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This week we had so much fun with all things BLUE for our baby bin theme.
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Here is a look at what we have planned for our first 6 color themed baby bins:
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:
 Blue Read Aloud:
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle is already a favorite for both of my girls so it made the perfect blue themed story to kick off our week.  They love the truck and animal sounds and I love the message of friendship and helping others.
 Blue Sensory Bin:
Play Food (water, blueberries, etc.)
Triangle Puzzle Card

Play ideas for this bin:
1. Put together a blue shape puzzle card.
2. Find all the people and vehicles.
3. Find all of the jewelry and play dress up.
4. Build an ice castle for Elsa.
5. Roll, toss, kick and play with the balls.
 Blue Theme Play Dough Tray:
For this activity, we worked on building fine motor strength. I gave Aubrey a tray with blue play dough, cookie cutters, gems, straws, sticks, and pouch lids. She used all of the different pieces to play stamp, squish and explore.

Blue Foam and Ice Play:
For this activity I sprayed blue foam soap on our clear tray then added blue star and regular ice cubes. Then Aubrey squished and explored.  We discovered she kind of hates the messy feeling though so this tray didn't last long unfortunately.  Luckily my almost 4 year old was all about the mess so she got to play and explore too!

 Little Blue Truck Bin:
Our next activity went along with our Little Blue Truck story for the week. First, I set it up with real mud but just like our last activity Aubrey really hated being messy and refused to play. So this was round 2 made with shredded brown paper. I added a little blue truck, farm animals, a frog and a dump truck and it was the perfect compromise, lots of fun without the mess.
Blue 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 blue book page, I first cut out a large rectangle from the center of 2 pieces of blue cardstock. Then I cut two pieces of contact paper that were slightly bigger than the blue 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 blue pictures, stickers, sequins, and feathers to create a blue collage.

After she was finished, I glued the second blue 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 rectangle.  I hole punched the top corner and add it to a small metal ring with our red, orange, and yellow, and green collage pages 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:

October:



With all of the wildfires going on in California right now, Fire Prevention week and Fire Safety have really been on my mind a lot. This week in addition to all of our preschool activities, we talked a lot about how to stay safe if there were ever a fire in our house. 
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our Fire Safety theme:
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 Firefighters A to Z by Chris L. Demarest. Before reading, I gave Madelynn sticky notes to label the title, author, and illustrator. She was thrown a little bit by the fact that the author and illustrator were the same person this time, but that made a great teaching point!
  No Dragons for Tea Retelling:
Our next read aloud was No Dragons for Tea by Jean Pendziwol. 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.
 Firefighter Vocabulary:
Then we read People Who Help Us: Firefighters by Amanda Askew. This book has a lot of new vocabulary, so after reading we used vocabulary cards to help draw and make our own firefighter vocabulary book.
  Firefighter Bubble Map:
To wrap up our firefighter learning we read Fred the Firefighter by Felicity Brooks. After reading I asked Madelynn to fill in a bubble map with things she learned about fire fighters. Madelynn came up with a few ideas on her own (they drive fire trucks, put out fires, climb ladders). Then we flipped through pictures from this week's books to add more and finish our bubble map.
  Tracking Print:
Our last book was the letter E (for Emergency) book from Abby's Alphabet Book Series. Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read. 
 Fire Safety Read and Color:
This week we focused on the letter E so we started with this color by code activity. Madelynn identified each letter then followed the directions to make each spot the correct color.  
  E Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an E. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase e's in the alarm, stamp them and make the e sound each time.  
 Fire Safety Syllable Sort:
This week I introduced the concept of syllables for the first time to Madelynn.  First we practiced clapping the syllables in each word.  She did surprisingly well at this for most words, so then I showed her how to put one finger up while saying each syllable instead of clapping. Afterwards she could look at her fingers to see how many syllables that word had.  So many skills working together for this sort, so I definitely had to give lots of help along the way.
 Fire Truck Name Craft:
This week for our name craft, Madelynn made her own fire truck and I have to say it is absolutely my favorite name craft so far! First she cut and glued the pieces together to make a truck.  Then she cut apart the letter tiles, and glued them in the correct order to complete the ladder. Way too cute!
 Fire Safety Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and label a fire engine.  I helped her sound out the word slowly and asked her to listen for any letter sounds she knew. She wrote "F E N." I'm loving watching her beginning writing progress :)
Fire Safety Salt Tray:
Our first math activity this week was a fire themed sand tray.  I filled the tray with orange dyed salt (I poured salt into a bag with a few drops of food coloring then shook it up to distribute the dye evenly) and a few red, orange, and yellow paper shreds. Then Madelynn used small fire cards as a model to write them in the salt with her finger.
 Fire Safety Positional Word Book:
Our new math skill for the week is positional words. I put together this book with opposites on each page and fire themed pictures for sorting.  I laminated and added velcro to all of the pieces so they could be used over and over again.  Then Madelynn practiced identifying left/right, in front/behind, over under, and on/off.

