Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review

I’m a planner dropout.  I’ve tried many, many planners with most being pre-printed and bound planners that you see all over the place when stores stock up with back to school supplies.  Usually about a month into using a planner I find they don’t quite fit my needs.  I get frustrated and stop using them.  A few weeks ago I saw an opportunity to try Lessontrek free and though I’d give it a shot.  After using this planner for almost 6 weeks to plan next year for my boys, I’m still pretty happy with it!

This review is sponsored by Lessontrek.  All opinions are my own.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review

About a week into using Lessontrek I discovered I could copy and paste links directly into the assignment boxes.  This is a big deal for me!  For Magoo and Doodad, I try to use as many free resources as I can from various blogs and education websites.  Its often hard to keep track of the links or remember which kid I intended a particular activity for if I don’t take notes.

I’m still deciding exactly what I will do with the boys next year, but I’ve started grouping things into basic themes like letters, numbers, and shapes.  I’ve been keeping track of links by creating a single assignment each week or two for the themes I think we’ll use this year.  Assignments can easily be moved around within a week or bumped to a future week using the drag and drop feature.  It gives me great flexibility which I really need for my preschoolers.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Keep track of idea by placing links inside assingments

I created profiles for each boy and two for the classes I’ll be teaching in our co-op next year.  Bebop and Magoo will both be doing the same memory work for our co-op so I may create another profile for the group work.

Each student profile is color coded, has its own specific assignments, and can track grades and attendance.  I have not used the grading features yet because my boys are so young, but I did play with the setting.  It seems to be pretty easy to navigate, just like the rest of the planner’s features.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Organize assigmnets by name or by subject

In addition to color coded profiles, I can also color code assignments.  You can keep the colors the same across all students or give each profile a different coding system.  Right now Bebop’s assignments are color coded to match his books.  The little boys are the same color for right now.  Its very easy to change the color codes within either the student profile or the assignment information section.

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Color Code Assignments

Lessontrek allows you to create templates to quickly copy and paste repetitive assignments.  I did this with Bebop’s first week of assignments (in the above graphic).  I set up all the information for handwriting, copied the assignment and just had to change the page numbers.

Since its still summer and we’re only focused on two subjects right now, Bebop’s lesson plans look pretty light.  I was able to copy and paste the entire week, just changing page numbers, to fill in all the days until our co-op start up in September.  Between now and then I will be adding subjects.

We’re only 2 weeks into first grade and already we’ve had to adjust our homeschool lesson plans.  With Lessontrek, I am able to quickly drag assignments we did not complete to a future day.  I can see this feature being very helpful as we encounter the typical sick boys and snow days!

Lessontrek Homeschool Planner Review - Copy and Paste Assignments

Lessontrek has a printing option.  I have not fully explored this option, but I really like that I can plan out the whole year and print a copy.  Then at the end of the year after I’ve added my notes and journaled our experiences, I can print that out too!

I got the idea for using Lessontrek as a homeschool journal from Sheri Graham.  I plan to use Lessontrek as a preschool journal for Magoo and Doodad.

There are a few features I’d like to see added or adjusted.  For example, the grade names start with kindergarten.  I would like to enter the little boys as preschoolers.  I submitted my suggestions to Lessontrek and received a very prompt reply.  I’m very impressed with the customer service!

Remember above how I told you I discovered Lessontrek through a free offer?  That offer is still available!  You can sign up for a FREE 14 day trial by visiting the Lessontrek website.  I also have a coupon code for my readers that gives you an entire year of using the Lessontrek planner for just $30, that’s a savings of 50%.  Use the code 2IOL50 in the payment info section.  (This coupon is only good for the first year, additional years will be charged at the full price if you choose to renew).

What are you waiting for?  Go sign up for your FREE trial!

Back to Homeschool Giveaway (13 Winners!)

Are you ready to get back to homeschooling? We are! We’re extremely excited about blessing 13 families (YES 13!) with a chance to win over $1,000 in prizes, this is the perfect start to a new school year!

