Letter Themed Activities and Learn & Play Link Up #2

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vito and I has started our letter sound of the week activities.  I guess most of you are already familiar with it.  It’s basically a curriculum wherein you introduce and focus on one letter sound a week.  It’s a famous curriculum used for ages 2 – 4 years old (or below).  I used this with Mavi and was totally effective, so I decided to do it as well with Vito. 

I’ve gathered fun letter activities from our previous linkup and you can try any of these to your kids.  They are fun, engaging and easy to prepare!   You will find the links after the image.

Linky 2

Featured Posts for Spring Flowers this Week:

B is for Boat from Every Star is Different

T is for Transportation Unit from Study at Home Mama

U is for Underground, Montessori Inspired Homeschool for Toddlers Star Themed, Dog Themed Unit  from Golden Reflections Blog

F is for Fire: Teaching Phonic Sounds from Study at Home Mama

For this week on The Pinay Homeschooler, I am featuring Vito’s Letter ‘a’ Sound Activities.

Letter A FB


Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Party!11206071_10206383760770609_4191824351964193280_n

Now it’s time for this week’s link party! This is a BRAND new link up for all blog posts that include learn and play activities and hands-on education for kids. We are excited to read your blog posts and to see what you have to share! Please link up below and grab our button to display on your blog.

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    Botany Puzzle Winner!

    Tuesday, April 28, 2015



    Congratulations Tanya Potter!  Hope you enjoy your botany puzzle.

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    Top Five Favourite Books (April)

    Monday, April 27, 2015

    *** Contain affiliate links ***

    I asked Mavi for his top 5 favourite books for this month (he keeps on brining these books in school for show and tell) and tell me why.



    1. "Winter's story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song's directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colours. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that's compelling. A fine rendering of history in picture book format."--(starred) Booklist.

      "I like it because Peg Leg Joe became a hero by saving the slaves and bringing them to Canada for freedom".  - Mavi

    2. Lyrical, breathtaking, splendid—words used to describe Allen Say’s Grandfather’s Journey when it was first published. At once deeply personal yet expressing universally held emotions, this tale of one man’s love for two countries and his constant desire to be in both places captured readers’ attention and hearts. Winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal, it remains as historically relevant and emotionally engaging as ever.  - Goodreads

      "I love it because the he and his grandfather loves to travel, just like me." - Mavi

    3. A true classic with a timeless message, The Story of Ferdinand has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1936. All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. And he does just that, until the day a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give gentle Ferdinand a chance to be the most ferocious star of the corrida—and the most unexpected comic hero. This cherished hardcover is perfect for those who love Ferdinand, and those who have yet to meet him. - Goodreads

      "The part where he sat on a bee makes me laugh, and because everyone thinks he's super strong but actually not.  All he ever do is smell the flower and he's really funny." - Mavi

    4. Life stories of Spiderman, Thor and Ironman.

      "Spiderman is in it and he is my favourite superhero." - Mavi

    5. "This book...recounts the persistence of a Frenchman, Louis Bleriot, to build a flying machine to cross the English Channel.... The text is succinct, caption-like in its directness and brevity....The paintings...add the necessary testure and tone to this marriage. This is vintage Provensen" – School Library Journal

      "Because it is the story of the first airplane to fly in France and England. The pictures are so funny too" - Mavi

    You can also get these books from Book Depository.  They ship anywhere for free!

    Letter ‘a’ Sound Activities

    Letter A FB We've started our letter sound of the week activities a few weeks ago. Vito is 18 months and based on my observation, he is ready to learn letter sounds as he started to say a few words and can mimic letter sounds as I say it to him. 

    This letter of the week curriculum is basically not new.  There are a lot of variations out there on teaching one letter a week.  However, I have come up with my own activities and method of implementing it.   I have used this curriculum with Mavi and it has worked for us so I am using it again with Vito.  The order of the letter sound that I am going to introduce to Vito by default is from a to z (with emphasis on the small letter) but of course it may change as we progress depending on his needs, interest and availability of materials.

    For those who are new to this, the basic idea is to focus on only one letter sound at a time (a week or more). Instead of having a specific theme that corresponds to a letter sound, we will try to use all the objects in our Letter Sound Basket in our activities to add variety. I also added tray works that introduce basic concepts like colours, shapes and numbers.

