Printables

{Free Printable}- Preschool Measurement Clip Cards

Free Measurement Clip Cards- The Boundless Homeschool

Measurement Clip Cards Pre-K

More Printables!

Yes, I really do enjoy making these!  There are two more preschool aged printables coming, and a pre-k/kinder aged printable on it’s way.  I love creating these for my boys, and it makes my heart so happy to see others using them, too!

Free Measurement Clip Cards

I wanted to make some more clip cards for Wesley. He’s starting to become interested in math (he tries to join in while Tanner works on his Math-U-See curriculum), so I created these measurement cards.  He looks at the image, and measures how long it is by counting the blocks.

Measurement Clip Card

If you’ve read my Tot-School post, you know I like having trays and bins set up so the activities are easily accessible.  The clip cards are small, and Wes will play with them often throughout the day, if I make them available to him.  He was a bit tired of using the actual clothespins the past couple of days, so we decided to make little balls of playdoh to squish onto the correct answer.  Even though this was much too easy for Tanner, he wanted to join in as well.

Measurement Card activity

Click below for the free download.  And stay tuned, there will be more preschool math cards coming soon.

Measurement Clip Cards (Preschool)

 

Homeschool Basics

Tot School- What we did in our home

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” -George Dorsey

When I wrote my ‘Why We Homeschool‘ post I explained how Tot School is really how I fell in love with the idea of homeschooling.  I loved being able to watch my children learn.  And I truly loved the fact that it was all play based.  It is so important for children to play.  There is absolutely no need for anything structured so early. I still have a mostly play based homeschool and my 5 year old is doing kinder/1st grade work.  Just because it’s “play” doesn’t mean it’s not learning.  In this post, I will show you a lot of examples of activities we did when my boys were doing Tot School. (Disclaimer, the picture quality will not be that great.  Most of these pictures were taken on a phone several years ago. Also, there are quite a few ideas with pictures in my Homeschooling with Toddlers post)

Tot School Trays

So, make it fun!

Make it colorful, make it noisy, make it messy! The one thing both of my boys loved the most, and still do, is sensory activities.

The very first sensory boxes I made for both boys were color based.  Each week we would spend learning one color.  You don’t have to have anything special.  With Tanner, I literally walked around the house and gathered little things that matched the color we were learning.  Toy cars, pipe cleaners, small stuffed animals, blocks, flash cards with colorful pictures, etc.  The fun came as the kids dumped everything out.  I also love using sensory bins with a”base”, such as: dry beans, large buttons, string, dry oatmeal, dried and colored rice and pasta. I then throw little manipulative toys, cards, etc into the base.  It can be a natural/nature learning experience as well, using sand, rocks, dirt, snow, and water/ice.

Tot School Sensory Bins Color sensory bin collage

I created a lot of different activities for the boys to do as well.  A favorite was popsicle stick shoebox puzzles.  I made one with colors, and one with shapes.  I also made a few puzzles that had velcro and magnetic backs.  It helped little fingers assemble the puzzle easier.  There is no need to spend a lot of money on this either.  You can even print out a coloring page twice.  Color and cut out the pieces of one, and let the child place the colored pieces on top of the black and white picture (like in the garden/flower image below).

Tot School Color Trays Tot School Shoe Box Puzzles

Tot School Activities

In the above picture you can see the oil drip pan we purchased for under $15.  We used that as a magnet board.  I hot glued magnets to colored pompoms, and sewed magnets into little felt shapes.  I always incorporated the colors and shapes each week.

Some other manipulative toys I created were really easy and made from trash.  An empty, clean parmesan cheese container is perfect for fine motor.  We used large popsicle sticks for the large opening, and coffee stir sticks for the small openings.  I also used a cleaned icing tub and a baby puff container.  I cut a small hole in the lid for fine motor control. The boys pushed pompoms into the containers through the hole.  Another idea, flip a colander over and have your toddler try to stick pipe cleaners into the holes.  It’s hard work for a 1-year old.

Tot School Fine Motor

Felt is a fun item to use in tot school, as well.  You can create your own felt board and felt pieces.  Some people use pieces to tell stories.  I used felt to learn shapes.  You can create a body outline and cut out pants and shirts out of different colored felt and allow your child to match the clothing on the felt child to the clothes he or she is wearing.

