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If you are ready for spring and looking for insect activities for kids, you have come to the right place.  Madelynn had a ton of fun with this week full of hands-on learning about ladybugs, bees, and other creepy crawly critters.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our insect theme:
And here are the details for each activity:
Bug Vocabulary:
Our first book this week was Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner. While reading I used picture cards to reinforce new words. Then Madelynn made an insect vocabulary book. She drew pictures to show each insect and used the picture cards and book as a reference.
Cricket Problem and Solution:
Our next story was The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle. Before reading we discussed and defined problem. We talked about how every story usually has a problem or something that goes wrong. After reading, Madelynn drew and labeled the problem in the story (The wanted to make a sound to respond to the other animals but couldn't.) Then we talked about and drew how the problem was solved (He met another cricket and finally made a quiet chirping sound.)
Bee Learning:
Our next read aloud was the nonfiction book Bees by Laura Marsh.  National Geographic Kids Readers are packed with interesting information and fascinating photos perfect for preschoolers. Before reading, we talked about what we already know about bees. Madelynn drew a picture and told me that "Bees drink nectar from flowers."  I helped record her idea on the bee KWL chart under “K” for know. Next we discussed things we want to know about bees. Madelynn drew a picture and asked "Do they have sharp stingers?" I recorded her question under the “W” for wonder. Finally we read the book and talked about our new learning. Madelynn learned that they have 4 wings and a long tongue so she drew a picture and I wrote her sentence under the “L” for learned.
Retelling the Ant & the Grasshopper:
Our next story was The Ant & The Grasshopper by Ed Emberley. After reading, Madelynn drew to show what happened in each part of the story.
Tracking Print:
Learning vowel sounds can be tricky and are usually the last letter sounds I worry about preschoolers mastering.  So for our last book this week we read this I for insect alphabet reader. I included a mixture of items that representing short and long I sounds. Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read. Afterwards she colored all of the pictures in.
 Clap and Color Astronaut:
This week we focused on syllables so we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified each picture, clapped and counted the number of syllables. Then she followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  
Insect Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an I. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase i's in the insect, stamp them and make the short "I" sound each time. Then she stamped the other letters different colors and tried to make the sounds for each one. 
Swat the Sound: 
This week was finally nice enough to break out the sidewalk chalk.  So I came up with fun movement/learning game starting by drawing bugs on the ground and labeling each with a letter. Then Madelynn chose a CVC word card. She said the word and identified the ending sound then found and swatted the bug. We also chose a few CVC words for her to swat all 3 letters.
Insect Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created this ladybug name.  First, Madelynn cut the ladybug pieces out. Then she wrote the letters in her name on each spot. After she finished writing, she glued the ladybug pieces together in order to spell her name. Then she added a smile and googly eyes to complete the face.
 Insect Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw what she would do if she were an insect. She said "I would be a butterfly." So I drew lines for each word, then we worked on writing the sounds together. 
 Insect Number Tray:
Our first math activity this week was an insect themed writing tray.  I filled our wooden tray with sand. Then Madelynn used small ant hill number cards as a model to write numbers in the sand with ants or her finger.
 Bug Measurement Book:
Our new math focus for the week is measurement, so we started with this bug measurement book.  Madelynn used dot stampers to measure each bug, count and write the number of dots.
Weighing Insects:
Madelynn loves playing with our balance scale, so I brought out our insect manipulatives for counting and weighing practice. Madelynn chose 2 cards and counted out the correct number of each item to compare.  Afterwards she decided which one was light and heavy.
Capacity Critters:
Capacity is always a fun measurement concept for preschoolers, because they love to fill and dump things.  For our insect themed capacity exploration I filled a bin with green water beads. Then I placed insect cookie cutters on a tray. Madelynn counted out water beads to fill each insect, comparing which held more/less. She also counted out how many scoops of water beads she could fit in each insect.
Bug Catcher Game: 
For some more counting practice we played the Color Bug Catcher Game from Learning Resources. We took turns rolling the number and color die. Then we used the gator grabbers to choose the correct number of each color bug until they were all gone.
Insect Hunt & Match: 
In this sensory bin: black beans, insect finger puppetsmagnifying glass, photos of bugs for matching
Label an Insect Craft:
For this craft Madelynn started by cutting out all of the insect parts.  Then she glued the pieces together to form an insect. Finally, she glued the words next to each part to label the parts of an insect.
Bee Pollination:
After learning about bees, we did a little hands on reinactment to show how bees transfer pollen from flower to flower.  We started with cheese balls in cupcake liner flowers (because that cheese always ends up everywhere!) Madelynn used a finger puppet bee to "drink nectar" from each flower, getting cheese "pollen" on its body in the process.  Then when she flew the bee to the next flower, pieces of pollen fell off onto the flower as it drank nectar from that flower.
Caterpillar Collage:
For our second craft project we made a colorful caterpillar. First we cut out circle outlines and attached contact paper to each circle. Madelynn used paper, feathers, tissue paper, etc. to fill each caterpillar segment sorting by colors. Then I helped her hot glue each segment together and add googly eyes, pipe cleaner antennae and mouth.
Insect Sorting Bin: 
In this sensory bin: insect toobplastic animals, black beans, sorting tray with labels

