Monday, October 31, 2016

6 Preschool Busy Bags for a 3.5-Hour Plane Ride

Hi! It's a long weekend here that is why the blog has been very quiet. We have been busy in school and activities last week so we only had a few lesson days. I'll try to get back to regular programming as soon as I can.

In the mean time, today I will share with you these six preschool busy bags for a 3.5-hour plane ride. My SIL is going to take her 3-year old son back to Singapore for the Christmas holidays and she told me that she was planning to make busy bags. Well, I love making busy bags. As a matter of fact, I like making kids' activities of all sorts (as you may already know) so I decided to surprise her and make some for her. These take little time to prepare and they're not very expensive too especially if you already have materials on hand. I collect a lot of arts and crafts materials as well as a steady supply of laminating films, card stock, etc. so these took no time to make.

First, I got these pouches to separate each activity. 

Busy Bag 1 - Shadow Matching

I printed off these Montessori Cards onto card stock, laminated and cut them. I'm sorry I forgot where I found the cards because it's been a long time since I downloaded them. We used these cards when my son was around 8 months old. If you know where to find them, I'd appreciate a link!

Busy Bag 2 - Egg and Ice Cream Sorting

This is another fun activity that my son enjoyed when we played it. The child just needs to sort the eggs according to color. I also added a sheet of ice cream stickers which he can use alternately to sort. Stickers are a huge hit among toddlers and preschoolers. They are also great practice for fine motor skills. Oh, I also added some instructions in each bag which I wrote on a Post-It, if you're wondering what that orange thing is. 

Busy Bag 3 - Counting Fish

This is a fun Math activity. I also don't have the link as we used this activity when my son was around 9 months old and he is 3 now. Again, I'd appreciate a link. 

You can use Do-A-Dot markers or dabbers for this activity if you don't want to laminate the cards. I laminated them so that they can be used over and over again. I included a sheet of sea creature stickers for my nephew to use. He will count the fish and put a sticker on the correct number. 

Busy Bag 4 - Living and Non-Living Things Sorting

My nephew is in school. He is in a pre-nursery class to prepare him for nursery next year. When my son was in nursery, we studied living and non-living things. I thought this activity would be a great primer for my nephew. Most of these are Montessori photos as well. 

Busy Bag 5 - Pompom Pattern Activity

This is super fun activity that my son enjoys up until now but he does the more complicated patterns. For this activity, I used the ABAB pattern. I have a bunch of pompoms in my supply, some circle stickers, Sharpies and big popsicle sticks so this took me about 5 minutes to make. 

First, I checked the color of my pompoms. Then I got my Sharpies and colored the circle stickers. Peel, then stick them to the popsicle sticks. Leave one space empty. Tell the child to put the corresponding pompoms onto the stickers and then for the last space, ask the child what pompom will come next. There should be 6 pompoms on the stick. 

Busy Bag 6 - City Sticker Scene

I'm pretty sure my nephew will get a kick out of this activity as it involves car stickers! I just printed off this city scene from Free Time Frolics, laminated it and cut it to the size of the pouch. This is a full page scene but I printed off just 75% for it to fit in the pouch. Then, I included a sheet of vehicle stickers. Free Time Frolics used real vehicle toys for this activity. You can use that too but I feel that for a plane ride, toys with wheels are really not a great idea. I know, I've been there, done that. When they fall off, it's hard to "chase" them. So, I stick to stickers and manipulatives that don't go running away from me. 

Bonus Tip: Bring materials, toys or manipulatives that are cheap so that if you lose them, you won't feel bad and you won't have to get up from your seat and ask someone to move or get the item for you. 

You can also punch a hole in each bag and bind them with a ring bind. It's a great way to keep them all together. I don't know if my SIL will like that as I'm publishing this before showing her the pics. I'll be shipping these off to the province.

I hope you liked my busy bags. If you want to save these ideas for an upcoming trip, feel free to Pin the image below.

You can find more busy bag ideas here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Homeschool Kindergarten 1 Lessons, Interactive Notebook and Activities - October 2016 Week 2

Here's what we're doing this week:

Comm Arts


  • names of things
  • noun identification
  • writing nouns
  • days of the week
  • final sound

  • transportation 
  • correct way of riding a vehicle
  • means of communication

  • addition 
  • subtraction
  • subtraction story
Science, Filipino and more CA:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Homeschool Kindergarten 1 Lessons, Activities and Interactive Notebook - October 2016 Week 1

Sorry for the late post. My son is sick so I have adjusted our lessons and activities this week.

