[Tried and Tested] Tower High Learning

Friday, February 27, 2015

I came across Tower High Learning through random search in the internet for affordable Montessori puzzles.  I am so happy that I found another shop in the UK that sells Montessori materials.  As I skim through their online shop, I’m surprised that they offer a waay more affordable price than any shop I’ve encountered!  Excitedly, I contacted their costumer service for inquiries and they responded promptly to all my queries.  Marie, who runs the business is very friendly and easy to talk to!  So without hesitation I purchased a few puzzles for Vito and Mavi to work on this year. 

And guess what? They arrived after 2 days!! How cool is that??  To think that I just paid for regular shipping. Amazing isn’t it?

And yes, nothing beats the smell of new Montessori materials, waiting to be opened!

My botany puzzles!! I regret not getting the seed and roots!

DSC_0583  My Zoology puzzles:  bird, turtle and frog.  Must save for the the fish and butterfly.

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I purchased this version of which there’s a skeleton presentation on the board of the puzzle.

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And here’s my beautiful beautiful Asia Continent Map puzzle. Shining, shimmering… splendid!

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And yes all those little tiny pieces all sits well on its board. Love it!  Wishlist: must get the control map next time!

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Ahhh… oh how I love the puzzles! They’re on the lower price range but they were more than perfect! Flat, and all the pieces fitted well.

I have to start my “wishlist” for Christmas.  I can’t wait till  my next purchase when my funds are enough.

So don’t forget to checkout Tower High Learning if you are in Europe and looking for affordable Montessori materials.

 

**This is not a paid post or review.  Just wanted to share this amazing shop that sells affordable Montessori materials to Moms out there that have tight budget like me!

Fun Math Activities for Numbers 20 to 99

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

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So we’ve been practising our Mathematics since we came back from our big break.  We’re almost done with our study on 2 digit numbers (20 to 99).  Now you might be wondering why we need to stick around here. Well you see, though Mavi knows his addition and subtraction by heart, there’s still a lot more in mathematics than that.  To explain, here’s a few of our “brainy” activities (this is how Mavi describes it!).

Count Me!.  Using our decanomial beads, I laid out 20 sets for Mavi to count using what he has learned previously on counting tens and ones! 

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Place Value.  Here’s it is in Singapore Math. I copied the activities in our Math notebook so that we can reuse the workbooks from Singapore for Vito.  Mavi works on this using mental math, no manipulative needed.

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Find the number. This thinks that this is a very tricky game. I made a lot of questions and clues for him to find the correct number using our hundred board.  This is to test his analysis. Example:   8 less of 35 is?

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Smallest and Greatest number. Given the number series (I prepared 10 for him), identify the smallest and greatest.  Again he finds this difficult, but upon teaching him the trick, he was able to answer the questions quickly.

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Another version is to arrange the given set (15 sets) from smallest to greatest and greatest to smallest. Arranging from smallest to greatest was very easy for him, but he complained that doing the other way around is more difficult. He gets confused between numbers.  I even added 1 digit number (number 6), to my surprise he considered it as “60” rather than “06”.  So I therefore conclude that conventional counting, that is from smallest to greatest is waaay more easier for them than the other way around!

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Why don’t you try this with your kids and let me know how they feel about it! 

More math activities here!

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Toddler Beginnings 05

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Toddler Beginnings 05Happy Monday to all! My not so little Vito is starting to show signs that he can do a lot more with fine motor skills now than before! How cool is that? And for this series, may I say that he has his own favourites already?  Come take a look!K1We do endless reading at home.  Was surprise that he chooses his own book now.  And obviously, based on the pictures he enjoys reading the Spot series with me!  These books are from the library but you can get them from Book Depository[aff.link].  They’re so easy to read and engaging.  These are lift-the-flap books and yes he enjoys lifting the flap! He would nod his head if its not Spot :)  The Animal book is a board book which I got last year.  Vito loves animals and I just have to include this board book for animal recognition.  He would say “raaawrr” whenever he sees animals on books, pictures or toys!

For our colour basket I’m featuring the red colour because of Valentines Day. A discovery basket of all something red that Mavi could find in the house.  It got socks, shirt, a feather, LEGO and just about anything.  Of course, I have to include my homemade colour card.  The book was also purchased from Book Depository [aff. link].

language05 So what do we do with our red discovery basket? Well, Vito loves tinkering things and this is what I would give him whenever he needs something to touch and play with.  Every time he takes an object, I would describe it and always mentioning the word “red”.  Like red socks, red feather, red barrel.  Then I would line them up and would say “look Vito they have the same colour… they’re all red”.  I would at times encourage him to say the word “red” as well.

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Our shelf also contains the following toys for practicing fine motor skills.

Mavi’s fishing game toy which he got from his birthday.  We never used this until I recently discovered that Vito can use this for 1:1 correspondence.  Later on, we realized that the game itself was fun after all!

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This barn puzzle is a miss.  Vito is NOT interested at all. I got this because it was on sale.  I talked about the animals in the puzzle but he doesn’t mind.  What he loves to do here is actually removing the pieces and placing them in the basket.

