Showing posts with label LEGO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LEGO. Show all posts

Small World Play: Ancient China

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gong Hi Fa Cai!  It’s the Chinese New Year tomorrow and Mavi and I are currently learning about the Ancient China  (using STOW Vol 1 as read along book). With these, we set up another small world play which is inspired by the history of China.  Here’s what Mavi and I assembled.   Last month, we assembled an Australian Outback-inspired small play and it was a total hit!  This month, the boys are enjoying their free play with our new small world tray!

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!


Letter ‘t’ Sound Activities for Toddlers

Saturday, November 21, 2015


letter t fb

Vito’s activities last week revolves around the letter ‘t’.  As you all know, we’re working with letter sounds for a while and funny how he’s able to name alphabets using their sounds these days instead of their names LOL.    The unit is not just actually a week’s work, but it took us 2 weeks TO get over with the materials and activities, because Vito kept using them! Let me share with you activities we did to explore and learn objects with the letter ‘t’ sound.

Lettet T Object Basket.  Let’s start with our object basket.  I filled it with 3-4 objects starting with letter t that Vito uses a  lot at home like torch, telescope/binoculars, teeth and Titanic LEGO made by Mavi.  Then added a few letters like this foam letter from Munchkins (Vito used to bite these!) and the all time favourite letters from Hape.


Train Shape Cards.  I made these! I’m so happy on how it turned out.  The train plus the DIY air dry clay shapes are currently Vito’s favourite activity. He loves matching the shapes to that in the train! 

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That’s his brother’s sleep mask (from Emirates), which is his favorite accessory as of the moment.


Color Sorting using Transport Counters.  The counters are from Learning Resources and this is one of our favourites!  The train cards are DIY: using a train coloring image, I printed it in different colors of cardstock and laminated it. 

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He worked on them but doesn’t stay long. As I previously said, color sorting is NOT his favourite thing as of the moment.  But even so, I still would introduce different kinds of color activities just in case he might find his interest.


Counting.  Vito loves to count, it’s like effortless in my part to make him count and identify numbers.  He counts on his own and is always giddy whenever he sees numbers.  So this turtle activity is his favourite.  We just don’t have enough turtle figures to count up to 10 LOL.  The turtle counters are from Safari Toob.  We previously worked on trees as well for our letter t unit. Check it out here Smile

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Brushing of Teeth Teeth.  Our model of mouth/teeth is just so awesome! Vito is fascinated with this and loves brushing it with his toothbrush LOL.  This is a wonderful practical life activity, especially to those little ones who are hesitant to brush their teeth Open-mouthed smile  Know where you can get these teeth model here.


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Letter t

A Continent Study of AFRICA for Kids

Monday, February 16, 2015

It’s a month of African studies 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!
africa copy
Map and Location.  Just like in any of our continent study, we always start with identifying the location of the continent.  Though Mavi is already familiar of the African continent, he still likes using our Montessori Continent Map, which I got from Tower High Learning.  I got it for a reasonable price and excellent in quality! I purchased a few materials from them and will talk about it in a separate post. You can also purchase this map in Amazon US or in Amazon UK. The cards that he is using are from my shop, "Animals of Africa". 
Plotting the animals in the continent map.  He loves doing this!
I am so pleased with the purchase of this world map puzzle. I got this for 50% off in a local bookshop.  We can work with individual continents or work with it entirely. For suggestions on map puzzles you can check my post: World Map Jigsaw Puzzle Recommendations.  
DSC_0886Flags.  We love working with pin maps!  This activity is to familiarize Mavi with the different countries in the African continent and their flag symbol. These Africa flags are made from toothpicks and the flag pack from my shop, "Flags of Africa".
We love LEGO and we use them in so many ways!  Here, I instructed Mavi to create the South African flag using his LEGO.  This is a similar activity with our Asian Study of flags.  After which, he worked on his African flag nomenclature cards.  The picture card of the South African flag is in the wrong position, reason why I have to remind Mavi to be very careful in positioning flags because they might be interpreted in a wrong way.
DSC_0940 He likes positioning his other “favourite” flags in the plate.
Landmarks.  Of course, we made our pyramid version using LEGO. This is what Mavi picked because it is easier to replicate. The cards in the picture below were printed from the printable, "Africa Landmarks" which you can buy from my shop.
Animals and their Habitats.  This is by far Mavi’s favourite.  He’s not yet over with his animal toys and still loves playing with them.

