Exploring The Letter X : Xylophones and X-Rays

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter X ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter W: Whales, Watermelons, and Weather “.

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Oh yes, another LOUD unit. Why does it seem that the louder the toys and activities, the happier our children are? We’ve touched on a few musical instruments throughout our letter units, but xylophones seemed to be our daughter’s favorite!

Here are the activities we did for this portion of our letter exploration:

Paper Crafting Xylophone

Since we don’t own a traditional xylophone, we created one using construction paper and made our own sound effects 🙂 . Gather several different colors of construction paper, a glue stick, some scissors, and a sharpie. Select a piece of paper that will serve as your background. Using a piece of black construction paper, we started by cutting out a large X shape. We then took 4 different colored pieces of construction paper and cut out strips to act as our bars. We then took all of our pieces and let LC assemble her xylophone. Once she was done, we used the sharpie to add a title to our paper and practice writing the letter X.

Water Cup Xylophone  –

This is such a cool activity and it was a breeze to create. To make this one yourself, you will need 5 glass cups, water, food dye, or liquid watercolors, and a plastic spoon. Simple fill your different cups with varying amounts of water, as seen in the pictures above. Next, add different colors of food dye to each glass. Give your spoon to your little one and let them find their inner musician! Since you are using glass cups, it goes without saying that this activity needs supervision!

Letter X Coloring Sheets – Here is a link to the coloring sheets we used for this portion of our letter exploration.

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

Xylophone Musical Video For Kids

Intense Xylophone Kids ( For a good laugh 🙂 )

Zeppelin! Louisville Leopard Percussion

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The concept and science behind x-rays are too advanced for our daughter’s age group to grasp, but she definetly had fun exploring them and playing doctor. Over the summer, we took a trip to Marbles. It’s a kids museum and it’s amazing for children that love dramatic play. Among the many set-ups they have, including an entire grocery store and kitchen area, they also have a vet’s office and hospital. In both of those areas, they have x-ray stations where children and view x-rays of different parts of the body. Recalling our time at Marbles was a great conversation starter and it brought straight into this portion of our letter unit.

Here are the activities we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

X-Ray With Q-Tips

I really wish we would have done this one during Halloween time! It definitely has a creepy factor! To do this project with your little ones, you will need several pieces of black construction paper, Q-Tips, a white crayon, and Elmer’s Glue.

First, trace your child’s hand and arm, using your white crayon, on to a piece of black construction paper. Next, lay out the Q-Tips where your bones are. We started with the fingers and worked our way down. We also had a picture up of what a real arm x-ray looks like as a guide for us to use. Once all of your Q-Tips are in place, go back and glue them to your paper using the Elmer’s glue.

X-Ray Watercolor Creations

For this awesome project, you will need white painting paper, watercolors, a white crayon, and a cup of water. Since we wanted to have a surprise factor for this project, we first drew out hands, feet, and other parts of the body on our white painting paper using the white crayon. This way, when LC went to paint, the images would just appear. We took our paper and held it over her hand, acted like we were taking an x-ray and then let her paint to reveal the image! When painting with the watercolor for this project, we found that we got our best result when we used darker colors like black or brown. These colors also made our x-rays look for realistic!

X-Ray Printouts – Here is a link to some awesome x-ray print outs that you can use as visuals for your own discussion about x-rays! You can laminate and even continue to use them in a dramatic play center!

Here are the videos we used for this portion of our letter unit:

What’s An X-Ray? 

How An X-Ray Works – Bethany G

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Another exploration down! As our letter units draw to a close, we are frantically searching for ideas to keep up with LC’s love of learning. If you have any suggestions about great blogs or sites where you find your ideas at, we’d love to hear about them! Check out our next letter exploration post ” Exploring The Letter Y: You, Yellow, and Yarn “.

