Country of the week 3 Algeria.

Week 3 my daughter pointed to Africa on her puzzle globe. From there I read off countries in Africa and my daughter chose Algeria to study for the country of the week. I came across this site for a lot of useful information to share with my daughters about Algeria.

Here is the simple chart I filled out about Algeria to share with my daughter during our lessons.

Blank chart to fill out however you want 🙂

The primary language of Algeria is Algerian Arabic therefore we studied Arabic for the week. I found Arabic to be an interesting language that I enjoyed becoming acquainted with. Honestly before the past few weeks I’ve only ever known English and only briefly studied Spanish. I never realized how many different languages there actually were and all the dialects out there until recently.

I didn’t feel I’d be able to properly create a chart of the Arabic Alphabet myself to share with my daughter therefore I went on a search for a printable online.
I found a printable of the Arabic Alphabet here that I printed out.
I found these useful videos online that I used during our lessons.
Arabic Alphabet Video
“My Grandfather’s Farm” song

Our lessons start off on Monday reading simple facts about the Country of the week, following with a brief language lesson. Wednesday, and Friday we talk more about the country following with a brief language lesson. Usually on Friday my husband and daughter cook something together from the country were studying. My husband and I kind of slacked this week and didn’t cook a dish from Algeria. However we did end the week with coloring pages corresponding with Algeria. I chose to use two images the fennec fox because it’s the national animal of Algeria, and a bird because there are over 400 species of birds found in Algeria.

My oldest reading, coloring, and cutting out the coloring pages for the week before her sister wakes up.
All cozy in a mermaid blanket the perfect choice for a casual coloring and reading day.

My daughter’s technique is to dump the pencil bag I keep their crayons in all over the floor and pick through the different types to find the best color choice. Then when finished she cuts out the images and glues them into our world of the week journal.

The only two pieces that made it into the book.

My daughter stashed the rest of the colored and cut out images aside to give away to her Grandpa, Papa, and Dad for Father’s Day. She always gets upset and tells me that she doesn’t have money for real gifts therefore she has to make them herself. I try to explain that sometimes those are the best gifts it’s the thought that counts. She did recently try and negotiate money for chores, in which before bed she made a mess in her bedroom on purpose that way she could clean her room in the morning and I’d have to pay her for doing so. She happily informed me of her plan as she got ready to brush her teeth for the night. I explained chores don’t work like that, it’s about cleaning up after yourself always instead of leaving your toys all over the floor for someone else to clean after playing with them. Not making a mess on purpose. The difference was lost on a five year old.

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I see a _____ on the farm.

My oldest daughter informed me she wanted me to make her something, specifically farm animals and a farm to go with it. I asked what she had in mind, if she wanted farm animals to go on the magnet wall or something to play with on the floor. Her decision was something to play with on the floor because she wanted them as she said “to be like a toy.”

I drew up a basic drawing of a farm, I labeled as much as I could that way she could connect the visual picture with the word. Then I made four basic animals. A cow, a duck, a pig, and a horse. I laminated everything then cut out the farm animals and used Velcro dots to hold them in place on the farm.

Finished project after everything got colored, laminated, and cut out.

I chose to keep the printable in black and white for three reasons…
1. Coloring the farm together allowed her to feel a part of the process and make it her own. She really wanted a blue cow.
2. By coloring it gave me the perfect opportunity to read the words with her, that way she knew what colors to use, and I could slip in a simple reading practice.
3. I’m always trying to find ways to save color ink.

My oldest daughter playing with her farm.

With my oldest daughter, my biggest focus is on reading comprehension at the moment. Ideally I try to plug in simple words with everything, just to keep her reading as much as possible. I’m very big on labeling pictures with words, to help make the mental connection between the two, the more exposure the more the words will connect with her. I don’t find the farm keeping her busy for long, for the mean time though it definitely caters to the story teller in her letting her create stories with the farm animals as I point to the words at the top having her read I see a ___ on the farm.

My youngest playing with the farm picture.

With my youngest she’s still in the stage where if I look away for a single second I’ll hear a giggle as she tries to put something she’s not suppose to in her mouth. Therefore this definitely is an adult supervision activity, that’s the point though, to sit down with her and ask questions for example “where is the pig?” as she giggles and rips the pig off the farm scene. I point to the sun and say “the sun is hot,” simple things. My youngest loves the act of taking things off and placing them back on and this fills that need perfectly.