Tot School Felt Shapes

Some tips:

Don’t make tot school (or even preschool) structured.  It will only cause issues in the future for both you and your child.

Some topic ideas: colors, shapes, numbers, and holidays

Keep it simple.  Don’t force too much in one day.  Sometimes our learning was 10-15 minutes, and that is ok! Don’t get frustrated, their attention spans are so short.

Make the activities easily accessible.  Put the activities on trays, or in bins, on a low shelf or table top.  You may find your child playing with them many times throughout the day.

And once again, because I can’t stress this enough, make it fun! Play, play, play!

Tot School Shoe Box Puzzle

 

 

Printables

{Free Printable} Animal Counting Clip Cards

Free Printable- Animal Counting Clip Cards

I have always loved using clip cards in our homeschool preschool.  It is a great way to implement a little fine motor practice into an activity.  And these animals!  They’re so cute!

Free Animal Counting Clip Cards

Don’t worry if you don’t have any/enough clothespins.  You can always use little balls of playdoh to push onto the correct answer, or use a manipulative to cover up the number.  Or, just let your child use their finger to point.

Animal Counting Clip Cards

I’ve created two sets of the animal counting clip cards.  One is in color, and one is black and white, to help save on printer ink.  I hope your children loves these as much as mine do!

Happy preschooler

Animal Counting Clip Cards (Color)

Animal Counting Clip Cards (Black and White)

Printables

{FREE Printable} Capital Letter Mazes

Free Capital Letter Mazes

I’ve used letter mazes for a couple years.  It was something Tanner enjoyed doing in his homeschool preschool lessons, but it wasn’t something he loved.  I didn’t start using them until our second year of preschool when Tanner was 4.

Capital Letter B Maze

Lately the boys have requested to watch the ‘Minion’ movies (Despicable Me 1 and 2, and Minions).  Everyday during free time.  So I found a printable unit activity from 1+1+1=1 that was all minion themed.  Wesley loved the entire unit.  But the page he continued to go back to, over and over, was the letter maze.  He did it close to 10 times back to back.  Forward and backward.  I immediately knew I needed to create my own letter mazes for him, A through Z. This is such a great activity for fine motor skills, and pencil grip and control.  Wesley still has a way to go with working on his grip, but he’s trying.  Watching his brother “do school” for all his life has really motivated him to join in! He’s so happy to be old enough now.

Capital Letter B Maze - The Boundless Homeschool

When I showed the pages to him this morning, he was so excited!  He wanted to do every single one.  After trying to contain the pages on the desk for him to redo, I decided to throw them all into a 3-ring binder.  He is currently carrying it around with him, and doing a page here and there in between playing with his brother.

Free Letter Mazes - The Boundless Homeschool

I will be creating lowercase letter mazes and number mazes to add to these capital letter mazes soon! I’m really enjoying creating printables, so if there is anything you’d like to see, let me know!  I have plans for quite a few new things!

I hope you enjoy! Please, if you print these out, take pictures! I would LOVE to see them in action!

Download here: Capital Letter Mazes

Let's Get Real Wednesday

Let’s Get Real Wednesday – #1

Let’s get real, shall we?

I had the best intentions to write a post a few days ago with a few preschool activities I’ve been using lately.  But honestly, the past few days have been hard.  I absolutely do not want my blog to have a facade of this perfect homeschooling family.  We are far from it.  I’m going to strive to be honest, and real with my readers.  So I’ve decided to create a “Let’s Get Real Wednesday” theme.  It won’t be every Wednesday, but occasionally.  That way I can both vent, and help show real life.  Because that’s healthy, right?

Anyway, the past 5 days have been pretty tough for me.  There wasn’t one big thing that happened, but a bunch of little things that have just whittled down my sanity.  I should preface this by saying, my husband is deployed at the moment.  So it’s just me and my boys, 24/7.  The boys miss him.  Especially Wesley (3).  So they act out a little more than normal to begin with.  We are also at that point in the deployment where my boys no longer hear my voice.  I’m repeating myself over and over when telling them to get dressed, or put their shoes on, or pick up toys, or, or, or….Every single time I have to repeat myself I hear my voice getting louder and louder, and my patience lessening more and more. I’d like to say I pray for patience each day. But really, I pray that I don’t lose my patience as often, and that somehow I will learn how to cope with any given situation.  It really is a struggle when I’m in the moment and it seems like the world is out to get me (and by world, I mean everything in my house…vacuum cleaner breaks, fragile items fall and shatter, the dog gets mud tracked through each room, craft glitter explodes, all within one hour).  It’s humorous now, looking back on it.  It’s commonly known as the Deployment Murphy’s Law.