Brittany XOXO

Looking for some sensory bin fun? Check out our handmade educational supplies in our Etsy shop, Creative Outlet For Little Hands. We have tons of sensory bin fillers and sensory kits! Here are a few of our recent listings:

 

Tot Preschool Week 1: Colors

 

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Week 1 of our Tot Preschool program will be spent working with colors! We will be exploring the world of colors, while also refining our fine motor skills, familiarizing ourselves with the first 5 letters of the alphabet, building our math skills, establishing correct letter formation, and experimenting with the color wheel. As we go through this first week, we will update this post with pictures and details from our activities and projects. This week, we will be covering letters A to E and numbers 1 to 5, as well as learning all about circles and starting our preschool journals. Here is a layout of what our first week together will look like:




Take a tour of our classroom in our post ” Our Homeschooling Room “.

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Morning Meeting: Each day begins with a ” Morning Meeting ” where we discuss the date, months in a year, days of the week, and create a visual representation of how many days we have been in school together. We will also discuss and track the weather, introduce the letter of the day, talk about the shape of the week, discuss our schedule and activities for the day, and have a story time featuring a book that relates to the theme of the week.

Letter Of The Day: Aa
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: My Many Colored Days

Letterland:

Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

Annie Apple Says …

Writing The Letter A ( Carpet Writing )

What Starts With Aa Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

Introduction To Colors Chart

” I See ” Pocket Chart

My Colorful Name ( Coloring Sheet )

Outside Play: ( During our outside time, the kids have the option of rotating through the options I lay out for them in our outside classroom or they can also choose to do something more physical. If the weather is nice, we may start our outside time off with a walk in our neighborhood or a fun game )

Colorful Sensory Bin ( Red and Blue )

Art Center : Letter A Worksheet and Crayons

Science Center: Colors In Nature

Center Explorations:

Free Exploration ( Since this is our first day in our new space, we will be touring our classroom, talking about all of our options, and the kids will get to select what they want to explore for the first time )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Each day we will be ” journaling “. During this time, we will be working on letter and number formation, given a daily “writing” assignment, forming our early math skills, and learning to write our names. We’ve been reading and learning a lot about the benefits of journaling in preschool. Here is a great link to another blogger who uses these journals in her classroom setting. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Apple Stamping

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Letter Of The Day: Bb
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: Little Green Peas

Letterland:

Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

Bouncing Ben Says …

Writing The Letter B ( Carpet Writing )

What Starts With Bb Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

Shades Of Colors With Color Rings

” I See ” Pocket Chart

My Colorful Name ( Shades )

Outside Play:

Colorful Sensory Bins ( Yellow and Green )

Art Center: Letter B Worksheet and Markers

Science Center: Flower Experiment Phase 1 ( Observational Drawing )

Outside Equipment

Center Explorations:

Coloring Sorting Train

Reading ( One of our centers will be our classroom library. During this time, the kids can choose different books they want to look through and “read”. We’ll be practicing the reading concept of ” taking a picture walk ” and hunting for any letters that we know. The kids are free to choose a book from our library or from the basket of books we have gathered that relate to the theme we are focusing on any given week. )

City Blocks

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling

Free Play / Craft Time:

Homemade Heart Crayons

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Letter Of The Day: Cc
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: ” A Color Of His Own ”

Letterland:

Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

Clever Cat Says …

Writing The Letter C ( Carpet Writing )

What Starts With Cc Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

Chameleon Changing Colors Video

My Colorful Name ( Create Your Own Puzzle )

Outside Play:

Colorful Sensory Bins ( Orange and Brown )

 

Art Center: Letter C Worksheet and Free Choice

Science Center: Flower Experiment Phase 2 ( Observational Drawing )

Center Explorations:

Color Sorting Tubes

Reading

Alphabet Soup

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling

Free Play / Craft Time:

Chameleon Color Wheels

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Letter Of The Day: Dd
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: ” Little Blue and Little Yellow ”

Letterland:

Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

Dippy Duck Says …

Writing The Letter D ( Carpet Writing )

What Starts With Dd Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

Paint Blending Video

Paint Mixing Activity

My Colorful Name Activity ( Stencils and Crayons )

Outside Play:

Colorful Sensory Bins ( Pink and Green )

Art Center: Letter D Worksheet and Painting

Science Center: Flower Experiment Phase 3 ( Observational Drawing )

Outside Equipment

Center Explorations:

