Category: Games/Activities

Throw and Spell

Thing 1 and I have been struggling with spelling.  I don’t spell well.  I don’t like spelling, I mean that is what spell check is for, right?  Thing 1 should take after Daddy Cameron and be a better speller than me, but it just isn’t working out that way.

So today I was inspired to change up our spelling word practice time.  Thing 1 was jumping all around the playroom/classroom.  Thus I decided to make spelling practice an active activity.

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I wrote the numbers on the whiteboard which correspond to the number of spelling words.  Then I had Thing 1 throw a ball at the whiteboard. Whatever number it hit I would call out that spelling word and he would spell it.

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At first he said he could spell the words orally, but we soon realized that wasn’t working.  I pulled out a second whiteboard and had him spell the words while I wrote the letters down.  This worked much better.

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By the end Thing 1 was spelling all of his spelling words with little hesitation and he was getting to use some of his energy at the same time.  Score!

What are some ways you practice your spelling?

“X” Marks the Spot

Over the last few weeks Thing 3 has been begging to “do school.”  He actually asks to do school, while Thing 1 and Thing 2 try everything they can to get out of doing anything school related.  I realized that I needed something more structured to do with Thing 3, for my sake and his.

I did some research.  I didn’t want anything that was too worksheet based.  I wanted something that would introduce him to the alphabet, but wasn’t the main focus.  I wanted something that would give me a good base that I could easily add to based on what type of activities appeal to Thing 3, because I just can’t seem to use a curriculum straight out of the box.  I have to adapt it for me and the boys.  I really didn’t need something that was too preschool.  Thing 3 just turned 3, he needs more hands on, but I don’t/can’t have to create it all.

I decided on God’s Little Explorers.

God’s Little Explorers has great hands ideas for hands on activities as well as easy to use worksheets.  I was easily able to add to a few more activities that interest Thing 3.  However, the best part of using this curriculum is that I have been easily able to included Thing 1 and Thing 2.  Some activities are ones which they do right along side of Thing 3, while others they are my helpers.  In the end they will all be learning and working together.

Today we started week one with a lot of fun and success.  This week’s theme is “God’s word is a treasure.”  What do you think of when you think of treasure, pirates of course.  And x marks the spot for every pirates treasure.  This is right up all three boys’ alley.

Together, we started by reviewing the scripture for the week.  Then while Thing 3 worked on some of his pirate activities, Thing 1 and Thing 2 went on a secret mission to hide 24 x’s in our backyard.

Once they were all hidden and the boys had completed a certain amount of work, we lead Thing 3 outside to begin his hunt.  He loved it.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 had fun “helping” him find all the x’s.  It was a great break for all of us to get outside and do some learning.

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Thing 3 worked on identifying the letter x.  Saying the sound for the letter x. We also worked on counting as we counted the cards.

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Overall it was a successful and fun activity for all of us.

{Tricky Two} : Week 2

Thing 3 is still going strong with his desire to do school every day with his brothers.  Here is a quick look at some of the activities he did this week.

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PomPoms in the egg carton.
We worked on color this week by Thing 3’s choice.  First, he started off matching the pom pom colors to the colors painted at the bottom of the egg carton.  Then we moved to using tongs to do the same thing.  He was in love with the tongs.  I have no idea how many times he did, and re did this activity.

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Block color stacking.
I bought these blocks a couple of years ago and they have been awesome.  I started off initially just wanting him to build towers.  However, it turned into a color learning activity.  He would stack the blocks and I would say the color of the block, which he would them immediately repeat.  That soon turned into him choosing the blocks and telling me what color they were. He also would look through the pile of blocks and make matches.  We also had a few different shapes which we would talk about.  Toward the end of our 20 minute period he was able to name the colors and the shapes that he was putting in his towers.  The best part to him was when the towers would fall over.

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Pattern Blocks.
Thing 3 picked this activity out of the busy bag bucket that I have sitting in the corner of our classroom.  I wasn’t sure he would completely grasp the concept, but we worked through it anyway.  After I did a few examples for him, he surprised me and was able to create the pictures himself.