If you don’t own a laminator or Velcro dots and you don’t want to buy any of that stuff. It’s a perfect glue and scissor practice activity. Just print it out let your kids color it in however they want, and glue the farm animals into place. A great activity to mix in on a day where maybe they just don’t want to read a book, you can sit down with them color, cut, and read with them in a less formal way.

Velcro dots pictured above are the ones I used in beige because my husband bought me them as a surprise, next time I’d buy them in white to blend in better. They are decent and have held up to ware and tare in projects I’ve used them with in the past. The downside is that they do get stuck to each other on the roll they come on. I’ve left them inside the box and take off the dots as I go each time I bring it out the dots seem to get stuck to each other and are messy besides that they work.

The 50 sight word reader book set has a book that’s called Farm Friends. It’s my oldest daughters favorite book in the set, and pairs with the printable. The set has really helped in teaching my daughter sight words because they’re super short just like her attention span.

After spending a night making the printable, and coloring it with my dauther the next day she responded with thanks. Shortly after that she infmored me she wanted a park scene. Since as she put it we no longer go to the park and she really misses it. My husband and I try to explain to her that eventually in time things will gravitate back to normal, as of now we just have to take precautions for ourselves and everyone else. One of those precautions just so happens to be staying away from parks. Shortly once I complete her request I will upload a park printable at that time. For now I hope your kids enjoy playing with the farm animals like mine have.

Country of the week 1.

The first country we chose as the country of the week was Netherlands because my daughter really wanted to make pancakes and doughnuts. Upon looking we stumbled upon the Netherlands where it’s possible that the idea for the modern day doughnut (oliebollen) could have been brought over by Dutch immigrants to the United States of America. Source found in this interesting article about doughnuts. It felt fitting to start somewhere in which we could make something together we knew she’d like and enjoy.

On Mondays I introduce the Country of the week to my daughter giving her a basic description about the country. My oldest is only five so I keep it simple and basic without over filling her with facts. She has a rather short attention span and is on to the next subject if I go on to long. I basically stick to this chart…

A blank version to fill in however you want.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday we do a brief language lesson all about the Country of the week. For Netherlands, the lessons consisted of one chart I made.

Image above is the black and white printable copy after my daughter and I colored it in.

and this video I found online. The video was ok, it was strictly in Dutch, as my youngest watched it I made sure to say each thing in English as the video played.

On Friday we talk about the country again, and we do a short language lesson. For week one the lesson was in Dutch. Friday is our party day, in which we celebrate what we’ve leaned for the week by my daughter and husband cooking a dish together and we all eat it. We made pancakes (pannekoek.) I found the recipe my husband used here. I also make my daughter several coloring pages correlating with the country of the week that have simple sentences to keep on track with my daughter’s reading lessons in a fun way. When finished we cut them out and glue or staple them into their country of the week journal.

My oldest coloring before her little sister wakes up.

Altough for this coloring session my youngest was asleep usually she’s right there in the middle of it all grabbing crayons, that’s why I bought the crayons pictured above for a safer option. Of course they don’t stop her from taking her sisters crayons. Their shape makes them less of a choking hazard which is great for a one year old, their bulky design makes it difficult to even try and stay in the lines which makes them hard to use for a five year old learning the art of patience. The three pack of scissors above barely cut paper, I recommend them as a starter pair for over paranoid types likes myself, if it can’t cut paper they can’t cut themselves by accident. Also highly recommended for anyone with children with an age gap, when my youngest goes for my daughter’s scissors I hand her the red, blue, or green pair as a distraction. Since kids can hurt themselves with anything adult supervision required with the plastic scissors, the crayons, and any other art supplies.
(I am a part of the Amazon affiliates program and may earn a commission off of any qualifying purchases through images above.)

Country of the week 2 Mexico.

In my house we’ve recently started a country of the week theme. On Mondays I give my daughter a brief introduction all about the country. Week 2 was all about Mexico, because my daughter has recently shown interest in learning the Spanish language and being Mexico is close to the United States the country in which we live it felt fitting to use Mexico as the country of the week.

