Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Back to School Planning with Mom's Library Resources

Hey! It's Mom's Library time again. This week Mom's library is headed back to school. I'm sorry to break it to you, friends, but school days are lurking around the corner. If you are a teacher at home or a teacher in a school setting, you are probably already beginning to unpack the classroom and plan the lessons. This year as you plan your school year, make sure you take time each week to check the wonderful free resources here at Mom's library. This week I am featuring back to school activities. There are language arts activities, math activities, social studies and science activities, and resources for art with kids. Mom's library is a great place to begin planning your school year.

Back to School Planning with Mom's Library

Mom's library is a  linky party filled with parenting tips, activities for kids, stories, crafts, recipes, and more! Plus, each week we host a weekly giveaway.  Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the next Library! Follow the Mom's Library Pinterest Board to see all of our featured posts. Last week we were lounging on the beach with ocean and beach activities for kids. This week, it's time to hit the books.

Back to School Resources Featured on Mom's Library

Language Arts Resources for Back to School

Letter of the week preschool craft: N is for Night from Crystal &Co.  a fun letter of the week craft, snack, book.
Blends Wall Cards from 3 Dinosaurs This free printable covers beginning blends. Get your freebie and find ways to use these free cards.

Math Resources for Back to School

Number Recognition with Icecream from Gummy Lump There were several ways to use icecream cones for learning in this post. Some will work well for language arts and others for math. I loved the idea of adding sprinkles to numbered cones. You can also use icecream cones to practice colors.
Kite Printable: Count and Clip Card from The Measured Mom - This freebie is a great way for kids to practice counting and fine motor skills! She also has other themes to choose from.

History/Social Studies Resources for Back to School

The Life of Walt Disney Lapbook from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom would be great for studying biographies of famous americans. Walt Disney was a famous Missourian and was always included in our fourth grade curriculum. Kids loved learning about him!

Science Resources for Back to School

Great Science Picture books from Pragmatic Mom (Guest post from What do We Do all Day?) - picture books are a great way to introduce science concepts and this post offers several very engaging picture books!
Oil and Water Science Experiment from Little Bins for Little Hands - a pop of color keeps kids engaged in this science experiment.

The Arts Resources for Back to School

Mondrian for kids and babies from Lalymom- a great post with information about the artist, Mondrain, and art projects for young kids! My favorites were the light box activity and the pattern sticks.

Back to School Resources on Pinterest

Need more ideas for back to school? Check out my back to school Pinterest board! I'd love if you'd follow me on pinterest while you are there.


Each week, the librarians of Mom's library team up to share a giveaway. This week's there are TWO giveaways. The first giveaway is from You can check out their free online lessons, and enter to win materials that accompany the lessons.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The second giveaway is a fun new ebook, Blucy: The Blue Cat by Julia Dweck. We just got a new kitten a couple weeks ago, so I can't wait to check out this new book when it is released. Check out Crystal's Tiny Treasure's review of Blucy: The Blue Cat. Four readers will win an ebook of Blucy: The Blue Cat. You can enter on the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mom's Library Linky Party

Free Resources, moms library

Would you like to participate? Here's How:
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2.  Enter the URL of your post below.
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Outer Space Picture Books

Kids love to blast off into their imaginations as they read books about outer space. Outer space is a fun preschool theme to explore. Young children are fascinated by the stars, moon, and sky. In my house, having a count down 5-4-3-2-1, followed by a loud "blast off" is necessary before nearly every event. My three year old often has to fly a rocket to dinner. And my five year old, Logan, loves to take down aliens with his imaginary tazer. Outer space captures the imaginations and interests of preschool children. Picture books can help children to explore these far out concepts. Kids can learn facts about outerspace. They can imagine a journey to space. They can wonder about aliens and imagine what it might be like to meet an alien. Outer space is also a theme that works nicely when pairing fiction and nonfiction. Since my boys like to "space out" daily and venture to planets far, far away during playtime, I've been collecting lists of favorite outer space books. Here are a few of our favorites.

The links in this post are affiliate links. Clicking on the link or the image of the book will take you to the book on Amazon for your convenience.

I Want to Be an Astronaut  Byron Barton is a great preschool outer space pick. In this story, a child imagines going on a visit to outer space as an astronaut. The book details the jobs of astronauts, what they eat, what they wear, how they travel, and more topics that will interest kids.

