A Snack Time Counting Game

by Scott on August 16, 2012

Here’s a great little activity that took about 3 minutes to make. Bug loves it, and it’s a great chance for her to practice counting.

All you have to do is draw the six sides of a die onto a piece of paper. Then your child rolls the die and puts the correct number of snack items (Goldfish in this case) onto the corresponding picture on the paper. When all the spaces are filled, it’s snack time!


Pea is obsessed with Mary Pope Osbourne’s Magic Tree House series right now. If you aren’t familiar with this series, the stories revolve around Jack and Annie, two young siblings who travel through history (and sometimes space) to help an enchantress collect stories and lift spells. I won’t give away more plot than that. Each book is 10 chapters long, and the “missions” they go on are in groups of four books. It’s the perfect bedtime reading for Pea. She can’t read them on her own yet, but they help stretch her vocabulary and are a great way to introduce some history. Plus, by reading a few chapters at a time we can spread the reading of stories over days instead of minutes and go through the exercise of recalling what we’ve already read before starting each night.


And she gets completely lost in the stories. We read three or four chapters each night, and she loves to look ahead at the pictures and try to predict what’s going to happen next. At the end of each book, she loves to go get the next book in the series and see where Jack and Annie will go next.

Keep in mind, she’s five years old. Bug is three and doesn’t quite appreciate the depth of the stories yet. I think her exact words were, “Jack and Annie aw bawing!” And of course, New Baby isn’t a huge fan either since these books aren’t very chewy and don’t have large colored photos.

Last night, something really cool happened while we were reading Magic Tree House #22: Revolutionary War on Wednesday. Pea was looking at the front cover photo of Jack and Annie crossing the Delaware with George Washington, and I was reminded of this post I wrote a while back. I was telling her how I used to lie on her bottom bunk and read a big-grown-up story about the same thing we were reading in the Magic Tree House adventures.

Just like Bug doesn’t quite get the stories on the level Pea does, Pea doesn’t understand how cool it is that she and I sat in the exact same spot and enjoyed the exact same story. Isn’t it cool that she will very likely read this story at least three or four times? I have no doubt she’ll go back and read the Magic Tree House series on her own when she’s able. She’ll also learn about the Revolutionary War and the Christmas night crossing of the Delaware when studying history (non-fiction). And if I am able to influence her, she’ll also catch it again in the historical fiction version I read last year.

We’re already on the hunt for the next series of books we think she may like. Anyone have ideas for kids who love Magic Treehouse?


Technology Class Failure. But…

August 13, 2012

We started school officially today, and Ana charged me with doing a technology session for Pea. I had this grand idea of having her come up with a 6 paneled comic strip that she could create with this cool and simple comic generator I found. Um…yeah…I still forget sometimes that I’m working with a 5 […]

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Children’s Books Now Available on Kindle!

June 14, 2012

Here’s some great news! There are over 1,000 new titles available, with support for pop-up text and highlighting the artwork in individual panels. Ana and I were just talking at lunch today about how to keep one kid occupied while another is having one-on-one school time, and one of our main options is to use […]

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Choosing Curriculum – The Never Ending Story Of History

June 11, 2012

At our house, “school” starts at birth…at least that’s the way we look at it. But things are shifting a little these days because “real school” will be starting soon. That means paperwork has to be filled out to declare that we’re officially home schooling. But there’s more… Curricula must be chosen. We may have […]

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Pop For Sight Words Game Option

February 7, 2012

One of the best literacy gifts Pea got for Christmas this year was the Pop For Sight Words game. It’s a pretty simple toy–a popcorn box filled with sight words printed onto little cardboard pieces of popcorn. There are also some instructions included on how to play the “official” game, but we haven’t played it […]

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December Giveway…Straight Off Our Wish List!

December 5, 2011

Back by popular demand (and because some people are signing up for last year’s) we’re excited to announce this year’s giveaway. Last year’s giveaway was really popular, but we realized that we sort of limited the scope of it since it was a toy for a specific skill level. So this year we’re going to […]

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Sight Word Shuttle Runs…In Reverse!

November 30, 2011

A while back, Ana made up a fun game we call Sight Word Shuttle Runs that not only helps the kids with learning new sight words, but also lets them burn up some energy. We just realized at dinner last night that we can play the game in reverse too. The original game was to […]

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Sight Word Activity For Preschool Bird Unit

November 7, 2011

We’re doing an animal unit in our co-op, so I thought I’d share an example of how you can incorporate a book and craft activity into the unit. Preschool and kindergarten kids love doing crafts, and it’s great when you can tie everything together to help them make connections. Today we focused on birds all […]

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Chin Bop Syllable Count

October 27, 2011

Here’s a quick and easy game you can play in the car or around the house. Learning to count the number of syllables in words they hear and say can help your child learn to “chunk” sounds in a word together when they are reading. A simple way to introduce this concept is to have […]

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