Comm Arts

  • Letters X, Y, Z
  • names of persons
  • names of animals
  • names of places


  • transportation


  • vertical addition
  • find the correct addition sentence

Science, Filipino and more CA:


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

My Top 5 Disney Junior Shows for Homeschooling

Disney has a lot of really good shows on both the regular and Junior channels but there are some shows that I don't allow my son to watch (i.e. OddBods - too much violence). My son has lost interest in Disney Junior shows for a couple of years. He shifted his attention to the Disney channel and watched big kid shows (hello Phineas and Ferb!) when he was around 15 months old. About a week ago, my husband put the Disney Junior channel on and my son rekindled his love for some of the shows he used to watch when he was younger. (My son is 3 years old now for all of you newbies here)

The TV mostly serves as background noise because he prefers to do activities instead but there are times when he will pay attention to some of the shows. I take advantage of these shows to teach him something new or to use in our homeschool discussion.

Here are my top 5 homeschooling shows in random order. I chose these shows for their content, themes, graphics and for their appeal to both boys and girls. 

Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates

I'm not a huge fan of Peter Pan the animated movie but I was (still am) smitten with Jake and the Neverland Pirates especially now that Jake has become the captain of the Colossus. My son's favorite was Captain Hook when he was younger. Well, Captain Hook is one of my favorite characters of all time. In this series, Captain Hook is a good guy. Well, he does some mean things at times but now he is part of the League of the Pirate Captains and acknowledges Jake as a captain so he is not all bad. Also, he is not portrayed as an evil character in this series unlike in the original story. And do I need to mention how adorable Mr. Smee is in this series?

I like Jake the series because it teaches about friendship, teamwork, cooperation and manners (thank you Mr. Smee for always reminding the captain to thank the popinjays). It also has a little bit of math with the doubloons counting bit. I also like the adventure and suspense and the different themes they use for each episode. It's not just all fighting. Sometimes it's problem solving. I also like the music, singing and dancing courtesy of Sharky and Bones. We always have a blast when we watch this. And not to forget, the triumph of good over evil. 

This series is great for homeschooling as we can do some singing and dancing (to "wiggle all the waggles away") to help my son focus on the show and on the lesson. We have the Busy Book set which we use to recreate the story we just watched. We also have a Duplo play set with Captain and Hook and Scully which we use for math and other activities. I incorporate the values we learned from the show into our lessons. 

Sheriff Callie's Wild West

Sheriff Callie is geared more towards girls but there is a good mix of male and female characters. The themes are also for everyone. This series is like Jake and the Neverland Pirates but in the Wild West setting. It teachers manners, good attitudes and a lot more values that each child should have. They have tackled different situations like bullying, lying, making friends, valuing friendships, saying sorry, etc. The show reinforces the values that I teach my son. We also like the singing and dancing. I just love Mandy Moore's voice. 


Need I say more? Anybody who has a child in Asia knows this group. With Hi-5, you don't have to plan for a unit study. They have it all in one episode. Just a few hours ago, we watched Hi-5 with the theme, "places we come from". It talked about the diversity of the Hi-5 cast. They all live in Australia but their ancestry comes from South Korea, South Africa, Lebanon and Greece. This is the episode where Stevie, Mary, Lauren, Dyane and Ainsley were the cast. This episode had songs, dancing, musical instruments from different countries, how to write names in Korean, different expressions and the story talked about different places on earth. You can base your unit study on an episode and just give further activities to your child.

Sometimes the theme is about food, sometimes friendship.You can literally just watch an episode at the start of the week and reinforce the lessons with books, other videos and activities for the rest of the week. 

Doc McStuffins

Doc McStuffins is great for health and science. It teaches kids good health habits. The show also helps kids to become familiar with doctors so that they won't be afraid to go for checkups. My son doesn't like going to the doctor. Until now, he cries a little but shows like Doc McStuffins really help a lot to help him understand what goes on in the doctor's office. 

Aside from health habits, the show also teaches good values, problem solving, story comprehension and retention (with the review question at the end of the show). 

Higgly Town Heroes

I wish Higgly Town Heroes was shown at an earlier time slot but we really like it and so we usually stay up late to watch it. If you are teaching community helpers, this is the show for you and your child. There is some silliness in the show but it also has some merits. It's about a group of friends who like to play and have fun together but during the course of their "adventures" they find themselves in a bind and need the help of a Higgly Town Hero. The hero can be a fireman, chef, baker, carpenter, ambulance driver, etc. It's a great way to introduce kids to community helpers and also help them understand and remember what each community helper does. The graphics are simple, perfect for preschoolers. Aside from community helpers, it also teaches teamwork, problem solving and some values. I watched this show a lot when I taught my son about community helpers. I got a lot of good ideas from this show. Until now, we still watch it as there are a lot of community heroes that my son needs to know. 