This month’s giveaway will be focusing on some great homeschooling resources. Let’s take a look at the prizes…

 

Enter to be one of 13 winners in our AMAZING Back to Homeschool Giveaway! @ IntoxicatedOnLife.com #Homeschool #GIveaway

The Prizes

Homeschool Kit (1 winner – $98.99 value)
Sponsor: We Choose Virtues

Win this we choose virtues giveaway kit in the Back to Homeschool Giveaway!

This Kit was assembled with everything a Homeschool parent needs to effectively teach 12 Virtues. It has 5 beautiful posters, a 100 Day’s of Virtue achievement chart with stickers, flash cards and so much more. The Parenting Cards included in this set were created to help you inspire and demonstrate each Virtue and turn your home or home classroom into a place where Virtue is demonstrated with both attitudes and actions!

Homeschool in the Woods Package (1 winner – $103.80 value)
Sponsor: Homeschool in the Woods

School time is nearly upon us! Got all your history resources ready to go? Never fear! At Home School in the Woods, we ignite a love of learning in YOUR child!

HISTORY Through the Ages Historical Timeline Figures help put the puzzle of history together. They allow you to follow across eras of time using illustrated figures to represent people and events key to world history. Our “Creation to Christ” set of wall-size figures cover many people and events of the Bible, Sumer, Babylonia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece, and the Rise of Rome to the time of Jesus Christ (over 250 figures).

Leave textbooks and workbooks aside and bring your child right into the adventure with Time Travelers history studies for American history! Our first in the series, “New World Explorers,” contains 25 lessons that can spread across 5-10 weeks, incorporating notebooking, lapbooking, games, recipes, creative writing, authentic crafts, and so much more.

Or, pack your bags and grab your passport – take a trip through history and discover cultures at another era of time in world history with Project Passport! Included are 25 “Stops” that can spread across 8-12 weeks, where you will witness exciting events and meet interesting people of “The Middle Ages. (All text, masters, directions, teacher keys, photos, and resource lists for the Time Travelers and Project Passports are provided on CD)

Perhaps you just want a lap book? Our Hands-On History Lap-Paks provide reading text and printables to make your lap book mini-study complete! And now we are introducing K-2 Lap-Paks for younger learners, with coloring pages in the text and an audio narrative included on the CD! Learn about a man who stood out as not only a founding father, but as an inventor, an author, a scientist, and a diplomat, to name a few of his many talents. That man was “Benjamin Franklin!

The Reading Game (3 winners – $34.95 value)
Sponsor: The Reading Game

The Reading Game is a groundbreaking learn-to-read series that using play to teach children to read. Geared towards beginning and struggling readers, each of the 6 stories are told using 30 new words. The student then learns to read these words by playing a simple word matching game. This prize is going to 3 winners!

College Prep DVD Set (2 Winners – $129.85 value)
Sponsor: College Prep Genius

SAT-college-prep-genius-DVD-set

 

FREE College can happen to you! Raise your SAT scores as much as 600 points! Colleges go up on their rankings based on test scores, the higher your score-the more money you get! Don’t fear these tests-they are merely logic tests with tricky questions that even many smart students have bombed. Good news is that every question can be answered in 30 seconds or less. Learn to find the hidden recurring patterns that point you to the answer! Finally see your scores soar by not falling for the appealing wrong answers or subjective phrasing.

Our program is not only award-winning, but has also been featured on Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, WE, TXA21, ION, UShopTV, The Homeschool Channel and more. “…BEST option”-Cathy Duffy, “VERY Impressed…”-Heidi St. John, “Highly recommended…”-Old Schoolhouse Magazine.

This prize has 2 winners!

Magic House Prize Pack (6 Winners – $77.52 value)
Sponsor: Magic House USA

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Magic House is giving away a huge prize pack to 6 winners! Our family loves these amazing pencils. With these auto-feed pencils you’ll never have to stop to sharpen or click a pencil again. Yes, the pencils self-advance as your pencils moves across the paper. They are super cool!

Each winner will receive:

  • 2 bookstands
  • 3 Pencilboxes
  • 5 Auto-feed Pencils
  • 3 Refill Lead Tubes(each tube contain 12 leads)
  • 10 Golden Edition Auto-feed Pencils
  • 3 Bio-ink Pens

Enter the Giveaway Below!

