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We are LOVING our baby bins over here.  They are keeping my 17 month old happy and busy so that I can sneak in some extra attention for my preschooler working hard on her learning activities. We are starting out with a new color each week, so this week our baby bin theme was ORANGE
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Here is a look at what we have planned for the first 6 colors:
Tons of color themed activities and ideas. Weekly plan includes themed book, sensory bin, art activities, and more! These Baby Bin plans are perfect for learning with little ones between 12-24 months old.
Here are the details for each of our activities:
 Orange Read Aloud:
I had to do a little digging to find a really good orange book because I wanted something a little different that would keep Miss Aubrey's attention.  I finally found this AWESOME new to me book, It's an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall.  If your little ones love the cutouts in The Very Hungry Caterpillar, they will fall in love with the cut out pages in this book as much as we have. Some friendly ants drill holes in their stump to peek out, and see a new color on each page. The pictures in this book are bright and colorful and the story is silly enough to keep you giggling the whole way through.  
  Orange Sensory Bin:
Play Food (carrots, oranges, and pumpkins)
Toy Car
Orange Animals (tiger, x-ray fish, and monkey)
Circle Puzzle Card

Play ideas for this bin:
1. Find all of the orange animals
2. Put together the orange circle puzzle card
3. Find all of the food, and feed it to mommy 
4. Build with orange Magna Tiles
5. Read the small orange board book
 Felt Pumpkin Threading:
For this activity, I cut small pumpkin and stem shapes out of orange and green felt. Then I hot glued the stems on and cut a slit in the center of each pumpkin.  I gave Aubrey a few pipe cleaner vines and she went to town trying to put them all on the vine.
  Pumpkin Paint in a Bag:
For this baby safe painting activity, I drew a pumpkin outline on a ziplock bag. Next, I added a few squirts of red and yellow paint. Then, I sealed it up and taped it shut for some fun no mess and no stress color mixing and painting.
 Orange Water Bead Play:
I've been wanting to introduce water beads to Aubrey, but she still puts everything in her mouth and water bead are NOT baby/taste safe. So to keep things safe I poured the beads into small plastic bottles and closed them up nice and tight. I planned to have Aubrey experiment with shaking and rolling the bottles around, but she took the lead and decided they were perfect for stacking! 
MORE Orange Water Bead Play:
 After a while I was feeling brave and decided to try pouring the water beads out for her to explore while I watched her SUPER CLOSELY. She happily filled, scooped and dumped the containers full of squishy beads. This lasted about 3 minutes before she attempted to put one in her mouth and we were done. 
Orange Color Collage:
At the end of each color week we are making a color collage that I will put together in a book for Aubrey to flip through.

To make the orange book page, I first cut out a large rectangle from the center of 2 pieces of orange cardstock. Then I cut two pieces of contact paper that were slightly bigger than the orange rectangles.

  I took the backing off of one piece of contact paper and stuck one rectangle on it.  Then I gave Aubrey a tray full of orange pictures, stickers, sequins, and feathers to create an orange collage.

After she was finished, I glued the second orange rectangle on top of the first and pressed the remaining piece of contact paper over the top to seal the collage inside. Next, I trimmed the excess contact paper around the orange rectangle.  I hole punched the top corner and add it to a small metal ring with our red collage page to form a unique color flip book.

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:

Whether you are studying owls, bats, wolves, or even racoons, night animals are always fascinating These are my favorite books to build background knowledge about nocturnal animals.