On the Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets (Know Your Numbers)  This fun picture book was recommended by +Jodie Rodriguez  of  +Growing Book by Book in the Picture book of the day series that I participate in with several other bloggers. I blasted off to the library to check out this fun counting book. I love that it counts backwards from 12 as it counts down all of the steps toward getting a rocket ready to launch into space.
Jodie also shared a great resource of Outer Space activities and crafts as well as several other outer space themed books in The Good Long Road's Things that Go! In Space! series.

Roaring Rockets (Amazing Machines) by Tony Mitton explores the jobs that rockets do in traveling to space in a simple rhyming text.

Our Stars by Anne Rockwell is great informative text for young readers. Each page features a large illustration and a few lines of text. Although the book does give information about stars, it also gives information about constellations, planets, orbits, and more.

What's Out There?: A Book about Space (Reading Railroad) What's out there? A Book about Space by Lynn Wilson is another informational text for preschool. If you have a child who asks a million questions about the solar system, this book is a great place to start. It provides a lot of great details but keeps the information simple. The bright collage illustrations capture kids attention as well.

The Magic School Bus Lost In The Solar System  Jump on the Magic School Bus and take a trip through the solar system with Mrs. Frizzle's class. The class tries to visit the Planeterium. When it is closed down, Mrs. Frizzle magically converts the school bus to a rocket ship. The class visits outer space, stopping at each planet to explore and learn facts about that part of our solar system. While the text is obviously fiction, there are informational paragraphs written by the students of Mrs. Frizzle's class on each page. The version of this book that I have includes Pluto as a planet. I'm not sure if this one has been updated yet?

There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) There's no Place like Space by Tish Rabe This is a Cat in the Hat learning library book exploring outer space. It provides a lot of  information on planets and constellations in a fun rhyming text. The familiar characters make it extra appealing to most kids. This book is also available as an app for iPad from Oceanhouse Media. I adore their apps, they are very well done and engaging for kids.

Earth (First Facts: Solar System
This nonfiction book about the planet Earth is good for preschool children. It combines large, simple photos and illustrations along with one factual paragraph per page. Each page covers a different topic about the planet such as distance from the sun, planet make up, atmosphere, how it moves, and more. It is also good for allowing young readers to experience the text elements of nonfiction text as it includes table of contents, headings, labels, charts, glossary, and index.  This series includes all of the planets and the sun and the moon and my five year old has requested that we read all of them many times!
The Sun (First Facts, the Solar System) The Moon (First Facts: Solar System) Mercury (First Facts: Solar System) Venus (The Solar System) Mars (First Facts: Solar System) Jupiter (First Facts: Solar System) Saturn (First Facts: Solar System) Uranus (First Facts: Solar System) Neptune (First Facts: Solar System)

Moon Picture Books
There are tons of picture books that focus on the moon. +Erica MomandKiddo  has done an amazing book list of the top 10 picture books about the moon on What Do We Do All Day? These are fiction books that star the moon and are meant to bring out the mystery, beauty, and inspiration of the moon. Adding these types of books to your outer space theme, will make your unit well rounded.

Far Out Stories
Baloney (Henry P.) Of course, in every outer space unit, you have to throw in at least one alien book. Who doesn't love aliens?
We've been loving Baloney (Henry P.) by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. This book was recommended by +PragmaticMom . Check out her review as well as a list of other alien books.

For activities to go with this theme, check out my preschool themes pinterest board.

Do you have any favorite books for outer space?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Preschool Beach Unit: Sensory Tubs

Sensory tubs are a part of most preschool themes. A preschool beach unit works especially well with sensory tubs. Just think of all the senses you use at the beach. You feel gritty sand and cool water. You may handle slimy critters or rough shells. As children experience the beach and ocean, they can build vocabulary. They will learn to label items. They will explore descriptive language. If you can't visit the beach every day, you can easily bring the beach home. Even the youngest learners can experience the beach. I've shared a variety of beach sensory tubs as my boys have grown up. Here are a few of our favorite beach sensory tubs beginning with babies through preschool aged kids.
preschool beach unit, sensory tubs

Sensory Tubs for a Preschool Beach Unit

Baby Wave Bottle

preschool beach unit, sensory tubs, wave bottle

The beach offers endless sensory experiences for babies. Even if you can't visit the beach with your baby, you can expose your baby to the way water moves and makes waves. You can label ocean animals and grow your baby's vocabulary. You can discuss the size, shape, and color off beach items. You can let your child feel cool water or rough sand. One easy way for your baby to participate in a beach unit is to create a baby wave bottle. Use a plastic bottle and let your baby move the water to make waves and see the critters in the water. Here are the full details on the baby wave bottle and other beach activities for babies.