A blank chart to fill in however you want.

After reading my daughter the information on the chart we do a short language lesson corresponding with the primary language of that country. In which consists of videos I found online, books, and or charts that I’ve made to help carry out brief lessons.

v

The four books above are the ones I use during my daughter’s Spanish lessons. Mis Primeras 100 Palabras, My first 100 Words is the book we use the most because my youngest rips up everything and being a board book it’s the safest route. (CLICK HERE if interested in a review of the books from another post.)

I made this chart as a simple picture reference to go over a few simple words.
Without color option kids can color themselves : )
English/Spanish color chart.

I played this video during our lessons several times. It worked perfectly to bridge the age difference between my one year old and five year old. I enjoyed the repetitive nature of the video and that it said everything both in English and Spanish. I usually play it when they’re sitting down and eating for something to watch, eating is one of the few times neither kid is running around therefore it’s the perfect time to slip in an educational video.

I use a variety of the resources depending on my children’s mood throughout the week. Generally speaking Monday, Wednesday, Friday I make sure to incorporate a Spanish lesson or which ever language corresponds with the country of the week. The books I tend to use daily with my youngest who as of now enjoys being read to.

On Friday we do a short foreign language lesson and my husband and daughter make a traditional food from the country in which were studying. Being my oldest is a picky eater we keep it simple and we chose tacos for Mexico. I also made several coloring pages representing things Mexico is known for. Each coloring page contains simple sentences to help reinforce our reading studies.

My oldest daughter concentrating on cutting out tacos, under adult super vision.
She turned a taco into an eye patch.
My youngest thinking about coloring, under adult supervision.
Cut out and glued into my daughter’s Country of the Week Journal.

When were finished with the coloring pages I had figured we’d place them inside their Country of the Week Journal. Glue is my first go to, unfortunately it doesn’t last long in my house whenever glue is available my oldest goes glue crazy and we run out quickly. Therefore I often resort to stapling the pages into the book. My idea for the coloring pages was a way to casually get my daughter to read and review words we’ve been working on, while being able to include the youngest. My oldest decided to cut the pages up it worked perfectly because it gave us a chance to work in a scissor activity as well.

I bought crayons pictured above for my youngest because she makes me nervous with normal crayons. Although she still gravitates towards all the other crayons when it comes to coloring, she loves stacking them and watching the pile fall. With my first daughter I was terrified of the idea of allowing her to use scissors, the first pair of scissors she used were the red pair from the three pack of safety scissors. Honestly they barely cut paper and are difficult to use because of that, I still really liked them in the beginning because if the scissors can’t cut paper I knew they’d be safe to use without constant fear. My oldest was probably older then three before she ever was given a pair of scissors to cut with. My youngest she’s to young for scissors although I bring out the red pair during scissor activities to keep her from being tempted from taking her older sisters scissors (Fiskars brand pictured above) which can cut through paper.

(I am a part of the amazon affiliates program any qualifying purchases placed off amazon links throughout this post I may earn a commission on.)

Introducing my five year old to the concept that English isn’t the only language people speak.

Ever since my oldest daughter has been able to talk she’s always been a kid that would say random words and I’d explain to her that language is a series of sounds placed together in order to communicate with one another. As she would then continue and say random sounds and reply to me “mom that’s language.” Again I would repeat myself and explain to her that more than one person has to know what something means in order for it to be considered language.

With that in mind she’d explore the world of internet videos coming across kid videos in other languages, in which I myself am ignorant too because I’ve never learned any language besides English. Not for lack of trying, I had taken Spanish in middle school and in collage. It was difficult for me to retain and I quickly became discouraged.

Recently my daughter has been insisting she wanted to learn Spanish. Out of my element I went on a search for kid friendly Spanish books. In my opinion the whole point of early education is simply to instill interest and basics within children as they navigate life and provide them with basic skills needed to help them find themselves in adulthood. Opening my daughters mind to languages beyond English gives her a higher chance to retain more as she grows older also I want to raise an open minded child who is respectful of others cultures and languages. There’s a lot of hate and ignorant speech in the world that children pick up on, and I don’t want my child to allow that to guide her towards a hateful opinion of people. Therefore my husband and I decided to do better at opening her eyes to other languages and cultures, and although my husband and I aren’t much for traveling maybe my daughters will want to and it all starts now.