 Where is the Firefighter?
For this positional word game we started out by using Magna Tiles to build a fire station.  (You could also use a toy fire engine or other toy house you have instead.)  Then Madelynn rolled a die with positional words on it to find out where to put the firefighter.  We took turns practicing all of the different positions and problem solving how to put the firefighter inside the station (we needed to add a door) and below the fire station (Madelynn decided to put him under the table.)
  Climb the Ladder:
Our next fire themed game was a fun way to practice counting and number sense.  To prep the game, I first made a building our of Magna Tiles on our oil drip pan, taped a ladder on the side then added magnet firemen and kitties.  To play, we took turns rolling the die and climbing that many rungs on the ladder each time.  The first one to get to the top, rescue the kitty and climb back down was the winner.
 Where is the Fire Dog?
For our last positional word practice activity, I created this simple printable book with cut out pieces.  On each page I used a different positional word (above, below, behind, next to, between, etc.) and Madelynn cut and glued the fire dogs in the correct spot on each page.
Fire Safety Sensory Bin:
In this bin: shredded paper (red, orange, and yellow), Magna Tiles, fire engines, fire fightersmini puzzle letters 

In this bin, Madelynn built a fire station and houses, added fire, then used the fire engine and firefighter to pretend to put out the fires. She pulled apart the puzzle pieces and put them back together to spell FIRE.
 Tissue Paper Fire Art:
To prepare this craft, I cut out a fire shape from orange paper and small tissue paper squares in red, orange and yellow. First Madelynn glued the fire shape onto a black sheet of cardstock. Then she used the tissue paper squares to create 3 dimensional fire. I love the way she crumpled the tissue to create texture in the fire.
 Hot and Cold Sort:
After talking about how to stay safe in a fire, we talked about how fires can start and the importance of not touching or playing with items that are hot. Madelynn cut apart pictures and sorted them into hot and cold groups.
 Drip Art Fire:
This fun process art activity was a great way to practice fine motor skills and turned out really beautiful.  I prepped a few coffee filters by cutting them into fire shapes, then flattening them out.  Madelynn used pipettes to drop liquid watercolors in red, orange, and yellow onto them.  Afterwards the coffee filters were soaked but I wanted to let them dry so we could hang them in our windows, so we completed this activity on our clear tray then I allowed them to dry overnight without moving them.
Fire Fighting Sensory Bin:
In this bin: laminated pictures, tempera paint, water, plastic spray bottles, fine motor tools

Ahead of time I painted the laminated pictures with red, orange, and yellow tempera paint to create fire and allowed it to dry.  I taped the pictures to the inside of the bin, then filled spray bottles with water. Madelynn used the spray bottles and fine motor tools to "fight the fires" and spray the paint away.

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!
September:

October: 

This week we took a quick break from our color themed baby bins to explore leaves with our FALL baby bin theme.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here are the details for each of our Fall activities:
Fall Read Aloud:
Touch and feel books are always a favorite of my daughter so I found this Fall Bright Baby Touch and Feel book, by Roger Priddy to go along with our fall theme.
Fall Theme Sensory Bin:
Play ideas for this bin:
1. Sort leaves and objects by color.
2. Build with fall colored blocks.
3. String fall colored beads.
4. Find and roll all of the colored balls.

