Tag Archive Teaching Creatively Blog Hop

ByAngie

Helping Little Ones Learn Creatively With Toys, Games, & Puzzles

Today’s post is part of day 3 of the 5 Days of Teaching Creatively Blog Hop hosted by The Schoolhouse Review Crew. Be sure to check out the other posts by 80+ bloggers who are also sharing ideas on teaching creatively! You can find posts from day 1 (Delight Directed Teaching) and day 2 (Schooling In The Kitchen.) here.

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Whether or not you homeschool, if you have kids, you have toys. If you have toys, your kids are learning through play in one sense or another. By encouraging a child’s imagination through pretend play, toys, games, and puzzles you are creatively teaching them concepts from all over the learning spectrum.

Many of these items can be used to teach a specific lesson, or along side a curriculum, as a supplement. My 3 homeschooled children are all still really young, so there is rarely a day that we do not include a toy, game, or puzzle. Here are some items we use and ways that we implement these items in our lessons.

Can you say "Angie needs a new camera?" Sorry for all the blurry photos. :(

Can you say “Angie needs a new camera?” Sorry for all the blurry photos. 🙁

Play-doh: Oh, the joy of Play-Doh, homemade dough, and clay. The list of ways to use it goes on and on. For Science we  use it to mold an animal, tree, or parts of anatomy. For reading and learning the alphabet we roll the dough into letters to help the child learn how to form the letter. Most recently, we used it for math to make “donuts” to learn that 12 makes a dozen. Sure, it’s potentially messy and you have to be sure it doesn’t get in the carpet. I can’t recommend it enough though.

Hot Wheels, Trains, Action Figures, etc: It used to be a battle for me to be able to sit down with my children and not have them beg to have a favorite toy by their side. I finally gave in and made a rule that as long as it is not distracting them, they can have it by them. Not playing with it mind you, but next to them. There are times, however, that this comes in handy. Sometimes I need one of the kids to show me that they know a certain color. I will lay out some of these favorite items and have them tell me what color each one is, or ask them to find an item of a certain color. We also use these as counters for math. Tommy is definitely more interested in counting something if it is of interest to him. Also, like play-doh, toys like Hot Wheels and trains can be lined up to form shapes and letters.

Here is where I inform you that in our home, it's Johnny Ben's world. We all just live in it. And that's okay... Except that in Johnny Ben's world, pants are optional. We are working on that...

Here is where I inform you that in our home, it’s Johnny Ben’s world. We all just live in it. And that’s okay… Except that in Johnny Ben’s world, pants are optional. We are working on that…

Legos & Every Other Kind Of Building Block (There are just way too many different variations to list them all. 😉 ): Once again we have the counters, colors, etc. But the possibilities here are endless. Lego has even launched a whole new company based on Lego Education. K’nex has products for education also. Even a DNA replica set! We’ve used many different types of blocks to explain birds, plants, geography, and more. With our youngest son, Johnny Ben, who is autistic, we have used many textile blocks and gears to help him with sensory exploration. Just watch out and make sure you don’t step on any of these items in the middle of the night. OUCH!

Little People: Who doesn’t love Little People? We’ve used Noah’s Ark to teach the story of Noah. The Farm set to teach about Farm animals. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, ha ha. There are so many sets to use for various teaching supplements. Sometimes we don’t even use them as intended. I’ll have Tommy line up some of the animals or people and tell me the difference in each one, or point to different body parts such as the knees or ear. Oh, did I mention we love Little People?

Puzzles: There are so many themed puzzles out there. But one fun option is to make your own if you have the resources. This can be done with a printer and craft foam. Sometimes I’ll print out a picture of something we are learning, glue it to a sheet of foam, and cut it out for the kids to put back together. My children have grasped so many concepts with this hands-on method. Now, if your husband is like mine and wants to permanently live in his woodshop, then you can have him make you some puzzles… But really, if you just walk down the Dollar Spot at Target or the toy & learning aisle at the dollar store, then you’ll likely find plenty of options for what you are teaching for a lower price.

Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a vintage Hot Wheel City!

Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a vintage Hot Wheel City!

Games: We often play games like Sequence, Connect 4, Monopoly Jr., Hi-Ho Cherry Oh!, Scrambled States of America, Richard Scary’s Busy Town, Uno, Bible card games, and many others instead of doing an actual lesson. When we do this, I point out many different educational aspects that are happening as we play. During play and after we discuss what we learned. Being a game loving family (Minus my husband. We’ve given up on having him play with us…) so we all love learning this way.

