FREE Rock Learning Materials

Monday, June 30, 2014

We've wrapped up our Rock Study and here are the materials that we've used.  You can download these files for FREE and hope that you find them helpful :)  Sorry if I don't have any Sedimentary Rock printable as I don't have any specimen as of the moment. You can read here on how we used these materials.


Nomenclature and Fact Cards:  Igneous Rocks


Nomenclature and Fact Cards:  Metamorphic Rocks


Picture Cards for Famous Rock Formations



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How to Introduce Numbers to Toddlers (Ages 1 to 3 years)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

I am sharing this as I have received multiple emails from fellow Mommies, asking how did I introduce numbers and counting to Mavi. To answer your questions, here are  the Math-related activities I gave to Mavi when he was about one to three years old. Note that the timeline of the activities here are not in order.
1]  Familiarization of Numbers using playdough. We made number symbols using PlayDoh.  I first introduced 1-9 and as we progressed we did 10 to 19. I shared our Numbers and Letter playdoh mats last year, FREE Numbers and Letters Playdoh Mats.

2] Number matching puzzle.  This is one activity I kept on repeating.  You can check out this number matching puzzles in Amazon

3] Matching number symbols to objects.  I randomly made this using a cardstock.  As you look closer, I just draw the objects and then used water bottle caps for the numbers. He loves those water bottle caps! 

4] 1 to 1 Correspondence.  Again, I just made the graph.  He counts the number of circles (with the number symbol on the side) by putting a stamp on it.  Here, I showed him that the number represents the amount of circles present. There also learning materials in Amazon that can help reinforce this concept. My favorite are these:

5] Numbers and Stickers.  Oh how my son loved this!! I cut out pieces of paper, write a number on the upper left side and place the same number of dots.  Then Mavi and I would count along as we cover those dots with stickers.  After which point to your child that the number of dots/sticker is represented by that number symbol.

6] Pin Colored/Counting Wheel.  I honestly forgot the source of this material but this is one of our favourite.  I labeled wooded pegs with numbers and colors so we can match them with the ones in the wheel. (If you happen to know the source please leave me a message!)

7] Montessori-Inspired Activity.  The concept behind here is similar to the Montessori Numbered Spindle Box.  I used plastic cups and craft sticks instead.  Labeled the cups with numbers and asked Mavi to place the correct amount of sticks in each cup.

8] Do a Dot Markers.  Now this is not necessary but I just have to mention that we love these markers and we love using it in counting!  I still have these markers which I bought in Singapore in 2011.  I can't wait to use them with Vito.  You can get these in Amazon US, Do A Dot Art! Markers 6-Pack Rainbow Washable Paint Markers.
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9]  Homemade version of Montessori Number Rods.  So I made number rods using foam and used magnetic numbers for the symbol.  This helps a child develop an understanding of the quantitative relationship between numbers.  Here's the link in Amazon US if you are thinking of buying one, Montessori Counting Rods.

10]  Ordering numbers.  So simple, we used magnetic numbers and I just wrote the numbers 0 to 9 on a piece of cardstock for the control chart.  At first Mavi would match the magnetic numbers to the numbers in the cardstock.  As we progress, I made him match the numbers in order of what is written. We would recite the numbers after each activity.  Repetition of this activity will help the child understand the concept of ordering and counting.  Here are some suggested links if you want to get your own magnetic numbers:

11] Number Crafts. Oh the first activity on numbers!! Expose them to number symbols similar to your alphabets.  You can do this by doing crafts or reading books together.

12] Number Flashcards.  Oh we found a way to make our flashcards useful.  We counted those pictures on the flashcards using counting chips. My son loved this!!!
These are all easy to prepare math activities and I hope that I was able to give you enough ideas to bootstrap your math learning journey with your young one/s.

Happy Sunday!

A Study of Rocks

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Mavi has always been fascinated with rocks.  He's been obsessing with rocks and dinosaurs since he discovered Dinosaur Train.  Wei have piles of rocks in our backyard that he had collected for some time now and he considered it his precious collection.  We've already had our experiment on Rock Cycle and it was a hit.

Thus, I was inspired to pull out this study to feed his interest.  I purchased GeoSafari's  Igneous  and Metamorphic Rocks, collected more rocks from seaside and borrowed books from the library to completed our rock study.

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1. Rocks:  GeoSafari Igneous Rocks and Metamorphic Rocks (links at the bottom of the post)

Books: Rocks and Minerals and Rocks and Fossils

FREE Igneous Rocks Printable File by Pinay Homeschooler

FREE Metamorphic Rocks Printable Fileby Pinay Homeschooler


FREE Famous Rock Formations Printable File by Pinay Homeschooler


Rock Cycle image from here



Activity 1:  We looked into the different Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks.  Using a magnifying glass, we examine our specimens.  We look into their colors, shapes and hardness.