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can find them in our growing bundle here:

And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!
September:

October: 

November:

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We wrapped up our shape themed baby bins this week learning all about hearts.  We had lots of fun sorting, painting, and trying out lots of sensory experiences as we learned about hearts.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here is a look at our 6 shape themed baby bins:
Here are the details for each of our activities:
 Heart Theme Read Aloud:
Michael Hall is one of my favorite authors for little readers.  The bright, bold illustrations always hold the attention of little ones (we are still loving "It's and Orange Aardvark" from our Orange theme). So we started the week reading My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall. This was a cute story that uses hearts for form all different types of animals. Now that Aubrey is nearly 2, I challenged her to find the hearts in each animal. 
Heart Themed Sensory Bin:
 Heart Stamp Art:
For this heart art project we used heart sponges (I cut out shapes from regular kitchen sponges) and foam stamps to stamp heart shapes with tempera paint

**Aubrey is a painting pro now, so I chose to use our regular tempera paints for bright colors. If you have a baby that still puts everything in their mouth try one of these taste safe paint recipes from Can Do Kiddo.**
 Heart Button Bin:
Our next activity is a repeat again just switching out star shaped buttons for hearts . If you've been following along with our previous baby bin themes, you know we love repetition. It may seem tedious to us, but little ones love predictable and familiar activities (Which is why your little one probably has a favorite book that you've read 752 times in a row before finally hiding it under the couch just for a break.  Yup, been there!)

This activity combines threading, stuffing and sorting for all kinds of fine motor fun. I filled our bin with heart shaped buttonslacing thread and colored bowls with lids. I cut slots in the lids of each bowl large enough for the buttons to be pushed into.  Aubrey used the strings to thread button necklaces which required LOTS of concentration.  She also pushed buttons into bowls and even tried to sort by color a bit.
Heart Ice Sensory Bin:
For this activity, I used our large underbed bin, filled it with a few inches of warm water, heart boxes
heart cupcake cups, and heart shaped ice cubes that I colored with food coloring. This bin was by far the favorite of the week. This girl LOVES to splash, I cannot wait for summer so we can pull our water table back outside.  
Heart Play Dough:
Our last activity was making hearts with play dough. (I know just like we did last week, repetition is good for little minds remember!) I rolled out a few colors of play dough and Aubrey used rollers, cutters, and heart shaped buttons to create hearts of varying colors and sizes. Easy peasy!

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:

Check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
September:

October:

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It was 50 degrees here in Wisconsin today, which basically means it's time to break out the flip flops and get outside. We are thinking spring thoughts and hoping for warmer days soon, so it's time to get started on our spring themes in preschool.  It is too early to do any planting outside, but we are learning about plants so we're ready to head outside as soon as we get a taste of warm spring air.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our Plants theme:
And here are the details for each activity:
 All About Seeds:
This week I chose a non fiction series of books about the parts of a plant so that we learn about how plants grow and the purpose of each part. We used The Plant Parts (series) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach, and we started out with Seeds. After reading, Madelynn completed the All About Seeds book by cutting and gluing the missing pieces and tracing the words.  On the final page she identified and labeled the seed in the diagram of a plant then I asked her to tell me what she learned about seeds.
All About Roots:
Our next book in The Plant Parts (series) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach was Roots. After reading, Madelynn completed the All About Roots book by cutting and gluing the missing pieces and tracing the words.  On the final page she identified and labeled the roots in the diagram of a plant then I asked her to tell me what she learned about roots.
All About Stems:
Our next book in The Plant Parts (series) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach was Stems. After reading, Madelynn completed the All About Stems book by cutting and gluing the missing pieces and tracing the words.  On the final page she identified and labeled the stem in the diagram of a plant then I asked her to tell me what she learned about stems.
All About Leaves:
Our next book in The Plant Parts (series) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach was Leaves. After reading, Madelynn completed the All About Leaves book by cutting and gluing the missing pieces and tracing the words.  On the final page she identified and labeled the leaves in the diagram of a plant then I asked her to tell me what she learned about leaves.
All About Flowers:
Our last book in The Plant Parts (series) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach was Flowers. After reading, Madelynn completed the All About Flowers book by cutting and gluing the missing pieces and tracing the words.  On the final page she identified and labeled the flower in the diagram of a plant then I asked her to tell me what she learned about flowers.


Dirt Letter Writing Tray:
Our first literacy activity this week was a plant themed letter writing tray. To make this fun sensory activity I filled our clear tray with dirt. Madelynn used flower letter cards as a model and chose which ones she wanted to practice. Then she used a shovel and/or her finger to write letters in the dirt.
  Nature Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an N. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase n's in the leaf, stamp them and make the "N" sound each time. Then she stamped the other letters different colors and tried to make the sounds for each one.
 Flower CVC Words:
This week we focused on ending sounds, but we worked on beginning and middle sounds as well with these CVC word cards. To make letter manipulatives I wrote letters on circle stickers and stuck them to the center of our stockpile of pouch lids.  Madelynn used the letters to build CVC flowers that matched the picture on the card.
 Flower Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created this adorable naem flower.  First Madelynn cut the flower pieces out. Then she wrote the letters in her name on each square for the stem. After she finished writing, she glued the flower pieces together and added the squares underneath in order to spell her name. Finally she glued leaves to the sides of the stem.
 Plant Journaling:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw what she learned about plants.  She told me that plants need lots of things, so she drew a flower, dirt, water, and the sun. After adding all of her details, she labeled each part of her picture.  
Color By Shape Plant:
We worked on identifying 3D shapes this week for our color by the code activity. Madelynn worked on identifying and naming 5 different 3D shapes: sphere, cone, cube, cylinder, and pyramid. I told her the color for each shape and she had to search and color each one in the picture.
Build a Teen Flower:
This week we also worked on identifying and counting numbers 11-20.  Madelynn chose one of the teen number flower centers and glued it to a sheet of paper. Then she counted out flower petals and glued each one around the center. Easy peasy!
Roll and Fill Flower:
Roll and fill activities are always a great way to practice counting and identifying numbers. For this activity I set up flower shaped silicone cupcake liners on a stem outline.  Madelynn rolled a 1-20 die, then counted out that number of colored pollen pom poms to fill a flower.
Planting Seeds Stamp Book:
We made this little counting book together which was a perfect way to practice one to one correspondence to 20 and use emergent reading skills. Madelynn tried to read the sentence on each page. "I planted __ seeds."  Then she used mini dot stampers to add the correct number of seeds.
Plant Number Sense Mats:
 We used these mats to practice numbers 11-20 this week. First, Madelynn identified the large number. Then she made it with play dough and counted the seeds in the ten frames. Next, she used a dry erase marker to practice writing the number, and finally counted out black bean "seeds" to fill the dirt with the correct amount.
Growing Grass:
Our science activity this week of course needed to be growing a plant, but I wanted something that would grow quickly for us indoors so we chose to grow grass.  Madelynn filled a small cup with dirt about 3/4 full. Next, she sprinkled grass seed on top of the dirt and sprayed with lots of water.  We also added a popsicle stick with numbers to measure the height of the grass as it grows.  Then she added a bit more dirt and a little water on top of the seed and placed in a sunny window.  

