Category Archives: Teaching the Tots

FREE LDS Tot School & Preschool Printables!

Lead Me, Guide Me Tot School

It’s my birthday! To celebrate my 08/08 birthday as well as 800 Facebook followers, I have a freebie for you all!

I’m so excited to announce a mini project I’ve been working on for a bit. I absolutely love my Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool Curriculum, but it is definitely geared towards older preschoolers. This K4 program assumes your child recognizes his or her letters and is starting to learn the sounds associated with each letter. Today I have a free download for you: LDS preschool printables for the youngest crowd!


It is designed to work with the Walk Beside Me curriculum or as a standalone activity (also: think FHE and Sacrament Meeting activities!)  If you have an older child who is ready for Walk Beside Me, start your tot on these simple hands on activities that go right along with your theme for the week! If your child is a bit older, but perhaps not ready for some of the activities in Walk Beside Me, use the Lead Me, Guide Me set to fill out your weekly curriculum. This download contains 5 activities: a Do-A-Dot page, a coloring page, a collage page, a ‘trace then write’ page, and a phonics coloring page. (Look here for an excellent example of collage pages!) There are 130 total pages in this download alone!

Click the DOWNLOAD button below to receive your free printables! This download is absolutely free! If you find it useful, please consider donating! Donating helps support this blog, supports my LDS homeschooling endeavors, and helps me justify the time and energy in creating more printables for you. Feel free to donate as much as you feel this curriculum is worth to you!

Can’t afford to donate today? Then ‘like’ Confessions of a Slacker Mom on Facebook or pin this! Don’t forget to sign up for Confessions of a Slacker Mom delivered to your inbox so you won’t miss out on future LDS printables, slacker mom goodness, and more!

Note: This download is a zipped file. You’ll need a program to unzip it, like WinZip, to open it.

 

Review: LeapFrog Touch Magic Learning Bus #LFTouchMagic #spon

leapfrog learning bus


Last week, I reviewed the totally awesome LeapFrog Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar. (Refresher: it’s awesome!) Today I’ll be reviewing the equally awesome LeapFrog Touch Magic Learning Bus from LeapFrog. The alphabet bus has the same magical touching qualities that made the Rockin’ Guitar on the cutting edge of toy technology.
Side note: would “toy tech” not be the coolest job ever?

Like its alphabet toy predecessors, this ABC toy is colorful and features all 26 letters of the alphabet. Unlike alphabet toys of the past, it has some cool characters and even piano buttons to make this toy a class all its own! There are three touch buttons along the top of the bus: Learning, Letter Exploration (games), and Music.

Learning
When you touch the Learning star, your child is invited to touch a letter. The first time you touch a letter it says, “H as in hammer,” followed by a sound effect. Touch it again and it says, “H makes the sound huh.” Then finally it reinforces when you touch a third time by saying, “H.” So many toys emphasize the name of the letter, but for toddlers to make the leap (haha, no pun intended, but it’s staying!) into reading, they need to learn the sound of the letter. I love that this serves as a gentle introduction into the sounds letters make!

Letter Exploration
This touch button is in the shape of a ball. When you touch it, the toy asks you to, “Touch a picture that makes the sound…” (then makes the appropriate sound effect, like a ringing telephone for the letter T.” When you do so correctly, it reinforces, “that’s the duck!” and plays the sound effect again. Or it may ask you to touch the letter P. These activities are a fun way to strengthen the connection between the name of the letter and the sound it makes.

Music
My personal favorite part of the toy is the Music note touch button! A friendly voices calls, “Let’s jam!” and asks you to touch a band member. As the song plays, you can add in different notes that each animal plays – the penguin will chime in with his tambourine, for instance. You can press a letter during the sound, which layers in the sounds of the letter, or create your own music on the piano keys.

This toy is a little more sedate than the Rockin’ Guitar was for my children, which doesn’t bother me. It is such a cute introduction to letters for my two year old, Abigail, that I think we’ll be using this throughout the year! It’s a great starting place for a child who is just starting to learn their letters.

Speaking of the Rockin’ Guitar, the video contest is still going strong! Vote daily for a chance to win a $100 prize pack each week from LeapFrog. Enter your own video to win $500 cash!