So instead of blogging at night like I originally planned, I parked myself in my bed and started catching up on some TV shows I’ve been putting off watching. Each day is getting better and better.  I think by the time I figure it all out my husband will be home.  I’m just telling myself it’s all a learning experience.

Ok, enough venting.  Do you ever have those moments where nothing ever seems to go right?

 

 

Printables

{FREE Printable} Playdoh Mats- letters, numbers, & shapes

Free Playdoh Mats- Letters, numbers, shapes

Learning while playing, what could be better?

Number 20 Playdoh Mat

I am a big fan of play based learning.  Although I’ve “done school” with my kids since they were very small, it was never a strict sit-down type of learning.  It’s fun for the kids, and for me!

Preschooler playing with playdoh mats

Preschooler playing with playdoh mat

My boys love playdoh.  Homemade, store bought, food based, it doesn’t matter.  Playdoh mats were always one of my favorites to use when I first started totschool with both boys.  It’s so easy. Just print them out, laminate them (or place them in a plastic page protector), and you’re done! We also use them with dry erase markers (in the page protectors), to work on fine motor writing skills, and sometimes my boys will just use crayons and markers to color them.

 

I’ve created 3 sets of {FREE} playdoh mats: letters, numbers, and shapes.  I hope you enjoy!

Playdoh Mats- Letters

Playdoh Mats- Numbers

Playdoh Mats- Shapes

 

 

Homeschool Basics

Homeschooling with Toddlers- 3 Helpful Tips

Child doing schoolwork with toddler playing with "Homeschooling with Toddlers Text"

Homeschooling can be hard and overwhelming on it’s own.  But add a toddler into the mix and it can become much more difficult.  At least in my case, it was.

Nap time!

Homeschooling with toddlers in the household is pretty distracting.  The very first tip I can give, from my own experience, is to try to plan school learning and activities during nap times.  Of course, this doesn’t always work.  When Wesley was younger, it took him forever to fall asleep, and stay asleep, for naps. And he didn’t nap every day.  But when he did, we were able to knock out a solid hour or two of school work and crafts.  (We were doing pre-K reading at the time, so it didn’t take long anyway)

All by myself boxes and sensory play, always a winner!

Sensory bin picture collage

During those days that Wesley did not sleep, I needed to try to distract him with other activities while Tanner and I did school work.  Sometimes I would put together an “All By Myself” box for him to play with.  In these boxes I would have a puzzle or two, flash cards, an activity game (like lacing cards, or color sorting manipulatives), a smaller box of sensory items (dry beans and lentils, colored dry rice and pasta, large buttons of various colors and shapes, dry oatmeal, seashells, rocks, etc…), and tools and cups. Sometimes I would add playdoh to the box instead of sensory items.  We would always do school work with Wesley and the box right next to us because a lot of the sensory items were small, and he obviously needed to be watched while playing.  The only issue with using these boxes, was that Tanner really wanted to join in, as well.  So it was a nice incentive for him to finish what he was working on, so he could play with the boxes.  Also, I’d like to add that you don’t have to go spending a ton of money on this.  The Dollar Tree has a lot of very good manipulatives and crafty trinkets.

Color sensory bin collage

All by myself sensory box picture collage

Begin fine motor learning.

As Wesley got a little older, we started doing a little more fine motor play.  I gave him a dry erase board to scribble on, a fun dry erase book, and of course, crayons and paper.  Another great activity for toddlers is do-a-dot learning pages.  I really like the do-a-dot markers because they are like paint and markers, but not nearly as messy!  Which is wonderful when you’re trying to teach another child at the same time.  Toddlers are awesome at creating messes in the smallest amount of time!

Toddler sorting shapes

These are some of the things that really helped me out when Wesley was a small toddler.  If everything else failed, I would put a movie on and hope it distracted him long enough for a little productive school time.  Things have totally changed for us now as Wesley is adamant on joining us every minute, to do his own school work.