Thing 3 had another great week.  Besides the structured activities listed above, Thing 3 also made a snow globe with his brothers at a play date, played with some homemade slime, and enjoyed some outdoor fun at the park.

Just a peak at Thing 3’s week!

{Tricky Two} : Starting School

We have entered a new season within our home school.  Before our Christmas break, Thing 3, our 2-year-old, had started to show interest in wanting to do “school,” like his brothers. Meaning that during the time period I am working with his brothers he wanted to be doing stuff too.  I knew that this day was coming, however, I was hoping that he would hold off until the beginning of our next school year (May 2013), because I feel like I am finally starting to find my groove when it comes to working with Thing 1 and Thing 2 and I wanted to concentrate on that. Oh well!

Thus during the break I spent some time thinking about how I want to proceed bringing Thing 3 into the realm of “school.”  Ultimately I decided that instead of trying to make myself crazy creating some great elaborate theme based plan, I would just use the items I had created in the past, mainly the busy bags that I had created some time ago, that have spent more time collecting dust than actually being used.

My plan is to add specific one on one time with Thing 3 into our current schooling routine.  Currently, I rotate back and forth between working with Thing 1 and Thing 2.  This has allowed me to work one on one with each boy and then they get a short break while I work with the other boy.  Now I will just be adding Thing 3 into the rotation, allowing everyone to get a little longer break and a little more time to our day.

So each week I will do my best to share the different activities that Thing 3 and I do during the week.

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Color Wheel Clothespins : He simply matched the colors on the clothespins with the colors on the color wheel.  I had tried this activity sometime at the end of last summer and he wasn’t nearly as interested or successful as he was on Wednesday.

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On Thursday we played a simple matching game that I created using foam stickers and index cards.  He simply had to match the loose foam sticker to the sticker that was stuck on the index card.  It took him no time to figure it out.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 had fun watching and cheering him on when he made a match.

Thing 3 had a great week and really, really, really enjoyed doing school with his brothers.  I hope this is a sign of great things to come next week as we start back to full school next week.

Just a little bit of School with my Tricky Two Year Old!


{Bible} The Tall Tower

We are continuing to read through The Beginner’s Bible as a family and this week’s story was The Tall Tower (Tower of Babel). I read the story to the boys and we discussed the different parts of the story.

For our activity this week, the boys and I built a tower together (well kinda, Godzilla Thing 3 wasn’t cooperating).  The first time we built the tower, we were able to talk to each other.  Eventually we were able to get a little bit of a tower built.

However, the second time around, I did not allow the boys to talk to each other.  Needless to say, they were not successful.  Both Thing 1 and Thing 2 would try to put blocks on at the same time.  Of course, Thing 1 would push Thing 2’s hand out of the way.  One time, he managed to push Thing 2’s hand into the tower.  The boys soon grew frustrated until I let them talk again. At that point they just wanted to build their own towers.  That is where these pictures are coming from, since I didn’t take any during the actual activity.

What I really enjoyed about this activity is that it was something that Thing 3 could do with and just like his brothers.

Thing 2 protecting the tower from a godzilla attack!




What have you done to teach your kids the story of the Tower of Babel?

{DIY} Books on CD

In our house we have rest time every day.  It is a time for Thing 3 to take a nap.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 can wind down from the morning events and mommy gets a little break.  There are two requirement for rest time.  Number one, is that you stay in your room.  Two, is that I can’t hear you.  Rest time has become a cherished part of the day for me and the boys.

Today, Thing 2 asked for a book on CD that we had checked out from the library probably 6 months ago. (Random, I know, but that is how Thing 2 rolls.)  Anyway, it got me to thinking that I should make the boys their own books on CD from their favorite books to listen to during rest time.  Thus we now have books on CD.

Simply using my compter and some left over CDs from college, I sat down and created a CD of each boys favorite books read to them by me.

I asked each boy to go and gather 10 to 12 of their favorite books.  It takes me on average 5 minutes to read a story, so this would give the boys about an hour worth of stories to listen to during rest time.  Then I sat down and read each story, making sure each one was a different track, so that if we ever just wanted one story we could go right to it.  Once I had all the stories read, I burned all of them onto a CD and labeled it with the track number and story.