Basically, the point I’m trying to get across is that if your child has a toy, it can be a resource for learning. To be honest, I believe that young children SHOULD involve play with everything. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be a time to sit down for direct teaching, but there is no reason it can’t be fun. I do believe that there should be a lot of constructive play in addition to free play. Sparking a child’s imagination makes them curious, and when they are curious, they want to learn.

What are some ways that you use toys, games, and puzzles to help your children learn?

 

 

Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win many fabulous prizes in this homeschool giveaway! 3 winners will be selected and the prizes all together value about $1,000. Don’t miss out!

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ByAngie

Teaching Creatively Giveaway! $1,000 In Homeschool Prizes, 3 Winners, 1 Blog Hop!

If you were paying attention to the posts on our Facebook page this week, then you already know that I posted a little teaser about the Teaching Creatively Blog Hop that will be taking place this upcoming week on many of the blogs  that belong to members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, including Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven. Topics covered will be Delight-Directed Teaching, Schooling in the Kitchen, Toys, Games, & Puzzles, Homeschooling in a Crisis, and Hands-On Projects. Whether you’re new to homeschooling, thinking about it, or have done it for some time I highly recommend reading around on “the hop” as there will be so many amazing tips and ideas shared!
Was putting this fantastic Blog Hop all together to help bring you more information enough? Not for the awesome ladies, Marcy and Sam, who orchestrated this event. They wanted to make sure at least 3 people would be blessed above and beyond. Thanks to their hard work, there is a giveaway that I am so excited to share with you. These are NOT just your average prizes, and whoever wins them is going to have their socks blessed right off!
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I’m joining in with Marcy @Ben and Me and Sam @Sam’s Noggin to bring you this awesome giveaway during the 5 Days of Teaching Creatively Blog Hop, hosted by the Schoolhouse Review Crew! The Blog Hop won’t begin until Monday, but we are starting the fun early by giving you the opportunity to win incredible bundles of books and homeschool resources!

There will be a total of 3 winners chosen — one GRAND prize, a 1st RUNNER-UP and a 2nd RUNNER-UP! The contest will begin at 12am on March 9 and end at 12am on March 17. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter, but read the contest rules, found at the bottom of the widget, first.

 

The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive ALL of the following — a $525 value!

Geography Matters — Profiles from History Package ($50 value) Looking for a way to help your students connect with history? The Profiles from Historyseries is dedicated to telling the stories of people, whose lives are worth remembering. Whether they made a discovery, led heroically in a war, created a masterpiece through music, or art, used a pen to change the world, or impacted humanity with their bravery—they made a difference. We can learn so much by looking at those who came before us. Be ready to change your mind about history, with Profiles from History, Volumes 1, 2, and 3.

 

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine — 1-year membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, a new Print Issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, and a Homeschooling with Heart Tote Bag ($90 value)

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is an online classroom and has more than 2 dozen expert teachers who cover 25 different subjects presented via teaching videos, ongoing lesson plans, worksheets, lapbooks & unit studies, writing prompts and other assignments to choose from, students can additionally interact personally with the teachers by asking them questions and gaining feedback.

 

Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett — Passport Geography set, consisting of the Combos (K – 12) for United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany ($50 value)

Taking an in-depth look at world geography with the new Passport Geography™(PPG) series by Amanda Bennett. These one-week studies use a cross-curricular approach (covering geography, history, science, etc.) to take students on virtual journeys around the globe. Each study is interactive, including daily lessons for both elementary grades and Jr/Sr High grades, with no prep required.

 

early spring bundle (2)Shining Dawn Books — Early Spring Bundle ($21 value)

Early spring is known for its wonderfully rainy weather, leading to lots of beautiful fungi. It’s also the season when animals busily go about their regular activities after the relative quietness of winter. This bundle will help you to explore each of these exciting aspects of the spring season in-depth.

 

2ndGradeOnline (2)A+ Tutorsoft — 1-yr subscription to the online A+ TutorSoft math program — winner’s choice from grade levels 1st-4th ($150 value)

A+ TutorSoft, Inc. provides Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH Full Curriculum products to help students improve their grades at all levels. Our Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH helps homeschooling families as well as public and private school teachers and students. A+ TutorSoft offers everyone a FREE 30 day trial on all products. Visit the top right corner of our website: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/. And through 3/31/13 they are offering 50% off all products with code spoffer50!

 

HolidayJanFeb2_Page_01 (2)Five in a Row — Complete Digital Holiday book ($34 value)

A complement to any lifestyle of learning, this book is different from the Five in a Row manuals. It doesn’t give a specific book to study for each holiday, rather it is a treasury of traditions, memories and ideas for making your own! Each unit also includes calendar pages, blank pages for recording your own memories, and combinations of traditions and recipes, book and movie suggestions, quotes, decorating ideas, and more!

