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Montessori-Inspired 3-part Cards for the Safari Ltd NEW YORK CITY Toob

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Originally published on March 25, 2016 and updated on February 23, 2021. You probably don't know this because I don't talk about it very much on my blog, but I'm slightly obsessed with New York City, particularly the island's history.  I spend most of my evening free time reading historical fiction on NYC.  I also enjoy Broadway musicals and am oftentimes either listening to a soundtrack or watching one while I craft.  However, I have absolutely no desire to actually visit the city.  Instead, I'll enjoy my big life in a small town, while New Yorkers can keep their small life in the big city (specific musical reference). Instead of visiting the city, I'll stick with continuing to learn about it with my kids through great products like the  Safari Ltd New York City toob  (and scroll down for more homeschool ideas).  I'm slowly working on remaking all my old matching card printables for all the Safari Ltd toobs, since my family loves them so much.  They're

Montessori-Inspired 3-part Cards for the Safari Ltd DESERT Toob Animals

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This post was originally published on June 14, 2014 and was updated on February 21, 2021. I've been slowly working to update all my old Safari Ltd toob matching card printables.  Today's feature, the  American Desert Toob  was one of the very first printables I made for this blog nearly seven years ago!  (I can't believe I've been blogging so long)  Since 2014, my family has enjoyed the little plastic creatures from Safari Ltd for homeschooling.  We base many of our lessons off of the toobs' creatures. The  American Desert Toob  features 12 pieces that are about 2 inches tall- an explorer person, a coyote, a prairie dog, a mountain lion, a big horn ram, a scorpion, a bobcat, an armadillo, a roadrunner, a horned lizard, a rattlesnake, and a saguaro cactus.  Matching cards for everything but the person are included in the printable at the bottom of this post.  But first, here are seven hands-on ways you can teach your child about the American desert biome. 1- Read So

Montessori-Inspired 3-Part Cards for the Safari Ltd SOUTH AMERICA Toob

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It's the beginning on the new year, which means Safari Ltd has released their newest toob of animals.  The toob of the year is full of South American animals!   I'm very excited about it, because I think Safari needs to put out a toob for every continent and region.  These toobs are great for putting in your Montessori-inspired continent boxes . Continent boxes are a Montessori-inspired idea, which are so helpful for homeschooling!  They are simply an organized way to store your study materials for each continent (and sometimes the oceans).  You can fill the boxes with printables, souvenirs, flags, games, objects, pictures, currency, maps, or anything else you have available.  It's ok if you don't fill all the boxes in one day- it's supposed to be a lifelong project. As I mentioned, the Safari Ltd toobs of animals and objects are great for putting in your continent boxes.  I'm currently working on redoing many of my printable matching cards for the Safari Ltd t

Fine Motor Busy Bins for Learning Geography

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In today's screen-driven age, many kids don't get enough time working on their fine motor skills.  The result is weak fingers and hands and poor handwriting.  More time strengthening their hands is a necessary part of your school day, but it doesn't have to just include play dough kneading.  Here are ways that you can improve your child's handwriting, while encouraging them to learn geography.   Set up these fine motor activities in some trays or bins, so one child can work on them, while you're working with another child.   Landform Trays with Play Dough // Pinay Homeschooler Squishing play dough is a great way to strengthen fingers and work on fine motor skills.  This activity uses colored dough to create landforms in an engaging and interesting way.  Place a few tins of play dough in a quiet bin with some printable cards, so kids can build whichever landform they want during their free time. Tracing Roads on Maps // Housing a Forest Reuse your old

Homeschooling Three Unique Kids- What's Working (2021 update)

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I was just discussing with my husband tonight how confident I have been feeling lately about our homeschool journey.  It is February 2021, so we're well into the school year, and I thought I'd share with all of my readers what is working for us.  I am schooling three "unique" kids (as they all are), who are currently 9, 8, and 7.  School has been a struggle with us so far, so my kids are roughly in 2nd grade, kindergarten, and 1st grade.  I will be referring to my my children as Dragonfly, Skimmer, and Tadpole. READING Dragonfly (9) has been a reluctant reader so far, but she has recently come back to wanting to be taught how to read.  Previously, she was wanting to slog through "real books" and learn how to read from them.  After seeing her brothers work on reading with the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Lessons" book, she has decided that she is also willing to learn some phonics and sight words in a more methodical way.  She's now blazin

Super Easy Frog Valentine's Treat Bags for Wild Kids

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My blog writing tends to either be 11 months earlier than the holiday or a few days before.  This year, I'm squeaking in some Valentine's Day printables!  When it came time to put together treats for my youngest son to give his friends, it was a tie between bugs and frogs.  Since it's super easy to buy gummy frogs from the grocery store (and we don't have any toy stores in our area), the gummy frogs won the day. These Valentine's treats are so easy that your child can do it by themselves or with minimal help.  Collect a box of "snack size" zip top bags, the printable (from below), a couple bags of gummy frogs, and a stapler.  Print the toppers, enough for all the kids you hope to gift.  There are 4 cards per page, so you can sneak in a bit of math calculating how many pages you'll need.  Cut out all the cards. On the blank side of the toppers, have your child write their name.  Fold the toppers in half and set aside.  Next, look on the package of  gu

Light the Darkness Family Advent Reading for 2020

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2020 has been dark, confusing, and at times very scary.  All year, we've been battered by the new stations, pummeled in debates, and knocked out by many losses.  In this darkest time of a difficult year, we all could use some good news.  A light in the darkness.  From out of the turmoil of the plague-infested middle ages, comes the Christmas tradition that has not lost it's power to illuminate our hearts and bring us hope.  Turn off all the lights in your home, gather your family, and light the candles. Note- Yep, I'm writing this on the night before the first Sunday in Advent.  I've been struggling to blog lately and have been putting my attention on other things.  Still, I'd like to make an attempt at writing and publishing a set of Advent readings. As I mentioned, the tradition of Advent Wreaths is very old.  The practice varies between denominations, countries, churches, and families, but the basic idea is to light candles as a way to countdown the Sundays unti
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