We checked the cup each morning and added a bit more water. By the end of the week our grass started to sprout and Madelynn began to draw her observations in her science journal.  We will continue to watch and record observations over the next few weeks as the grass continues to grow.
Plant Life Cycle Craft:
For this craft Madelynn started by cutting out all of the plant life cycle pieces.  Then she glued the pieces to a large sheet of paper in a circle. Finally, she glued the labels under each stage and drew arrows to show the direction of the life cycle.
Build a Garden Bin:
In this bin: split peas and this adorable garden playset (I admit the quality on this toy isn't the best, but it was relatively cheap and Madelynn LOVES it)
Parts of a Flower Craft:
For this craft Madelynn started by cutting out all of the plant parts.  Then she glued the pieces together to form a flower. Finally, she glued the words next to each part to label the parts of the plant.
Dig & Play Sensory Bin: 
In this bin: dirt, pots, shovels, silk flowers, pom pom "seeds"

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:

And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!
September:

October: 

November:

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This week was full of sorting, painting all kinds of sensory play as we learned about stars with our shape themed baby bins. 
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here is a look at what we have planned for our 6 shape themed baby bins:

Here are the details for each of our activities:
 Star Theme Read Aloud:
We started the week reading Stars by Sarah L. Schuette. This was a great book for showing stars in the real world and we made it interactive by hunting for stars on each page.
 Star Themed Sensory Bin:
 Star Stamp Art:
For this star art project we used star cookie cutters and foam stamps to stamp rectangle shapes with tempera paint

**Aubrey is a painting pro now, so I chose to use our regular tempera paints for bright colors. If you have a baby that still puts everything in their mouth try one of these taste safe paint recipes from Can Do Kiddo.**
 Star Button Bin:
Our next activity is a repeat again just switching out rectangle shaped buttons for stars. If you've been following along with our previous baby bin themes, you know we love repetition. It may seem tedious to us, but little ones love predictable and familiar activities (Which is why your little one probably has a favorite book that you've read 752 times in a row before finally hiding it under the couch just for a break.  Yup, been there!)

This activity combines threading, stuffing and sorting for all kinds of fine motor fun. I filled our bin with star shaped buttonslacing thread and colored bowls with lids. I cut slots in the lids of each bowl large enough for the buttons to be pushed into.  Aubrey used the strings to thread button necklaces which required LOTS of concentration.  She also pushed buttons into bowls and even tried to sort by color a bit.
 Starry Night Sensory Bag:
We haven't tried sensory bags in a while because Aubrey usually isn't that into them, but this one was a hit.  I filled a resealable bag with clear hair gel and black food coloring then squished it all together to distribute evenly.  Then I sprinkled in star buttons, resealed the bag, and taped it shut. Then Aubrey used the bag to free play for a while. I also drew shapes for her to trace and practice naming.
Rectangle Play Dough:
Our last activity was making rectangles with play dough. (I know just like we did last week, repetition is good for little minds remember!) I rolled out a few colors of play dough and Aubrey used rollers, cutters, Mega BlocksLego Duplos, and star shaped buttons to create stars of varying colors and sizes. Easy peasy!

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:

Check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
September:

October:

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If you are looking for space activities for kids, you have come to the right place.  Madelynn loved this week full of hands-on learning about planets, stars, the sun and moon!
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our space theme:
And here are the details for each activity:
 Astronaut Comprehension:
Our first book this week was I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton. After reading, we talked about all of the different things the astronauts did in the book. Then I asked Madelynn what she would do if she were an astronaut and had her draw it on the response page. Madelynn said she would blast off in a rocket.
 Space Vocabulary:
Next we read Me and My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney. While reading I used picture cards to reinforce new words. Then Madelynn made a space vocabulary book. She drew pictures to show the meaning of each word and used the picture cards and book as a reference.
Eight Spinning Planets:
One of my favorite books for teaching about the planets is Eight Spinning Planets by Brian James. Madelynn loved the raised planets on each page and the simple easy to remember information. After reading Madelynn used the book as a reference to color each of the planets. Then she cut them out. and glued them in the correct order from the sun.
Mousetronaut Predictions:
Our last story was Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly. Before reading, we practiced making predictions.

I asked "After looking at the cover, what do you think this story will be about?" 
Madelynn: "There's a mouse astronaut."
Then I asked: "What will the mouse do in the story?"
Madelynn: "He's going to fly a rocket to the moon."