Fall Leaf Stuffing:
This fall activity was seriously so easy and kept Aubrey busy all afternoon.  We worked on building fine motor skills by stuffing silk leaves into a wipe container. That's it! Baby activities don't need to be complicated, sometimes the easier the better!
Fall Pom Pom Drop:
Little craft pom poms are fascinating to my girls. They love to scoop, squish, roll and play with big bins full of them.  To add a fun invitation to play,  I taped empty toilet paper and paper towel tubes to our large oil drip pan.  Then I placed a bin full of fall colored pom poms underneath.  Aubrey grabbed bunches of pom poms and dropped them in the tubes to watch them fall.
Fall Leaf Painting:
For this activity, I taped down a few leaves on white paper and mixed up a batch of the easiest cornstarch paint ever. To make this taste safe paint, mix cornstarch with water. I don't actually measure it at all! I just put a scoop of cornstarch in a bowl and add warm water slowly, mixing often until I reach the consistency I'm going for. Not too watery but not so stiff you can't stir it, then add food coloring.  Make sure to stir the paint often while using as it may settle at the bottom of the bowl. I made batches of red, orange, and yellow for Aubrey to paint over her leaves.  After she finished I pulled the leaves off of the paper before the paint dried.
Fall Tree Sticky Window:
For this activity I drew a large fall tree outline on contact paper, then taped it to a window sticky side out.  Next I gave Aubrey a bin full of foam leaves.  The foam shapes are easy to remove and reposition, so we kept our tree up for about a week before deciding to take it down.  It made a really great activity for both of my girls to do while I made lunch or cleaned the kitchen.

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:

October:

I LOVE fall and all of the fun events that come with it. Wait it is fall right? I mean it is still in the high 70s here which is crazy for the beginning of October in Wisconsin, but I will take it while I can because winter will be here before we know it.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**

