Showing posts with label Melissa&Doug. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Melissa&Doug. Show all posts

## Sunday, April 2, 2017

I’m often asked about the math homeschool materials we used at home (for preschoolers), so I made this list and hope it will serve as your guide in finding the right educational materials for your homeschool or classroom adventure.  I believe that we need to expose our kids to math early on by giving them the appropriate learning materials to explore and discover.  These materials will introduce your child to nine major math concepts:  numbers and quantity, shapes and patterns, picture graphs, length, time, money, fractions, mass and volume.

## Monday, February 20, 2017

Are you observing St. Patrick’s Day? We do! It’s usually one of the most colorful time in Ireland, where everyone is just so happy and festive.  Anyway, with all the green and rainbow decors around, I’m preparing Montessori working trays for Vito as we approach the celebration of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.  Mavi will be doing a lot of work for St. Patrick’s in his school so I spared him from this.  My aim here is to introduce Vito to the symbols of the celebration and he’ll be exploring these in our activities.

## Monday, February 13, 2017

Because I’m often asked of the puzzles we use at home, I’m sharing what we have here to give you an idea on what my preschooler loves.   Some of these puzzles are way too advanced for Vito, so we usually start working the puzzles together.  But as he gets used to the material, he would at times insist on working it on his own and occasionally would ask for assistance.
*We own all of the puzzles in the pictures below.

## Friday, February 19, 2016

Early this year, when everything in Amazon was on sale, I got this one of a kind Panda and the Bamboo Forest Playset from Playmobil.  I’ve been eyeing this for months since last year and I was lucky enough to chance this set on sale! Giant Pandas are one of those animals that are in the endangered list and I think somehow, by having this playset at home I can introduce this beautiful animal to the kids, talk about their characteristics and habitat.h

PS. We’ve visited a lot of zoo, but we haven’t encountered a Giant Panda.  We didn’t chance upon them in Singapore Zoo either.

## Thursday, November 26, 2015

“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.

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.

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.

WISHLIST

Magnatiles. Rave reviews everywhere but I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase these tiles or can’t even justify it   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.

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

## Saturday, September 5, 2015

Vito’s sensitive years has begun and he’s been learning a lot since I last posted his 21 months learning materials! With his current interest in letters and shapes,  Vito and I has been doing lots of play-based learning in the morning before his nap time.  Now this doesn’t take hours.  It’s a maximum of 10 minutes per learning material that he picks.

So far he can recognize the following shapes:

• triangle
• circle
• oval
• square
• star
• He can’t pronounce their names properly though (except for star and circle), but yes he can say their names in a toddlerish cute way.

So here’s a summary of what we’ve been using to name and recognize shapes.

Melissa & Dough Jumbo Shape Puzzle

This is his favourite! He works on this everyday.  Working on this board, you need to say the name of the shape of the puzzle holder, and point to its match (say also its name) and then place the puzzle in the board.

This is available from here.

Playskool Shape Sorter

This toy has been on the shelf for ages!  I first made him use square, star and circle.  Then added oval and diamond and now, he has mastered half of the shapes!

This shape form fitter is available here.

The cookie cutters were bought from the local store. I love the colors and the differential sizes!  This is similar to the cookie cutters that I have.

And this is how he forms a star and a square all at the same time!

And yes, we do get to use them as stencils too!

Miniland Shape Sorting

This is one of my favourite purchases this year.  I love that we can do lots of things with this, from color and shape sorting, lacing and counting!  This is not his favourite pick though, so we might NOT be working on this for the meantime.  This Miniland Abacus Shapes can be bought from here.

Gluing Shapes

We stopped using glue because Vito didn’t like it.  Now that he’s a lot bigger, I re-introduced it once again and he’s not afraid of it anymore!  This is just a simple activity of sticking shapes into an art paper using buds.

As you can see, I’m teaching him how to apply glue on a piece of paper

And he placed them on the paper of course, but on the wrong side and added some more glue on it!

Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks

And the newest addition is this learning material from Melissa and Doug.  This is quite popular and the boys love it! Yes, not only Vito but Mavi is using it too!  Worth-it if you have multiple kids    Vito has been practicing this fish as he can recognize the triangle and oval right away.  He know what shape it has by picking the right blocks, but he still can’t fit them properly on the picture.  We’ll be playing more of this!

You can this from here.

And that’s about it! Hope this will give you an idea of materials and activities when learning shapes with your kids!  Don’t forget to pin this for later!

## Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Welcome to another series of Letter Sound of the Week!  Today, I’m going to share our ‘star’ themed activities for learning the letter s sound. Vito really really like seeing stars around the house, and it’s the first shape that he can identify.  So while he’s at it, we jumped from letter c to learning letter s!

Letter Sound Basket. None this week. All we ever did was look at stars!

Painting the letter S.  We are exploring different mediums in painting and currently, the boys love the roller paint brushes I got for them last month.  So here is Vito painting the letter with a roller brush which he loves to use.  As we do the stroke, I would emphasize the word “up” and “down”.   I would exaggerate the hand stroke a little bit to demonstrate what does up and down means. And yes, this is also an activity for colour recognition: yellow.

Playdough & Star Cookie Cutter.  Playdough is a great activity for fine motor skills.  Vito is enjoying playdough so far.  He likes squeezing and grasping the dough already.  We used our star cookie cutter for this.

Counting & Gluing.  An activity that’s like hitting two birds with one stone.  Practise gluing and counting at the same time.  What I did here was punch the star shapes and made Vito apply glue on the paper.  Then we place the stars according to their number.  We then count the stars over and over.  These days, Vito loves to count than reciting the letters LOL. He’s like, 2, 2, ,2!

An activity that’s like hitting two birds with one stone.  Practise gluing and counting at the same time.  What I did here was punch the star shapes and made Vito apply glue on the paper.  Then we place the stars according to their number

Colour Matching.  This is a DIY.  I printed stars in coloured cardstock papers, laminate then glue them on the popsicle sticks. The bead cubes were from Melissa & Doug Lacing Beads. We matched the stars to the cube by placing them into the hole.   I showed Vito how to do it first and then he mimicked my actions.  The matching of colours is still a hit or miss, so I’m guessing he couldn’t recognize them yet.

Big and Small.  A random activity while playing the cookie cutter.  I was showed Vito the big star and small star.  He wasn't interested at all with this.

Now, for this week's feature!  Here are my favourites this week, something that we would like to try this summer!
FREE Summer Songs and Rhymes for Circle Time by Living Montessori Now
Parts of a Fruit Lesson with Printables by The Natural Homeschool
Shark Unit Study by Gypsy Road
Accordion Critters by Little Fingers Big Art

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!

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