1. Where Are the Night Animals? By Mary Ann Fraser: Learn all about coyotes, skunks, owls, opossums and more in this overview of night animal behavior.
2. Night Animals By Gianna Marino: Possum and his friends are afraid of night animals in this cute fiction story.  A simple story for young listeners.
3. Owl Moon By Jane Yolen: A girl and her dad go on a magical owling adventure in this fiction story perfect for older readers.
4. National Geographic Readers: Wolves By Laura Marsh: In this nonfiction book specifically about wolves, readers will learn how they run in packs, stalk their prey and more. The beautiful photographs will capture the interest of kids young and old.
5. Nocturnal Animals By Kelli L. Hicks: This nonfiction book is packed full of information about all the things nocturnal animals do at night. A great book for comparing with Where Are the Night Animals? By Mary Ann Fraser
6. Moonlit Animals: This book is a really interesting and engaging way to learn about night animals. The animals are hidden in the night on the pages and you use a "flashlight" (piece of white cardstock, between vellum pages) to find the animals. The text is interesting and informative, but the real magic is in the special flashlight used to highlight each animal in the night.
7. Out of Sight Till Tonight By Tish Rabe: For kids who are familiar with The Cat in the Hat this science book is sure to be a hit.  The rhyming text and whimsical illustrations invite students in while providing quality information and defining important vocabulary.
8. Little Owl's Night By Divya Srinivasan: In this book, little owl enjoys watching all of the animals interesting activities during the night, but he is curious about what animals do during the day. His mom tries to describe to him what it is like, but he falls asleep as the sun rises.
9. Owl Babies By Martin Waddell: Three sweet owlets wake up to find their mommy owl gone.  They worry and wonder where she has gone. The illustrations are gorgeous and make this simple story come to life
10. Owl Sees Owl By Laura Godwin: Owl sets out on an adventure in this simple poetry book, which reverses mid story when "Owl sees Owl." He sees his own reflection and which startles him into returning home.
11. Secret Pizza Party By Adam Rubin: Everyone love pizza, even the poor raccoon. All he wants in life is pizza, but unfortunately he can't just ask for a slice. So of course he plans a secret pizza party! If you loved Dragons Love Tacos you'll love this book from the same author.
12. Owls By Gail Gibbons: Take an in depth look into the life of an owl with this non fiction book. Learn about owl habitats, life styles, birth and development and environmental hazards that are threatening owl species


If you are still a little overwhelmed trying to decide which books to use and what skills to practice, I am taking all the guesswork out of that for you!

I created this Nocturnal Animals: Read & Respond resource to go along with 5 of my favorite fall books above. It is the perfect way to strengthen comprehension and writing skills along with some fun craftivities to keep your kids engaged! And all of the activities are differentiated for K-2 and Common Core aligned.

Learn new vocabulary and practice opinion writing with Where Are the Night Animals? by Mary Ann Fraser.
Identify story elements and write/infer with Night Animals by Gianna Marino.
Identify point of view and practice narrative writing with Owl Moon by Jane Yolen.
Then make this adorable owl craft.
Use text features with National Geographic Readers: Wolves by Laura Marsh.
Then write an acrostic poem and create a cute wolf craft to go with it.
Use illustrations to gain information with Nocturnal Animals by Kelli L. Hicks.
Then write a nonfiction book summarizing new learning about nocturnal animals.
You can grab all of these activities here Nocturnal Animals: Read & Respond:

The goal of an "All About Me" theme is usually to help classmates get to know each other better, but when your only student is your own child, that puts a bit of a different spin on things. For our All About Me theme we focused on emotions, family, and learning more about ourselves. 
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our All About Me theme:
Tons of All About Me theme activities and ideas. Weekly plan includes books, literacy, math, science, art, sensory bins, and more! Perfect for tot school, preschool, or kindergarten.
And here are the details for each activity:
 Concepts of Print:
This week we focused on the title, author, and illustrator and where you can find them in a book. Our first read aloud was Marvelous Me by Lisa Bullard. Before reading, I gave Madelynn sticky notes to label the title, author, and illustrator with support from me.
All About Me Flower:
Our next read aloud was I'm Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis. This book encourages kids to like themselves exactly the way they are. Afterwards we talked about all the things Madelynn is good at. Then she cut and glued a flower together and wrote one thing on each petal, and added her name on the leaf.  I had to laugh when she insisted she was good at jumping because she jumped off her bed a few weeks ago and broke her clavicle.
Emotion Vocabulary Cards:
One of my favorite books for an All About Me theme is The Way I Feel by Janan Cain. Preschoolers can have BIG emotions, so learning a little bit about what they are and why we feel different ways can only help, right? After reading, we practiced acting out each emotion and telling what would make us feel that way. I took pictures for each one then labeled them and put them on a ring for Madelynn to flip through and learn the words.
Chrysanthemum Retelling:
Our next story was Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. After reading, I showed Madelynn a 3 part flip book with the words beginning, middle, and end on them. Then I told her I was going to read 3 parts of the story and she had to try to put them in order.  She then glued then under each flap and illustrated the part of the story to go with each.
 Tracking Print:
Our last book was the letter Y book from Abby's Alphabet Book Series. Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read. We also read The letter Y book from our Nonfiction Alphabet Reader set. This set has many more words per page so Madelynn tracked the print with her finger while I read each page.
Y is for You Read and Color:
This week we focused on the letter Y fo we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified each letter then followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  She had a little trouble noticing the difference between upper and lowercase y's, but otherwise completed this page fairly independently.
 Y Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make a Y. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase y's in the yoyo, stamp them and make the y sound each time.  
Yummy Y Sound Sort:
First, I printed out foods that started with the "y" sound (yams, yolk, yellow pepper, yogurt) and other sounds. I hid all of the cards in a bin full of split peas. Then I printed 2 kids, taped them on tall boxes and cut out a slot for their mouth. Madelynn found each card, said the word then fed them to "y" and "not y" kids. based on the beginning sound.   Next, she completed a cut and paste version of the same activity to show what she learned.
All About Me Name Craft:
This week for our name practice, Madelynn did an self portrait craft. First she cut and glued the pieces together to make a girl.  Then she used crayons to finish the face and decorate the shirt.  Finally she glued the letter tiles to label her shirt. 
 All About Me Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw a self portrait and write her name. She wrote most  of the letters (from right to left) without much help from me. Not too sure about that crazy blue hair though, we might be in trouble the next time she goes to get a haircut!
All About Me Sand Tray:
Our first math activity this week was an all about me themed sand tray.  I filled the tray with regular sand, then Madelynn used small hand cards as a model. She chose which letters she wanted to practice and used her finger to write them in the sand.
Fingerprint Patterns:
Our other math focus this week was on AB patterns. We used a stamp pad to make fingerprint patterns, then we used a magnifying glass to get a closer look at how each one is unique.
Pom Pom Patterns:
Another way we practiced patterns was with pom poms. We started out with pattern cards, then I gave Madelynn a mini ice cube tray and told her to use her favorite colors to make her own patterns.  I also added our tweezers for some extra fine motor practice.
Family Patterns:
I found these really cute family counters in different colors and knew they'd be perfect for creating patterns.  Madelynn really just wanted to create little families at first, but then once I modeled a few AB patterns for her, she got the idea.
Clothesline Patterns:
For our last pattern practice activity, I pushed 2 sticks into styrofoam blocks, then strung a piece of twine between them. I printed shirts in a rainbow of colors and Madelynn used clothespins to clip them on the line in AB patterns.  
Emotions Play Dough:
This week we learned more about our emotions with this play dough mat.  Madelynn used the pictures at the top as models to create lots of different emotions and use new vocabulary to describe how her person was feeling.
 Family Portrait:
After talking about families and how everyone's families are different, we talked about the members of our family.  Then Madelynn drew our family on a small piece of cardstock and built a house with popsicle sticks and glue around us. 
My Family Sensory Bin:
In this bin: family photos, word cards, shredded paper

In this bin Madelynn had to find and math the people in our bin to their names.  In a group setting you could also do this with the students in your class and their names or use generic pictures for brother, sister, grandma, grandpa, etc.
Full Boy Self Portrait:
An All About Me theme just wouldn't be complete without a full body tracing activity.  I helped trace Madelynn's body on a roll of paper then she used crayons to add the details.
Build a Family Sensory Bin:

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:
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!
Tons of All About Me theme activities and ideas. Weekly plan includes books, literacy, math, science, art, sensory bins, and more! Perfect for tot school, preschool, or kindergarten.

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