 Tracking Print:
Learning vowel sounds can be tricky and are usually the last letter sounds I worry about preschoolers mastering.  So for our last book this week we read this O for outer space alphabet reader. I included a mixture of items that representing short and long O sounds. Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read. Afterwards she colored all of the pictures in.
  Rhyme and Color Astronaut:
This week we focused on rhyme so we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified the pictures on the left side of the page, then searched the picture on the right for words that rhymed. Then she followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  
King Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an O. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase o's in the outer space planet scene, stamp them and make the short "O" sound each time. Then she stamped the other letters different colors and tried to make the sounds for each one. 
Rhyming Moon Rock Toss:
To practice rhyming we played this interactive moon rock toss game. I printed and cut out  rhyming word pictures and attached them to aluminum foil "moon rocks" with  hot glue. Then I labeled 3 bins with brown, black and pink colored planets. Madelynn choose a moon rock and tossed it into the rhyming color planet. (ex. down/brown)
Rocket Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created this rocket name.  First, Madelynn cut the rocket pieces out. Then she wrote the letters in her name on each square. After she finished writing, she glued the rocket pieces together in order to spell her name. Then she added star stickers to complete the scene.
 Space Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw what she would do if she met an alien. She said "I would say I love you." So I drew lines for each word, then we worked on writing the sounds together. 
Space Number Tray:
Our first math activity this week was a space themed writing tray.  I filled our clear tray with black sand then placed it on top of our light pad. Then Madelynn used small star number cards as a model to write numbers in the snow with foam stars or her finger.
Positional Word Space Magnets:
Our second math focus this week was finding and placing objects in relative locations. I printed and laminate positional word cards and space object cards then attached a piece of magnetic tape to the back of each space object. Madelynn chose a positional word card and used the magnets to arrange the objects in space.
Roll & Go Astronaut:
For this positional word game we started out by using Magna Tiles and cans to build a rocket.  Then Madelynn rolled a die with positional words on it to find out where to put the astronaut.  We took turns practicing all of the different positions and problem solving how to put the astronaut inside the rocket (by lifting up the can) and below the rocket (Madelynn decided to put him under the table.)
Where is the Astronaut?
For our last positional word practice activity, I created this simple printable book with cut out pieces.  On each page I used a different positional word (above, below, behind, next to, between, etc.) and Madelynn cut and glued the astronauts in the correct spot on each page.
Star Number Sense Mats:
 We used these mats to practice numbers 11-20 this week. First, Madelynn identified the large number. Then she made it with play dough and counted the stars in the ten frame. Next, she used a dry erase marker to practice writing the number, and finally counted out star mini erasers to fill the night sky with the correct amount.

Light Table Constellations:
For this sensory activity, I placed a light pad beneath a clear tray and poured black sand on top. Then I printed constellation cards for Madelynn to use as a reference. She used star reusable ice cubes and her finger to create real constellations an her own formations

Bubble Print Planets:
This art project turned out so beautiful, I am in love! the first step involved bubble painting. First I mixed up batches of colored bubbles. 

To Make Colored Bubbles: 
•Pour 6 cups hot water in large bowl. 
•Add 2 cups of dish soap and stir well. 
•Add 3/4 cup of corn syrup to the water and stir well. 
•Separate into a few cups. 
•Add food coloring to each cup. (I wanted dark colors so we added about an entire vial of each color)
 
Then I placed the bubbles, bubble wands and paper inside a large plastic bin or box to contain the mess. Madelynn blew bubbles onto the planet outlines to cover them with splashes of color. After the paper dried, she cut the planets out and glued them to a large sheet of black paper. Finally she made star stamps with yellow paint and a star cookie cutter. So pretty!
Colorful Dancing Planets:

 Okay s this activity was a bit of a stretch to fit in with our theme but I've been wanting to show Madelynn the magic milk experiment for a while and figured this would be a fun way to tie it in. To make our dancing colored planet we started with a circular glass pie plate. Madelynn poured whole milk into the dish until it covered the bottom. Then she added drops of food coloring all over the top of the milk.  I added a drop of dish soap in the center of the milk and asked Madelynn to observe closely. She was mesmerized as she watched the colors swirl and dance around the plate to make a colorful dancing planet.