The two books above are super helpful resources to learn Spanish. Although if I’m being honest I find myself turning to the board book Mis primeras Palabras, My first 100 words. the most because my youngest daughter who’s currently a year and half loves to be a part of the lessons and she rips everything when given a chance. It’s the safest route. The book teaches animals, body parts, clothes, vehicles, food, and toys. Honestly I feel within a month of reading kid and toddler friendly Spanish books I’ve been able to retain the information better than taking a several month Spanish class in collage. It could be the constant repetition and the fact my toddler loves grabbing that book and handing it to me throughout the day.

Let’s Learn Spanish, by Aurora Cacciapuoti. The first few pages gives a basic introduction to Spanish nothing complex or overwhelming perfect for a child starting out, and a mother who is learning as she’s teaching the best she can. It contains numbers, colors, food, animals, body parts, family concepts and much more. It’s definitely a perfect tool if your looking like I am to simply introduce young children to the concepts of Spanish. My oldest is currently five and a half therefore I’m not expecting full sentences, simple words for now.

As i was looking for Spanish books I came across books spoken in four languages. I got a bit over excited and my daughter telling me she wanted to learn Spanish got me thinking “why stop there.” Since my oldest daughter is often reluctant to read also I have her working on learning to read which can be quite overwhelming for her, she’s not always interested in sitting down and listening to the books even though they are super short. My youngest on the other hand loves it, with her I really focus on the word in English repeating it after every word in another language.

The color book introduces an animal with a piece of clothing in the corresponding color. For example for the color yellow there’s a cow in yellow boots, she smiles and points to her own feet. Both books are in English, Spanish, French, and Mandarin.

My First Book of Chinese Words by Faye-Lynn Wu, starts off with a brief introduction on correct letter sounds, it’s taken me time to wrap my mind around it, I don’t want to teach my children the improper pronunciation of words. However it does a great job of introducing a person to Chinese culture in a simple way, perfect for a night time story or anytime throughout the day.

As I said before I got over excited and consumed by the fact that I hadn’t been including world studies in our lessons together. I had been so focused on basic skills such as learning the alphabet, counting, shapes, colors, reading all that sort of stuff. Not to forget fine motor skills, properly using scissors, writing her name. That it had slipped through my mind until she asked me and I was left sitting there thinking to myself how I fell short on that one. Therefore we began a new idea in my house one I had simply mentioned in passing over the years to my husband yet didn’t have the time to follow through or carry out the idea. A country of the week theme in which one day of the week currently Friday for us my husband and daughter bake a recipe corresponding with the country in which were studying that week. My husband is the better cook in my household.

Since we live in the United States of America it seems fitting to incorporate a dish from other Countries as a way to open her mind and understanding that a lot of the foods she enjoys have been introduced and brought over by immigrants. Again she’s only five therefore I keep it simple and light, hoping that one day when she meets someone that speaks another language she’s respectful towards them instead of rude simply because she’s ignorant. I believe people are rude because if they can’t understand something human beings first reaction is hostility as a defense. Hopefully by expanding her mind now it’ll help keep her mind open later.

We’re currently on week two of our Country of the week concept. Shortly I’ll add a post to share what we’ve been working on, and materials I’ve created or found to help guide my family through the learning process.

For now it’s fairly simple….
Saturday or Sunday- Pick the Country for the week. The first Country the Netherlands was based off the fact my daughter wanted to make doughnuts and pancakes and the second country Mexico was picked because we’ve been learning Spanish recently. The idea going further would be she would simply point to a spot on the globe and pick a Country from the continent her finger is on. (I don’t need to plan to far ahead of time because our lessons as of now are fairly simple.)
Monday-
-Introduce Country of the Week.
-Foreign Language Lesson. (consists of any of the following, look at charts, watch videos, read books.)
Wednesday-
-Foreign Language Lesson. (consists of any of the following, look at charts, watch videos, read books.)
Friday-
-Foreign Language Lesson. (consists of any of the following, look at charts, watch videos, read books.)
-Bake and taste culture together.
-Simple coloring pages I create with images containing food and or things that the Country is known for. Each coloring page contains simple sentences to get my daughter to read.

