Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Our Homeschool Day: Preschool Journal

Click to find loads of great ideas for your preschoolers journal. Full of great pictures for simple and fun activities to help kiddos learn their ABCs and 123s. The possibilities are endless!
Squeaks journal has been one of the most consistent and long-running activities we have done since we started playing school.

We started a preschool journal about a year ago now and it has remained a favorite. If you're unfamiliar with the concept (because no, preschoolers don't journal there daily activities or record their thoughts and dreams diary-style) a preschool journal is pretty much just a handmade workbook. I'll draw out two pages at a time (sometimes just making them up on the spot) and Squeaks gets a quick and easy lesson that pertains to that weeks topic/letter/shape etc. She loves how official and important her notebook feels. Plus, after she finishes each page we put a "Good Work" sticker in the corner. It's a nice little confidence boost.

Most of the time I try and do one page of letter practice and one page of number practice. I mix in shapes and colors here and there. Some pages I try to incorporate a theme we're doing that week or a holiday coming up. For example, for Thanksgiving we made a turkey with different shapes, practiced gluing them in place, then counted the shapes. With activities like this the possibilities are nearly endless. If you can do it on a sheet of paper then you can do it in a preschool journal. Just use your imagination and have fun with it! It is so much fun to go back to the beginning of her journal and compare pages. She's made so much progress! Nice little confidence boost for teacher mama too. ;)

With this kind of thing, pictures are the main show. Hope this inspires you and your kiddos!
Click to find loads of great ideas for your preschoolers journal. Full of great pictures for simple and fun activities to help kiddos learn their ABCs and 123s. The possibilities are endless!


I think it's important to write out the questions and instructions. In my mind this is a basic life skill to be able to read and follow written instructions. Squeaks has always had a love of stickers, so if there's an activity where she has to trace the outline of a shape or letter with stickers, or use stickers to count out a number, she's all for it.
Click to find loads of great ideas for your preschoolers journal. Full of great pictures for simple and fun activities to help kiddos learn their ABCs and 123s. The possibilities are endless!
Every so often, after we've done a few letter pages, I'll do a review. Just write all the recent letters in highlighter and she traces over them. Activities where she has to cut and glue are favorites as well. For this fall tree I cut out the tree and then gave her fall-colored paper strips to cut into "leaves" to glue on. The hand print was part of an About Me themed week. We traced her hand, used an ink pad to add fingerprints (talked about how everyone has different fingerprints), then counted fingers. See?! Keepin' it simple. A lot of the time these themed pages lead to conversations about other things too. How trees grow. Why they loose leaves in the Fall. Why her hand is smaller than mine. Life is education! Like I said. You're only limit with these journals is your imagination. 

So what do you think?! Is a preschool journal something you'd like to try with your kiddos? What kind of pages would you add?
Click to find loads of great ideas for your preschoolers journal. Full of great pictures for simple and fun activities to help kiddos learn their ABCs and 123s. The possibilities are endless!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Our Homeschool Day: Busy Binders

Preschool busy binders, tot school, printables, organized
Time for the next installment of "Our Homeschool Day"! Are you excited?! I know I am. I really enjoyed sharing our morning calendar board with you. Next up, busy binders.

Our busy binders have been an ever evolving part of our learning world. It started off as only one binder with a handful of fun Pinterest finds. It was the busy binders that inspired me to start making our own activities. I caught busy binder fever if you will. *giggle snort* Judge my nerdiness if you like but these busy binders are a favorite of Squeaks. On days when we're not really scheduled to "play school" or I don't have enough pre-planned activities for my hungry learners, busy binders save the day. Now our one little binder has grown into two; one for ABC's and color activities, and another for numbers and shapes activities. They're both awesome and still full of mostly Pinterest finds but I'm slowly adding my own designs as well. I'm excited to share links to all the fun!

The binders themselves are 2 inches but probably should be 3 inch binders to accommodate the ever growing number of activities in each one. I picked up both of them at Target along with a few of the zippered storage pockets inside. I have since found these pockets on Amazon and I much prefer them because of their accordion sides. They stick out of the binder a little more but they hold a lot more too. 

