Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Basket ~ April/May 2011

At the end of each month we want to give you a 'heads up' of the books that will be used in the two upcoming months for several of our features: Little Books for Little Cooks, Now I Know My ABC's, and Once Upon a Book. These lists are to help you out so you can be looking for the books at your library, digging through your stacks in search of them, or order those 'must haves'!

Here are the books that we are planning to use during the months of April and May 2011. If you subscribe in a reader, you can click HERE to view the books.

 Little Books for Little Cooks


Now I Know My ABC's


Once Upon a Book


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Now I Know My ABC’s ~ Gg is for Gorilla

Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein

Summary: Everyone loves Little Gorilla: his mother, his father, his aunts and uncles, Big Boa Constrictor, and all of the other animals living in the forest with him. Then one day, Little Gorilla begins to grow...and grow...and grow, until suddenly, at his birthday celebration, Little Gorilla's family and friends discover that he isn't little anymore! A cute board book that has become a favorite book in my home.


The little girls read Little Gorilla with their grandma. A great way to start out our Letter G week!

ABC Letter Introduction Activity
I created an ABC letter box to start out each letter unit. On the first day of the letter study, the girls dig through the box to find the objects. We name all the objects and listen to the first sound the word makes. Then I point to the letter and tell them that this is the letter that makes the /g/ sound. You can find more details about the ABC Letter box and how to use it at Spell Outloud.

ABC Letter Learning Activities

gorillapocket2 gorillapocket 
I forgot I had Pocket Pals by Marilynn G. Barr. When I looked through it, I found Gg for gorilla! Perfect for our study.  My two girls colored the picture cards, then we cut and laminated them. The gorilla only got to hold pictures that had the “g” sound.

We went over our gorilla poem/coloring/handwriting page (download available below).

lettergstickeractivity2 lettergstickeractivity3

I printed out letter G playdough sheet from Homeschool Creations and picked up a set of jungle stickers. For my 2yr. old, my main objective was to have her practice getting stickers off the sticker paper and placed onto the page (fine motor skill practice).  For my 4yr. old, I had her place the big gorillas on the capital G and the little gorillas on the lower-case g.

We have a set of ABC playdough cards that go along with our handwriting program. You can print out ABC playdough mats and slip into page protectors instead of using these cards. My girls are thrilled anytime they get to use playdough or clay. It’s a great way to incorporate some fine motor-skill practice along with letter learning.

ABC Crafts
We had some gooey gorilla fun making our own growing gorilla. You can find the complete gorilla craft instructions on my blog.

These look like gorillas, right? :) Maybe next time we make these I’ll let the girls paint the eggs first. These are our gorillas who are growing grass for hair. They loved making gorilla chia-pets!

ABC Theme Ideas
gorilla size sort     
We practiced putting Little Gorilla in order by size. As you can see, we’re still working on this concept :)

My son happened to have a Webkinz gorilla that he let us use for this unit. We used it to retell the story and work on positional words (put the gorilla next to the chair, place the gorilla under the blanket etc.)

happygorilla sadgorilla

We made a reversible gorilla-face stick puppet (template available from We talked about how happy Little Gorilla was when he knew his family and friends loved him. But when Little Gorilla wasn’t sure if they’d love him when he got big, he was sad. This led to discussions about what makes us happy and sad.

Another fun activity to do would be to throw a pretend birthday party for Little Gorilla. Have all the guest bring letter Gg gifts.



For each letter I will be providing several downloadable resources plus a letter planner page. You can find these resources at Spell Outloud’s HSPrintables.

Other ABC Resources:
ABC Printables from Homeschool Creations
Letter of the Week Curriculum from COAH
ABC Flashcards and More from 1+1+1=1
ABC Letter Crafts
Songs for Saplings ABC Verses


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cute Tots

Tots sure are cute, aren't they? Be sure to click on the photos to visit the mom bloggers of these cute tots!

image  imageCIMG2813  DSC_0033  imageimage  firestation 030image  image  image  image  DSC_0416e  Little Jreagan and the rainbow rain  image  IMG_1909psimage  18 mth 17

Is one of these tots your tot (or has your tot been featured as a Cute Tot in the past)? Grab this button for your blog to share with your readers...

Cute Tot

Want to send in a photo of your Cute Tot? Click Here!



If your tot was sent in and not featured this time, please resend a new photo when asked again!  We got so many submissions this time as you can see!  It was my intention to include you all, but I make mistakes and might have overlooked someone by accident!

Monday, March 28, 2011

What’s in the Tub ~ Birds

sensory tubs

Next month our theme at Totally Tots is Birds.  Here are some ideas for you to use in a sensory tub with your little one to explore the theme up close and personal.   


What’s in the Tub?: 

I visited our local craft store, Michaels, a couple of days in a row and used 40% off coupons for almost everything in our tub.

  • birdseed
  • small clay pot and clay saucer (birdbath)
  • small decorative birds
  • large decorative birds
  • wooden robin eggs (we painted ours purple, green, blue, white with specks and one gold egg)
  • small bird eggs
  • small bird nest
  • bird and birdhouse buttons
  • berries (which I cut off floral stems) 
  • small piece of blue felt
  • branch from the yard (I stuck our branch in play-doh to stand it up)


I removed the wires from all of the small birds.  The two larger birds I left the craft wire on so we could hang them on the tree branch.


The birdbath is made out of a small clay pot and saucer.  I used the pot as the base of the birdbath and hot glued the saucer on the top.  I then cut a piece of blue felt for water.


So, what fun things did we do with the tub? 

  • Dug for berries and feed the birds
  • Hide eggs and searched for them (whoever found the golden egg got to hide the eggs next)
  • Matched the birds and eggs by color
  • Counted the birds
  • Counted the eggs
  • Made up lots of fun stories about birds.  Aiden has quite the imagination!

What’s in the Tub? is a feature that focuses on fun sensory tub ideas to go along with the monthly theme at Totally Tots.   Click here to see past sensory tub ideas.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Treats 4 Your Tot


Here are some more cool giveaways for tots/moms of tots, check them out below and let us know if you win something we told you about!!!!

Bolded are items we personally own and love!  If you are hosting a TOT friendly giveaway you are free to leave a link in the comments section!