My daughter’s Country of the Week Journal. We used the stickers we currently had on hand to decorate with.
I laminated the page and placed it on our learning wall to update each week. Free printable below 🙂
A simple English to Spanish picture I made to use during our Spanish lessons. Free printable below 🙂


(I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliant progam and any purchases through the book links above I may earn a commission from.)

Setting up a homeschool preschool in a small Livingroom space.

Main wall in living room converted into a learning wall.

The images above showcases the biggest wall and items upon it I used in my daughter’s homeschool preschool set up in our living room. Upon our wall I placed a laminated pocket pouch to contain a list for each day of the week to keep myself on track. Also being able to cross soemthing off a list brings about a sense of accomplishment and helps ignite interest. Everytime my daughter finsishes a task off the checklist we simply cross it off for the day. I placed all the pocket charts onto the wall with Velcro command strips in order to be able to remove and place back on the wall when needed.

Example of my 1 year old lesson plans

Most of my youngest daughters list are super simple tasks to hold me accountable. A simple reminder for myself to check in and make sure we talked about colors, counted to 10 simple tasks. I make sure I bring the color/shape placemat and the number placemat off the wall daily to spend a few minutes naming colors and counting to 10 with a large visual aid. I love using educational placemats because they’re strong durable and highlight important things to teach.

Example of my 5 year old lesson plans.

My oldest daughters lesson plans are more involved than my youngest lessons of course. I’ve realized I haven’t put in much effort in teaching my daughter about culture and the world. Therefore recently we began a country of the week theme to work within our studies. We introduce the country on Monday and celebrate on Friday by my husband and daughter cooking a dish that’s well known in that Country.

Besides the country of the week theme her list is reading oriented, we do however scatter in a math program two days a week. Also we receive a science box once a month and sprinkle in the theme of that box throughout the month in which we received it.

I printed the chart out and laminated it in order to be able to circle the month and the day every day as a part of our daily tasks. The copy I made for our classroom wall had candles for November for my daughter’s birthdays. If interested click the download link below for a copy of the free chart 🙂
Reading focus wall.

Sight word list link where I found the free printable sight word lists I placed upon our reading focus wall.
This is where I printed the Reading lessons progress chart.
Our reading focus wall is fairly simple and used to track my oldest daughter’s progress, and help me keep on track with words of the week and different letters to review for the week. Although she’s able to recognize her letters now I still continue to review them corresponding with that weeks words. I used Velcro command strips to place the word sheets and words lists upon the wall that way I could remove them whenever I wanted my daughter to read off them. Also I laminated them all. The words of the week chart and letter of the week chart I wrote on a notebook sheet laminated and placed it upon the wall, allowing me to change the words weekly without wasting more paper. Better for the environment and better for the bank account. So total win.

Magnetic learning wall.
Our cluttered book and toy section in living room.

An educational Livingroom wouldn’t be complete without books. We have books in both our daughters room and even tucked in a corner of the playroom upstairs. Although may be an overkill keeping them readily available keeps my husband and I on point to read to our kids. Although my oldest is at a stubborn stage, my youngest is constantly grabbing out a book and handing it to me.

-I am a participant in the amazon affiliate program and purchases from any of the amazon links above I may earn a commission from. –

A hedgehog themed safe place to calm down area.

My oldest daughter can go from calm to a complete meltdown in a matter of minutes. I’ve always been someone who reacts before I slow down and think, therefore her neurotic episodes can be over bearing and push me to a point in which I’m finding myself arguing with a five year. How can I expect to raise a calm rational child who doesn’t shout, scream, and pout every time she doesn’t get her way, if I can’t keep my calm in front of her when she’s upset? Therefore recently I’ve been looking for strategies to help raise a positive happy child and keep my sanity through the process.

First of all the most important part to me was reminding her being angry, and or upset are normal human emotions. It is natural and ok to be angry or upset when you don’t get your way. It’s all about how we act that matters. Shouting, name calling, etc. is not appropriate behavior. Through that I had to remind myself that when she acts out, I need to stay calm. It’s hard because the first thought in my brain is what am I doing wrong? Then I become overwhelmed and upset, in which my first impulse at that point is to yell back. Which solves nothing.