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Again, scribble scribble scribble. This is what he loves as of the moment. I guess he sees his big brother and I write all the time and that’s what he also wanted to do.  He just imitates, which is good!  He’s good holding a pen actually and here he enjoys scribbling on a piece of paper using all three crayons.mont0105 We finally get to use this Classic Pop Up toy from Galt. It was in the cabinet for almost a year and now he’s more than interested.  He loves pulling out all the tubes, putting them back again, and pressing the little people (the tubes has faces!).  Later on we’ll use this for colour matching :D  He still mouths objects though, so there are instances that he would put the tubes in his mouth.  So parents, be warned!mont0205 We have this soft rubbery blocks which we used for counting.  I introduced this for stacking but he wasn’t interested.  What he loves to do with these blocks is to mess them, and put them back in the bag.  And I find his choice of activity much better! Early start for tidying up!  DSC_0407

We also use them to count.  We count a lot at home:  counting fingers, toes, kisses, buttons… and this one I showed him how to associated counting with symbols. Yes I know, too early… but he loves the numbers more than the blocks! 

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We skipped painting this time and decided to do something different. In our Art basket, we have here materials for our collage activity which is composed of tissue paper (red hues) and a contact paper.

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Easy activity.  Vito couldn’t tear up the tissue papers yet (he can tear up the kitchen towel and toilet paper though), so I did it for him.  Then I showed him how to drop or place the pieces into contact paper. He didn’t like the sticky contact paper at all! He loves dropping the paper but would not touch the contact paper.  I encouraged him my placing his hands on it.  This is to take away of his fear and that it’s a safe object for him.

artI displayed his art work in our window and he was so fascinated by the contact paper that he keeps on going back to touch it!

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Oh we have two songs for this series:  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and When You’re Happy and You Know It.  We sing it in the afternoon, dance with it and create actions which Vito loves to do.  Vito, just like his older brother loves to dance as well and he enjoys doing this activity in the afternoon before Daddy gets home. This is  a good way to practice their gross motor skills!K5outdoor

Oh yeah and we had a beautiful weather last week and we grabbed the opportunity to go out in the yard, explore the grasses and the rocks!  Vito was running around, climbing up the steps, crawling in the grass and playing with our neighbour’s bicycle!

And that’s it!! Watch out for our next post on Toddler Beginnings as I’m going to feature simple activities for St. Patrick’s Day!

A Continent Study of AFRICA for Kids

Monday, February 16, 2015

It’s a month of Africa Continent study in the house.  Mavi enjoyed learning about this beautiful continent, its geography, exploring the different places and landmarks, the wildlife and habitats and of course the different culture and traditions that make Africa unique!

A Continent Study of AFRICA for Kids

The Study of Ancient Egypt

Friday, February 13, 2015

Here’s a collection of activities for Ancient Egypt Study.  We’ve been using the books The Story of the World Vol 1 and The Usborne Ancient World [aff.link] as our guide and references. This is the first time we’ve ever had an Egypt Study and I was very happy of how Mavi showed so much interest.

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The Desert.  Learning all about the desert and the environment of Egypt.  We used oatmeal to represent the sand and the figures seen here are from Safari Toobs.DSC_0298 (2) 

Mummification.  We tried to apply what we’ve learned of how mummies are made.  Here we prepared a few spices and a tissue wrap to embalm our skeleton model (sorry we did not have any human model LOL). So after wrapping the body, we placed it in sarcophagus (box) and added jewels for the buried King to bring with him in the after life.mummificationFamiliarization with the Egypt Map and the Nile River.  We used the worksheet from  The Story of the World Vol 1 to recreate the map in a painting.  This will familiarize the child of Egypt’s geography .  See how Mavi made his Nile Delta and the river met in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Ancient Egypt Toob.  These are fantastic!  The figures are so detailed and Mavi loved examining each one.  Here, we are learning about each figure (vocabulary) so he’s researching in the internet and the book what each means/represent.  The cards are from Memorizing the Moments.DSC_0966

Pyramids. Mavi recreated the pyramids using his LEGO. That’s supposed to be three pyramids, but Vito played and broke the smallest one.

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Papyrus.  We also made this using parchment paper! See how we did it here!

And that’s how we study Ancient Egypt. Next year, when we revisit our World History lessons, we’ll dig a little bit deeper on this subject :)  Hope you like this post. Have fun!

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Toddler Beginnings 04

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

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For language, I would read Goodnight Moon to Vito at night. He is starting to identify the book so every morning he would pick this from our shelf and give it to me to read.  The Baby First book, I only added this because we are having the “green” theme and the cover is green LOL.     DSC_0282    

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I love giving Vito these activities and he loves them as well!

Craft sticks sticking on playdough.  He loves the activity, but he loves squeezing the playdough more. 

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Vito can now snap the Duplo together! Yehey! Such a milestone! His finger muscles must be developing well!  He loves snapping and removing the Duplo parts.

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And puzzles and meant to be eaten.  Yes, he still mouths most stuff!  He can grip  the holder properly (and remove the parts) but cannot put the pieces back yet. 

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See, he can even grip perfectly the small holder of the puzzle LOL

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We love these spools and we use it in our transferring activities.

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Our music exploration these days are merely listening to nursery rhymes and doing action songs at home. We use anything that  we could find in the kitchen to create music and I guess this would be enough for now. 

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I can’t wait for winter to be over so we can explore the outdoors already.  I am not willing to set up a sensory bin as of the moment as it takes a lot of time (and planning) to prepare the bin and would require a great amount of work. 

Hope you like this week’s totschool series!

More toddler activities in my Pinterest board.

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