Summer Themed (5 x 4) Grid Number Games

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Grid Games Summer 5

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Teaching Animals to Toddlers

What is it with animals that kids love? My husband asked me this question when he saw my pile of Safari Toob animal figures years ago and asked me why I incorporate animals in our homeschool activities. I have no scientific answer to his question but all I know was that Mavi was enchanted with animals (until now!). The way I see it, it's because of the unique sounds they make and how different they look from their parents and siblings LOL. 

As a young boy, Mavi loved singing the Old McDonald song because he enjoys making the animal sounds. He can get hooked for hours to any animal-related activities and play. Of course, a visit to the zoo completes all these lessons and activities. We've been to four zoos for the 6 years, all of which are in different countries. As of this writing, Mavi is obsessed with dinosaurs even if he haven't seen one. 

Now comes Vito. He also loves animals. The first animal sound that he ever made was that of the dinosaur's (thanks to his big brother!). Aside from dog, cow, bird and cat, Vito identifies other animals through their sound. Now with this sudden interest, I am joining the bandwagon of "invitation to play". If you haven't heard about it yet, here's an amazing tutorial from Teach Preschool.

So this is my first attempt of setting up an invitation to play of animals for Vito.  Oh boy! He was so happy, kept on jumping and clapping his hand showing his excitement!   As we play, I keep telling him the names of the animals and their sounds.  This is what he likes best. See the picture on the left? He's asking "what's this?" and that's a cue for me to answer and make the sounds LOL.
 But guess who enjoyed it the most??? The big brother! 
I wish I could get rid of all the furnitures in the sitting room and replace it with a huge play table for these boys lol.

He specifically loves this popsicle stick cage Mavi created for him.  Vito still mouths objects so I'm not letting him use our Safari Toob animal figures.  What we are using here are Schleich animals and Duplos.  The stacking cups you see there are Playskool Barrels which are my son's favourite toy.

Now this was an awesome and unplanned activity, and it turned out enjoyable for the boys!  Why not start doing your invitation to play?

You don't need to buy new toys. Just make use of what you already have, set it up in  table accessible for the kids, add some craft sticks.. papers, baskets and playdough and you're all set!

Now be sure to pin this for later!
We do a lot of fun and educational activities at home. To keep up with the updates, visit in the blog The Pinay Homeschooler, or in Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

How to Teach Fractions with Manipulatives

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Last week, Mavi and I got a little bit of time to work on fractions.  I've been wanting to do this with him but we seldom have some time together because of Vito.  So it took us around 3 days to complete the activities.  

Fractions can be very intimidating to kids. Especially the fact that the numbering is quite different from that of a conventional number.  But with proper manipulatives, and presentation, this can be a very interesting topic... and fun too!

In this case, I used my son's favourite pita bread to present fractions.  You may use a paper, a bar of chocolate or any favourite thing or toy that can be divided.

What is a fraction? 
Fraction is basically a part of whole, and each part must have an equal size.  Here I divided the pita bread into four.  You can ask your child the shape it created for a little bit of geometry lesson :)  

How to write fractions?
So now, the whole (1) has now 4 equal parts.  You can write this as 4/4 (this is a whole).  Now Mavi wants to eat 1 part, thus we can say that he eats 1 out of 4 equal parts.  And I showed Mavi how to write that part, 1/4.  

1/4 means 1 out of 4 equal parts.

What fraction of the circle is shaded?

As we move on, Mavi practised how to write fractions.  We used our fraction pies for this activity. So this is Mavi counting the fraction that is NOT black.

Similarly, I made him form the fractions using the number symbol that I created.  He's working on the pies randomly thus the blue and yellow are not yet done.

There are so many ways that you can practice fractions.  We have this math cubes which we love to use in our math activities and I also presented this to Mavi.  I showed him that fraction is not just about pies, it can be of anything that is equally divided.  

We will do a lot more in this subject as he loves making fractions.  We'll try to explore other materials as well like paper, chocolate bars and fraction tiles (if available).

And that's about it! Hope you find this post helpful!  Feel free to share this with your friends and don't forget to pin this for future reference!

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Letter 'c' Sound Activities

Monday, May 25, 2015

This was a fun and quick set activities.  We basically finished all of these in a week.
Letter 'c' sound basket.  Our object basket was composed of a carrot, a toy red car and a cow animal figure.  The foam letter is from Munchkins Foam Bath.

Letter 'c' craft. I made Vito colour the letter c using our Do-a-Dot markers (which he really really loves by the way).  Afterwhich, I made him watch Mavi cut the letter and turn it into a letter c carrot.