    Okay some of you might ask me how we do this? Well on a daily basis here’s our schedule we work most of these in the morning, after reading books.  One to two activities a day for about 15 minutes in the morning and if he’s into it in the afternoon, then we do another one.  Afternoon activities are sometimes skipped, as he prefers playing with big brother. What is mostly achieved in the afternoon is reading books as we do it all together, while cuddling in bed.

    *** I added links to all the materials we are using here so you will have an idea where to get it.  They are affiliate links, no extra cost on you if you decide to purchase them. ***


    Letter ‘a’ sound basket.  Contains the objects we used and the letters.  In here you see an ambulance, alligator, apples, big letter A from Munchkins, magnetic letter A/a from Melissa & Doug (this was Mavi’s and an all time favourite!) and my homemade sandpaper letter.


    Letter ‘a’ craft.  I made a small letter a on a piece of cardstock and have Vito stamp it with Do-a-Dot markers.  Once dry, I cut it out and form it into an apple.  I pinned this in our learning wall.  By the way, these markers are really really good! We’ve used them in so many ways and they were still Mavi’s! Can you believe that?? It lasted for so many years without drying!

    Note:  Vito enjoyed this activity so much.  He can stamp more letter a’s than I could have imagine LOLDSC_0067Apple 1:1 correspondence.  Using the IKEA Ice Tray and Learning Resource Fruit Counters, this 1:1 correspondence teaches little ones basic math concept.  I count as Vito places a green apple in the moulder.  

    Note:  This is one activity that stayed in the shelf for two weeks. Vito loves putting the apples into the moulder and putting them back again in the container.  Sometimes he would spill them and put them back again. We do this activity almost every day to introduce counting.


    Alligator peg board.  Because alligator have sharp teeth, we use this FantaColor peg board to practice fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination.  Can Vito really insert the pegs in the hole? Well it is a hit or miss! And that’s what’s good about it, he keeps on trying :D  Our version is the portable one that comes with a bag and with different peg sizes.  I chose this so both Vito and Mavi can use it.  The alligator is from Schleich (oh he loves this!).

    Note:  As mentioned, this activity is a hit or miss. There were times he loves doing this because he can easily pin the pegs… but he gets impatient and lose interest when he can’t pin them in the hole.DSC_0075

    Circle shape sorter.  The shape for this week is circle, since it is the closest shape to an apple.  We used our Playskool Shape Sorter  (this was Mavi’s) and we only use the circle shape. As I mentioned previously, one at a time.  So here, just the circle shape so he can easily identify which hole and will not be overwhelmed. 

    Note: This technique has worked with Mavi and it worked with Vito as well. 

    DSC_0953Gluing circles.  I’m hitting three birds in one stone here, sensorial activity while learning the circle and red colour.  We did this a couple of times, first using liquid glue and the other glue stick.  He doesn’t like both LOL But he loves putting the cut-out circle shapes in the big circle. 

    Note: While doing this activity, I would say “this is a circle”, “let’s stick the red circles in the big circle”.  Mention the key words like “circle”, “red”, “stick” or “glue”. As mentioned, Vito doesn’t like the feel of blue or something sticky. But that’s okay, Mavi was like that too.  It’s part of learning right?


    Eating apples.  Of course, snacks include apples!

    Note: What could say? He loves eating!

    DSC_0083Green and red colour. I’ve been introducing colours since Vito turned 1, and even though we still work on our red basket, I still include colour sorting in our weekly activities so he can differentiate the two colours.  Here I used craft pompoms to be sorted out. He doesn’t sort, I do most of it.  I’ll try first, showing what to do and let him try a few. 

    Note:  Again, hit or miss here.  There were times he’s doing it right, and sometimes he randomly puts them anywhere.  He loves our green and red apples the best though :D


    Ambulance prints.  Vito loves paints and we do painting as much as possible.  We are using Giotto Bebe fingerpaints, which I totally love because it doesn’t have a smell! And I love how creamy the paints are. 