Icy Planet Painting:
We had a LOT of snow this week so I figured we would put it to good use with this open ended painting activity. I packed snow into shallow round containers to make 8 round planets. I placed our planets on a plastic tray. and Madelynn used liquid watercolors to paint each planet, mix colors, and make a unique solar system. 
*If you don't have snow, you could also freeze ice in round containers.*
Fizzy Planet Sensory Bin: 
In this sensory bin: baking soda dough (baking soda, black food coloring, small amount of water, and glitter), astronauts from our Space Toob, aluminum foil moon rocks, vinegar

This bin gets really messy, so be prepared to dump it all when you are finished, but it is totally worth it! Baking soda + vinegar = tons of messy fizzy fun.

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:

Or you can grab our entire year of themes and plans here:

And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!
September:

October: 

November:

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I am so over snow and cold, so anytime winter wants to come to an end that would be great... But hey at least we have fun holidays to celebrate while we're waiting for spring to arrive.  This week we took a break from our shape themed baby bins to have all kinds of red, pink, glittery, sparkly fun for Valentine's Day.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here are the details for each of our Valentine's theme activities:
Valentine Read Aloud:
Laura Numeroff is one of our FAVORITE authors  around here so when I saw this cute board book with all of our favorite "If You Give a..." series characters I had to grab it for our baby bins. In Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse, Mouse makes valentines for all of his friends and tells why he loves them, leading to a great chat about what we love about each other.
  Valentine's Themed Sensory Bin:
 Valentine Play Dough Cookies: 
 Mailing Valentines:

This activity was super easy to set up and Aubrey LOVED it.  She is starting to get really good at peeling stickers so this tray kept her so busy!
 Valentines Water Play:
In this bin: pink dyed water(use food coloring), heart sponges, mini heart boxes, mini cups, scoops,  silicone cupcake cups and eye droppers

Heart Stamping:
This is one of those art projects that totally looked different in my mind, but I am still loving how they turned out. First I hot glued a few foam hearts to clothespins to make heart stamps.  You can also find heart stampers here, but we didn't have any on hand so I improvised. Then I used removable double sided tape to stick a large foam heart in the center of a piece of cardstock.

Then I set up a tray with pink, red, purple and white tempera paint. Aubrey used the stampers to make hearts all around the page. This is where I envisioned a whole page full of hearts, but with her little hands they ended up more like blobs of paint smooshed all over the page.  Regardless, when she was done and I pulled off the foam heart, there was a beautiful heart left in the center, so I'd still call this a success!

**Aubrey is a painting pro now, so I chose to use our regular tempera paints for bright colors. If you have a baby that still puts everything in their mouth try one of these taste safe paint recipes from Can Do Kiddo.**


If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:

Check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
September:

October:

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This week was full of buttons, blocks, and all kinds of sensory play as we learned about rectangles with our shape themed baby bins. 
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here is a look at what we have planned for our 6 shape themed baby bins:

Here are the details for each of our activities:
 Rectangle Theme Read Aloud:
We started the week reading Rectangles by Sarah L. Schuette. This was a great book for showing rectangles in the real world and we made it interactive by hunting for rectangles on each page.
 Rectangle Themed Sensory Bin:
 Rectangle Stamp Art:
For this rectangle art project we used rectangle Duplo and Mega Blocks to stamp rectangle shapes with tempera paint

**Aubrey is a painting pro now, so I chose to use our regular tempera paints for bright colors. If you have a baby that still puts everything in their mouth try one of these taste safe paint recipes from Can Do Kiddo.**
 Rectangle Button Bin:
Our next activity is a repeat again just switching out triangle shaped buttons for rectangles. If you've been following along with our previous baby bin themes, you know we love repetition. It may seem tedious to us, but little ones love predictable and familiar activities (Which is why your little one probably has a favorite book that you've read 752 times in a row before finally hiding it under the couch just for a break.  Yup, been there!)

This activity combines threading, stuffing and sorting for all kinds of fine motor fun. I filled our bin with rectangle shaped buttonslacing thread and colored bowls with lids. I cut slots in the lids of each bowl large enough for the buttons to be pushed into.  Aubrey used the strings to thread  button necklaces which required LOTS of concentration.  She also pushed buttons into bowls and even tried to sort by color a bit.
Rectangle Building Bin:
In our bin:

With all of the different blocks we have around I put together this rectangle building bin, and this was probably the favorite of the week.  Aubrey loved exploring all of the different ways to build and we even added our jumbo Melissa & Doug cardboard blocks to build with larger rectangles.
Rectangle Play Dough:
Our last activity was making rectangles with play dough. (I know just like we did last week, repetition is good for little minds remember!) I rolled out a few colors of play dough and Aubrey used rollers, cutters, Mega BlocksLego Duplos, and rectangle shaped buttons to create triangles of varying colors and sizes. Easy peasy!

