Aug 12, 2015

Knight Small World

We love small world play! Small worlds bring what you are learning about to life, and help foster imaginative play. I have planned tons of small worlds for our upcoming homeschool preschool year, but this one was purely based on one the boys favorite things right now: Knights! Both kiddos are in love with playing castle, knights, and dragons. 

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Aug 11, 2015

Chronicle Books for I See Me - A Review

Disclosure: We were sent complimentary personalized products for the purpose of this review. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own!

I See Me is known for their amazing personalized books and products. If you have been reading our blog for awhile now, you know that we are HUGE fans of I See Me and all they have to offer! They honestly have everything from personalized coloring books  and puzzles to growth charts and lunchboxes, and everything in between. Up until now though, we weren't aware that they are carrying new books by some of our favorite authors, courtesy of Chronicle Books!! The best part? You can take a classic that your child loves, and personalize it with their name and pictures, enhancing their reading experience ten fold! 
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Aug 7, 2015

Crayon and Playdough Color Sort

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Happy Fine Motor Friday! Summer is almost over, and everyone is prepping for back to school! We are super busy over here getting ready to start our first official year of preschool homeschool. I can't think of a better way to jump into the new school year than with a fine motor activity, and our book: 99 Fine Motor Ideas for Ages 1-5 which is on sale today for only $2.99!! There are so many amazing ideas in it, you will be set for the year! 


Buy the Ebook Version for only $2.99 today only by clicking the button below!
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In honor of our sale event, we put together a super fun back to school fine motor activity perfect for your preschooler! I had Kingston choose three colors. He chose green. blue, and yellow. I set out balls of playdough , a rolling pin, and a pile of matching crayons


He used the rolling pin and his hands to squish the playdough balls flat. Then he went to work sorting the different colored crayons into the playdough. 


I love how into it he became. He was incredibly focused, and surprised me by turning it into a pretend play activity. I just love child-led learning! He told me wild stories about how he was making a forest, and how there was a volcano that was going to erupt. He pretended that the lava was coming and knocked the crayons all down. We flattened out the holes together, and he began sorting again. 


He went on to pretend that the crayons were stuck in the ocean, as well as the grass. The crayons were cows, then they were sharks, or towers. It certainly sparked his imagination, and stories were flying out. While he worked his fine motor skills, he also used critical thinking skills and exercised his imagination. 


When he was done sorting, we talked about how yellow and blue make green. When he chose those colors, I was excited that it could inspire a color mixing discussion! This activity was simple to set up, and a huge hit with him. When he was finished, we practiced cleaning up the play dough and putting the crayons away. This would be a fabulous activity for the first week of preschool to encourage your little ones to learn the rules of the "classroom" or "homeschool room" or just the home in general! 


Don't forget to head over to my fellow FMF bloggers to check out some other back to school themed fine motor posts!

Back to School Pencil Frame Craft from Stir the Wonder
Fine Motor Bead Art from P is for Preschooler


Fine Motor Fridays Pinterest Board

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99 fine motor ideas for ages 1 to 5
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Jul 31, 2015

Gross Motor Color Mixing (Pop! Squirt! Splash! Book Launch)

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We are SO excited to introduce our newest book: Pop! Squirt! Splash!: Hands-On Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, & Bubbles. Our latest and greatest is a collaboration 11 other fantastic kids activity bloggers, and it is perfect for the summer! Using 3 simple ingredients: water, soap, and bubbles, there are enough activities in this book to keep your littles busy all season. 


You certainly need this book, and just in case you needed a little more convincing, here is a sneak peek at one of the fabulous activities included inside! Gross Motor Color Mixing! 


For this activity, you will need two clear receptacles, water, bath color tabs and a cup. Fill each receptacle (we used glass bowls!) with water. Decide which color you would like your little one to learn how to mix and drop the appropriate tabs in each. I chose to do blue+yellow=green! I dyed one bowl blue and one bowl yellow, and then I set them up about 6 feet apart.


I encouraged Kingston to take a scoop of water from the blue bowl, and carefully walk it over to the yellow and pour it in. Then we observed what color he had created! When he was done with the initial color transfer, I sent him back to the first bowl to scoop up more. Then I called out an action that Kingston had to do in order to get the next cup of water to the bowl. For example, I told him to "walk sideways". He completed the action, then dumped the water into the bowl.


I continued to call out gross motor movements: spin, run, walk backwards, skip, crawl etc. He did each one, and had to try not to spill any water! He had so much fun, and challenged me to come up with more and more actions to finish off the bowl of water. His final observation: I made GREEN Mama!!" 


If you love this activity, you can find this and tons more awesomeness inside Pop! Squirt! Splash!: Hands-On Activities for Kids Using Soap, Water, & Bubbles. You can find more sneak peek activities here:

Soap Foam Dough from And Next Comes L
Soap Shaving Bookmark from Sugar Aunts
Water Play: Sorting Land & Water Animals from Still Playing School
Floating Soap Boats from Fireflies and Mudpies 


Pop! Squirt! Splash! is now available in Ebook, Kindle, and Print

Use discount code LAUNCH2OFF to save $2 off your eBook (PDF) copy! Offer expires August 14, 2015

Don't miss out!! 