C for colours.   This is again another colour matching activity I prepared for Vito.  The cups were from the local store and the cubes were from  Melissa & Doug Lacing Beads learning toy.  We do this activity everyday for Vito to know his colours.

C for cottons.  We tried this activity, painting using cotton balls but Vito was horrified of the cotton.  So we proceeded with finger painting instead.  We are using Giotto Bebe Fingerpaints at home.

Playing with pegs (pretend corns).  We played around with favourite FantaColor pegs and Vito is getting better fitting those smaller pegs into the hold

Steamed carrots.  Vito's snack for the entire week LOL.

C for cars.  We played with cars every morning and matched them to our homemade colour cards.  Read about it here.

Books this week:
You can also purchase these books from Book Depository, shipping is free!

Photos of Vito working.

More letter sound activities coming up in the next few weeks!

Thank you for taking time to read this post! Don’t forget to pin it for later.
Why not try reading our Letter ‘a’ Sound activities?
 Our Letter ‘b’ Sound activities might interest you as well!

Teaching Colors With Cars

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Making the most of Vito’s interest in cars, we played this colour matching game. This is an example of “follow the child”.  Observe your child’s interest and use that in you advantage lol. 

You see Vito knows his shapes and can identify objects, but I’m not really sure with his colours .  This is the reason why I do colour activities everyday.  And as much as I want to push him, colour activity is not really his type.  So I was wondering if we could do colour matching and play cards at the same time.

Oh boy it was a total hit!

Cars and Cards


I suggest start the presentation slowly. It’s like saying “Vito, this car is red.  This card is also red.  So I’m going to put them together here.” 


I wanted to present three colours only (red, blue and yellow) but he took out the rest of the cards and gave it to me (a sign!).  So I proceeded with the other colours.  After the presentation he started playing with the cars, making sounds and gestures. While he is at it, I asked him to show me a car according to the colour I  will mention.  In the picture below I asked him for a blue car, and he pointed correctly on the car.  I asked him for a yellow car, but he ignored me and continue playing with the blue car.  If that’s the case, let him be.  No pressure. The point here is exposing the child to colours, not pushing them to know it instantly.


Cars and M&D Latches Board


He loves this toy, so I used it as a tool in teaching colour as well. Here I was telling him a story that the cars need to go home, and they have to go to the doors of which they matches their colours.


He listened all throughout the presentation (I guess he loves the story), but ignored me whenever I ask him to give me a certain coloured car.  He was too busy playing opening and closing the doors, while moving the cars in any directions.


Well this was a nice attempt of teaching Vito colours.  We’ll be doing this frequently, as he loves playing with cars as of the moment

More activities in my Pinterest Toddler Activities

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Measuring Mass of an Object

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mavi and I started some activities for Applied Science. Here, math and science works together to solve problems. Applied Science enables the child to do critical thinking.

Experimenting and predicting Mass (Weight)

I chose this lesson because I’ve always wanted to use our bucket balance which I got from Learning Resources. I had this since last year but Mavi has been using it for play and have not used it as an educational toy yet.

Materials needed:

Mass of an Object



  • To develop skills in predicting and estimating the mass of the an object.
  • To use knowledge in science and math to come up with a mathematical conclusion based on the experiment.
Mavi will predict the weight of the materials without putting them in the scale. The prediction of how heavy an object is will be based on the unit material we are using. For example, how many unit trains does the rugby ball weigh? Then we will determine if his predictions are correct by testing it in the balance against the number of units he predicted.


As you can see we keep a notebook here to record his data. There should be three columns with labels: [object] [prediction] [actual]


Once he has tested all the materials, we will then come up with a conclusion if his predictions are correct or not. Then compare each object, from the lightest to heaviest using the number of units each has.
Rugby ball 17 pebbles 35 pebbles
Book 20 pebbles 33 pebbles
Box 10 pebbles 11 pebbles

We concluded that the heaviest item was the rugby ball and the lightest was the Jenga box.

This was an exciting activity for Mavi.  After our lesson he continued playing with the balance in his room, with his brother.  He’s trying to test how will two different objects balance.  Of course, he has a little helper.



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Top 5 Favourite Books (May)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Welcome to another of the Top 5 Favourite Books! Today I’m going to share to you, Mavi’s picks for the month of May. 


“Rex may look like an average six-year-old, living on his parents’ moog farm and going to mini intergalactic citizen school, but he knows he’s destined to become . . . the King of Space! With the help of his unsuspecting friends, Rex begins his conquest of the known worlds. And when he goes too far, only one person can save him from the wrath of the Galactic Alliance — Mom!”