Who Pooped in the Park? Exploring the Great Outdoors with Kids

Who Pooped in the Park - Exploring the Great Outdoors with Kids

We live on the opposite side of the country from our family.  We are very intentional about teaching our boys where all the extended family lives and the natural and man made wonders near by.  Last summer when Jared’s Grandmother came to visit, she brought along a book for the boys from Glacier National Park - Who Pooped in the Park?

Affiliate links are used below.

Who Pooped in the Park? is a series of books written by Gary D. Robson set in various national parks across the United States.  We have the Glacier Park edition that follows Michael as he camps with his family.  Michael learns about the scat (poop) and tracks left by an assortment of animals.  Using this book as a guide, we are teaching the boys to identify and classify poop and animal tracks they find. 

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Checking Under Rocks

We are a big outdoor family.  Every nice weekend throughout the year you’re likely to find us hiking or camping somewhere.  Since reading Who Pooped in the Park? with our boys, its become a game to see who can find evidence of animals first on one of our hikes.

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Animal Tracks

Bebop was extremely excited to find deer tracks on a muddy trail.

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Frog Eggs

In early spring, we found frog eggs in one of our local ponds.  The boys thought this was the coolest thing ever.

Exploring the Great Outdoors - Finding Frogs

A few short weeks later and we started seeing frogs everywhere!

If you are new to hiking, or have a reluctant hiker in your group, the Who Pooped in the Park? series is a great introduction to the amazing animals all around us in the Great Outdoors.

mini rainbow color bar

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

For more book based activities, stop by this month’s co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Raventhreads ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Clip Art by Melon Headz


For more Poppins Book Nook fun join us at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook, or on Pin

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids

School’s Out! As a homeschool mom I feel a little strange announcing the end of the school year. Our co-op has ended and the nice weather entices us outdoors most days.  The daily schedule is completely different than it was even two weeks ago. I have several goals for my boys this summer, one of which is to encourage them to find their own creative voice. These are my top 10 tips for encouraging creativity.

 10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids

1. Create a Place to Work

Everyone likes to have their own space right? For kids to truly be creative, they need a space specifically prepared for the kind of messes that creative pursuits can often make. While I haven’t make any major changes since I showed you the basic set up in our house tour a few months ago, I have been intentional about keeping things clean and inviting for the boys to work.  Doodad loves the chalkboard wall in the playroom.  There’s something about drawing on a vertical surface that kids just love.

2. Provide Supplies

We just finished spring cleaning the school room and basement (Thanks Nana for all your help!). All our art and craft supplies are organized and available, in age appropriate ways, for the boys to use. The two big boys have colored pencils at their desks and crayons available on a higher shelf. There is an area set up in the basement for painting, glue, glitter and other messy crafts. Bebop especially loves getting up first thing in the morning and working quietly at his desk with his own stash of paper and colored pencils.

 10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Provide Supplies

3. Turn Off Screens

Nothing distracts my boys more than the hope of a movie or a few minutes to play games on the Wii. Our rule is no screens until after 3 pm, and after chores are done.  This includes mom!  If the boys see me on the computer all they can think about is playing games too. While we do make the occasional exception for a special movie day, when the boys know screens are not an option they will come up with other ideas to entertain themselves.

4. Schedule Unstructured Time

I’m a planner and it is extremely hard for me to schedule down time. The freedom to choose activities is very empowering to my boys. When I let them decide to create something, they have a stronger pride in their work than when I plan an activity for them.

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Prepare a Space for Kids to Work

5. Let Your Kids Get Bored

I’ve noticed intentional boredom is a huge trend right now. In our overscheduled, screen filled lives it’s really hard to find even 5 minutes without something entertaining adults and kids alike. While I know it’s good for my kids, the idea of a bored preschooler frightenes me a little bit (it’s why we started homeschooling at such a young age). But when you have taken the time to create an environment ready for creativity and provided supplies it’s amazing to watch your kids imaginations run wild.