    Note: Another favourite in the house!  He can do this for around 30 minutes uninterrupted. But be sure to keep an eye on the kids. Even if the paints used is non-toxic and washable, these still are not edible!

    Recommended books that will go along with it:

    Now, see them all in action!

    Letter A Activities

    Don’t forget to pin this for later!

    Letter A Sound

    The Montessori Multiplication Board

    Sunday, April 26, 2015

    Multiplication FB

    Spring break has given us enough time to work on our multiplication.  The next thing we did after introducing multiplication using counters was doing the arithmetic using multiplication bead board. 

    To know more about these materials and how to use it, here are some resources I collected for you:

    I made multiplication strips for Mavi to work on.  This is similar to the one mentioned in my resources except that I edited the fonts to fit my paper size.


    I followed the presentation based on the Info Montessori and demonstrated it on Mavi.  When it’s his time to do the work,  Mavi chose the table of 6 (his age!).  He loved putting the beads in the hole, though at times, it slips through his fingers as they seem to be tiny.  How I wish the beads were a bit bigger!  As he worked on the table, I told him to mark the last count of the beads so he wouldn’t need to count from 1 again. Say, he’s currently at 6 x 4 = 24. So that’s 24 beads already. Moving to 6 x 5, he doesn’t have to count all over again from the first bead.  All he has to do is add 6 to the last count or mark, that is 24.  Bless his heart, he was counting from 1 everytime he moves on to the next multiplier LOL. 

                         DSC_0641 DSC_0642 

    Again, I pointed out that multiplication is adding similar numbers.  So adding a multiplicand to the last count is a much faster way of doing it.

    Now, for the work strips, I printed them out and glue them on a yellow cardstock.  Mavi loved how beautiful they turned out.  DSC_0655As an extension, I also showed Mavi how the table of 6 works when laid out using the decanomial beads.   The laying out of beads was a hit! Mavi was hooked.  Too bad though, we didn’t get to finish the work because Vito was already awake and wants attention.  (PS. We don’t do bead works whenever Vito’s around. He still mouths objects)   

    Making Montessori Ours has this amazing printable Multiplication Materials Package made out for you. I suggest you check her out as well!

    Don’t forget to pin this for later! You don’t want to miss this! Multiplication Bead Board

    And that’s about it! How wonderful this method of learning is! So hands-on and visual!  We will work on the rest of the multiplication table both in bead board and decanomial beads one at a time. Anyway, this is just to expose Mavi to multiplication.  Once we’re done with all the tables, we’ll start division and it’s going to be even more exciting!

    Want to see what other’s are doing?  Check out my Pinterest board for other Math ideas!

    Language Materials for 6yrs Old

    Saturday, April 25, 2015

    ** Contain affiliate links **

    This an update of Mavi’s language materials.  I try my best to spend at least 20 minutes on Mavi (one-on-one) whenever I need to discuss a new subject.  After which, he works independently using the worksheets.

    These are the language materials I picked for him to use at home.


    First Language Lessons (Vol1)

    This was the first book I got for Mavi.  I love the depth of the book and I must say a good book to introduce grammar to a child. The only setback is that it is repetitive. Noun is discussed in almost half of the book. I have to skip a few chapters because of that.  But somehow, it worked for Mavi.  We have not opened this book for ages, yet he still remembers what is a noun, a proper noun and a common noun.  He can still memorize the poems in the book!  The memorization work here is amazing! 

    Success with Grammar by Scholastic

    Simplicity at its best! I like how straightforward this book is (brief description) and has lots of great activities afterwards (sheets).  My son loves the outlined pictures because he can colour them :)  Hopefully we can move on to Grade 2 before next school year.

    Reading Comprehension by Scholastic

    This is important to me.  Mavi is a good reader and it would be put to waste if I will not help him comprehend and understand what he is reading.  We barely used this book as of the moment as we’ve been busy for the past weeks.  We usually do this before bedtime.  We read the story and do the activity the next day.

    Homemade Montessori Grammar Symbols

    I seldom use this as Mavi is not fond of using them.  I only get to use the symbols (for now) whenever I needed to introduce a new topic.

    Jolly Phonics Grammar 1

    I use this mainly for spelling, as English spelling in UK and Ireland is different in the US. This is the standard curriculum used in Britain and Ireland.