It’s about a little boy who became the King of Space .  He lets his friend formed a team and make his own throne that is big - Mavi

“Tony likes to help his father at their small family restaurant, but everything changes when Little Nino's Pizzeria becomes a fancier place.” - Amazon

It’s about a boy and his daddy helping together to make pizza.  - Mavi

"On a mean street in a mean, broken city, a young girl tries to snatch an old woman’s bag. But the frail old woman, holding on with the strength of heroes, says the thief can’t have it without giving something in return: the promise. It is the beginning of a journey that will change the thieving girl’s life — and a chance to change the world, for good. Here is the story of a magical discovery that will touch the heart and imagination of every reader, young and old. In an exciting collaboration, author Nicola Davies joins forces with illustrator Laura Carlin to create a contemporary tale inspired by Jean Giono’s 1953 story,"

Because the girl, she kept her promise and planted the stolen acorns which turned into trees which turned the people in the mean street good.

“Sometimes big things have very small beginnings. "Oh! If only . . . I had stayed home that day . . . If only . . . I hadn't met that dog . . . If only . . . he didn't want to play . . . " And so begins a remarkably funny chain of events as one young boy and a dog unwittingly unleash the greatest havoc imaginable.” - Amazon

It’s a funny story.

“Many dogs have human owners. Not this dog. He fetches his own slippers, curls up at his own feet, and gives himself a good scratch. But there is one spot, in the middle of his back, that he just can’t reach. So one day, he lets a human scratch it. And the poor little fella follows him home. What can the dog do but get a leash to lead the guy around with? Dog lovers of all ages will revel in the humorous role-reversal as this dog teaches his human all the skills he needs to be a faithful companion.”

The dog is the master while the boy became the pet. But I like it because they love each other and they’re best of friends. - Mavi

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Animal Unit Studies and {Learn & Play Link Up # 5}

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Another week of Learn & Play Link Up! I am so excited to feature 5 blog posts that has captured my attention.  As you all know, we love doing animal studies at home because Mavi looooovess learning about them!! And my little Vito is now obsessed with dogs and spiders! Yes! spiders! So I’m thinking of having an animal study soon, and I now know where to get inspiration!

So here are the posts that are featured for this week:

Montessori-Inspired-Caterpillar-Butterfly-UnitLife Cycle Art from Minnie Monets and Mommies

Alligator Printable Pack from Mommyhood in Holland

Montessori Inspired Butterfly – Caterpillar Unit from Living Montessori Now

Dinosaur Color Sorting Activity from Stir the Wonder

Insect Sensory Bin from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes

This week on The Pinay Homeschooler, I am going to feature our insect studies for the past years. insectMavi loves everything about insects.  it is also important that kids understand how to differentiate insects from other creepy crawlers.  Remember, not everything that crawls are insects!  Like spiders, worms and centipedes… they belong to  different groups!  

Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Party!


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:

  • Montessori Education
  • Homeschool
  • Sensory Play
  • Tot and Preschool Trays
  • Fine and Gross Motor Activities
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Healthy Recipes for Kids
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Natural Living
  • Free Educational Printables
  • Family-Oriented Activities
  • Healthy Living

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

Christian Montessori Blog ~ Please visit our CMN FB group ~ Pinterest

Vanessa from Mama’s Happy Hive~FB~Pinterest~Instagram~Twitter

Jennifer from Study at Home Mama~FB~Pinterest~Instagram~Twitter

Marie from Child Led Life~FB~Pinterest~Instagram~Twitter

Jae from Pinay Homeschooler~FB~Pinterest~Instagram~Twitter

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Renae from Every Star is Different~FB~Pinterest

Please link up 1-3 posts
Follow each of the hosts on social media
When you link up, please add our button and place it at the bottom of your shared posts or link back with text link.
By entering a link, you’re giving us permission to feature an image on our blogs. Proper credit & links will ALWAYS be given.
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Tried and Tested: How Machines Work Book

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I wanted to give this book a review and a little presentation as I really like its concept.  You know how much I love hands-on activities, and if you are learning about machines, nothing is best than having a real experience.  The problem with this is we don’t have the scientific tools and the space for this kind of experience.  So I was really really happy when I came across this book kit from Suzie’s Home Education Ideas last year.  I immediately placed an order as you seldom see stuff like this available in Amazon.

What is the book all about?

This is a book about simple machines.  The book has a colourful presentation of the history and usage of each type of the machine/invention.  The timeline of the invention is very helpful. Mavi loved reading it, and discovering how each machine evolved through time.