Match It! ( Counting )

Reading

Links With Number Cards ( 1-5 )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling

Free Play / Craft Time:

Squeegee Painting

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Letter Of The Day: Ee
Shape Of The Week: Circle
Storytime: ” Mouse Paint ”

Letterland:

Alphabet Actions and Sounds Video

Eddie Elephant Says …

Writing The Letter Ee ( Carpet Writing )

What Starts With Ee Brainstorming Chart

Concept Activity:

” I See ” Pocket Chart with color names

My Colorful Name ( Free Choice )

Outside Play:

Water Sensory Bin ( Color Theory )

Art Center: Letter E Worksheets and Free Choice

Science Center: Colors In Nature

Outside Equipment

Center Explorations:

Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling

Free Play / Craft Time:

Color Mixing With Hand Prints

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This portion of this post will be updated once our week has concluded!

This week, we’ll add the following words to our word wall:

Blue
Red
Pink
Orange
Black
Brown
White
Green
Yellow
Purple

Exploring The Letter W: Whales, Watermelons, and Weather

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At the beginning of our letter exploration, we start by looking at the letter and tracing this letter with our fingers. During this time, I make the sound that that particular letter makes and LC repeats it back to me.We use an alphabet placemat for this portion. We then sing the ABC song, putting emphasis on the letter we will be learning about. Since the school year is back in full swing, I’m not with LC all day anymore. Ugh! We now take about 5 to 7 days to get through each letter. You may find that time frame is either too long, or too short, for your own little one, but it works for us.




The idea behind OUR letter units is to provide opportunities for hands on learning that allow LC to learn each of her letters, the sounds they make, and to make real world connections with these letters, while also touching on other concepts and subject areas. For example, when we were working on the letter A, we learned that the word “apple” starts with A. Rather than just leaving it at that, we took that opportunity to learn more about apples. How they grow, what colors they come in, the different ways we can use them, and so on. There is an opportunity to learn something new every single day and we fully plan on taking advantage of these opportunities. Here are our activity and projects all about the letter W ! Be sure to check out our previous post: ” Exploring The Letter V: Vegetables, Volcanoes, and Violins “.

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We recently got LC her own tablet to encourage her to use the potty. She’s loved playing with it, but we’re still working on the sitting on the potty portion…. Anyways, she’s found a whale video that comes with the game system and has watched it over and over and over again. This has sparked a recent interest in whales, so since the letter W was coming up in our letter units, we thought we’d sneak this mammal in 🙂

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Wonderful Whale and Water Bead Sensory Bin – This sensory bin idea is SO adorable. Check out this cute idea from Living Montessori Now. This link also gives you some free printables!

Whale Coloring Sheets – Here is a link to the coloring sheets we used for this portion of our unit.

Here are the videos we viewed during this unit:

Sesame Street- Whales Brushing Teeth ( This is the video LC is addicted to ! )

Whales For Kids

Underwater Whale Sounds

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The warm weather has passed and now we are fully in fall. One of the many things we miss about the summer, is our time at the lake. During our time at the lake, we enjoy playing in the water, boat rides, and so much more. LC got her first taste of watermelon this past year at the lake and asks for it every time she goes grocery shopping with me. Playing at her interests once again, we included watermelons in this letter unit!

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Tissue Paper Watermelon

To create this tissue paper watermelon activity, you will need one piece of construction paper to serve as your background, a sharpie or pencil, green and red tissue paper, one piece of black construction paper for the seeds, and a glue stick. Cut or tear your tissue paper up into medium-sized pieces and place each color in a separate bowl. Cut out about 8 seeds from your piece of black construction paper.

On your piece of construction paper that you’ve designated to be your background, draw an outline of a piece of watermelon with your sharpie or pencil. Let your little one use the glue stick and tissue paper to “color in” their slice of watermelon. We are always sure to add a title to projects like this as a way to present the letter we are working on.

Watermelon Seed Counting Cards – Check out this FREE printable for watermelon seed counting cards from Modern Preschool ! Simply print, laminate, and grab some black playdough!