    So how we schedule our grammar/language lessons?

    As I said, about 20 minutes a day afterschool if I need to discuss a new topic. But for independent work no time limits, as long as he finishes his tasks before bedtime :D 

    You can also purchases these at Amazon, but if it is not available in your area, I prefer Book Depository because of its free shipping.  They have the same rate anyway.

    More language activities here:

    The Plant Kingdom

    Thursday, April 23, 2015

    Presenting to you Plant Kingdom printable material.  We used this recently in our Plant Kingdom nature study.  This is perfect for grade schoolers who wants to learn and understand all about the world of plants and how they are classified.Plant Kingdom

    File includes:

    • The Plant Kingdom MASTER Chart
    • Chart with pictures only (no labels)
    • Chart with labels only
    • Chart with no pictures and labels
    • 16 cards with pictures with labels to form the chart
    • 16 cards with pictures and no labels (for 3 part card use)
    • 16 label cards (for 3 part card use)
    • Matching definition cards for each plant classification

    See how we used it here :

    Plant Kingdom

    Fossils for Kids

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Because Mavi is fascinated with dinosaurs and fossils, I always make it a habit to include it yearly in our homeschool activities.  If you are interested learning about our previous dinosaurs and fossils lessons here are the following links:
    Fossils For this year, I focused on fossils alone as I wanted Mavi to understand how they became so relevant in defining history.
    Fossils by definition are organisms or objects that indicates former presence of an organism which has been preserved in any natural deposit in or on the earth’s crust.  We examined the fossils we have on hand:  Safari Toob Fossil replicas, coral fossils and the animal impressions that we made.
    Fossils 2
    There are different types of fossils.  One famous type of fossil is the preservation of insects found in resins, now known as amber.   Another are moulds of animals or plants; trails or tracks of animals and dinosaurs from thousands of years ago.
    With this we made our own animal impressions using Safari Toob animal figures.  They all end up so pretty!   Making animal impressions in a clay is one of the easiest way to recreate a fossil.  Another is embedding an animal or object in an ice or clay similar to an amber.Fossils 3a
    These are coral fossils which we got from our latest trip to the Philippines.   Mavi described the difference between moulds and cast fossils like those of coral cavities that were filled with mineral substance. Corals Then we examined each of our Safari Toob Ancient Fossils and identify them.  (Source: Safari Toob Fossils)
    Fossil 1
    1. Eurypterid.  A sea scorpion called Mixopterus was discovered in Norway.  They ranged from 5 inches to over 7 feet long.
    2. Fossilized Fish.  This is a Diplomystus specimen, typical of a surface feeding fish.  The Green River limestone deposits in Wyoming, USA have beautifully preserved all the fine details of these fossils.
    3. Dinosaur Skin.  This is a famous fossil “mummies” of a duck-billed Hadrosaur which became entombed in a sandstone after its death.  The real one can be found in North Dakota, USA.Fossil 2
    4. Tyrannosaurus Rex Tooth.  This tooth was found in Montana, USA. The T-Rex, one of the greatest predator possess the largest single teeth of any dinosaur.  They used these double edge, serrated blades to slice off huge pieces of flesh.
    5. Dinosaur Foot.  The discoveries of dinosaur tracks and footprints are grouped into similar types and they are given generic names.  Anchisauripus prints were from a small plant-eater found in the state of Connecticut, USA.
    6. Velociraptor Claw.  Velociraptor are very efficient hunter because of these large sickle-shaped claws that grow on each hind foot.  This claw was found in Mongolia in Central Asia.Fossils 3
    7. Ammonite.  This is an ancient mollusc with a spiral shell.  These marine animals existed for more than 135 million years.  This species is known as Peltoceratoides  and was discovered in Russia.
    8. Giant Crabs. Did you know that crabs evolved from lobsters during the Jurassic Period? This original specimens from Washington state, USA are among the finest preserved crab fossils having been buried in sand, soon after their deaths.
    9. Trilobite.  They are one of the most important groups of early animals and their unusual appearance and age, make them appealing to fossil collectors worldwide.  They first appeared in the early Cambrian period and become extinct in the Permian, 320 million years ago.
    10. Fossilized Frog.  This fossilized species of frog is fully articulated and possibly the ancestor of the modern spade foot toad.  This was collected in Wyoming, USA.
    And the best part of a studying fossil is experiencing how these Palaeontologist dig and discover fossils!  IMG_20150421_101943 Materials used in the tub:
    Be sure to pin this post for future reference!
    Fossils PIN

    Simple Activity for Ageing

    Sunday, April 19, 2015


    Mavi and I were discussing how and why people get old. I whipped this activity instantly to show Mavi what happens when you grow old. 