 

Wonders-of-OldKnowledge Quest — Wonders of Old Timeline Book ($25 value)

Wonders of Old is divided into four historical time periods: ancient, medieval, new world and modern. Significant dates are listed at the conclusion of each section as a helpful reference. This hardcover book measures 9×12 and is printed on extra thick 70# paper for durability.

 

1 Year (2)In the Hands of a Child — 1-Year Super Membership ($75 value)

Super Memberships Save You Time and Money! Each month Super Members receive two free downloadable Lapbooks. These Lapbooks are always brand new and have not been released for sale to the general public. Super Members also receive:

  • 15% discount off all purchases of existing eBook Lapbooks.
  • A free Birthday
  • Lapbook10.00 off the price of any custom ordered unit

 

sscp3dcovertrans-150x198Southern Hodgepodge — A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook ($20 value)

Looking for an easy way to add art to your days? With A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook – just add chalk pastels and paper! Short lessons for a whole year, 100 pages of tutorials, art for all ages.

 

 

glacierbaycoverTricia Goyer — Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska ($13 value)

Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams—a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But When singer Ginny Marshall travels to the isolated town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, she is charmed by the town’s colorful characters and stunning scenery. She discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between an early missionary to Alaska Territory and his accidental mail-order bride. Written by homeschool moms, Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss.

 

NR cover (2)LB cover (2)Frontier 2000 — No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned Me a Master’s Degree by Age Sixteen by Alexandra Swann and Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years As a Homeschooling Mother by Joyce Swann ($20 value)

No Regrets: The engaging story of Swann’s experiences growing up as a Southern Baptist homeschooled child from New Mexico earning her education at a highly accelerated pace. At the age of fifteen she became the youngest student ever to graduate from Brigham Young University in its 111 year history.

Looking Backward: From 1975-2000, Joyce Swann homeschooled each of her ten children from the first grade through master’s degrees by the age of sixteen. In this book, she discusses the methods she used to teach as well as the obstacles that threatened her success.

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The 1st RUNNER UP will receive ALL of the following — a $225 value!

 

geomatters3Geography Matters — Cultural Geography Package ($50 value) Have you ever thought that geography was a boring subject? Then you’ve never used these books! Eat Your Way Through the U.S.A. and Eat Your Way Around the World are a taste buds-on approach to geography. Each state or country has its unique geographical features and agricultural products. These influence both the ingredients that go into a recipe and the way food is prepared. Why stop with only your taste-buds? Let’s involve all the senses by adding Geography Through Art! This hand-son approach will supplement any study of geography, history, or social studies. Geography Through Art is sure to make a lasting addition to your home or school library. You’ll find yourself reaching for this indispensable guide again and again to delight and engage students in learning about geography through the culture and art of peoples around the world.

 

DiscoverTheSensesCoverSMUnit Studies by Amanda Bennett — Discover the Senses Download N Go ($9 value) In this study, your child will investigate a new sense each day, learning what it is and how it works, as well as what it does for him. He will learn what impacts that particular sense. And he will meet some of history’s heroes, such as Louis Braille, who helped along the way. Each day, your student will explore and investigate, creating and adding more learning components to his Discover the Senses lapbook—building a wonderful reminder of all that he is learning to be enjoyed for years to come.

 

rain cover (2)Shining Dawn Books — Remarkable Rain ($9 value)

Quiet and peaceful, or wild and raging – rain comes in many forms. This NaturExplorers unit sets out to examine rain in all its beauty, observe its effects and make you look forward to the next rainy day!

 

 

2ndGradeOnline (2)A+ Tutorsoft — 3-month subscription to the online A+ TutorSoft math program — winner’s choice from grade levels 1st-4th ($50 value)

A+ TutorSoft, Inc. provides Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH Full Curriculum products to help students improve their grades at all levels. Our Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH helps homeschooling families as well as public and private school teachers and students. A+ TutorSoft offers everyone a FREE 30 day trial on all products. Visit the top right corner of our website: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/. And through 3/31/13 they are offering 50% off all products with code spoffer50!

 

stevejane (2)Five in a Row — Set of Five Audio Files from Steve Lambert ($20 value)

We all need some inspiration from time to time! Steve and Jane Lambert have been encouraging homeschoolers on their journey since 1994. These Five in a Row audio files have been recorded at major state homeschooling conventions around the United States and Canada and have been chosen because we believe you’ll enjoy it for its wisdom, humor and encouragement shared by Steve. Including: Where do I Begin?, I Can’t Teach All the Grades at Once, Making Your Children into World Changers, On Becoming Great Teachers, and High School and Beyond.