Here are the videos we used for this letter unit:

The Watermelon Song 

Watermelon – The Biscuit Brothers 

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We’ve covered different portions of weather throughout a few of our letter exploration units. In our ” Exploring The Letter R ” we learned all about rain and got to experience a great deal of it thanks to Hurricane Matthew. For this unit, we explored more into this concept and talked about the other kinds of weather we get to experience. We also learned about what a meteorologist is and what they do to help us each and every day.

For this unit, we talked about what different weather conditions look like, what it feels like, and what we need to do to keep safe during this times. We talked all about how important sun screen is during the beautiful sunny days, but also how we need to keep our body hydrated and cool during these days as well! We talked about how it’s fun to play in the rain, but we should always listen for thunder and lightning and get inside when we hear or see those things.

Here are the activities and projects we did for this portion of our letter exploration unit:

Daily Weather Chart

We printed out this chart from A Little Pinch Of Perfect. It’s a great blog with amazing printables! Click here to be taken to this blog and for a link to this free weather chart. Since we’ve been talking about weather all this week, we have incorporated this into our morning routine. Using this chart and discussing the weather each morning has really helped us with understanding why our clothing choices for the day are important, especially now during these cold months! We feel like we’ve given LC a lot more say and responsibility in her outfit choices.

Check out how we incorporated this weather chart into our new preschool classroom in our recent post ” Our Homeschooling Room: Tips and Tricks For Setting Up A Classroom On A Budget “.

Rain Cloud In A Jar

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In our Letter R unit, we made rain clouds in jar and LC just loved them! So this time, when we circled back to this concept, we had to do this project again! Check out all the details for this activity by reading our unit post ” Exploring The Letter R: Rain, Rainbows, and Rhinos ” .

Here are the videos we watched for this portion of our unit:

Wonder About Weather

What Causes Thunder And Lightening? 

Where Do Snowflakes Come From?

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That concludes our letter W exploration unit. We’ve been having so much fun learning about all sorts of things these past few months. Next week, in our ” Exploring The Letter X: Xylophones and X-Rays “, we’ll be learning about Xylophones and how they work, learning about X-Rays and how they help us, while also learning about the letter X, what sound it makes, and how to form this tricky letter.

Brittany XOXO

Our Homeschooling Room: Tips and Tricks For Setting Up A Classroom On A Budget

This year, we finally made the leap and converted our guest room into a classroom! I’ve been planning our classroom out for some time now and when we finally decided what room we were going to use and how we were going to move things around, everything came together!




Ever since we decided that we would be homeschooling our daughter, I’ve been collecting supplies and educational items. Our family has been very supportive of our decision and have helped us out by purchasing educational toys and manipulatives for LC’s birthdays and Christmas presents. So for a few years, we’ve been hoarding items in closets, in the attic, and out in the garage and it has really paid off. Our classroom is exactly what we wanted and it is stocked and ready to go!

If you have seen any of my previous posts, you may be aware that we actually already have somewhat of a classroom out in our garage. It’s a great setup for the warmer months when the weather is perfect and we can enjoy the fresh area. This area is great for all of the messy projects our little one does! It’s also a great setup for letting our little one explore in her sensory bin, learn in her science corner, and just be a toddler 🙂 .

While we love our outdoor classroom, we also wanted a space that was inside and could be used all year round, no matter how cold, rainy, or windy it was outside. Our new classroom is absolutely perfect and we can’t wait to use it! I have spent months planning the layout of where things were going to go, what things would get the most use, which items are really worth the money, and most importantly, how exciting and inviting can I make this room for our daughter? I’ve also been planning so much to ensure that we get the most out of our budget for this space.

This is the before picture of what our guest room looked like. This room has served many purposes for us. From being a guest room for visitors to housing the dog’s cages. From being a storage closet for all of my craft items for my business to a video game room for my husband. The first thing we needed to address with changing this room was the guest bed. We couldn’t just get rid of the bed as my family comes in town quite often to spend time with us. I certainly didn’t want a bed IN our classroom with us. What to do? We decided that maybe this would be a great bed for our little one to use. Why keep her in a converted crib when there is a perfectly good bed in the other room?

