix out of Twizlers.

 And this is Lou with her Immune System Project. She made an Amusement Park explaining the Digestive System and how it works. So each ride/ or Station that you go to leads you to the next process in the Digestive System ! This Picture gives her work no justice. She really did an excellent Job on it! Super Proud of the Princess!!

Butter still loving the play!!! It really is Playschool for this little man. Here he is working on Gross Motor Skills and Matching Shapes with Fisher-Price Shape Sorter .

I got this little trash can from Dollar Tree, and gave him a little bucket of Plastic Ping Pong Balls. I showed him how the top of the trash can moves back and fourth and how to drop the balls into the can and then dump the out and start all over again. 

Building with Bristle Blocks

Cowboy Building with Foam Wood Building Blocks

Magnet Fun! Making Silly Faces with Magnetic Silly Faces on a cookie sheet.

Everyone playing Jenga but building instead of actually playing the game :P 


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Saturday, May 18, 2013

DIY Jello and Pudding Snack Cups

DIY Jello and Pudding Cups

Just a quick tip to save a little money this summer on snacks. I know I always love to cut corners and save when I can so I thought I would share one quick and easy way I save on Jello and Pudding Snacks. Its also fun to involve your kids when making them! 

You will need:
Diamond Cups
Jello Mix
Pudding Mix
Storage Tote 

These are AWESOME 

And they are what I use to make the snack cups with!! I found mine at Walmart in the paper plate section.

Goodness, this is so EASY!

 Ok so whip up a batch of Jello or pudding, or BOTH....

Line up your cups.....

Fill um up.....

Stack um up......

Put them in a storage tote that can easily fit into your fridge.....and... BAM! Money Saved and quick easy access for kids! Grab n Eat!! 

OH! Almost forgot!! If you really really want to save... tell the kids to keep the cups and you can just recycle by using them again!! The bigger kids, (like me) like to eat like 2 or 3 since they are small cups but for the little kids, they are perfect size! 


Summer 2013 Plans

SUMMER !!!!! TIME!!!!!!!

Its Summer Time and as of right now this is where we are at in our homeschool. Lou is still going strong with her studies almost done with the Apologia Exploring the Human body, and Math U See Gama. Cowboy wrapped up Tot School Animal ABC's a few weeks ago and I have been trying over the course of the last few weeks to figure out where to go from here. I wasn't ready to start preschool with Cowboy since it was almost summer and Butter is ready for Tot School. So that would mean starting brand new objectives and new lesson plans for both, and I did not really want to go that knee deep with summer right around the corner. Yes, we still do school in the summer, BUT it is a lot more relaxed and hands on with all three kids at the same time. I mainly keep school going in the summer because it works for us. Summers used to be so crazy when the kids had absolutely nothing to do. Therefore making us all NUTS :P 

I really believe that kids thrive in routine and structure. I know when I am not organized, I am good for nothing. I just want to be lazy and eat... :) Pretty much the same with the kids, at least mine anyways. I'm sure not everyone feels the same way I do, and that is totally fine :P A few years ago I lived for the summer and having absolutely NOTHING to do, but as the kids started getting older, I had to entertain them some how or else...Crazytown!  So I decided a while back that we would keep our normal routine but a lot more laid back and do a lot more fun things and incorporating school into them such as field trips, visiting family, books, watching documentaries, crafts, experiments, reviewing what we learned, cooking, cleaning, life skills, etc.
So I guess you could call it... Playschool! 

Lou will continue on into Math U See Delta, and will soon be writing her summer book list for the Library Summer reading program that she usually does every year. Cowboy, will be reviewing the letters that he still struggles with and of course a whole lot of educational play. As for Butter, I will start to slowly introduce primary colors, shapes and a few numbers and letters, but mainly in the form of play :) just a lot more interaction with him since after summer, he will move up from Tiny Tot - to Tot School !! As a whole though, I would like to have hands on with all of them instead of one on one like we do for reg school. Looking forward to us all learning together, at the same time. I will still be blogging our summer activities and Playschool !! So come back and check in or keep up with our posts on Facebook here is the link>>>>> LEARNING IN GRACE ON FACEBOOK !  I pray you all have and Amazing SUMMER!! 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sometimes we Just Play....