After compiling information from different places, in conclusion I decided making a clam spot in the living room would be a good safe place for us to sit and talk about how we felt, after we both calmed down of course. So far I have seen enough of an improvement to not need to spend several more hours on research.

Hedgehog themed emotion poster’s printable towards bottom of page 🙂

Whenever she gets to a point in which she’s pouting, yelling, screaming rather than simply talking to me, I do my best to stay and clam and ask if she wants to relax in the corner with me. Sometimes we will sit down together and sometimes she’ll go and sit alone. Other times both my daughters find their way over there just because they want to cuddle and relax. Which is nice, because I didn’t want the spot to be associated with negative feelings only.

In our safe spot I placed four of the same emotion posters one for each member of the family. As a way to hold my husband and I accountable to the process. That way each member of the family is able to reflect on how they feel and why, allowing us to teach our children a broader spectrum of emotions. I also created two other posters. A poster that reminds my daughter to check in with herself. Our first step during a freak out, is to ask are you hungry, thirsty, tired, or sick. Simply because if we’re hungry, thirsty, tired, or sick situations that would normally not bother us could trigger a freak out. If she answers no, then we proceed to the next poster which identifies ideas that she can take to calm herself down. Once calmed down and rational then we can talk about why she was upset, how she reacted and how she could react next time. I tried to use pictures and text because my daughter is in the early stages of learning to read.

I laminated the posters in order to be able to circle the corespoinding feelings we had, also for durability purposes. The laminator above is the one that I personally use. In order to be able to take the posters off the wall I used Velcro command strips to hang them. (I am a part of the amazon affiliates program therefore I may earn a commission off anything purchased through links above.

Here are two of the sites I looked through for helpful information on how to handle a childs chaotic episodes, and how to stay calm myself. http://www.gozen.com and http://www.sunshine-parenting.com. I picked and chose ideas between the two to determine how to set up my daughters safe area.

Hedgehog themed circle your emotions poster. In printable version name space is left empty for customization purposes.
Hedgehog themed check in with yourself poster.
Hedgehog themed ideas to calm down poster.

Simple reading coloring pages for a simple Friday.

In my house we try to stay on point and review the week in a simple relaxed way on Fridays. This week I made my daughters super simple coloring pages, with the most generic sentences possible. Since my biggest focus when it comes to my five year old currently is learning the basics of reading. Whatever that takes. With her, it’s taken many different strategies. When it comes to my youngest the main focus is keeping her busy by incorporating colors, animals anything into her day. Coloring pages with super simple sentences and animals helped bridge the gap between their ages and learning level.

Free coloring pages towards bottom of page : )
Keeping an almost one and a half year old busy
and getting a five year old to read at the same time can be made simpler with coloring under adult supervision of course.

My husband and I try to read with our oldest as much as possible. We started reading to her as an infant every night, and I thought it was going to spark a long lasting love of reading in her. It didn’t. At first it worked, when she was younger she enjoyed her bedtime book the older she got the more stubborn she became. Eventually she got stuck on the same two books, one being an animal lift the flap book with very little reading in it, and the other being an “I-Spy” type of book, with even less reading involved. Eventually she would just point to the pictures and ignore the words all together.

In time I began to focus less on the concept of reading a book and instead tried plugging in reading with everyday play and activities. I made flowers out of construction paper and popsicle sticks with sight words to place in my daughters play room. She sells them at her grocery store, and when prompted she’ll read me the words off the flowers. I also incorporated the process of learning her name with the flowers as well. I had made bear shaped flowers using cookie cutters to trace, that I wrote the letter of her names onto the front side of each bear and the back side I wrote the number that corresponded with the letter. For example my daughters name starts with L therefore the back of the teddy bear had the number one.

Before my husband and I bought our daughter the Melissa and Doug grocery store, I used a storage tote to store most the play food we have and placed a toy register on top. Which is significantly cheaper and works just fine, sometimes simple forces children to use more imagination and there is no harm in that. I call it a tote, although the correct term is closer to three drawer organizer cart.

We still use it to store some of the play food in and it works great I’m obsessed with totes. Anytime I ask for another my husband complains we have too many already. I rather like them because they’re inexspensive simple, and I can buy them as needed. Of course they require adult supervision when it comes to my one year old to make sure when she opens them for toys she doesn’t pull it down on herself. They also come with wheels and I simply use them without the wheels.