She doesn’t seem to mind her new bed at all! My parents actually bought her a new comforter set for Christmas, so she was thrilled for this big change! We also bought a rail for this new bed, as we were a little scared of how high it was off the ground. We moved everything else around, did away with the dog cages, moved the video games, and cleared out the whole room!

Let the fun begin!

But before we tour and show off our new classroom…….

The title of this post mentions the word ” budget ” and man did I stick to it! Originally for Christmas this year, I had asked for a new laptop. However, when Black Friday came and my husband started to ask me what features I wanted…. I really had no idea. Long story short, I decided that my current laptop is just fine and it’ll make it a few more years… hopefully! Instead of a new laptop, I decided that I wanted that money to go towards something beneficial for all of us, especially our daughter. So my husband generously agreed to a $350 budget for setting up our classroom. Below I list the four things I did to stay on budget and get the most out of our money and thanks to these three things, I came in right at our budget!

To help us stick to our budget and get the most out of this money, I sat down and did four things.

1 Searched Pinterest and gathered ideas for our layout, classroom hacks, organization and storage ideas, and decor.

2 Created a layout of what we wanted our classroom to look like.

3 Searched for the best price on items that we needed to get the most from our classroom budget.

4 Saved up our money in Walmart’s Savings Catcher app.

First, I searched my Pinterest board. Since I’ve been planning our room for a while, I have been pinning like crazy to our ” Homeschooling Board “. I’ve been gathering ideas for our room, reading blog posts about what worked and what didn’t, and gaining inspiration. I’ve found some of my best hacks from Pinterest. Hacks that really saved us some money! For example, we wanted a way to display artwork and anchor charts in our room, but didn’t want to just tape these items to the wall. We found a cute way to display our items using a curtain rod and command hooks! This cute idea gave us a fun way to show off our hard work, but it also saved us from putting more holes in our walls! This display also makes the space it takes up on the wall to be a versatile one.

If you are currently planning out your classroom space, or any space for that matter, you had better being searching through Pinterest! There are plenty of “life hacks” to search through and tips from other bloggers that REALLY save you money, time, and headaches.

Don’t forget to also search Pinterest for free printables! We found dozens of printables for us to use in our classroom. Here is a link to a bloggers site where she features 500 free printables. I printed off so many different items just from this one site!

Second, I made a layout of how I wanted our room to be. Where I wanted furniture to be, how to get the most out of the space in the room, what would be the best way to store our items and still make them easy to get to, and so on. For example, we really wanted to have a space for large chart paper to be used, but we also wanted a large dry erase board. At first, I had planned on mounting our dry erase board to the wall, but then I realized that I wasn’t giving myself a versatile classroom and was taking up way too much of our wall space. So, through my planning, I realized that the easel I would be using for the chart paper could ALSO work for holding the dry erase board when we needed it. By planning everything out and going over and over these plans, I saved our walls some serious holes and gave us back some wall space! By planning out HOW I wanted our room to look and where everything would be, it really gave me an idea of how much space we actually had, what things we would need in order to start building our homeschooling area, and to stay ON BUDGET!

The third, and by far the most important, thing I did was search for the best price on items that we wanted and needed for our space. There were items that we didn’t have and knew that we needed, or wanted, for our room. So I started our search on Walmart’s site. For a few days, I searched for our materials on Walmart’s site and then added these items to our ” save for later ” list. After creating my list of items, I continued to search for the same items, but for better prices. For example, we wanted a tub of colored bears for LC to use. These bears are great for sorting activities, pattern activities, counting, and so on. The original tub I had found was about $17 from a school supply store. I continued to search Walmart’s site and I eventually found another tub of bears that included a set pattern cards for the same price! I then searched Amazon’s site and found THE EXACT same tub of bears with patterns cards for $12! By shopping around, I saved $5 on this item and now I have that extra money to put towards something else. When doing anything on a budget, it’s incredibly important to take that extra time and shop around!