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Jul 27, 2015

Gross Motor Treasure Hunt

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This month for our Book Club Play Date, we read one of our FAVORITES: Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck !  We are constantly reading this delightful ocean themed rhyming book at our house, and it is the perfect jumping off point for a themed play date. 



At the end of the story, the little boy finds a treasure chest filled with treasure. On the last page, he brings the treasure up for his Mama. It's a gold coin! We have tons of gold coins laying around from various St. Patrick's Day activities, so I thought it would be fun to do a treasure hunt outside. I had originally wanted to do the gold coin hunt in our small little kid pool, BUT Mr. Grumpy Gills had a rough nap wakeup and had other plans. So, instead I hid the gold coins in the yard, and we recited the story as we found them. 


We turned the treasure hunt into an imaginative play activity, and pretended we were seeing the various sea creatures beside each gold coin we spotted. K got his gross motor workout in galloping with a seahorse, do-si-doing with a starfish, and "swimming" (running) away from a big shark!

When Kingston had found all of his coins, he came and showed off his treasure to Mama, just like the little boy in the story! 


Don't forget to head over to my fellow Book Club Play Date bloggers pages to check out their crafts and activities! 

Snack: The Deep Blue Sea Veggie Snack from Craftulate
Sensory: Deep Blue Sea Sensory Bin from Sugar Aunts
Craft: Color Collage Art Project for Kids from Fun-A-Day
Game: Gross Motor Treasure Hunt from House of Burke (That's US!)

Stay tuned for next month's Book Club Play Date! We will be reading the Margaret Wise Brown classic Big Red Barn !

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Jul 3, 2015

'Merica Sticker Resist Print Craft

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It wouldn't be a holiday around here without our requisite print crafts would it? My boys have these adorable shirts from Little Cotton Top Apparel (you can find them on IG - @littlecottontopapparel) that say "'Merica" and they were the inspiration behind this adorable keepsake craft! Check out how cute they are!

Side note: HOW BIG IS BENTLEY NOW?!?! 10 months of adorable sweet lovebug! Can you believe it? I sure can't! This year has FLOWN.


To make our 4th of July keepsake, I gave each of the boys some white cardstock. I used foam letter stickers to spell out 'Merica on the cardstock. The letters we used had glitter on them, and provided a fantastic sensorial component to our project. Bentley had fun feeling each one, while Kingston read each letter aloud to us. (I DID explain to Kingston that America is actually spelled with an A in place of the apostrophe, and that this was just for fun. Because who doesn't like trendy sayings like, 'Merica?!) 

I provided each boy with a patriotic shade of washable paint  and they used their hands to spread the paint all over the paper. I put extra on Bentley's so that he could get the paint in the little crevices around the letters. I was so proud of him for not eating it. (B is my mouthing child. Everything is food to him!) 

When their paintings were dry, I used child safe ink in the opposite patriotic color to ink their hands and have them press them onto the paper. I love the end result! They both had a blast making it. This is the perfect last minute keepsake craft! 


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Jun 29, 2015

Bear Sees Colors Color Hunt

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We love Karma Wilson over here! She is fabulous. One of our favorite series of hers is the "Bear" series! For our Book Club Play Date this month, we read the book Bear Sees Colors and engaged in a fun gross motor color hunt outside. 


I grabbed a basket, and filled it with some of the primary colored pieces from our Green Toys My First Stacker. In the story, Bear sees red, blue, yellow, and green. Then bear sees brown: himself! So I chose the according stacker pieces and bought Kingston's very own brown bear out with us, Mr. Cuddle Wuddles. (I can't make this stuff up.)


I "hid" the stacker pieces and bear, then  I handed Kingston the basket. We started at the top of the driveway, and I asked Kingston if he remembered what color bear spied first. Then he searched all around the yard for the colored disks. 


He was incredibly engaged in finding the pieces and pointing out the colors. This is a great activity (AND book) for brushing up on colors, but for an older child who is already fluent in their colors, it is fabulous for making them aware of the colors that are present in the world around them. K quickly became very aware of which colors were present in the nature around our yard, and enjoyed pointing out and discussing them. 


K was SO excited to spy something brown. He ran right to Mr. Cuddle Wuddles and snatched him up laughing. He thought it was great that bear was outside hanging out on our color hunt!


After we completed the color hunt, K wanted to do it again (a surefire way to know that the planned activity was a success!) I hid the disks several more times!


There are so many different ways to switch up this activity too! For sibling play, you can have older children hide the colors for the younger kiddos. You could also focus on just one color and find all sorts of items of the same color all over the yard. For a true challenge, you could hide multiple objects of different colors and have your little one sort them into different baskets!


Don't forget to head over to my fellow Book Club Play Date bloggers pages to check out their posts:

Snack: Ice Cream Scoop Color Hunt Snack from Sugar Aunts
Craft: Animal Coloring from Still Playing School
Busy Bag: Bear Sees Colors Busy Bag from Craftulate
Game: Bear Sees Colors Color Hunt from House of Burke (That's US!)

Stay tuned for next month's Book Club Play Date! We will be reading Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea  

Are you following House of Burke? To keep updated on all of the fun, please follow us on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram!
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