Lets start with the "ABC's and Colors" binder:
Preschool busy binders, tot school, printables, organized
1. Tucked into the front inside cover pocket are these cool tangram alphabet printables. I downloaded the whole alphabet but only printed out and laminated the letters for Squeaks' first name. In the zipper pocket up front are multi color pompoms and kids jumbo tweezers (both purchased at the dollar store). We use these for counting, sorting colors, and fine motor skills. 
2. This is one super awesome color matching wheel. Just add clothes pins.
3. Pocket three is completely custom by yours truly. These are a variety of first name activities for Squeaks. No printables for this one but here's my inspiration of the ones I made.
4. Another custom pocket. Alphabet fishing! I cut out multicolored fish on my Cricut and wrote a letter on each one. Then I attached a metal paperclip to each fish. A small piece of dowel rod, string and a magnet make a fishing pole to pick up the fish. Cute, no?!
5. Gotta love Target dollar spot during back to school season. Picked up these fun alphabet puzzles and punched holes directly in the packaging so I could store them in the binder.
6. Lastly, in the back cover pocket are the alphabet tracing and beginning sounds pages from this post. Just pop them in a clear dry-erase pocket and learn on.




Now for the "Numbers and Shapes" binder:
Preschool busy binders, tot school, printables, organized
1. The inside cover pocket holds some space theme play dough mats. I made these ones just for us but here is my inspiration. A few weeks ago Squeaks asked to learn about astronauts so I mixed these into the lesson. Each mat has a number on it and you have to count out and make the correct number of stars with play dough. Cute! Also in the pocket is our Roll It, Write It, Count It game. We have little dice for Squeaks to roll out a number, the page is laminated so we can practice writing the number out, and then in the last section we count it out using color chips or some super cute mini-erasers from Target dollar spot. A mini clear zipper pouch from Target holds our mini-erasers and counting chips.
2. I love these oversized number flash cards. We use them as play dough mats, either counting out play dough balls for each card or "tracing" each number in play dough. I could not for the life of me find the exact site I printed these from, but type "play dough number mat" into Pinterest and you're options are nearly endless. This pocket also holds our stack of lego sequence cards and our dice for the Roll It game.
3. Next up, snap cubes! I love these things! I have oversized cards to show how to make numbers 1-10 with cubes and some more sequence cards. These snap cubes are also great for keeping Little Dude busy during big sisters lessons.
4. This Bugs In A Jar game is one of Squeaks favorites and it's such a simple idea. We use the same dice from pocket #2 to roll and count out the number of bugs for the jar. That's it! Doesn't get any easier. I'm sure you could come up with variations on this but we like to keep it simple.
5. This pocket holds my number matching wheel. Squeaks was having trouble matching the written numbers with the counted number. This wheel has helped tons. I will be making another one with numbers 11-20 soon.
6. My shape matching game is one of the first activities I ever made. Each shape is matched to the laminated sheet underneath using velcro dots. It remains a favorite because toddlers and velcro...it's like cat-nip.
7. Lastly some fun numbers and shapes puzzles, and clip cards from the cornucopia that is the Target dollar spot. Again, I just punched holes directly into the packaging to store them in the binder.

Yikes that's a lot of links! We really do love these busy binders though and hope you do too. If you'd like to start your own, I offer a numbers and shapes starter bundle complete with binder cover on my Etsy shop.

So what kind of activities would you add to your busy binders?
Preschool busy binders, tot school, printables, organized

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

FREE Alphabet Bundle

free printable five page alphabet tracing beginning sounds worksheets
 I love making new homeschool activities! I've got a free one for you and all you have to do is enter your email in the ol' subscribe box there on the right side of the screen. Not only will you get the five page alphabet bundle but you'll receive updates on new blog posts. Now who wouldn't want that!?

Now lets take a look at these super cute printables. The alphabet bundle includes a two page beginning sounds activity and three pages of alphabet tracing (uppercase, lowercase, and a combination of the two). Since these are sent directly to your email (be sure to check your spam folder and add Arrows & Applesauce to your contact list) you can print as many as you'd like. Or, if you're into saving a few trees, use these super cool clear pockets and a dry erase marker to help them last longer.

Squeaks is just starting to make the connection between letters and the sounds they make. I think these are going to be a hit with her. She's catching on so quick. I see lots of fun alphabet activities in our future. Yay!
free printable five page alphabet tracing beginning sounds worksheets

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