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and was given free product by LeapFrog.  The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Links: www.leapfrog.com; www.clevergirlscollective.com

Teaching the Tots; Vol. 1

Teaching the Tots Vol. 1
In case you missed it, here’s my guest post feature at My Everything Else. Be sure to check out Nicole’s blog. She has everything from mom tips to (dare I say it??) a little bit of slackerness. She is also a regular columnist for KSL and others on motherhood.

First of all, I just want to say I’m so excited to be guest blogging here at My Everything Else! I have actually been excited about this opportunity for awhile, and yet, life just kept getting in the way. My kids want dinner (seriously! every night!), they want clean clothes (every once in awhile!) and they want to be held (every moment of the day!). So while my intents have been pure-hearted, my procrastination has been um…
…typical.

I’m Sarah, from Confessions of a Slacker Mom. I blog about food allergies, LDS Preschool curriculum, Family Home Evening, parenting with ADHD, and all the things I didn’t do this week. Like for instance, laundry.  I’m a Mormon with stepkids (shocker!), and two extremely little busy girls. I am attempting to homeschool my preschooler but let’s take that one day at a time, shall we?

As you can tell, I’ve got my hands pretty full on any given day. With blogging and thinking of creative reasons I shouldn’t clean my house today, homeschooling my preschooler is something that just *barely* gets squeezed in. Lately, my nearly-two year old is screwing up her nap schedule so that if I do school that day, it’s going to have to include her, too.

Blergh.
Entertaining a toddler in a non-destructive fashion?
Not exactly the easiest thing in the world.

While I was supposed to be writing a fabulous guest post on food allergies (uh, maybe next time, Nicole!), I was perusing Pinterest for ways to keep my little tot happy, preferably for three whole minutes at a time. Let’s ditch the food allergy post and talk about tot school, shall we?

Tot school, as the blog world has coined it (and maybe the real world too, I’m not sure?) is a way to keep your toddlers quiet introduce your toddlers to education in a hands-on way. Since I’m looking for a way to distract my toddler, simple is what I’m looking for here.

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My favorite way to accomplish this is called tot trays. It’s a loosely Montessori based concept where you place activities on a tray that are simple and mostly self-directed. These tot trays can range in activity from letter recognition to small motor skills. If you want tot tray ideas, the first place you need to stop is 1+1+1=1. This blog has plenty of ideas to get you started, including planning forms, storage ideas, and more.

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At Playing House, I found a cute twist on the tot tray ideas – busy boxes! She made several boxes that are filled with tons of toddler attractions: Mr. Potato Head, board books, stickers, balls, puzzles, flash cards, and tons more. She says she can get 30 minutes of entertainment out of a box. I love the idea of rotating the boxes out each week; I’m also thinking of putting them up each day after her attention span wears out the first time (15-30 minutes later). This way, they are still exciting on days 4 and 5!

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My toddler is way into high fives, so this idea I found from Toddler Toddler is perfect. Put the felt handprints around the room and tell your toddler to give the “blue hand” a high-five! {We’d need a set for fist bumps or a “pound” too!}

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Sensory tubs! Sensory tubs are full of things for your child to run their fingers through and discover new items through touch. Counting Coconuts is a great resource for sensory tubs; I love this candy themed tub! I also love sensory tubs to go along with holidays and seasons. What a great way to explore the world around them!

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At My Delicious Ambiguity, you can find tons of “busy bag” ideas–simple toddler activities that can be tossed in a bag for on the road fun, as well as home-learning. Money Saving Mom is another blog with fabulous busy bags. Get a group of ladies together and swap bags: each mom makes 10-20 bags (duplicate bags for each mom in the swap), then you trade them around. And poof, you have lots of busy bags with minimal effort.

A few other ideas sure to keep the kiddo quiet:

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 If you need any more ideas, you are probably an over achiever, or looking for the “make toddler activities with no money, no time, and no effort at all” link. I will save you the time and tell you those don’t exist. I know, because I looked myself! :) Toddler activities certainly can and should be at least cheap (often from items you already have), or little effort (another around of 52 card pick up?), or no time (Etsy, anyone?).

Thanks for reading! I’d love to see you by Confessions of a Slacker Mom sometime. This week there’s a giveaway that’s practically guaranteed to make your life easier, so come check it out!

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