    I printed out Mavi’s pictures from birth to present.  One profile picture to represent each year. 

    With these pictures, I asked Mavi to arrange them according to his age.  I added labels to match the pictures.

    Ageing 1

    After a few stumbles, he managed to correct his work and finally completed his timeline.  He was amazed to see his face changed! And there was some point wherein he can not tell the difference between his face (ages 4 and 5).

    Ageing 2

    So this is how I demonstrated to Mavi the process of ageing.  The body changes, as well as the features.  You can also show your kids their baby’s book to show that they are gaining weight as they grow.  Talk about their milestones as well and the major development in their body. 

    I am so glad I took photos of him. Will continue this for as long as I can.

    Thanks for dropping by and hope that you like this post!

    Nature Study: The Plant Kingdom

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    It’s time for our 12 Months of Montessori Series and today I would like to share with you our study of the Plant Kingdom. Last year we worked on the Animal Kingdom and it was a huge success.  It helped Mavi understand how the animals are grouped according to their characteristics. My plan for the Plant Kingdom is to conduct a brief presentation at home using our Plant Kingdom chart and cards, then do the rest of the work outdoors for a more hands-on experience (that is if the weather permits).
    Plant Kingdom FB
    Mother Nature seems to be hearing our pleas for a good weather and she gave us a week of sun and heat!
    The first thing here was to introduce the Plant Kingdom Chart.  Similar to the animal kingdom, plants are also classified according to their structure and characteristics.  During the presentation, there’s a lot of questions coming out from Mavi and it is a good thing I have fact cards for him to read out loud and be able to explain the grouping.
    You see Mavi is not a passive learner.  He asks gazillions of questions, everytime you answer his question, expect a follow up question, then another and another.  That’s the reason why I always have fact cards because at times, books are not available and I don’t use the internet whenever we have lessons.  DSC_0886 But of course, if you have books by all means, use them.  You can always rely on books.  Here’s what we have at home, World of Plants.  We’ve been using this for 3 years now.  I totally love this book, because it is very informative and have lots of beautiful pictures for presentation.
    DSC_0835Now with all the concepts learned, we went out to our forest/park and looked for these plants, to observe and investigate.  Note, the helmet is NOT A FASHION STATEMENT. He was wearing it because he was using his scooter.  Mavi is picking up samples so we could take a look at them at home.
     Liverworts and mosses are everywhere in this forest (and in Ireland!)!  This is a tree stump by the way, with sides covered with non-vascular plants!20150405_153920
    Mavi checking out a conifer tree. He’s trying to check out the cones, looking for the male and female reproductive parts of this tree.   Mavi - "The leaves are indeed waxy!”20150405_155856 A sight to behold!  Perfect place to explore and learn. 
    20150405_160547 “Mom, ferns!”
    20150405_160614 And there you go, non-vascular plants again of any kind.
    20150405_160830 We investigated the stream as well, just to confirm that mosses, liverworts and horsetails really grow in damp places.
    The last part was checking out plants that are dicots and monocots.  Daffodils are monocots.  I guess we’ll be back to extend our nature study for dicot and monocot plants!20150405_152725We took samples and brought them home for examination.
    And that’s it for an introductory of the plant kingdom.  We’ll do MORE nature study as the weather warms especially in summer vacation. I am planning to spend our summer nature study now that Vito can participate (for sensorial).
    The Plant Kingdom file can be purchased from here.
    Plant Kingdom

    Pin this for later!Plant Kingdom This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning which is hosted by Natural Beach Living and The Natural Homeschool.

    Amazing blogs involved in the 12 Months of Montessori Learning