Cowboy- Currently 49 Months

Butter- Currently 23 Months

I was featured for Tot School!

Sometimes we just play....

Every now and then, we just need a break or I will have the whole week planned out and we just end up learning through play... This particular week... we just played :)

Our weather here has been ridiculous, hot one day cold the next... wish spring would just be how it is in books... not too hot and not too cold but justttt right!! Well this day it was just right! So I took advantage of this gorgeous day and laid out a table cloth and asked the kids if they wanted to play outside? Of course they started naming all the things they wanted to play with ! They all agreed on little people... and we have a lot of little people, so they brought them all out and used their imaginations in which they are super good at doing!


Usually the two older ones play and Butter joins in from time to time, but he still likes to play and do on his own. He came to the door and asked for skool skool ... meaning he wanted to do some school work ... so I pulled out some crayons and paper and he colored.

He also mastered the art of taking the crayons out of the box, AND putting them back in :) 
Learning some Fine Motor Skills and didn't even plan on it :) 

 We worked on Colors, Sorting and Stacking with Melissa & Doug Stack and Sort Board

Some More Sorting with Mancala

Even though this Puzzle is very advanced for Butter, he still enjoys taking out all the blocks and then putting them back in the tray. 

We attempted to do some lacing with Jumbo Beads .... but he wanted put them on the string without holding the bead, and once he figured out that it wasn't going to work that way... he quickly wanted to move on to something else.

So I took out Pop-Onz Pop 'n Build Blocks set and he played with those for quite a while. He loved pressing the button to watch them spin on the Pop-Onz Table

The Bigger Kids and I played Charades for Kids one Day. It was so awesome seeing their little personalities come to life! 

I didn't think Cowboy would get the idea of explaining something to us with out saying anything, but he actually did very well!!! He thought of it as if he were keeping a very important secret. Although he did spill the beans a few times, he really impressed me :) 

Lou is very dramatic and should really be in some sort of acting class. She never ceases to amaze me with her ability to use her imagination ! 

One day while the boys were taking a nap, Lou and I played Scrabble Sentence Game for Juniors. I LOVE THIS GAME!!! It is just like scrabble but with words, and you make sentences. On one side of the game board, it has actual words for you to match up, on the other side it is blank, and you make your own COMPLETE sentences :) We like it best when its on the blank side! It gets very funny, and at the same time, we have to remind each other of all the parts of speech! 

 Butter really liked the Imaginets board, he is fascinated with magnets and how they only STICK to certain things.

I love when my husband just lays out on the floor and plays with all the kids. This day in particular Cowboy got to play with Daddy all by himself. (handyman is usually always covered in some sort of home makeover agent...) 

They Built a fire with Alphabet Blocks , and Used some sticks that go with another set of blocks, to roast, to me looks like cheese?? But I was quickly corrected by Cowboy, who said, " No mommy, we roasting Smarshsmellows." Cause that's how he says marshmallows... and I love it :) 

 Bigfoot was not impressed with the Smarshmellows, and demanded that they roast a hog... according to Cowboy! 

 Then the whole gang showed up and apparently Bigfoot needed a few extra hands to help with the Hog Roast... but in this picture, I am kinda scared for Mr. Incredible, who looks like he may be taking the Pigs place :(.....

OH- Cowboy says no, he had a hurt Leg and Bigfoot was just holding him so that he didn't have to stand on it LOL !

It is days like these that I am reminded... Education isn't about filling a bucket, it is Lighting a fire inside our child's heart to love learning and making every moment an exciting and teachable one.

Linking Up with:
Tot School I Can Teach My Child

Tot School Tuesdays- @seevanessacraft.com