The forth thing I did was keep up and save up our savings in Walmart’s Savings Catcher app. If you shop at Walmart regularly and don’t have this app, you are missing out! All you have to do is scan your receipt after you shop. That’s it! The app searches for better prices on the items you bought and then gives you back the difference. We have been using this app since it came out a few years ago and it has been so helpful for us. We save up our savings amount and use it when we need it for big purchases. We’ve used it to re-decorate our guest bathroom, paint and organize our garage, and have even used it to cover our grocery bill a few times. We had saved up about $55 in the app when it came time to start on our classroom, so we had that extra $55 to work into our budget. That extra money went to buying new crayons and markers, children’s scissors, notebooks, laminate sheets, and other classroom essentials.

These four things really did help us, but what also helped was having the support of our family AND the collecting of items of these past few years. Our family has always been generous in giving us educational items that could one day be used to aide in LC’s academic success, but they have also handed down furniture, storage bins, and other supplies. You can also search Facebook pages for your area, or Craigslist ( be cautious ), for cheap or free items that people are getting rid of.

Armed with my list, layouts, savings catcher money, and tips from Pinterest….. it was time to start putting everything together! Below you will find pictures of our room and specific details for each section of our setup. Enjoy!

Ta-Da!!! Our room is FINALLY clean and organized. It took 3 days to clear everything out, clean the carpets and walls, and move everything back in. All of our items are hung up and ready to go. All of our materials are neatly organized and easy to get to. We can’t wait to get to work and use our room. Let’s take a tour of each area in our room.

1 We purchased this cute ABC chart from the dollar store over the summer. If you are looking for items for your own classroom, I would be sure to check your local dollar store as well!

2 This adorable poster featuring the United States is an another item we purchased and threw in closet until we had a classroom space. We bought this item, as well as many other items, last summer at Target. Always be on the lookout for great items in Target’s cheap section by the front doors. They had A TON of classroom items last summer and we stocked up on a good amount of it.

3 Our pocket chart! We decided that we wanted a large pocket chart in our classroom that could be used for various activities. We actually found this one on Walmart’s site for a great price and it is hung up using command hooks! WE LOVE COMMAND HOOKS! You may notice the color cards that are hanging at the top of our chart. Since we are setting up a preschool classroom, we’ll be learning about all colors in our first week of instruction. This is another great idea from Pinterest. Simply go to Home Depot’s paint section, or even Walmart, and grab a ton of there color sample cards. Our color rings present various shades of a specific color, so we grabbed about 15-20 cards for each color. Punch a hole in each card and add a ring to get them all together. We plan on using these color cards for teaching all about colors and the different shades a color comes in, but to also use in our science center for finding these beautiful colors in nature!

4 Rather than using a storage cube or basket for our clipboards, we decided that we wanted them to be displayed and have a designated space for them on our walls. This way, they are easy to get to, but they can also be a create place to display work that we are proud of or to hold work that we are still working on. We used command hooks to hang them up under our pocket chart and are very excited to use them! Since I run my own business and shop for items frequently at Staples, I always have coupons to use at the store. Since I was in need of ink for our printer, we used a “$10 off a purchase of $30 or more” coupon, so we ended up getting our clipboards for free 🙂

5 Before, we had a large plastic container in a corner of our living room that stored all of our puzzles. Since we were gaining a space that was designated for our educational items, we knew that we could rid ourselves of this container! We found this Melissa and Doug puzzle rack at Target for $20, but thanks to me searching around for better prices, I actually found it on Walmart’s site for $13! It’s a great puzzle rack since it holds Melissa and Doug puzzles of various sizes and it really doesn’t take up that much space.

We got this awesome storage container to help store and organize some of the items in our classroom. These storage shelves are amazing for organizing your stuff, but it is also great because you can buy a these awesome cubes boxes to place in each opening. The boxes are great because you just through all of your items in there, slide it in, and they give you the appearance of having an organized space. We have one of these storage containers in our daughter’s room and it is great for storing toys!

6 This first cube in our storage container holds a few different manipulatives we purchased. Here, we have our links, counters, bears, pattern cards and pattern shapes.

7 This second cube in our storage container holds two of our large floor puzzles and our dry erase boards. We’ll be using our dry erase boards frequently throughout our preschool curriculum and beyond, so we wanted them to be in a space where we could easily grab them and go.