First one, learning about the different animals in Africa.  Mavi reads the fact cards of my "Animals of Africa" and loves talking about it while he play pretends.DSC_0902
If you have a preschooler, it is best to have a matching game. Using animal figures (these are Safari Toobs Wild), match the figure to the picture.
Or in case the figures are not available, you can still use the picture card and label (3 part cards)  for a 3 period lesson in African Animals.  Mavi still loves doing this even though he can easily read and finish the entire activity in a minute.
Another favourite activity is matching the animal skin covers! Wooohooo! Aren’t these cool? Mavi was so enthralled with this! He did a similar activity on this here.  Next time we study Africa, we’ll paint the patterns!  Your preschoolers will definitely enjoy this! These Africa animals skin cover cards are taken from my "Africa in a Nutshell" which you can also buy from my shop.  If you want to know more about the content of this Africa learning pack I've discussed it in detail in this post, Africa in a Nutshell.
Again, if you don’t have animal figures, you can match the animal skin patterns with a picture of an animal, similar to the ones shown here.
And I asked Mavi to pick between a zebra and giraffe, he wanted to work on zebra… so here he is learning the parts of a zebra!  This will familiarize children with the different parts of the animal, and how it is similar to other animals that they are familiar with.  Another great thing about this activity for preschoolers is that it will enhance their reading skills :) The 3-Part cards are also from my "Africa in a Nutshell" product.  
And this is how we study the habitats of Africa. Using our Animal Habitats cards, we recreated the map of Africa with its biomes using Playdoh.  We also identified the animals that live in each habitat. We followed the colour code of our map and habitat
Plants.  We use our Plant Atlas file from my shop to learn about the plants that grow in Africa. We worked on the Control Chart as well, differentiating the plant life in each continent.
bot_leafchartLanguage.  Mavi worked on this briefly.  I printed this African proverbs from here and we used Montessori grammar symbols to identify the nouns, verbs and adjectives in the phrases.  This is also a copy work in case you want your kids to practice writing.
DSC_0124Culture and Beliefs.  I’ve been doing research about Africa and made fact cards (significant) for Mavi to read and use. We did some of the activities in the cards, like creating African patterns (designs on textiles), researching about the ethnic tribes of Africa and enjoying the beaded bracelet my friend gave me that resembles African jewelries.
DSC_0272I’m teaching Mavi how to do research.  We do it using the internet as of the moment but I would like to bring him to the library and do it there as well.  We love our tablet and we use it in so many ways! He loves how this girl looks.
And he thinks it is cool to have a lip plate!
Natural Resources.  We did this last year but was not able to touch it because the boys got sick. I also have a product in my shop for this topic, "Natural Resources of the World".
Art.  I purchased art lessons from Deep Space Sparkle and they were all amazing! This one is the Africa art lesson which comprises of learning how to make mud houses, giraffes, African patterns and creating your Maasai Tribe.  See how he applied the patterns on the body of the tribe?
Videos.  We watched the entire series Africa (BBC TV series) on Netflix. The series was beautifully created and entertaining! It was breathtaking! To see all those beautiful landscapes, different habitats, the richness of wildlife. Just WOW.  Watching this video made us want to jump right then and there in Africa! (And a friend also shared a video of Gambia). Thank you!
Songs.  We listened to a few songs on YouTube and see how the people used some of the native instruments.

Stories.  I borrowed this book from the library and you can purchase them at Book Depository[] as well, free shipping!  They contain lots of beautiful African tales and stories. Mavi reads them at night before going to bed.
World History. And to complete our unit, we did an Ancient Egypt Study.  These figurines are from the Ancient Egypt Safari Toobs and they are awesome! Perfect for hands on learning!  Read more about it here.
Here’s a summary of the materials we used in this Continent unit:
  1. Flags of Africa
  2. Animals of Africa (3-Part Cards and Fact Sheets)
  3. Landmarks of Africa
  4. Africa in a Nutshell and the post describing its content in detail, link here.
  5. Animal Habitats
  6. Plant Atlas
  7. African Art
  8. African Proverbs
  9. Safari Toobs Ancient Egypt
  10. Safari Toobs Wild
And that’s about it!!  I hope you can pick up a lot of ideas that you can do with your kids or in your school!  You can also checkout my pinterest board for other African activities.  Don’t forget to visit us as well in our other social media sites for updates! Thank you!
Follow Pinay Homeschooler's board Continent Study: Africa on Pinterest.
This post is part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning which is hosted by Natural Beach Living and The Natural Homeschool.
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