Toddler Beach Sensory Bag

preschool beach unit, sensory tubs, beach water sensory bag

Toddlers will want to get into the action when you start studying the beach! Traditional sensory tubs can work well for some toddlers but others still put small objects in their mouth for a long time. Creating a beach sensory bag allows your toddler to examine small critters and beach objects without a choking hazard. The toddler beach sensory bag is also great for building vocabulary and concepts. Children also love to experiment with the bag. As they push on one area, another area may move or sway. This allows the child to learn about cause and effect. A reader of my blog had a great idea to put this sensory bag into a kiddie pool or a water table and see if it would float! These sensory bags don't usually last long but they are easy to make!

Preschool Sand and Water Table

preschool beach unit, sensory tubs

Once your child makes it to the traditional preschool age, sand and water tables are fun and easy sensory play. There are tons of ideas online for using these tables. However, many kids love just digging and pouring-- so don't feel like you have to do anything "hard". Adding elements like ocean themed toys, water beads, or shells, can make it more creative, though. You can even get crafty with a shell collage.

 I also have a round up of beach sensory tub ideas at Mom's Library this week.

If you are looking for a full beach preschool unit, I have one for sale at my teachers pay teachers store. I also have a free beach book list.

Have you used sensory tubs in your preschool beach unit?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beach Activities for Kids and Mom's Library

Welcome back to another week of Mom's Library.  Don't you wish you were sitting on a beach, sipping something cold while explore Mom's Library this week? Great! I have that same wish. This week, I'm bringing the beach and the ocean to you. Each week I feature activities on Mom's Library from the previous week's Mom's library. This week, the library is hitting the beach. I'm sharing preschool and ocean activities for kids that were shared on Mom's library last week. There are beach sensory activities, hands on science inquires about pirates, and books and book activities for the beach. These activities would work great with a preschool beach unit.

Mom's Library

Mom's library is a  linky party filled with parenting tips, activities for kids, stories, crafts, recipes, and more! Plus, each week we host a weekly giveaway.  Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss the next Library! Follow the Mom's Library Pinterest Board to see all of our featured posts. Check out last week's Mom's Library for word work activities. And if you actually are sitting on a beach, sipping something cool, don't tell me. I don't want to be jealous!
mom library, free resources

Activities featured on Mom's library

I live in the Midwest, which means we don't get to visit a beach very often. Most of our trips to the beach have to be through books. I've rounded up some of our favorite beach picture books. I'm so thankful that the Moms who linked up to Mom's library last week, shared so many beach activities we can use with our preschool beach unit.

Sensory tubs seem to be a popular beach-themed destination for kids! We had several amazing sensory tubs linked to Mom's library that will help kids experience the ocean.

Coral Reef Sensory Bin from Fantastic Fun and Learning
Island/Luau Water Bin from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Beach Sensory Play and Small World from Fantastic Fun and Learning
I love this Jello Ocean Sensory Play from House of Burke 

Would a trip to the beach be complete without a pirate? or at least a bit of treasure? Check out these exploding pirate treasure chests from Fun a Day

If you are looking for more activities, books, and games about the beach, check out my preschool beach unit.

Mom's Library Giveaway

This week's giveaway is the First Grade Reading the Easy Way Curriculum. Last month, I featured the preschool Reading the Easy Way Curriculum at Ready-Set-Read. I am an affiliate with 123Homeschool for Me and I love their resources. I'm so happy that this week you have a chance to win the First Grade Reading the Easy Way Curriculum. Ashley from Life with Moore Babies has done a great job of reviewing this curriculum. Check it out, and then check out the rafflecopter to win!

Mom's Library Link up

Would you like to participate? Here's How:
 1. Please follow me and True Aim!
2.  Enter the URL of your post below.
3.  Support your fellow bloggers and visit 2 other links.
 *By linking up, you are granting me permission to use and/or re-post photographs from your blog or website