(I am a part of the amazon affiliates program.)

Number Puzzles…

My oldest daughter is at the age in which I’m trying to incorporate as much reading into her daily routine as possible. Without resulting in her stomping off because in her words “it’s not learning time.” Although as her mother I feel at her age everything can be a learning experience.

She loves puzzles, when she’s in the mood that is. Therefore I made her a hedgehog themed number puzzle. Incorporating the numbers 1-12. I wanted to make sure by the time she started kindergarten she could at least recognize the words for beginning numbers.

I made the number puzzles in two versions, the basic version in which she had to match the numeral number symbol with the correct number of hedgehogs to boost her confidence and encourage her to continue. Whenever something is challenging she’s ready to move on, in which I explain to her we know nothing until we learn it. Not knowing something isn’t a reason to be discouraged with yourself. The message hasn’t quite set in yet, I figure eventually it will. Anyways I made the easier version to keep her interested because she’s able to recognize the numeral numbers, and the second version is to help her learn to read the written word of a number. Version two is about matching the number hedgehogs with the corresponding number word.

Hedgehog number puzzle, free printable towards bottom of page 🙂

In order to make the hedgehog puzzles I printed them out on basic paper and laminated them for durability. You could use card stock whichever works best for you. After cut them out along the lines, and enjoy 🙂

“Ten Little Ladybugs” by Melanie Gerth, is a great book to use to help incorporate reading recognition when it comes to numbers. It’s a fun way to count along, and it shows the numbers both in written text and the symbol. It’s another tool my husband and I try to throw in to get my daughter to read and recognize numbers. When she was younger she loved counting the ladybugs on each page, every page until the end of the book. She would also touch each ladybug and tell me their corresponding color. (I am a part of amazon affiliates and may receive a commission from purchase through link above.)

(please remember all printable items found on learning-with-nana-hedgehog are intended for personal use only.)

Sight word hide and seek.

My five year old daughter’s attention span is short. She’s constantly running around all over the place, going from one idea to the next. Getting her to sit down and focus is difficult. I didn’t want to push her to hard into doing things she wasn’t interested in to the point in which learning became a chore and she loss interested all together. When it came to learning sight words she quickly lost interest, I knew I wanted to continue trying, without creating a situation in which resulted in a hatred for reading.

Her favorite game to play is hide and seek. Her one year old sister loves playing with her, as she keeps her eyes open and points me in the direction her older sister went in all while giggling. Whenever it comes my time to hide, I quickly go under a blanket in the most obvious place, because to be honest I hate hide and seek.

Eventually I found a solution to both problems. That solution came in the form of the game “sight word hide and seek.” It’s a simple game in which my daughter’s and I hide four animal characters a bird, hedgehog, rabbit, and a bear. Each animal is holding a different word. When found I simply ask her “what word is bird holding?” “what word is bear holding?” and so on. Until we’ve found all the animals and she’s read each word, then we hide them all over again. No matter who hides them I still ask her the same question. The best part is I make my daughter happy by playing her favorite game, without having to hide which is awesome and peak her interest in reading words in a way she almost doesn’t even realize that she’s learning.

Sight word hide and seek, free printable towards bottom of page : )

The printable contains the four animals above. The printable itself has no words written on it because I personally didn’t want to print out tons of animals to cover the vast collection of words we will be working on. Also it’s a great addition to use when teaching the letters of the alphabet. Instead of words just simply write a letter on each. I printed each animal out on basic paper and simply laminated them that way they would hold up to the wear and tare of a one and five year old also I could easily write different words whenever I wanted with a dry erase marker. when I wanted to change them I simply erase the word and write something else. Super simple and saves on materials.

When my daughter is finally in the mood to sit down and read, 50 first sight word reader pack is what we read together, and it is helping her get to a point where she can read a book alone. The books are super simple a few words per page, and repetitive. Exactly what she needs to maintain her focus, they’re not to long that she’s over reading before the book is even over. And each of the sight words are used over and over again to the point that they start to stick with her and she retains the information. (I am a participant in the amazon affiliate program and get a commission off anything purchased from links above.)