6. Create With Your Kids

I’m a crafter. I love to make things. Nothing inspires my kids more than when I pull out a box of my special supplies and let them work alongside me. Lately all three boys have enjoyed making beaded jewelry with me. (Shhh, don’t tell them we’re also working on fine motor skills!)

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Create With Them

7. Learn Something New

Not a crafter? Try learning something WITH your kids. Any possible craft you can imagine has at least one YouTube tutorial. Many times my boys have asked to make something elaborate and we go to google to figure out how. Even if they change their minds a hundred times before the project is complete, researching new techniques brings out a burst of creativity.

8. Teach A Skill to Someone Else

Bebop loves to teach things to his little brothers, especially when it comes to art. It’s so much fun to watch Bebop and Magoo sit together and mix paint colors or plan a Lego project. Teaching requires you to move toward mastery of the subject and unlocks new levels of creativity.

10 Ways to Encourage Creativity In Your Kids - Let Them Choose Activities

9. Invite Friends Over

A new friend to share your new art kit with is just plain fun! In the summers we get together with friends to do the really messy projects, like tie-dye and sidewalk paint. My boys still talk about some of our craft play days from the past few years.

10. Make a Gift

Making gifts requires you to consider someone else. What they like or dislike. My boys each have their favorite colors and would always make things for themselves exactly the same. When I challenge them to make something for Grandma or a friend, they use colors and textures they might not touch otherwise.

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Be sure to stop by the other blogs in the Kid Blogger Network for more ideas to make the most of summer now that school is out!

Linked up with: b-Inspired Mama,

Vestibular Sensory Play

Vestibular sensory play involves movement, balance, and spatial orientation.

Vestibular Sensory Play - Finding balance beams in nature

The vestibular system primarily involves the vestibular receptors in the inner ear and sends signals through the central nervous system related to movement and head position. Auditory (sound) and visual (sight) contributes to vestibular input as well. When there is conflict between the auditory or visual input and the vestibular receptors in the ear, feelings of disorientation, falling, floating, or nausea occur. Secondary receptors located in the finger tips and soles of the feet also provide information to the vestibular system. If the input from the inner ear is disrupted, the secondary receptors can help and individual maintain balance. That is why we naturally reach out to a wall for balance when dizzy.

Vestibular Sensory Processing Disorder

Just like I talked about yesterday with tactile input, individuals can have disruptions in the way sensory input is received or interpreted by the brain. Vestibular sensory processing disorder can present as over or under sensitive to input.

Vestibular Sensory Play - movement play

A hypersensitivity (over responsiveness) to vestibular input may manifest as a dislike of motion (swings, ladders, slides, etc.), fear of heights, dislike of uneven surfaces, or loosing balance easily. Babies who are over sensitive may not like baby jumpers, swings, or being placed on his/her stomach.

A hyposensitivity (under responsiveness) to vestibular input can be characterized by constant movement; jumping, twirling, swinging, or hanging upside down. Individuals likely will crave intense movement and be identified as thrill seekers or adrenaline junkies.

Vestibular Sensory Play Ideas

Vestibular sensory play is a new idea for me. I have incorporated some balance activities, but not on a regular basis. All three of my boys have developed gross motor skills and coordination within the normal ranges, so I think they process vestibular input normally. Since I’ve started to really pay attention in the past few weeks, I have noticed all three seem to periodically crave short periods of intense vestibular input such as making themselves dizzy. I think that’s a normal kid thing.

Vestibular Sensory Play - Explore a playgound

Opportunities for vestibular sensory play are as close as your local park or playground.  Just get moving!  Almost any active movement involving balance and coordination will engage the vestibular system.

Vestibular Sensory Play - Balance Beam

In the winter we are stuck inside most of the time, so I try to create gross motor movement play for the boys.  Only recently did I figure out its also vestibular sensory play!  As pictured above, we used an old 2×4 to make a quick indoor balance beam.  The boys also love to make obstacle courses for each other.  Recently we purchased a small gym mat that fits perfectly in the hall way for basic tumbling.  Bebop and Magoo are teaching their baby brother to do somersaults.  Now that I know the importance of vestibular sensory play for developing balance and coordination, there will be a whole lot more of it in our house!