As we do, we placed the number on each rock to mark it.  The GeoSafari comes with an information each of each rock.  This was very very helpful in learning about each rock type.



Activity 2:  Match the rocks with the cards.  I made matching cards for each rock and Mavi worked on them.  He loved it!  It was quite tricky as he described it because at times, some rocks look similar. 


Here he is taking notes of the lesson. 


Part of studying the rocks, I also made these cards which shows some famous rock formations that are made of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic.  He was so happy to see the Giant's Causeway as we've been there a few years ago.


We still have a few more things to do to complete this lesson. I will talk about these these activities in my next post.

Activity 3:  Specific Gravity Test


Activity 4:  Acid Test


My next post would be about the experiments mentioned above and we'll try to mold some rock formations we've looked into using a clay.

More activities here
Follow Pinay Homeschooler's board Science on Pinterest.

Learning Word Families and Rhymes

Monday, June 23, 2014

As I've mentioned in my Facebook status, we've been working hard for the past days with our word families using my homemade material.  You can get the free file here or download the complete pack from here.

I presented the picture cards together with the word cards for each word family.


Word families are group of words that have the same pattern or letter combination.  In a separate sheet of paper, I showed him that the "ug" in the word BUG remains the same for the words rug, hug and jug.  


I also highlighted the letters that changed in the set. 


Now with the word WED, we have bed, shred and fled.  I made him underline the word family (the one that remains the same) and identify the beginning letter/letters that changes. He did this with the rest of the words that we studied on that day. 


He loves identifying the word family!  Typically, we worked on around 8 to 10 words per day.  So this touches rhyming and spelling as well.


Now with rhymes, I showed him that at times, word sounds can be deceiving.  They may sound the same but they don't belong to a different word family.  As presented below, separated the rhymes using pens.


Mavi also worked on the the moveable alphabet.  He tried to form other words by trying out other consonants in the beginning letter.


We've already wrapped up our lesson on this.  We're doing compound words next!

Happy Monday to you all!

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Spice Up Your Life!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to entertain your little ones and at the same time have those sense of smell and taste up to work... I suggest you give them this activity or something similar.

This activity is an introduction to spices.  I love to cook and considering that I am Asian, I use a variety of spices in my homecooked meals. Mavi has always been interested in cooking and would ask what's this and what's that.  So one day when we were stuck at home and he was begging me to give him an activity, this is what we did.

I took out all the spices I have in the spice rack and printed my Herbs and Spices Cards which I made early this year so we can do some smelling, tasting and matching activity.



As you can seem, aside from the powdered spices I also presented the real ones (garlic and ginger).  I ran out of cinnamon sticks though.

So all you needed to do is present each spice, how you use it and where you use it. 


Let them have a smell...





and a taste.


We kept on laughing at his reactions, whenever he tasted a spice that he doesn't like for example the garlic and ginger.   Then I asked him questions along the way.  How he would describe the cloves, the peppercorns, the cumin etc.

In the end, it was an enjoyable and fun activity for Mavi.  As you know kids always love to taste and touch things, and they are most interested in those stuff that Mommy use!  So it was nice that he gets to explore spices and how it satisfied his curiosity.

Just in case you don't have any of these spices, just use the ones available in your kitchen! It can be salt, sugar, soy sauce or whatever you feel like using.

Try this and have fun!

Modeling Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Rocks

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's difficult to explain to a 5 year old how rocks are formed.  Good thing, we read this book Rocks and Minerals (Investigations) , it showed us how to make igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks in ways that a child can easily grasp the concept.

Igneous Rocks.  These rocks are formed when hot molten rocks, magma or lava are cooled into solid.  Here melt the sugar and let it solidify. 



Heat brown sugar with little water on it into high temperature. Mix the sugar and water while it is heating.  Allow it to boil for a while, but don't burn it (turn into black).  When it is piping hot, pour the mixture into a cool baking try.  I placed our sugar mixture into a chilled baking paper. After a few minutes, the sugar will turn into a glassy and brittle toffee.  This process is similar to how igneous rocks are formed and their characteristics which are glassy or smooth and grainy.


My son can't get enough so we made a second version. This time, we poured the boiling sugar mixture in a bowl filled with cold water.

Sedimentary Rocks.  These rocks are formed as small particles of sand, minerals, shells, mud or any matter accumulate at the bottom of the seas, lakes or in deserts. 


A multi-layer of sandwich is like a strata rock.  The first layer is a slice of bread, and each filing is laid on top with more slices of bread.


We prepared two sandwiches here, and Mavi's version is the one with sausage and cheese. Notice the differences in the thickness and colors of layers.  Similar to the characteristic of a sedimentary rock.

