Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Tot Goodies!

I hit the local homeschool bookstore and the thrift store again, and I came home with LOTS more goodies for Holden! Here is some of the cool stuff I found:

Discovery Toys Place & Trace for $2.

The Creative Activity Kit brand Totally Creepy Bugs set, new in box, for 99 cents. I wanted to use this with Easter Grass on a tot tray with pretend bugs and frogs buried in it. He got the sensory activity of digging through the grass and the fine motor skill of using the tweezers to transfer them to the bug box. He got to use the magnifying glass to help look for them, too. He really enjoyed this.

Creative Toys brand Shapes early learning game for $2. This involves two piece interlocking puzzle sets where one piece has a basic shape and the other piece has a photo of a real item that has that basic shape. I laid out four sets at a time on a tot tray, and Holden studied them and matched them up. He really enjoyed this, too, and kept asking for more! The other half of the set had an outline of a shape with only half of it filled in. The matching piece had the missing half of that shape, and they have to be matched up. This was a bit more advanced, so I will save that portion for later on down the road. I'd love to find more of these games. The back of the box says there are other themes like associations, colors, opposites, rhyming words, and silhouettes in this series of games. They all say ages 2-5.

Primary Concepts brand Frog Sorting set for $5. This was really cute. I used these frogs for the bug hunting activity I described above, but he also used the set as intended for sorting the frogs by color on the lily pads. Too cute! You can sort by color or pattern (some frogs have various patterns on their backs). For grades PK-1.

My First Puzzles brand Dinosaur puzzle set, brand new, for $4. This set has 4 different dinosaur puzzles, each with 4 pieces. They are irregularly shaped, so a little harder than a square puzzle. He enjoyed figuring these out, and the pictures had numbers, letters, colors, etc. in the pictures with the dinosaurs, so we had fun talking about what was on the pictures after they were assembled.

A great hardcover book called Counting Colors for $5. This is lots of fun! Each two-page spread has photos of various real items, all in one color theme. Around the edge of the page, it lists how many of each item you can find on the pages. So this can be used for color practice, vocabulary building with identifying objects, visual discrimation in spotting the items, and counting. It's an awesome book with brightly colored images. I plan to use only one color page at a time as we are working on a particular color. I love the "I Spy" aspect of it, too. Holden really enjoyed naming the objects and finding and counting them.

This cool Number Flipper early learning activity, brand new, for $5. The whole thing has a write & wipe surface for use with dry erase markers, so it can be practiced again and again. It has a number on each page along with a photo of the correct number of objects to go with it. It has the number in braille, and the number shown in sign language. It also has the numberal for tracing and also the number word for tracing. It goes from 1-20. Then it has number and counting activities at the end, like filling in the missing number in a series, counting the number of objects and circling the correct number, etc. This will get used for a good while. Haylee is sitting beside me right now using it to practice spelling the longer number words and to practice the sign language. Neat.

Disney Pooh Musical Hide & Seek Game for $5. You press Pooh's head, and he spins around and plays music. Each of the characters peeks up one at a time out of their honeypots. When they stop, you draw a character card and try to remember where that character was. If you get it right, you keep that character card. The first one to collect one of each character wins. I thought some variation of this game would be great memory practice for Holden. We played last night before bed, and he really loved finding and matching the characters to the cards. I had a hard time getting him to give up this game to go to bed!

So that's my haul for yesterday! I just love this particular DAV thrift store. It's really big and gets in tons of new merchandise every single day. You never know what you'll find in there! I got half there and half at the homeschool bookstore. But I definitely got some great values. He's got plenty of stuff to keep him occupied during school now. I just need to find a good way to organize everything that will keep it out of his reach unless I put it in his workboxes.

I haven't been able to find colorful paint trays to use for tot tray activities, but I remembered that I had some high sided dinner trays in the closet that can sit on portable stands like tv trays. So I took out one of those and have been using it on the floor or the table as a tot tray. That has worked well to keep parts and pieces contained while he's doing an activity.