8 This next cube features our mini writing center. Here, we have our pencils, erasers, post it notes, stencils, and blank books. These blank books were a steal for $3 at Target that were stocked up on over the summer. We’ll be using these to create our own stories and ” I Know ” books.

9 This cube holds all of these workbooks and flashcard sets that we have been collecting. Target had a ton of different workbooks and flashcards packs available last summer in their ” hot buys “. I’d keep an eye out for their return again this year!

10 For the moment, this cube is storing our box of 3D shapes. We’re sure that this space will be changing over time.

11 Remember how I said that the cube boxes for this storage container is great for storing and hiding your messy items? Ta-Da! This cube is where we are storing all of our playdough and playdough tools.

12 This is cube is empty at the moment, which is totally fine. I’m sure we’ll need this open space for something in the future.

13 This cube is storing more of our manipulatives in small pencil containers. These pencil containers are another great way to store and organizer your smaller items. Be on the look out for them once the back to school stuff is put out. We found our containers a few years ago at the dollar store, so naturally, we stocked up!

1 This awesome table was something that we hadn’t planned on buying. We were going to just use the table and chairs that we have in our outside classroom, but during a trip to Walmart, I came across this set in their furniture section… for $25!!! The table AND the chairs both feature dry erase boards! How awesome is that for a preschool classroom!

2 Originally, I didn’t want a desk like this in our classroom, but we needed somewhere for it to go. This desk used to be in our daughter’s room and it was actually a great piece of furniture for holding her hair accessories, CD player, night light, toys, and for laying out her clothes. Since we moved the bigger bed into her room, we just couldn’t keep the desk in there. Turns out, this desk is awesome for storing our printer, my laptop, and the numerous other items I need to plan out and set up activities. It’s also a great place for storing our globe we recently purchased!

This is our indoor science center. You may remember that we also have a science center out in our garage area, but we knew that it would be great to also have an indoor version.

1 This is a piece of furniture that used to be in my home as a child. When my parents wanted to get rid of it, my husband and I were happy to take it off their hands. It has served so many purposes and thanks to my hoarding, we had another storage area for our classroom! For now, there are only some science items and kits in the first drawer.

2 As you can see, we have a few tools for our science center set up and ready to go! The scale was a Christmas gift from the grandparents, while the test tubes and Viewscope were items that we purchased ourselves. We originally found both of these items on Amazon, but decided to purchase them from Walmart’s site because they were offering free shipping. With free shipping, the prices were exactly the same as through Amazon.

3 This poster board is our way of being able to display small anchor charts for our science center. This will be a great way to display information and pictures as we grow with our room.

1 This is the basket where we will be keeping our books that relate to the weekly themes of our preschool curriculum.

2 Remember how I mentioned that we wanted a versatile space? This easel is currently holding our whiteboard and it will also hold our large white paper we will be using for anchor charts, as well. In the event we need this corner for something else in the future, this easel can be folded up and put away! This is easel is something that I’ve held on to since I was in art school. It’s been folded up and stored in our garage, so I was happy that I saved it when it came time to plan out and set up our room.

1 The bottom of this bookshelf is serving as a storage area for some of our educational resources that I’ve collected throughout the years. It is also holding our binders that feature many of our printables that I have found from Pinterest, page protectors, homeschooling books, and so on.

2 These ” Match It ” sets are amazing! We bought 4 box sets of these for our classroom. We bought the numbers set, the first word set, the counting set, and the beginning addition set. Each set is $10 from Walmart’s site and they are definitely a great buy. The cards are thick and glossy, which will make them last with our little one! For now, we are leaving them in the boxes they come in as they are a great way to neatly store them.

3 We found these storage baskets from Target in their clearance section! They usually go for about $7 a piece, but we were able to get them for about $3. We are currently using one of them to store our Alphabet Dinosaur set, while the other is waiting to home other items.