Over the next few weeks I hope to create several more CDs for the boys.  I figure they will be great during rest time, on long car trips as well as for those times when mommy really needs to work on something else or everyone wants a different story.

Have you ever made books on CDs for you kids?  What are some other rest time ideas?

Fish in a Tank {Math}

Today’s math objective for Thing 1 was counting to 20.  We were also reviewing the letter F.  Our theme was f is for fish, so as a way to incorporate both the math objective and our theme for the day, I created the fish in a tank game. 

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  • goldfish crackers
  • jar or bowl to hold fish (we used some clear jars I had)
  • die (we used a 20 sided die in order to practice counting to 20)

Set Up:

Simply give each player some goldfish and their own fish tank.

To Play:

Each person takes a turn rolling the die.  The number that is rolled on the die is the number of goldfish that you put in your fish tank.  We went 6 rounds and then counted the total number of fish.  The one with the most fish wins.

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There were several other math objective that came out of this that I would have never thought of when I came up with the game. 

  • Every round before I would put my goldfish in my tank, we would discuss which number was greater.
  • This game also turned out to be great one to one counting practice up to 50. 
  • At the end, when we were counting up the total number of goldfish, I lined them up in groups of 10.  This allowed me to introduce the idea of grouping to count.  It also was a way to introduce the idea of skip counting.

What surprises have you had today?


Mommy Thoughts {9.26–9.30} – Success!

This was our first week with our “new” homeschool and let me say how successful it was, how much more fun we had and how much more relaxed I was.  YAY!  We I definitely needed a good week like this week.

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Our weekly bulletin board filled with a lot of this weeks work.  There is more, I just didn’t get it hung up.

Our family science study this week was based around magnets.  Thankfully the weather was cool enough that we could enjoy some fun activities outside.

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We also studied Texas and Oklahoma in our Road Trip USA  curriculum.  The boys wanted to start with Texas, since this is where we live.  The Oklahoma coloring page lead to a fun discussion about tornados with Thing 1, who is not a big fan of thunderstorms. Thus the reason, he ended up in our bad last night.

Thing 1 worked on the letters A-E, which was super easy for him.  We also did some fun math related games {Jacks with Beans and Counting Backwards.}  We also continued to work on sight words and the –at family words. 

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Thing 2’s letter of the week was L.  We have fun making lions, lemonade and Lincoln Log projects.  It was amazing to see the the light in his eyes when he actually recognized the letter L on his own. 

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Thing 3 even got to do a little painting this week.

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As for me, there were a couple of things I learned this week also. 

The first is that if I can, I should attempt some of the fun activities first.  This way I know if they work and I have some time to figure out what I need to do differently so that they work with the boys.  One time where this would have helped this week is on Tuesday when we were trying to write in “invisible ink” (aka lemonade).  We struggled to get it to work and by the time it did kind of work, Thing 2 wasn’t interested anymore.

Secondly, we are going to have to use a more traditional workbox system, where I can give Thing 1 a few things to do on his own, that relate to the days topic, while I get some one on one time with Thing 2.  Thing 1 is just so eager to learn, that he wants to start immediately, but I need to work with Thing 2 first since his is only three and his attention span shows it.  I am hoping that I can find activities that he can do with very, very little instruction that relate to the days topic to keep him busy while I work with Thing 2. 

Overall I am super excited about how our week went.  I think the major overhaul of our curriculum did the boys and I some good.  I am excited to see where next week takes us.

Mommy Cameron


Counting Backwards Activity

On Tuesday, our math objective was counting backwards.  Recently I have discovered that any activity using a dice is a success.  So I went with a simple activity to practice counting backwards.

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  • dice (we had a 6 sided, 12 sided and 20 sided die)
  • number line (we used some number tiles that I had made for the BINGO game. I had Thing 1 put them in the correct order before we started)

To Play:

Roll whichever dice you chose. Have the child find the number on the number line. Then they count down using the number line for help.

Thing 1 really got into the game.  He kept moving on to the bigger dice himself.

What games do you play using dice?

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