Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Old Tracks New Tricks for Train Enthusiasts

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Oh the boys and I love to play trains! And in fact, I love creating train tracks with them too.  The only problem these days is that, our train sets were long forgotten due to Bruder trucks which they recently received last Christmas. But boy, oh boy, that changed when Old Tracks New Tricks arrived in the mail one day, and my 3 years old upon seeing the book immediately requested to play with his Thomas Train!



Montessori Inspired March Activities for Preschoolers

Sunday, February 26, 2017

With Vito’s current obsession on letters, I’m focusing on letter recognition, phonics and writing from hereon.  Our activities in March are mostly revisiting past activities and doing a lot of extensions. Check the details below to know more about it:

PicMonkey Image

Book Review: Danny Dingle’s Fantastic Finds

Saturday, January 28, 2017

I was quite surprised when Mavi finished this book in one day!  It arrived on the mail last week, and when I opened it in front of him, he excitedly asked if he could bring it to school so he can read it during the break. 


Learning about the Weather for Preschoolers

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Drastic changes in weather can be experience around January when you are in Ireland.  Thus, I decided to introduce the concept of weather to Vito around this time.  I will do this in the simplest form I can think of and that’s by using a weather chart. 


Advent Books for Christmas Countdown

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Now that the boys are older, I’m starting a new Christmas tradition (other than having  a Christmas tree) that will have a meaningful effect in our little family.  Aside from the festivity and receiving presents, I want the boys to feel the love of the family, drawing us closer to each other, to other people and to God.  I want them to remember that Christmas is all about giving, not receiving things for themselves.

We’ll open and read one advent book each day (but for sure we’ll be reading them all throughout the month!).  It’s similar to the Advent calendar but instead of having toys, we’ll read a really good book about Christmas.  I wrapped the books already, and randomly select a few to display under the tree for Vito open.  (Mavi said Vito can open all of these everyday)



Easy to Prepare Apple Activities for Preschoolers

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Vito is 34 months old.
Apple is Vito’s favourite fruit.  He had an amazing time exploring his favourite fruit last week, as we explored how the apples came to me, its parts and an instant apple counting (because he loves to count too!).

Kingdoms of Life: Animal Kingdom

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Mavi borrowed this book from the library so we can revisit the Animal Kingdom and he wanted to explore more of the other kingdoms of life.  We’ve done a couple of times before (here and here) and he loves revisiting this over and over.


Collection of Transportation Activities for Toddlers

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Vito is 30 months old.

We’ve just concluded our week long transportation-themed activities and I would like to share with you the activities and materials Vito loved and enjoyed using!  Hope you find these helpful!Shelves

Books on Vehicles that We Love

Monday, May 30, 2016

These are the books that we are loving and using in our Transportation Unit this week!  These are perfect for kids ages 2 to 7 years old! Check out the details below.


Faith Formation Books

Monday, March 14, 2016

Aside from The Bible, do you have favourite books to read with kids that tells about Jesus (if you are a Christian) and Godly stories?


Montessori Books for Older Children: The Universe Story Trilogy

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It’s time for another 12 Months of Montessori Series and today I am sharing Mavi’s favourite book series.  We have been using these books for years now.  The books are all about the cosmic history to the evolution of man.  The stories are accompanied by stunning images and time-line to follow.  Everything in these books are just too magical and enlightening for him!

About the books:

There are three books in the series and each tells a certain period in time.  Here are the details of the books which you can purchase from Amazon:

  • BORN WITH A BANG.  Story of the universe from the Big Bang to the formation of the sun and solar system.
  • FROM LAVA TO LIFE.  Story of Earth from the appearance of the first life forms to the extinction of the dinosaurs.
  • MAMMALS WHO MORPH.  The story of the first mammals to the story of humans.

When I asked Mavi how we’re going to showcase his books in today’s post, he suggested that we should make some kind of “interpretation”, similar to a museum but only in a series of activities.    So I scanned and laminated  his favourite parts in each book so we can do our “interpretation” of the story.

BORN WITH A BANG:  how the universe was formed.  Seen here, we replicated the bursting of lights in the universe forming into galaxies, stars and planets via the milk/soap/food coloring science activity.  This was performed by Mavi and Vito.  The mixing and contrast of colours looked like the big bang!


Goodnight Moon Storytelling Basket

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Oh my, Goodnight Moon is one of my kids favourite books and I can’t wait to share with you the contents of our storytelling basket!  I assembled it over the weekend and both Vito and Mavi are having fun tinkering and exploring the objects. 

I read this book everynight. It’s calming, relaxing… makes them ponder of what’s out there in the night, letting them observe their room and the silence of the night.  And may I just say, there is so much love in the story.  The old lady as I would always say to the boys, is lovingly watching her little kid going to sleep, just like most Mommies do!


B4FIAR: Jesse Bear and {Learn & Play Link Up}

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I am starting Before Five in a Row with Vito.  I am a fan of FIAR and I’ve been doing it with Mavi for years. 

Last week, we did Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?  Vito loved it instantly!  He can relate to the daily activities of Jesse Bear and how amazing he recognizes most of it as part of his routines.  Like changing his shirt, high chair and mealtime, bath time and when running towards Daddy when my husband arrives from work. 

Now here are the activities we did to go along with Jesse Bear:



We played in the yard, put on his jacket and red pants Open-mouthed smile 


Then try to play sand just like Jesse Bear. That is Kinetic Sand and we are loving it!


