History Timeline Cards: Ancient Times

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anicent History Timeline Cards copy

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Up in the Sellfy Shop is our history timeline cards Ancient Times.  The file includes the following:

  • 40 timeline cards of the ancient times (occurred between the period of 5000BC to 500BC). The timeline cards has
  • 40 definition cards for each timeline card
  • 3 pages of timeline sheets that can be connected to form as a guide. The pages are in A4 paper size.

Learn how we used it here and in how we study the European History.

Hope you like it, enjoy!

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Object Baskets for Letters A to H

Sunday, November 29, 2015

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I’ve been working hard for the past days organizing our object baskets for Vito’s phonics practice.  Vito knows his alphabet and numbers, he names half of the alphabet with their phonics sound.  Like he calls letter B as “bah”, and H as “huh”.  I guess this is the result of me teaching Vito the sound first, before the name of the letter itself. Something like “this is mmmmmmm, M” or “this is ssssssss, S”. 

What is an Object Basket

These are baskets that contain a letter along with 3 dimensional objects to match to the letter by beginning sound.  The concept behind this is similar to the object boxes of Montessori (for reading)  , but we are not going there yet.  The object baskets are simply for exploration, vocabulary and learning phonic sounds.

Assembling the Object Basket

Each of my basket has an uppercase and lowercase letter.  We are using the letters from Hape Uppercase and Lowercase puzzles and the Munchkin foam bath letters.  I wanted to add the magnetic letters from Melissa & Doug but I was thinking that there’s too much letters in basket already, so I’ll just reserve those for my future object boxes (reading). 

I wanted to add sandpaper letters but mine is a DIY years ago and its incomplete. I plant to get a set this Christmas as gift to self LOL but still waiting for the discounted price (hoping!).
Gathering objects is the most exciting part.  I would search in the kitchen, bedroom and my kids’ toys for appropriate objects to add in the basket.  Since Vito is only 2 years old, I limit the number of objects in the basket, maybe 3 – 5 only.  They don’t have that stamina and attention span for 10 objects so better keep it simple and avoid overwhelming the little ones. 

Object Baskets from Letters A to H

So I just completed these baskets, took photos and print the set so that it’s easier for me to assemble once we start with the activity (we’ll do this after the holidays).  Will display this on top of our shelf and worked on it after we do our daily routine of reading books.

A Basket:  alligator, ambulance, A foam letter, apple, A picture booklet
B Basket:  book, banana, block, B foam letter  and B picture booklet
C Basket: cow, carrots, C foam letter,  car and C picture booklet
D Basket:  dinosaur, diaper, Duplo, DIY sandpaper letter, letter D

E Basket: eye (McDonalds), elephant, egg (McDonalds), DIY sandpaper letter
F Basket: feather, four, letter F, upper and lowercase F, fork, flower, fish, fence, DIY sandpaper letter
G Basket: grapes, giraffe, goggle, upper and lowercase F, F foam letter,  DIY sandpaper letter
H Basket:  upper and lowercase F, DIY sandpaper letter, horse, heart, hanger, hippo, hammer, H foam letter
Ideally, we will work for on one letter a week, but this doesn’t always happen.  So I usually schedule the next change of basket after 2 weeks.  I am still gathering up objects for my second batch.  Hopefully I can finish it soon so I can share it with you.  And that’s it for the first set of my object baskets! Stay tuned for second set from I to P Smile

Hope you find this inspirational!

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FREE Life Cycle Matching Cards

Saturday, November 28, 2015

FREE Life Cycle Matching Cards
I have a bunch of life cycle figures which my Aunt brought from the US a few months ago.  I did not really intend to introduce them yet to Vito as he is too young.  But I observed that he’s into matching activities these days, so I managed to create matching cards for all of my life cycles. Wow, he definitely surprised me! He worked on all of these in one day and always picked these for his activity everyday!

How I Make Our Learning Cards

Friday, November 27, 2015

I’ve been wanting to post about this for the longest time but I just couldn’t convince myself to make one.  Anyway, let me share with you the complicated ways I create our learning cards.

So in our homeschool,  there are 3 ways I make our printables:

  • Cards (Montessori cards, matching cards for Vito and seasonal themed cards)
  • Learning booklets
  • Mats and poster diagrams

Basic materials I used:


Includes: nomenclature or 3 part cards cards, picture cards, matching cards, history cards, science cards… all cards used in general.

By default I used the combo: 125micron and 160gsm cardstock paper.  This will make the card really sturdy and hard enough for the little one to fold.  I don’t like doing A LOT OF CUTTING so what I do is I laminate then cut.

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If I decide to use borders, then I use the combination of HP 80 or 100gsm paper and think pouch. I cut the printed materials then stick it on the colored cardstock using a glue stick.  Then laminate and cut. 