Metamorphic Rocks.  Metamorphic means "change".  These are formed when igneous or sedimentary rocks are subjected to high temperatures or are crushed by high pressures underground.  So to create our metamorphic rocks, we used our sedimentary rock models and added pressure (Mavi) and heat (mine) on them.

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We enjoyed our snacks that afternoon.  It was a fun preparing the sandwiches and a good way to learn.

Linking to:

Montessori Monday
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Teach Beside Me
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Teaching Mama
I Can Teach My Child
Home + School = Afterschool!

Word Families and Rhyming Cards (Complete Pack)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

If you've been wondering why for the past few days I'm not so active in Facebook and in blogging, well that's because my son and I are enjoying these wonderful language materials which I created for rhyming games and learning word families. 
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Right now, we're learning rhymes and spelling at the same time. According to my son, it's kind of tricky because they may sound the same but the spelling is different. Well of course! That's why I made these materials so he can explore those words and be familiarized with those words so he won't find it difficult to spell them. 
Anyway, a few days ago, I shared a freebie of this pack.  That's because they were the first set I created and was so happy of how my son loved them so I just have to share it! Then he kept on asking for more words and stuff, so I added more into the set and I also added word sliders.

Word sliders or Word Strips as I called it years ago, was the activity I gave to Mavi to practice decoding and reading words. The repetitive words, sounds and patterns in the word families made it easier for him to decode the sound of the letter. It was really effective!  So I added this in my printable in all the word families I have in the pack.
So what's in the file?
Word Families and Rhyming Cards Complete Learning Pack
  • 42 word families (picture cards)
  • Each family contains at least 4 words that rhymes and these words are in the same word family.
  • There are some words that have 4 additional rhyme words with different spelling (are not member of the word family).  This will show the child that words that rhyme can have different spelling or may come from other word families.
  • Control or Master Chart
  • Slider Cards for reading practice for each word family

Review: GeoSafari Igneous and Metamorphic Rock Collection

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hello everyone! This review is NOT PAID and we did not receive this learning materials for free.  I bought these materials for our Rocks and Minerals Study Unit.  I just wanted to give a review of these materials  for documentary purposes and this is for those who are wishing to get this will have a better idea of how they look like.
I bought the Learning Resources Geosafari Igneous Rock Collection and Learning Resources Geosafari Metamorphic Rock Collection  so that Mavi can have a real feel of what these rocks look like in real life (not just in books!).  And I am so happy that I got these. How I wish that the entire collection is on sale so I could have purchased the Learning Resources Geosafari Mineral Collection and Learning Resources Geosafari Fossils Collection.
Anyway, these materials arrived on time.  The package comes in a sturdy sealed box with a picture of how the content looks like.  The box itself is medium sized.  Not too small or big for me. Just the right one wherein you can store them easily in a cabinet. 
Once opened, this is what you will find on the back of the box's lid.  Pictures of the rocks and their names.  They are numbered according to how they are positioned in the tray.  The pictures DO NOT LOOK EXACTLY the same as the rocks inside the tray. This is fine with me but other reviewers in Amazon find this disappointing.
The box has a foam cover, just enough to cover the rocks.  There's also a leaflet that gives out some instructions on how to use the materials, how to label and protect them.  As you can see, there's a number stickers that comes with the box.  The purpose of this number stickers is for tagging the rocks.  Using the information on the lid, use these stickers to tag each rock so you won't mix and confuse them with the others.  Now this is quite tricky as stickers can be removed. So there's an alternative tagging solution written in that leaflet. 
This is how the rocks in the tray looks like. 
Some Amazon reviewers claim that the plastic tray is flimsy.  Yes it is but not that much. It can still hold all the rocks inside it.
Now, for the rock sizes. I have no complains.  They're exactly how I want them to be. Not too small, not too big. Just the right size for my little ones to hold and observe.  I honestly don't want to keep huge rocks in the house as it will occupy space.  So these pebble-like sizes are fine. 
I am so happy with my purchase and so is my son.  He loves to touch them and read out their names! I love their sizes as I can easily store them in a cupboard or in a cabinet.  My husband thinks that they're quite pricey for a bunch of rocks.  Well he is right.  But you see, I got them on sale so I'm quite contented with the purchase. And that's the reason why I didn't get the Learning Resources Geosafari Sedimentary Rock Collection as they're on their original price.  Besides, sedimentary rocks are almost everywhere! We've collected a few from the beach and will look for more of it here in the park (in the creek). 
I cannot really say that I HIGHLY recommend them or say they're SO GREAT to have.  It all depends on your taste. If you're happy with these sizes and can see that it's going to be useful, then get one. But if you find them pricey (not on sale) and if you have an alternative means of collecting these rocks... then don't go for it.
And that's about it.  I hope you are happy and satisfied with my review.  If you have questions that I didn't get to answer in the review please don't hesitate to leave me a comment or send me a message in Facebook.
Till my next product review!