Thursday, 28 April 2016

Our Favorite Math Manipulatives

Math is one of the subjects that we spend a lot of time on, because my boys love it and practicing those facts is important. Growing up I hated math, it was all worksheets and memorizing facts. Don't get me wrong worksheets and memorizing facts is useful and we incorporate that into our math studies, but having lots of hands on manipulatives makes math fun for my boys.

So today, I wanted to share some of our favorite math manipulatives that we use a lot during our math lessons. You do not have to go out and buy any of these materials to make math fun. We've used things around the house like beans, cotton balls for counting and adding, cloths hangers, and rocks.
1. Counting bears and chain links is my toddlers favorite math material. He uses it to count and practice his one to one correspondence.

We will be incorporating these into our preschool curriculum for the next school year. 

2. We love playing math games with playing cards. I was excited when I found these large cards at the dollar tree.

3. Dice are the most used manipulative at our house. We have a variety of dice some from the dollar store and others from our local teacher supply store.

These are my favorite ones. Each large dice has a smaller dice inside which is perfect for challenging my older son. 

These are also good for rolling larger numbers

I shared these in my April homeschool favorites post. Large foam dice from the dollar tree, my toddler loves counting and rolling these dice. 

4. For our time unit we used a foam clock that I found at the dollar tree. Its big and surprisingly held up for the price I paid for it. 

5. My older son enjoys timing him self when he has mastered his math facts. We love using a windup clock timer from the dollar store and sand timers.

6. Dominoes is another math manipulative my boys love using. There are so many fun games that you can play with these. 

7. Erasers! Yes erasers are another fun math manipulative we love using around here. You can get really cute ones from your local dollar store. We have apples, penguins, earth shaped ones, and school bus erasers. 

8. Play money

9. Counters

We love using these as game pieces whenever we are playing a game that requires more than one player. You can also use them as counters to help with addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts.

That's it! Please remember that none of these are important for making math fun for your children. I have been collecting our manipulatives for some time now, and my boys really enjoy incorporating it into our math lessons.What are some of your favorite math manipulatives and games.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Read and Make: Art Around the World Collection

We have been studying different countries this year in our geography curriculum. I love adding crafts and a good book to all our subjects, and geography was no different.

I wanted to gather all the crafts and books we have enjoyed into one post, I hope this is helpful and that you enjoy the books and crafts as much as we have.


Read The Cherry Blossom Festival and make a Cherry Blossom tree with pink popcorn. 


Read Grandfather Tang's Story and make a tangram puzzle.

 Read Honey...Honey...Lion! and make a lion mask


Read Papagayo: The mischief maker  and make a paper mola parrot craft.


 Read Babushka's Doll and make a matryoshka patterned doll craft.

 I will be adding to this post as we complete the rest of the countries. Stay tuned for all the fun crafts and wonderful books to come :).

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

'BUMP' Multiplication Review Game

Multiplication can be tricky for some kids. My oldest is fairly good at it but, he still needs to keep those skills sharp. To help him practice and review his multiplication facts we play lots of fun games. One of the games he loves to play is 'Bump'. This game can be played to review addition, subtraction and multiplication facts.

To play this game you will need;
  1. Game board (here)
  2. two types of counters (one for each player)
  3. 2 dice
  4. 2 players
How to play:
Player one rolls both dice he/she finds the sum and covers that number on the board. Player two rolls both dice he/she finds the sum and covers the sum on the game board. If player two rolls a number player one has covered player two gets to bump the counter off and place his/her counter in that place. If a player rolls a number that they covered already they get to place another counter on top and lock that place no one can bump them from that place.  The first player to place all ten counters wins.

This is a really and easy fun game. What math games do your kids like to play?

For more ideas and fun games you can go to our math themed pinterest board.

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Distance From the Sun

 The boys and I recently worked on a fun activity to help us visualize how far the planets are from the sun. To guide us in this activity I used this chart from the Astro Society.

What you need to do this activity is;
  1. Toilet paper
  2. Cards with the names of the planets (just to keep track of whats what)
  3. and lots of space. 

This was a really fun activity and it gave the boys a good visual of how far the planets are from the sun and how far they are from each other.

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April Homeschool Favorites

Hi guys, I wanted to share some of the things we've been enjoying in our homeschool this month. I am joining in with April Homeschool Favorites collaboration with Full Time Wife Life you can check out her YouTube channel here.

The first thing we have been enjoying are these Safari Life Cycle figurines. My kids have loved matching the different life cycle and it has been a fun hands on learning experience. I put together some 3 part matching cards to use along with the figurines you can check out the blog post here.

The Second thing we have been enjoying is this book Stories from Around the World. My kids love listening and reading about all the different fairy tales and cultural stories.

The last thing we have been loving are these large dice I purchased from dollar tree. They're old but my boys have recently gotten into them and we have been playing lots of math review games here. 

I really enjoyed putting this together. What are some of your homeschool favorites? :)

Exploring Creation with Astronomy Lesson 7-8

Hi guys, I wanted to recap all the activities we did for lesson 7 and 8 Exploring Creation with Astronomy. The focus of these two lessons was Mars and Space Rocks.


The boys colored a picture of the Mars Rover while I read from the text book. You can find this free coloring page on 

We talked about why the sand on Mars is red and recreated martian sand.

Our sand never turned red but that's okay. It was a good lesson on what happens when science experiments don't work.

We learned all about Olympus Mons which is the largest volcano in our whole solar system. We did a volcano experiment, which never gets old.

We learned about the robots sent to Mars which are little cars with wheels. We created our own  balloon powered Mars rover which was a blast. You can check out the full post here.

We talked about moving to Mars and what they would bring with them. They both completed a notebooking page and drew what their Mars community would look like.

My 7 year old said; "If I went to Mars I would bring my toys, games and family with me. My life would be very happy." 

Space Rocks

 The coloring page is from and the asteroid belt worksheet is from here

We learned the difference between comets, meteoriods, meteorites, and an asteroid.

This notebooking page is from Elemental Science astronomy notebooking pages.

We talked about the distance between the planets and for a visual we used toilet paper and the planet cards I created a while back.


The boys were really blown away by how far the planets are from each other for the full post go here. That's it for our lesson recap. I hope some of these activities inspire you :).

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