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Now, if the thick pouch is not available or too pricey, using a 160gsm cardstock with the thin pouch is more than enough.  The cards will still turn out sturdy.  The only reason why I’m using the 125micron pouch is that they are currently on SALE in AMAZON UK and are MORE CHEAPER than the thinner ones LOL.

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I’ve started making booklets this year for the boys. I wanted them to last long so I am laminating each pages of the booklets. 

The pages of my booklets are laminated back to back. You can see how its done here on the video of Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I use the HP Inkjet Paper for this one and a 125micron  pouch ( or a 160gsm cardstock and 80micron pouch would do). 

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Once they are laminated, I cut and punch holes to form the booklets!  For the cover pages of each booklets, I use the process in MAKING THE CARDS because I want the cover to be harder than the pages.

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For the mats and and diagrams, I just laminate them back to back using the thicker pouch and the 160gsm cardstock.  But for best result, better laminate it individually with either a thick or thinner pouch

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When I didn’t have a laminator yet, I just printed my materials on a white cardstock paper and covered them with a contact paper or better yet a transparent tape! Yes, I basically did that when we were in Belgrade.  Worst, we didn’t have white cardstock so I printed my materials in a white paper and glue the paper on the colored cardstock then cover it with tape. 

And that’s just about it!  I hope you find this helpful and NOT CONFUSING LOL. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment, I am more than willing to talk to you for more tips and insights.

Thank you!

Our Favourite Toys for 2 to 7 Years Old

Thursday, November 26, 2015

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PicMonkey Collage

“As parents and grandparents, we think that we are showing children we love them by giving them things.  In fact such practice, in and out of itself, may send them the wrong message.  Children may conclude that if people give you things, they love you.  If receiving things tells you that you are loved, the next logical step is to measure self-worth by what you have, not by what you are.  The reality is that very young children can only truly love one doll, one stuffed animal, and a few toys at a time. This experience provides a basis for adult life where one must learn to cherish one spouse, one family, one life, instead of fantasizing that it is possible to ‘have it all’.”  - MONTESSORI FROM THE START

We don’t have a lot of toys at home.  Mavi just like two kinds of toys: LEGO and dinosaur/animal figures, that’s just it.  All through the years, I don’t splurge nor buy toys as we don’t have the budget for it. I consider them as luxury so I just gave toys to Mavi as presents on his birthday and Christmas.  But because we “home” school, I purchase learning materials that my kids see as “toys” but in reality they are NOT really toys.    And because I am frugal, I buy toys that they can grow with, MULTIPURPOSE and something that they can play together.   So let me share with you the kids’ favourite things in the house.  These are the toys that we have in the house, except for the ones in my “wishlist and basket”.  These toys are being played day in and day out by the boys.



LEGO, DUPLO and PLAYMOBIL.  Need I say more? These are the favourite in the house. We have plenty of LEGOs as this is Santa’s favourite present EVERY Christmas for 4 years!  And Vito’s Duplo and Playmobil were brought from the local store when they were on 50% off. I would never get them for a whole price! Vito is now snapping bricks together and loves the Playmobil people.  Both of my boys spend hours and hours playing with these toys.  They never get tired of them.  Perfect toy for creativity, concentration and developing fine motor skills!

For Playmobils, we have castles and pirates. They’re Mavi’s favourite toy and can play with them for hours!

My son loves the LEGO CLASSIC Bricks.  He doesn’t really like those with premade designs as he always wanted to design his own thing. So I highly recommend that you buy the basic LEGO BRICKS especially if you are getting your first Lego.  Having a plate is also good. 

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miniLUK and BambiniLUK.  Mavi and I looooves this! We can’t get enough of answering all the booklets, especially those tricky ones!  I bought the Starter Pack and bought the advanced booklets separately.  There’s a version for younger kids, the BambiniLUK and some friend in Instagram said that they like it. Mavi is like “Mom, its making my brain tired LOL”



Montessori Botany  and Zoology/Insect Puzzles, Montessori Puzzle Maps.  I invested on these this year and it was worth it! I have puzzle loving kids, and Vito is currently addicted to them.  Aside from educational, these puzzles are also perfect for pincer grasp practice.  Mavi on the other hand is obsessed with my Asia and Europe puzzles.  He loves geography, loves to learn about countries and their locations.  Tower High Learning is my favourite Montessori shop as of the moment and this is where I purchase my materials.



Schliech Animal Figures and Safari Toobs are also an all time favourite in the house. The uses of these figures include imaginative play, learning about animals, habitat play, exploring landmarks and just about anything!  You see these mostly in my post!  When Vito was younger, I made him use Schleich animal figures because they are bigger but now that he has overcome his mouthing, he uses both Schleich and Safari Toob. Mavi is obsessed with dinosaurs, and he uses them now as characters for his homemade videos LOL.   Now he uses both types for play and learning.