Now the book comes with cardboard kits, bolts, nuts and other kits.  The kit is combination of cardboard and plastic.  After each discussion of the machine, you are instructed to create the blach blatch.  To assemble the blah blach, you need the instruction sheet for that. Yes, it has a separate sheet for instruction, while the book will simply explain the theory behind the model.

So this is basically this is what it looks like.  The book is readable by younger kids who love machines. DSC_0976
This is the kit (made of cardboards) that is included in the book.  Some would say that this is the downside of the book.  The cardboard wouldn’t last long if you keep on using the kits.  As fro me, I’m fine with these cardboards.  The book is not that pricey, there I expected that it doesn’t come with fancy materials like those of KNex and LEGO.  So far, they served their purpose and was able to demonstrate the concepts behind the simple machines without breaking apart.
These are nuts and bolts with strings.  You can barely see them here. They’re all pretty easy to use and assemble.
DSC_1019ed And here’s the instruction sheets.  Again, so easy to follow.
DSC_1028edBased on my experience and how Mavi dealt with it, I realized that this kit is appropriate for kids around 8years+.  For a 6years old, the materials can be too tedious to assemble.  The bolts and nuts are quite a challenge for Mavi and I, unless you are skilled in using these materials.  The cardboard stand is quite annoying, always detached from the board because it doesn’t fit perfectly.  They could have created a more sturdy material that fits on the board.  Other than that, I like the book and the kit that comes with it.  This book teaches the basic with hands-on materials that are handy and doesn’t take up space (like those educational toys that are made up of gazillion pieces).  And much more, affordable! You can get it from Amazon and Book Depository. 

I highly recommend Book Depository for readers from Asia and those who wants free shipping.
Those in Europe, you can get this from Amazon UK.  And in US, Amazon (as of now it is very pricey!), so you’re option is Book Depository.

If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to drop me a comment in this post.  I would love to answer your queries!  And watch out for the actual lesson, I will have a separate post for that.

FREE Animal Life Cycles Learning Material

Monday, May 18, 2015

FREE Animal Life Cycles Learning Material

At last! I was able to update my Animal Life Cycles file and I added life cycles of insects!  Yes, so many have emailed me asking about it. So sorry, I did not include it in the first edition because we were not studying it yet.

Sensory Play and Activities

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Welcome to another post on 12 Months of Montessori Series!  For May, we’re exploring Montessori sensorial activities and I am sharing with you fun activities that led to discoveries using their senses.

DSC_0358ii My initial plan for this was for a nature exploration outdoors since we all know that nature provides the BEST sensory experience.  But because mother nature wasn’t in the mood (rained throughout the week!), I decided to do most of our sensory activities at the backyard and indoors.

Montessori emphasized that children learns with their senses.  It is important that they use their senses to explore the world they live in.  Stimulating these senses will send signals to the child’s brain that will help to strengthen the neural pathways which are important for all types of learning. 

In a Montessori classroom, there are a lot of sensorial materials that are used to help the child develop discrimination, order and broaden and refine their senses.  But just because we don’t own any of these materials, that doesn’t mean we can’t do sensorial at home. In fact, I prefer giving my kids the REAL experience when it comes to sensory.

Without much further ado, here are Mavi and Vito…

Sense of touch.  We started off with ice and water play. This was the time when we got Mr Sun.   I immediately took out the materials and let the boys play together.  This activity introduced the concept of warm and cold to Vito.


Sense of hearing.  We explored the rhythm bells I got earlier this year. Oh boy, it was really something new to him and he loves shaking it to produce sound.  Here, I introduced Vito the loudness and softness sound.



Sense of touch and smell.  We went crazy over Crazy Soap!! Thanks to Stimulating with Rachel who suggested this brand to us. I wanted to use kid-friendly soap as I used shaving cream before which gives a strong scent.  The Crazy Soap has gentle smell that the kids love, and the foam is just amazing! You can shape it and it bounces!  This activity introduces Vito to vocabularies like “good smell”, “soft”, “bouncy” and “squishy”.



Sense of sight.  Activity we did in the backyard where we enjoyed the abundance of dandelions and blowing the seeds!  We also planted garden pinwheels around the yard so Vito and Mavi can enjoy watching it turn (it can be relaxing!).  My Vito was so amazed by the wheels!



Sense of touch, smell and taste. Save the best for last. We made pizza !!!


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

Natural Beach Living ~ The Natural Homeschool ~ Living Montessori Now ~ Planting Peas

The Kavanaugh Report ~ Mama’s Happy Hive ~ Study at Home Mama ~ Child Led Life

Every Star Is Different ~ Grace and Green Pastures ~ The Pinay Homeschooler