Tactile Sensory Play

Tactile sensory play is exploring through touch.

The skin contains many sensors that provide information about light touch, deep pressure touch, temperature, and pain. Nerves under the skin receive sensory input and send signals to the brain through the central nervous system.  Dr. Montessori observed that young children made greater developmental jumps when they had an environment that provided a variety of tactile exploration.  She concluded that the connection between the hand and the brain is one that fosters a desire to learn.

Tactile Sensory Play - messy play favorites

In some people, the messages sent from the skin receptors to the brain are not received or processed correctly. This is referred to generally as a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). A tactile sensory processing disorder occurs when someone is hyper(over) or hypo(under) sensitive to one or more type of tactile input. For those with SPD, a light touch or cold water can be interpreted as an extreme irritation or even pain. SPD can also present as under sensitive to touch, where an individual craves tactile sensory input.

Tactile learners are able to focus best and retain information when material is presented with a hands-on exploratory component. Most little kids seem to be very tactile oriented, wanting to touch and manipulate everything in their environment. For this reason, tactile sensory play is the most common and easiest to implement in our house…. 

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Sensory Play

Sensory play is quite the buzz word lately, especially on pinterest. There are hundreds of photos labeled sensory that show kids playing with bins of things, often making huge messes. We do sensory bins weekly and it is one of my favorite activities for the little boys when they are board. For a long time I thought of sensory play as just tactile exploration, but that is just one type. Sensory processing involves the way your body and brain input and process sensory experiences. Sensory play is intentionally creating opportunities for kids to explore various sensory input.

6 Types of Sensory Play - A Series From For This Season

This week I’m joining several other bloggers for the 6 days of Sensory Play Blog Hop. We will be posting resources and ideas for six types of sensory play: (as my posts go live I will link them below, for now I’m just posting my definitions).

Tactile is the things you touch: exploring texture, temperature, pressure, and vibrations.

Vestibular is gross motor movement involving balance and the inner ear.

Olfactory is the sense of smell. I also include taste in this because most of our olfactory experiences happen in the kitchen.

Proprioceptive involves body awareness through input from joint and muscle tissue. Proprioceptive sensory play is often called heavy work for the joints and muscles.

Auditory is the things you hear. How well can you pay attention and process verbal instructions.

Visual is the things you see. I’m a big believer in a prepared environment for kids, especially finding a balance of visual input in play and learning areas.

When I started working on this series, I had no idea how many different types of sensory play there actually are. It’s been fascinating! I’m far from an expert, but I have found in the last few weeks that being aware of the different types of sensory input has helped me understand my boys’ behavior more. As I plan for our preschool co-op this summer and the next school year, I will be incorporating these 6 types of sensory play often.

How do you use sensory play in your home?

The Boy Who Cried Wolf (Book Activity)

This month in the Poppins Book Nook we are exploring folk tales.  I really enjoy reading folk tales with my boys because they teach such great lessons.  Lately the boys have excelled at exaggerating the truth and overreaction to just about everything.  While scanning the folk tales shelf at our library, I found the perfect book to discuss honesty with my boys: The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf Book Activitiy

affiliate links are used below

There are so many great lessons in The Boy Who Cried Wolf, it was hard to pick just one activity for the boys to do together.  We started out by reading the book and talking about the story.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I really enjoy watching Bebop read books to his little brothers.  After reading the story, we talked a lot about honesty and the difference between telling a fictional story and telling a lie.  Magoo is our story teller, the boy has an amazing imagination.  It can sometimes be difficult to understand when he is making up a story and when he is trying to retell actual events.  He is still learning the difference between pretend and real life.