Hape Uppercase, Lowercase and Number Puzzles.  With Mavi, I used the Melissa and Doug Magnetic letters (I still have them) and they were really really loved.  Now the problem is Vito mouths things and I made Vito use it, the sticker of the letters were removed.  So I looked for an alternative alphabet toys for us to use and I discovered these amazing puzzles from Hape. They are WORTH-IT! We love using them in anything, from learning letters, puzzles to stacking! Yes, Vito loves to stack these together! We also use it to sort out colors!  Multi-purpose indeed!  But if you have older kids, Melissa and Doug Magnetic Letters are as good as well. 

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Because I love to cook (Asian and Italian), the boys also love to pretend cooking with me using these Melissa and Doug cooking toys.  They can play for hours with these!


M-cro Maxi Scooter.  And I just have to include this!! Because they play with this scooter in and out of the house! Mavi uses this to school and Vito uses this indoor for scooting practice. I love that it is sturdy and kids can easily balance!


And of course, nothing beats classic toys like balls, cars and PlayDoh!  My boys wouldn’t complain if they receive any of these this Christmas.


Magnatiles. Rave reviews everywhere but I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase these tiles or can’t even justify it Sad smile  Maybe when they’re 50% off I would probably get one for the boys!


Unit Block.  I know that the boys will love this as well.  They can build and create so many things with this but the price is just too much for me.  I still have to think about this a million times.

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Beleduc Puzzles.  My puzzle loving kids will love these puzzle series, especially the Your Body Layer puzzles!


FREE European Countries Fact Cards and {Learn & Play Link UP}

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

There are amazing shared printables this week! Before I go there, let me share with you my FREE European Countries Fact Cards that we used in our European Study Unit and The Study of Northern Europe. Mavi loved these cards, he keeps on reading them and learning about the currency, highest mountain, longest river etc. of 16 European countries.  Download your copy now!

Europe Countries


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Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Party!
Here are the featured literature-based activities for this week!
Do You Want to Make a Turkey from Sight and Sound Reading
Letter D Printable Pack from Welcome to Mommyhood
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.
If you are a blogger, share your family friendly posts here. We are looking for things which include:
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Your post will be featured on each of our blogs where we will pick our favourite posts every other week. That means there is more of a chance that you will be featured!
Everyone, please meet our link party hosts:
learn and play party hostesses
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The Study of Northern Europe

Sunday, November 22, 2015

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Mavi and I are looking into the different regions of Europe and we started with Northern Europe (of course, that’s our location!).  So as not to be overwhelmed, we only focused on 4 countries:  Denmark, United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden (my bestfriend currently lives there and has been sending me lots of beautiful photos!).Northern

So to learn about Northern Europe we have the following activities:

Naming of at least 4 Countries

We start off by identifying the countries in the Northern Europe. If you check my previous post, Mavi sorted out the countries in Europe according to regions.  So in this study we are focusing on four countries:  Denmark (for LEGO), Sweden (for IKEA), United Kingdom and Ireland.

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I prepared this  country FACT CARDS for Mavi to read.  Things that you can learn from this fact cards:

  • Capital and biggest city for each country
  • Currency used
  • Language
  • Nationality
  • Longest River of the country
  • Highest Mountain of the country
  • Climate
  • Government

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I created this Europe Map 3 Part cards.  My intention here is for Mavi to easily identify the location of each country without using the puzzle.  The file also contains a blank sheet for him to do his own mapping.

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Flag and Plotting Important Geographical Sites

For retention, I made Mavi create the flags of Denmark and Ireland using LEGOs.  He wanted it this way, rather than painting or drawing them on a cardstock.

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I printed this map of Ireland from CIA site and laminated it.  The purpose of this activity is to locate the highest mountain of Ireland, the capital city and trace the longest river.  We did this with United Kingdom, Denmark and Sweden as well.  In order to reuse the map again, I laminated it and used dry erase pen to mark the map.

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Famous Landmarks

For the landmarks, I printed this coloring sheet from Education.com.  Mavi wants to color them but later on decided to create a replica using his LEGO.

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This is his interpretation of the Stonehenge and Big Ben tower using LEGOs.DSC_0580


Important Facts About Northern Europe

Expanding our knowledge, we took out some of the fact cards from our Europe in a Nutshell, identify those that belongs to Northern Europe and study them.  So here are the things Mavi learned:

  • Puffins. We saw a few of them in Cliffs of Moher when we visited the site last summer.
  • Vikings
  • Shamrocks and Celtic cross in Ireland
  • Fjords in Scandinavian countries.

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