Showing posts with label educational toys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label educational toys. Show all posts

Favorite Activities at 43 months

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Here are Vito’s favourite things to do when he’s at home and not playing with Mavi outdoors. Most of these activities promotes independent play minimal supervision, improves fine motor skills, vocabulary, hand-eye coordination, creativity and discovery through play.
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Hape Domino Set

Monday, June 5, 2017

Have you heard of the Domino Set by I Love Hape?  This toy is just awesome!  I got it early this year to teach Mavi how to strategically design a game, basically a maze made by dominoes.  Now that Vito is older, we decided to share this with Vito so he will learn how use it and enjoy the fun of creating dominos.  And oh boy, this has been Vito’s favourite for the past few days!
  
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Introducing Kids to Construction Tools

Sunday, April 30, 2017

If you are like us, who has no means of doing some carpentry work, then this post is for you!  For one thing, my father and his entire family are carpenters.  They make furnitures, build houses and buildings in my home city and I remember spending most of my time during summer vacation in construction sites managed by my grandfather.  This is the reason why at a young age, I know how to use most carpentry materials despite my mom’s warnings.  Sadly those skills weren’t passed to the new generations.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t expose our kids to this simple carpentry work like hammering, using nuts and bolts, drilling and the like.  And of course, with the advent of IKEA, we need to somehow teach them all about DIYs and these basic tools. 

In this post, I’m sharing our learning toys and materials in exposing my 3 years old to some of these construction tools to acquire those basic skills .
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Montessori Inspired Land, Air and Water Transportation Cards

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Vito is 39 months old.
DSC_3308My kids are obsessed with vehicles, but  I think most boys are!  They love their Bruder trucks and figures from Safari Toobs which they use a lot in pretend play and play-based learning.    When Mavi borrowed this amazing book from the library (DK Visual Encyclopedia of Vehicles) Vito can’t stop identifying the vehicles in the book.  It’s either he would ask us around (what’s this?), or identify the toys he own and match it to the pictures.  It’s pretty amazing how much interest he has shown!  To widen his vocabulary and knowledge of vehicles, I created cards for him so we can start with the Montessori three lesson  period and later on, do some sorting.

Our Land Transportation contains 14 vehicles and most of these can easily be identified by kids.  I made sure that it will go along with the Safari Toob On the Road figures so that the activities can range from picture to control cards, and then objects to control cards.   (note that 8 cards are only shown here)
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Land Transportation 3 Part Cards

Air Transportation consist of 12 vehicles and again, they go along with Safari Toobs In the Sky. (note that 8 cards are only shown here)
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Air Transportation 3 Part Cards

Water Transportation with 12 vehicles.  I love how they look!    The figures here are from Safari Toob In the Water.
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Water Transportation 3 Part Cards

So aside from matching, and identification of the vehicles, we’ll also sort them whether they are air, land or water vehicles.  For best result, print the cards in a photo quality paper.  I’m using an Epson Presentation/Photo Matte Paper in case you want to know.  (I will talk about my printing process soon!)
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And speaking of the book, I highly recommend it! It is full of beautiful real images of cars, trains, aeroplanes and just about anything!  The kids are crazy about it.  See the post-it bookmarks?  Mavi is using this book for drawing inspirations too.  He loves to draw and he said that the book is very helpful in giving him ideas on how to sketch different types of cars Open-mouthed smile
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Study of Ancient China

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

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Few weeks ago, Mavi and I were learning about Ancient China.  I decided that this year, we’ll be focusing in country-based studies rather than continents.  Last month we worked on Australia, and because of Chinese New Year being celebrated during February, I guess this month is the best time to conduct Chinese-themed activities.

Tried and Tested: Playmobil Native American Superset

Monday, December 21, 2015

*** contains affiliate links *** 

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I was able to get some really great deals during the Black Friday sale. One of which is the Playmobil Native American Superset.  As I mentioned earlier this month, Playmobil is one of the open-ended toys that we love and consider “educational” due to its historical figures and environment.  This Playmobil set will be perfect for our American history study next year.

What’s inside?

Our Favourite Toys for 2 to 7 Years Old

Thursday, November 26, 2015

**Contains affiliate links**

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“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.

NOTE:  ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUNGER CHILDREN WHEN USING ANY OF THESE TOYS.  Do not leave them unattended.

FAVOURITE TOYS

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”

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Hands-on Learning on the European Regions

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Mavi is into geography once again and we are revisiting Europe.  My approach for this year’s study is to look at Europe through the different regions.  It’s easier to understand and internalize facts when they’re into smaller groups than attacking it as a whole.

So I created these label cards for northern (blue), western (red), southern (orange) and eastern (green) Europe.  The color coding is based on our map in Europe in a Nutshell.  The mini flags seen in the photo is from Flags of Europe printable.
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He easily identified Greece, Italy and Spain as southern Europe.
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Our Montessori Europe Puzzle Map is from Absorbent Minds UK.

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After he sorted some of the countries, he proceeded on completing the puzzle map on his own.  I provided a control map from Montessori Print Shop.
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I love that he removed the puzzle pieces and placed them on a basket instead of scattering them in the rug.
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If you want to check the other activities that we did for our Europe study below are the links for each post:

Materials we used in this activity:

Other learning materials about Europe from my shop (with links):

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram or Twitter for updates!
And you might as well PIN this post for future reference
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FREE Zoo Animals Matching Cards

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vito is 22 months

Vito is in to matching these days! Whenever he sees an object that has a match on books, he would immediately get it and put it together.  We started matching activities earlier with our Farm Animal Activities, and since we moved to zoo animals, I also created a set of matching cards for our figures (all Schleich images).  So far we’re only using the tiger, jaguar, alligator, hippopotamus, elephant and lion figures.

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The basket is setup in our shelf, and he loves to work on it in the morning. He would help himself by setting up the rug and work on his matching activity.

zoo animal cards

If you’d like to own a copy, click on any of the images or here. Enjoy!

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!
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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". 
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Plotting the animals in the continent map.  He loves doing this!
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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".
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.  
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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 cards.africa 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.
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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.
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And he thinks it is cool to have a lip plate!
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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?
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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!
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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[aff.link] as well, free shipping!  They contain lots of beautiful African tales and stories. Mavi reads them at night before going to bed.
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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.
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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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