We also talked about boredom.  Why did the little boy make up the first two wolf attacks?  We were reading the version by B. G. Hennessy that really places an emphasis on how the little shepherd boy was bored by himself in the fields.  When my boys are bored they tend to find very destructive activities (in fact this is exactly why I started homeschooling at such a young age).  This was a great opportunity to talk about appropriate and inappropriate ways to react to boredom.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf - coloring page

I found a worksheet at education.com to help us with retelling the story.  I printed a copy off for each boy to color, and then we cut them out.  I had Bebop and Magoo help me put the pictures in order.  Magoo really enjoyed this activity and was mad when we put it away.  I think he will be pulling this off the shelf to use for several weeks.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf - Story Sequencing

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is also a great reminder to discuss emergency situations with my boys.  We practiced our phone number, house address and how to call 911 if there is an emergency.  As in the story I also presented situations in which its not appropriate to call 911.  Should you call for help when your brother steals your toy?  No!  Should you call for help if there is a fire in the neighborhood?  Yes!

What folk tales have you read recently?

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Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

For more book based activities, stop by this month’s co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for LearningEver After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Clip Art by Melon Headz


For more Poppins Book Nook fun join us at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook, or on Pin

What Are You Reading? {Living for THIS Moment Linkup}

Welcome to the April Living for THIS Moment Linkup!  I’m a library fan and a bookworm, so I’m more than excited to be discussing reading with you this month!

 The two books I mentioned in the video: (affiliate links used)

Now its your turn!  Create a short video (under 5 minutes) or write a blog post and link up using the widget below.  You only need to enter your post one to be linked up on both blogs.  Take a few minutes to visit the other bloggers who link up and watch as many videos as you can.  Grab a button so your readers can find this linkup as well.

Living For This Moment Linkup

 April Prompt

What are you reading?
Do you buy books or get them from library?
Are you a real book fan or do you prefer an e-reader? Why?


Painting With Cars: Transportation Theme Book Activity

My boys LOVE cars!  We have so many different transportation theme books on our shelves that it was really hard to pick just one to focus on this month.  The boys each have a favorite and argue over which book we should read first.  One thing they absolutely agree on is making crafty messes is a lot of fun!

affiliate links are used below

Painting with Cars - Poppins Book Nook Transportation Theme

Doodad’s current favorite book is Little People Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains.  He will sit and open and shut the flaps over and over.  Magoo and Bebop like to help Doodad match our toys up with the various machines shown in the book.  We went through our toy tubs and found as many cars, planes, and trucks with interesting tire treads as we could.  The boys used the tires to paint on craft paper.

Painting with Cars - set up paper on floor

My original plan was to do this activity outside, but the weather didn’t cooperate.  Our basement floor is painted concrete, so its easy to clean up with a wet rag.  I set up the work area by taping two long strips of craft paper to the floor with painter’s tape.  I put two strips next to each other so the boys would have plenty of space to paint. (This paper is similar to what we used.)

painting with cars - use dollar store cookie trays for paint

They each picked on primary color of washable tempera paint.  To avoid a big brown mess, I only give the boys two or three colors that blend well together.  I used our dollar store cookie trays for the paint.

Painting with Cars - comparing tracks

Vroom!  Vroom!  The boys started off rolling the cars across the paper to each other.  It was fun to see the different patterns the tires made.

Painting with Cars - messy feet

Doodad was the first to venture onto the paper with his toes.  Hmm… that feels funny.  I dressed the boys in clothes that I didn’t mind getting a small amount of paint on anticipating this would turn into one big mess.

Painting with Cars - running around

And I was right!  After racing cars around for a few minutes, all three made hand and foot prints.  My only rule was they had to stay on the paper.

Painting with Cars - the mess on the floor

Even with the boys being careful, paint ended up on the floor.  I had a bucket and wet rag standing by to wipe up the mess before it dried.

Painting with Cars - The Clean Up

To clean up, the paint covered cars and cookie sheets went in the tub.  The paint covered clothes went straight into the washer on a rinse cycle.  And the three little boys went straight to the bath!

Painting with Cars - final product

The final product!  I let the paint dry overnight and we will be using it to wrap presents for family.  The boys absolutely loved this.  Its definitely an activity we will repeat, especially when we need wrapping paper.

mini rainbow color bar

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

For more book based activities, stop by this month’s co-hosts:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for LearningEver After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama


Clip Art by Melon Headz

For more Poppins Book Nook fun join us at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook, or on Pin