Here were our plans for our Fall theme:
And here are the details for each activity:
Concepts of Print:
This week we focused on the parts of a book. Our first read aloud was Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. Before reading, I gave Madelynn sticky notes to label the front cover, back cover, title page, and spine.
Leaf Man Predictions:
Our next story was Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. Before reading, we practiced making predictions.  
I asked "After looking at the cover, what do you think this story will be about?" 
Madelynn: "The leaves are going to turn into a person." 
Then I asked: "What makes you say that?" 
Madelynn: "This leaf looks like a face"
 There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Retelling:
Our next read aloud was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro. After reading, I taped a picture of the little old lady to a wipe container then gave Madelynn pieces from the story. She fed them to the little old lady while retelling the story, then made the scarecrow pop out at the end.
 Season Tree Vocabulary:
For some nonfiction learning, we read Colorful Leaves by Maria Fleming. This book has a lot of great information, but we focused mainly on the trees at the differences between the trees during each season. Afterwards we used tree picture and word cards to match and discuss the changes we notice each season.
 Tracking Print:
Our last book was the letter L book from Abby's Alphabet Book Series. Madelynn identified the picture then pointed to each word as she read. 
 Leaf Sand Tray:
Our first literacy activity this week was a fall themed salt tray.  Madelynn used small leaf cards as a model and chose which letters she wanted to practice.  We started with our focus letter L for leaf, then practiced M for her name and A for her sister Aubrey before trying lots of new letters.
  Leaf Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make an L. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase l's in the leaf, stamp them and make the "L" sound each time.  
 Magnetic Leaf Rhyme Match:
This month we are focusing on identifying rhyming words which can be a really tricky concept to teach.  Up until this week, we've read lots and lots of books with rhyme and rhythm and I've pointed out rhymes but never really focused on it.
So for this activity I printed leaf and tree pairs of rhyming words. I taped a magnetic bingo chip on the back of the leaf pictures and hid them in a bin of silk leaves.  I attached a rake to a magnetic wand, then Madelynn raked through the bin to find a leaf picture.  She said the word and I helped her to find a rhyme. We did a LOT of repetition to help her hear the rime part of each word. (for example "pig, wig, they both have an -ig."
 Fall Tree Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created an adorable fall tree.  First Madelynn cut the branches and the tree top and glued them together. Then I gave her foam leaf stickers with the letters in her name.  She peeled and stuck them in order on her tree and added a few extra as well. I LOVE how it turned out.
 Fall Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and write about fall trees. She the trunk first then added branches, red, green, and yellow leaves, and grass.  She chose not to write any words this time which is totally okay. I always encourage writing, but don't want to push her too hard if she's not in the mood. 
 Apple Count and Color:
This week for math we focused on counting and identifying numbers to 10.  We started with this color by code activity. Madelynn counted the dots then had to follow the directions to make each spot the correct color.  Now that we've been doing these activities for a few weeks she is getting very fast at identifying the number of dots with a quick glance.
  Leaf Number Hunt:
Madelynn LOVES our letter and number hunts from tot school, so we have been adding them into our preschool plans. Instead of finding and matching the numbers to her paper, I made the activity a bit more challenging by putting dots on our hidden leaves. Madelynn had to find each leaf, count the dots, find the number on her page and color it the matching color.  So many skills at work!
Fall Leaf Magnet Match:
To prep this activity I first blew up a large tree picture and taped it to our oil drip pan.  Next I wrote numbers on the tree with dry erase markers.  Then, I drew dots on foam leaves and added magnets to the back. Madelynn chose a leaf, counted the dots and matched it to the correct spot on the tree. You could also hide the leaves in a fall themed sensory bin for a little extra challenge.
Fall Ten Frames:
We used these ten frames for LOTS of math practice this week. First, Madelynn identified the large number. Then she made it with play dough and counted the leaves in the ten frame. Next, she used a dry erase marker to practice writing the number, and finally used tweezers and/or her fingers to grab and count out foam leaf beads to put on the tree.
Fingerprint Fall Counting Trees:
For our last counting activity, I printed black and white trees with the numbers 1-10. Madelynn use done finger to stamp the correct number of leaves on each tree with washable ink.
 Fall Items Sink & Float:
For our science activity this week we learned about sink & float as well as making predictions. I gave Madelynn a tray with fall objects: mini pumpkins, apples, leaves, rocks, acorns, pine cones and sticks. One by one she chose an item, made a prediction, then tested it out to see if it would sink or float.  Easy peasy!
 Fall Leaf Rubbings:
For our first art project this week we did simple leaf rubbings with crayons.  I taped a few leaves to our tray, then placed a piece of paper on top. Madelynn rubbed crayons sideways over the leaves to create beautiful textures.
 Fall Color Sorting Bin:
In this bin: red, orange, yellow, and brown pom poms, mini leaves, squirrel squeezers (from Sneaky Snack Squirrel Game), mini puzzle letters, and colored bowls for sorting

Our squirrel squeezers were the perfect tool for grabbing and sorting pom poms in this easy peasy fall color sorting bin.
 Potato Stamp Fall Tree:
To prepare this craft I cut a potato in half then carved a few lines to create a leaf. Then I printed a tree trunk for Madelynn to use as a background.  She used a paintbrush to paint a thin layer of tempera paint on the potato and stamp it on her tree.
Fall Leaf Slime:
I've always had trouble getting slime recipes just right, but I have found the PERFECT recipe that is impossible to mess up. (and trust me I have had quite a few slime fails in the past few years!) 

Fall Slime Recipe:
1 Tbsp baking soda
2 1/2 Tbsp contact lens solution

Directions: Pour both bottles of glue into a bowl. Add baking soda and mix well.  Add contact solution and mix with spoon until it gets too difficult. Use hands to knead the slime together. If slime is too sticky add a bit more contact solution. Mix in fall confetti if desired.

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!
September:

October: 

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