Noon Time

Lunch time, he ate some steamed veggies, then apple and drank milk.  He insisted that we place the book in his table to make sure he’s doing what Jesse Bear is doing.DSC_0627



Afternoon Time

To kill time we played with colored rice and scooping because Jesse Bear was playing with his rice! 


We also played matching shoes game!    When your child is about 1.5yrs old, they’re able to discriminate objects. Try matching games as simple as matching their shoes! Vito is such an expert!



Vito’s bedtime routine includes brushing his teeth (like Jesse Bear), washing his face and putting on his PJs.  I say this out loud as I do it so he’ll understand what we are doing.  And just like what I did with Mavi, I would read him books while I put him to bed.  This actually calms him down…. and make us both sleepy LOL. 


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Welcome to the Learn & Play Link Party!
Here are the featured literature-based activities for this week!
Harry Potter Sorcerer’s Stone Unit from Every Star Is Different
Fall Book Basket for Preschoolers from Homeschool Preschool
Peter Pumpkin Eater Printables from Embark on the Journey
Madeline Sensory Tray Writing from Growing Book By Book
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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  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Healthy Recipes for Kids
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  • Natural Living
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  • Healthy Living
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learn and play party hostesses
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Teaching Animals to Toddlers

Sunday, May 31, 2015

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.

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.

Layers of the Earth for Kids

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I went home one day with a bunch of avocadoes for Vito and I to eat.  Then as I was slicing it, Mavi saw the huge seed inside and blurted out that it looks like the Earth’s core!  And just like that, I whipped a brief activity on the layers of the Earth!

For the book, we had this since 2 years ago that Mavi really really loves to read.  It’s an easy read for young kids and the good thing about it is that it’s like an adventure book that takes its readers into an adventure of digging a hole down to the Earth’s center!  So I am HIGHLY recommending it to those who are interested.

Layer 5

Get the book from:

After looking into the avocado and discussing how it looked similar to the Earth’s layers, I took out some coloured rice (we already have this and stored in ziplocks) and have Mavi create the layers in a piece of cardstock in the way it is described in the book.

Layers 1

 Layers 2

And this is what he came up with. He completed this with a little assistance from me. Well actually, my work only includes getting the rice and beans for him LOL.   He added some space shuttle and man in suit.  The book indicates that it is impossible to reach the center of the Earth as no machines or human can stand the pressure and heat.  But the book allows the reader to imagine and pretend, that if it’s possible, a super duper powerful digger and super suit is needed for humans to reach the  Earth’s core.

And since Mavi is now 6 yrs old, I am “training” him to discuss to me what he has learned from the book.  So he narrated what he learned using his artwork.  Okay, this is like reporting or project presentation in school, but it is at home and you’re doing it with your Mom :D  Mavi actually loved doing it and wanted to do it again!

Layers 3

After which, we took out some stuff at the kitchen and put up together the elements that made up the Earth.  Now, the CRUST is soil (we don’t have any so we used oatmeal for representation), MANTLE is made up of thick hot rocks, OUTCORE is made up of hot molten metal (we used ketchup!) and the INNERCORE is made up of a huge solid metal, a ball of iron (seed of Avocado).

See how spontaneous we are at home! My son enjoyed this activity and so do I! Hope you find this helpful :)

Pin this for later use! Layers of the Earth PIN

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!

Toddler Beginnings 07

Saturday, March 28, 2015

** Contains affiliate links **Toddler Beiginnings 07

I can barely take photos of Vito doing activities these days as my hands are also too busy being involved with it.  So one technique that most blogger Moms do is to take photos ahead of their materials for presentation.  I’d like to borrow this technique, but I will try to do my best to take snap shots of Vito doing these activities in action since I still find it cute to post some photos of him LOL. 




j1 We’ve been using the Montessori Letter work for weeks now and Vito loves tracing the letters.  We’re also reading the Bible Stories (this was Mavi’s) for Lent.  The rest of our reading/language materials can be found here.j2

Because Easter is just around the corner, we’re doing a few Easter themed activities. This one is a colour matching activity. I got the pail from a local book store and the yellow mini baskets from Dunnes.  I am sure that there’s plenty of these at Amazon.


Another activity is the 1:1 correspondence. Vito loves transferring objects and I am sure he’s going to enjoy this one!


New activity this week is the building of blocks!  This is an old toy  and I got it out for Vito to use.  Vito is starting to enjoy stacking the blocks.  I torn between getting the pink tower and brown stairs or Melissa and Doug Unit Blocks.

                     DSC_0391 DSC_0400 J3


We love our Giotto Bebe finger paints! It has NO SMELL AT ALL and SO EASY TO WASH!  I came across this brand when we were staying in Belgrade and I fell in love with it instantly. Their finger paints are so creamy and Vito loves its vivid colours! And it is sooo easy to remove (and non toxic too!). 

                    DSC_0258 DSC_0265

And I let him use our  Do-a-Dot markers!  This is colouring a cross for Lent.  We’re taking a break from crayons and pens so I’m letting him use this stamp markers for variation.  This he has to practice stamping, not writing as he used to.  I have to demonstrate first what to do with it. We’ll be using this a little bit more for practice.



It has been sunny for the past weeks and we’re always outdoors! 

PicMonkey Collage 

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