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:

Check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
September:

October:

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This week we are learning all about triangles with our shape themed baby bins. Get ready for some 3 sided fun!
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here is a look at what we have planned for our 6 shape themed baby bins:

Here are the details for each of our activities:
 Triangle Theme Read Aloud:
Triangles by Yusuke Yonezu is a great book for introducing shapes, and also for reviewing colors and numbers. We loved the Circle and Square books the last 2 weeks, I only wish there were versions for every shape! The bright and colorful cut out pages have Aubrey all over each page poking her chubby little fingers through the holes and really getting a feel for each shape.
 Triangle Themed Sensory Bin:
 Triangle Heart Art:
With Valentine's Day just around the corner I thought it would be fun to use triangles to create a little heart.  I cut out 20 right triangles from craft foam and traced them on contact paper to form a heart shape.  Then I stuck the paper to the window and gave Aubrey a bin of triangles to try to stick and match to form a heart.  She is 21 months now and totally into puzzles, so this was the perfect challenge for her. The foam triangles also peel and restick super easily so she wasn't frustrated if she made a mistake.
 Square Button Bin:
Our next activity is a repeat from the last 2 weeks just switching out square shaped buttons for triangles. If you've been following along with our previous baby bin themes, you know we love repetition. It may seem tedious to us, but little ones love predictable and familiar activities (Which is why your little one probably has a favorite book that you've read 752 times in a row before finally hiding it under the couch just for a break.  Yup, been there!)
This activity combines threading, stuffing and sorting for all kinds of fine motor fun. I filled our bin with triangle shaped buttonslacing thread and colored bowls with lids. I cut slots in the lids of each bowl large enough for the buttons to be pushed into.  Aubrey used the strings to thread  button necklaces which required LOTS of concentration.  She also pushed buttons into bowls and even tried to sort by color a bit.
 Glowing Triangles:
This bin was super fun and easy to set up and explore.  I first flipped our clear tray over and used a dry erase marker to draw 2 large triangles on the back (so they wouldn't be erased while we played)  Then I grabbed a handful of glow sticks and had Aubrey help me crack and shake them all to make them glow. Then we headed into a dark room and Aubrey tried to place the glow sticks on the triangle outlines to build each one.
Triangle Play Dough:
Our last activity was making triangles with play dough. (I know just like we did last week, repetition is good for little minds remember!) I rolled out a few colors of play dough and Aubrey used rollers, cutters, and triangle shaped buttons to create triangles of varying colors and sizes. Easy peasy!

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:

Check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
September:

October:

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And we're back with more preschool fairy tale fun. (Check out Preschool: Fairy Tales Week 1 here) We couldn't squeeze all the princesses, dragons, fairies and fun into one week, so grab your magic wand and come along with us for Fairy Tales week 2.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for Fairy Tales week 2:
And here are the details for each activity:
 Retelling Goldilocks & the 3 Bears:
If you followed along last week, then you know that every day of our Fairy Tales theme we are focusing on a new fairy tale. We began each day reading one version of the story, making our own little simple story book, then retelling the story with puppets.  This week we began with Goldilocks & the 3 Bears.
  Rhyme and Color Bear:
This week we focused on rhyme so we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified the pictures on the left side of the page, then searched the picture on the right for words that rhymed. Then she followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  
Three Bears Sorting:
This week we switched up our math focus and worked on sorting. For our first sorting activity, Madelynn sorting bowls, chairs and beds into groups by size for each of the three bears. Baby bear got all of the small items, Mama medium, and Papa large just like in the story.
 Goldilocks Sensory Bin:

 Retelling the Princess and the Pea:
Our next story was the Princess and the Pea. After reading, Madelynn completed her simple storybook with cut and paste characters, tracing words from the story, and coloring each part.  After reviewing the main events in the story we used our puppets to retell the story.
King Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make a K. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase k's in the king, stamp them and make the "K" sound each time. Then she stamped the other letters different colors and tried to make the sounds for each one. 
Princess Pea Sorting:
For our math activity we did more sorting by size, this time with a more hands on approach.  I filled a tray with pom pom "peas" of varying sizes.  Then I labeled 3 cups for madelynn to use for sorting.  She loves holding, pretending with, and squishing little craft pom poms in sensory bins so this was a fun way to incorporate them into our sorting.
 Princess and the Pea Sensory Bin:
In this bin: split peas, toy bed, felt "mattresses," prince and princess
 Retelling Little Red Riding Hood:
Our next story was the Little Red Riding Hood. After reading, Madelynn completed her simple storybook with cut and paste characters, tracing words from the story, and coloring each part.  After reviewing the main events in the story we used our puppets to retell the story.
Rhyming in the Forest:
For some hands on rhyming fun, we played this rhyming in the forest memory match.  I printed matching pairs of rhyming words, then used double stick tape to add them to the bottom of small trees.  Then I placed the trees in our sensory bin filled with peas.  Madelynn and I took turns flipping over trees, just as you would flip cards in memory, trying to make rhyming pairs
 Little Red's Basket Sort:
For our next sorting activity we focused on sorting by color.  I set up baskets with colored labels on each one. Then I gave Madelynn a bin full of different colored play food and filled each basket with the correct color food to take to Grandma's house.
 Little Red in the Woods:
This was pretty much the easiest art project ever, Madelynn may have made about 10 of them :) For this project Madelynn used brown tempera paint to make a forest. All she needed to do was paint vertical lines across the page, but for some reason she really loved making them so she created lots of forest backgrounds.  Then I cut out small Little Red and Wolf characters for her.  After the paint dried, she glued them to her forest scene. You could also try painting on dark blue paper to give the scene a spooky nighttime feel, or add dots of white for a winter touch.
  Retelling Hansel and Gretel:
Our next story was Hansel and Gretel. After reading, Madelynn completed her simple storybook with cut and paste characters, tracing words from the story, and coloring each part.  After reviewing the main events in the story we used our puppets to retell the story.
 Crown Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created a colorful crown.  First Madelynn cut the crown pieces out. Then she wrote the letters in her name on each triangle. After she finished writing, she glued the pieces together in order to spell her name. She finished decorating her crown using  dot stampers.  Then I wrapped the crown around her her to measure for size and stapled it together for her.
Candy House Sorting:
Since Hansel and Gretel found a candy house, we used different sized and colored candy to practice sorting in more that one way.  Madelynn used the same candy cards to first sort by size, then she sorted again by color.
 Exploring Candy:
What could be more fun than a science experiment with candy.  For this science exploration activity, I set out a tray with lots of different types of candy with varying textures and consistencies (M&Ms, starburst, chocolate bars, cotton candy, etc.) I also set out 3 cups with water, vinegar, and seltzer and eye droppers. Madelynn loved exploring the properties of each type of candy by mixing, smooshing...and tasting of course!
  Retelling Little Red Riding Hood:
Our last story was The Three Little Pigs. After reading, Madelynn completed her simple storybook with cut and paste characters, tracing words from the story, and coloring each part.  After reviewing the main events in the story we used our puppets to retell the story.
   Fairy Tale Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and label a house she would like to build. She decided to a brick house.  After drawing I asked her what she wanted to write about her picture. She said, "I built a brick house." So I drew 5 lines, then we worked on writing the sounds together. She wrote "i b A Bk H." 
 Three Little Pigs Logic Game:
I found this amazing 3 little pigs game a while back and knew I wanted to include it in our Fairy Tale Plans. The game has 48 challenges included. In each challenge Madelynn had to look at the picture to place the pigs and wolf in the correct spot, then add the house pieces so that all the pigs were in houses and the wolf was left outside.  Such a fun way to practice spatial awareness and problem solving skills.
3 Little Pig Houses:
Our final project was making houses for the 3 little pigs.  To make these little houses we started with 3 clear cups, straw (raffia), sticks (real ones from outside), and bricks (small red foam rectangles).  I helped Madelynn glue the materials to each cup using low temp. hot glue. I chose to use hot glue so that the pieces would stay because I wanted Madelynn to be able to pretend and play with her houses.  This was a nice lesson in being careful and patient when placing the pieces as well so that she didn't get burned.  To finish off each house i gave madelynn a semi circle of black paper to roll and tape into a roof.

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:

And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!
September:

October: 

November:


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