4 A full basket of crayons! It is a preschool classroom after all 🙂

5 Okay, I never planned for a laminator to find it’s way in to our classroom. I had looked at them before and just couldn’t imagine spending that kind of money on a laminator. The cheaper ones that I had been looking at were still around $60 and that didn’t include the pouches you had to buy separately. I had just written it off as something that I would have to save for and maybe, just maybe, one day I would be able to justify that expense. However, it must have been fate! While shopping at Walmart for some last minute items for our classroom, I saw the display for these Scotch laminators, saw that they were selling them for $10 ( !!!! ) and thought ” Why not try it? “. OMG! I am so happy that I did! It has been awesome! We’ve used it for so many items in our room. We’ve laminated our items for our weather and number boards, several of our letter set printables, and so much more! The pouches are where the expense comes from. A pack of 60 was about $13. Still, I feel that this is now something we couldn’t be without in our classroom!

6 As we went through and planned out our classroom, it was obvious that there were going to be empty places, but that is what we wanted. We wanted to set up a space that we could grown in to. These storage boxes are one of those places! The top box features some of our ” rings of knowledge ” that we have made so far, but the rest of the boxes are empty. Oh the possibilities! I’ve actually been collecting these boxes for years now. They have housed my listings for Etsy, art supplies, cardstock, toys, and so on. Now, they will be used in some way in our room.

1 Here, we are storing some of our educational books for our classroom. We are also using this space to store our Hooked On Phonics sets that were handed down to us.

2 and 3 Yet another set of storage bins! Currently, these storage bins are housing our unifex cubes, musical instruments, and animal figurines.

4 This awesome paper storage unit was given to us and it fits perfectly into our classroom space! The flat top also allows us to store more items on top, so we aren’t really losing that space.

5 We are using the top of the paper storage unit to display and store our cups of colored pencils, dry erase markers, and markers. There was also enough space to keep our roll of paper and holder!

6 I’m sure we will be finding other uses for this filing system, but for now, we are using it to hold some of our worksheets, printables, and progress trackers. We are also using some of the folders as a way to start our homeschooling portfolio.

1 Originally, we purchased a set of super cute anchor charts from Target for $1 a piece. I had them all laid out and ready to be hung up. Then, the dogs got to them. They didn’t just chew off a corner or two, they ate all four posters! So we had to purchase another set of anchor charts. I searched for the same set, but was unable to find it again, so the hunt began for another set of charts that we liked. I’ve been very picky about our anchor charts for some reason, but we settled on these.

2 We made these two signs using picture frames from the dollar store and scrapbooking paper. We plan on using theme to write our letter and shape of the day, but they can also be used down the line to write our scheduled events, inspiration text, tricky sight words, and so on.

3 Our calendar! We settled on using a pocket chart for our calendar has it was going to easy to change out each month and we wouldn’t need to nail or tape something else to wall. We hung up our pocket chart using command hooks and the calendar set was purchased at the dollar store! Along the side of our calendar chart, you’ll notice our months of the year card. We actually made these ourselves using scrapbooking paper and laminated them.

4 This is where we are keeping out weather tracker, seasons wheel, and this awesome ” number of days in school ” chart. All of the pieces for our weather tracker and number of days chart were cut out, laminated, and put on a ring for each access and storage. When we move past the age of needing these charts, we will have this bulletin board to use for whatever we need at that time.

We found our weather tracker here and our ” Number of Days in School ” chart here. These are awesome blogs and I would highly recommend taking a look around while you’re there!

This is the closet in our room. I’m still using it mostly for my materials and supplies for my businesses, but we have designated some space for storage of our arts and crafts supplies.

Quick Reference Tips and Tricks:

Plan Ahead

Search For Inspiration ( Pinterest! )

Save And Collect Educational Items From Various Stores

Use Those Helpful Life Hacks ( Pinterest! )

Collect And Hoard Furniture and Storage Bins

Search For The Best Prices For The Items You Want/Need

Ask For Help From Family And Friends

Make A Space Work In Various Ways

Use Walmart’s Savings Catcher

We hope that this post has inspired you in your own journey to create that perfect learning space for your family. If you have any tips or tricks you think we could use, we’d love to hear them! Leave a comment for us below!

Brittany XOXO

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