Category Archives: manipulatives

What Else Are We Going To Do

I have a six year old who loves school…. the only thing is that when we finish all I have planned for the day, he wants more. It’s a good problem to have, but the fact is… come afternoon, I am worn out! I am ready for the kids to play quietly and the toddler to nap so I can put my feet up for a while. I don’t want to quench his thirst for learning, but I don’t want him to rely on me for all of his entertainment and educational needs. I now have a folder and section of our school shelf for when I hear “what else are we going to do today?”

Here are a few of my extra activities for those days when the kids just can’t seem to get enough:

I cut up some letters from magazines, cereal boxes, circulars, etc. and keep them in a little container on the shelf. These can be pulled out and used to make words… spelling words, sight words, random words, etc.


Sort the letters. Put all the Bs together, Cs together, etc. Big Sis can do this one too.

Other ideas for using these letters… make a letter collage, write a letter to a friend using the cut out letters, make labels for things in the house, etc.

Every now and then, the dollar section at Target has some great school stuff. I try to stock up on the workbooks when I see them. They also have some of these at Walmart…

With big brother being able to read, I can just let him grab a workbook and do some on his own. I really like the story starter book. I don’t know about you, but trying to get my little guy to write is like pulling teeth. He has great ideas, but doesn’t like to take the time to write them out. This book is full of silly pictures. He has to make up the story to go with the picture. So far, so good with this one. He hasn’t complained once!

Other ideas for “what else are we going to do” and for rainy day activities include:

puzzles– the kids have some puzzles in their rooms that they can get any time they want, but I have a few that I reserve for just such an occassion

sorting– I have a huge box of buttons (you can get bags of assorted buttons at any craft store for pretty cheap)… my kids love to take the button box and some muffin tins to sort them. After they sort them, they usually pretend that they are baking exotic muffins. I also have a bag of assorted pasta they like to sort.

reading– Big Brother likes to take a good book out on the front porch by himself and read

scavenger hunt– send them outside with a list of nature items to collect… then let them draw pictures of what they’ve found… rainy day… give them a list of things to find inside.

I have also found some great web sites with free printables… like mazes, cross word puzzles, word searches and riddles that keep them busy for a little while. One such site is

How about you? What kinds of extra things do you keep around for your kids that just can’t seem to get enough school?

I’m linking up with Living Life Intentionally’s First Ever Linky Party:



Filed under crafts, homeschool, kids, manipulatives, muffin tin, rain, sorting, writing

Cheerio Math

It has been a few days since I posted anything. My house was infested with the dreaded stomach bug for the last week. I think I have rid us of the toxins… I HATE the stomach bug. I dread it. I live in fear of it. Please, dear Lord, let it be gone.

We didn’t do any school last week and are playing catch up this week. I have posted before that we are on a tight budget as my hubs is in seminary right now. When it comes to school, we get creative and make do with what we have.

This week in math, we are working on graphing.

I gave each child a handful of fruity cheerios…

Big Brother had to read the directions and answer the questions at the bottom of the page (like which has the most? Which has the least? How many do you have all together? etc.)… he did a great job…

 …but he was just so hungry! After we finished the activity… it was snack time! The activity is so simple and quick to put together.

We also conducted a survey via facebook about favorite Christmas songs. We’ll be graphing those results tomorrow.

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Filed under homeschool, manipulatives, math

Math Boxes

As suggested in the My Father’s World Curriculum, I made some math boxes to help with our addition and subtraction practice. I used some small cereal boxes from a big Sam’s box we recently got. I covered them with construction paper and labeled them.

Here’s how we will be using the math boxes.
1. I collected various objects (beans, circles, paper clips, buttons…) and put them into their appropriate box. The number of objects in the box depends on what number you want your child to work with (for example …I put 15 buttons in the button box today).
2. Instruct the child to choose a box and use the objects to create number stories. (I have 7 buttons and I find 8 more…I have 15 in all … Or I have 15 buttons and I give away 5…I have 10 left).
3. Encourage the child to explore all the combinations of number stories. I gave my kids their magnedoodles to write down the equations that go with the number stories (7+8=15 or 15-5=10).

Are you still with me?

You can change out the amounts as often as you like. The activity is very child directed and encourages hands on exploration!

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Filed under manipulatives, math, mfw