Honorable Mention - Chuggington

We absolutely love Chuggington! First, because my son adores trains. Second, we like the adventures and challenges the characters go through in each episode. It teaches a lot about problem solving, teamwork, responsibility, good values and more. I used Chuggington trains to teach my son sight words, colors and numbers. 

Chuggington has been in and out of Disney Junior. The only episodes they show nowadays are the Badge Quests. 

Honorable Mention - Pocoyo

I think Pocoyo is no longer shown on the Disney Junior channel. It used to be on at 10:30pm daily. My son loved it so much. The show teaches simple math concepts, problem solving, values and more. You're lucky if you still have Pocoyo on your local Disney Junior channel. If not, you can catch it on YouTube. It's such a fun show - very interactive, very engaging. The graphics are simple, also perfect for young learners. I got a lot of ideas for our homeschool activities from this show. 

These are my top Disney Junior shows for homeschooling. If you want to save this list, just Pin the image below to your board. 

What are your favorite Disney Junior shows?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Road Trip Lunch - Easy Burgers

Here's another Road Trip lunch idea for you moms:

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Using Lego Duplo for Your Homeschool Lessons and Activities

For me, one of the best toys you can invest in is Lego. It's classic, durable, timeless and fosters creativity in children. Not to mention the fact that it's a great toy for fine motor practice. For younger children, it's a great way to prepare their tiny hands for writing. 

Lego is popular with a lot of parents and kids as well as therapists. Blocks are used in a variety of activities for learning and testing. Did you know that an 18-month old child should already be able to build a tower of 2-3 blocks? My son was already building tall towers even before that age all because I exposed him to different kinds of blocks (wooden, plastic, Megablocks and Duplo) when he was very young. 

My son started with Duplo and Megablocks when he was just several months old and our collection has just grown since. He graduated early to Lego because he knows that these are toys and not food, not to be put inside his mouth. (Lego is a choking hazard so please supervise your kids at all times). My son is 3 years old now and he uses the Lego sets for older kids. 

We use Lego in our homeschool activities a lot and I found some Duplo sets that are great for lessons. Check them out!

This Duplo set is a great investment because you can use it for younger kids as well as older kids. For younger kids you can teach them the following with this set:

  • Animal identification
  • Animal classification
  • Colors
  • Color sorting
  • Transportation
For older kids:
  • You can use this set for Unit Studies Around the World or just a particular country like China or Africa. 
  • You can encourage kids to write stories/ideas/reaction to the different settings or countries that they studied
  • You can teach them about caring for the environment and what they can do to help
  • You can teach them about endangered species such as the panda or tiger in the set (Note - Please take caution when teaching this topic to gifted or twice exceptional kids as they can be very passionate and emotional about it)

I really love this set. I wish I had seen this when my son was younger. It has just so many things that my son likes - the big truck, market setting, food blocks and the tiny people to fit in his truck. 

With this set you can teach:
  • colors
  • color sorting
  • food
  • food classification
  • simple math
  • and even a role playing game on how to buy food from the market and how to act/behave while there

I think this is the most basic set that you can get. It's still appealing to children because of that car and the bright colors of the blocks. Use this set to teach:

  • Colors
  • Fruits
  • Counting

This set is such a great Science Unit Study set about plants and gardening. With this set you can teach:

  • Basic gardening information (build the set and then plant your own garden!)
  • Plants
  • Parts of a plant
  • Plant life cycle
  • How to care for plants
  • Where our food comes from
  • Vegetables
  • And even Math principles such as counting and measuring(since the plants have extra blocks to show how they grow, the child can measure them using a ruler or another manipulative such as erasers or Shopkins! That's even better because you can incorporate two toys into one activity!
Lego is really a super toy and I firmly believe that every developing child should have a set or two or like us, even more! =D

If you want to save these ideas for later, feel free to Pin the image below.

I have not been compensated for this post. We just really like Lego. I'd also like to thank Lego Toys R Us Glorietta for allowing me to take photos. If you want to check out the Lego section of Toys R Us Glorietta, just look for Avel and he will hook you up with the latest deals (Tip: It's Bricktober time and they are giving away a set of 4 Lego figures free with every purchase of P2999.75) and releases from the brand as well as advice you on the best sets to use for your homeschool!