 

6  month (2)In the Hands of a Child — 6-Month Super Membership ($55 value)

Super Memberships Save You Time and Money! Each month Super Members receive two free downloadable Lapbooks. These Lapbooks are always brand new and have not been released for sale to the general public. Super Members also receive:

  • 15% discount off all purchases of existing eBook Lapbooks.
  • A free Birthday
  • Lapbook10.00 off the price of any custom ordered unit

 

 

sscp3dcovertrans-150x198Southern Hodgepodge — A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook ($20 value)

Looking for an easy way to add art to your days? With A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook – just add chalk pastels and paper! Short lessons for a whole year, 100 pages of tutorials, art for all ages.

 

 

glacierbaycoverTricia Goyer — Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska ($13 value)

Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams—a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But When singer Ginny Marshall travels to the isolated town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, she is charmed by the town’s colorful characters and stunning scenery. She discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between an early missionary to Alaska Territory and his accidental mail-order bride. Written by homeschool moms, Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss.

 

____________________________________________

The 2nd RUNNER UP will receive ALL of the following — a $190 value!

 

531464_498302993565241_1500803167_nGeography Matters — Adventures of Munford Package ($35 value) Although he’s just two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, Munford is all adventure. He can be rain, snow, sleet, or steam. He has traveled the world in search of excitement. Throughout history, he has been present at some of the most important and world-changing events. Fun and educational, Munford will inspire your children to learn more about many of history’s greatest moments. These readers make a great addition to your learning experience in areas such as history, geography, and science. This book series is written on an elementary reading level, but provides plenty of read-aloud entertainment for the entire family!

 

DiscoverTheSensesCoverSMUnit Studies by Amanda Bennett — Discover the Senses Download N Go ($9 value)In this study, your child will investigate a new sense each day, learning what it is and how it works, as well as what it does for him. He will learn what impacts that particular sense. And he will meet some of history’s heroes, such as Louis Braille, who helped along the way. Each day, your student will explore and investigate, creating and adding more learning components to his Discover the Senses lapbook—building a wonderful reminder of all that he is learning to be enjoyed for years to come.

 

rain cover (2)Shining Dawn Books — Remarkable Rain ($9 value) Quiet and peaceful, or wild and raging – rain comes in many forms. This NaturExplorers unit sets out to examine rain in all its beauty, observe its effects and make you look forward to the next rainy day!

 

 

 

2ndGradeOnline (2)A+ Tutorsoft — 3-month subscription to the online A+ TutorSoft math program — winner’s choice from grade levels 1st-4th ($50 value)

A+ TutorSoft, Inc. provides Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH Full Curriculum products to help students improve their grades at all levels. Our Multi-Sensory Interactive MATH helps homeschooling families as well as public and private school teachers and students. A+ TutorSoft offers everyone a FREE 30 day trial on all products. Visit the top right corner of our website: http://www.aplustutorsoft.com/. And through 3/31/13 they are offering 50% off all products with code spoffer50!

 

vol4 (2)Five in a Row — Volume 4 Digital Unit of Winner’s Choice ($9 value)

Five in a Row was created by Jane Claire Lambert, a successful homeschool teacher with more than 17 years of experience. To use Five in a Row, just pick one of the 70 books used in Five in a Row, locate the corresponding lesson plan in your teacher’s guide, read the story aloud each day during the week and use Jane’s suggestions and lesson plans to lead your children on a wonderful learning adventure. It’s that simple! Each unit covers Social Studies, Geography, Language Arts, Applied Math, Science and Art in a way that causes children to fall in love with learning.

 

2 month (2)In the Hands of a Child — 2-Month Super Membership ($45 value)

Super Memberships Save You Time and Money! Each month Super Members receive two free downloadable Lapbooks. These Lapbooks are always brand new and have not been released for sale to the general public. Super Members also receive:

  • 15% discount off all purchases of existing eBook Lapbooks.
  • A free Birthday
  • Lapbook10.00 off the price of any custom ordered unit

 

sscp3dcovertrans-150x198Southern Hodgepodge — A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook ($20 value)

Looking for an easy way to add art to your days? With A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels ebook – just add chalk pastels and paper! Short lessons for a whole year, 100 pages of tutorials, art for all ages.

 

 

glacierbaycoverTricia Goyer — Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska ($13 value)

Singer Ginny Marshall is one signature away from the recording contract of her dreams—a deal that would guarantee success for the former foster child, who still struggles to bury the memories of her painful childhood. But When singer Ginny Marshall travels to the isolated town of Glacier Bay, Alaska, she is charmed by the town’s colorful characters and stunning scenery. She discovers a box of old letters and is swept up in the love story between an early missionary to Alaska Territory and his accidental mail-order bride. Written by homeschool moms, Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss.

 

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