November Morning Basket 2018

I am excited to post this for you before it’s actually November so that you can add any of these things if you’d like for your own Morning Basket. Putting our basket together each month is one of my favorite things to do. I love gathering everything and thinking about how much fun we’ll have together each morning learning and playing.


I filled this basket a ton this month because we are now staying home more and more the more pregnant I am. We are going to spend our early mornings at home with Morning Basket, get ready, and then bring school out to the park each day. Our weather here is finally cooling down and my favorite thing to do is to bring a blanket to the park and do school while they can play at the same time. I’ll have Lilly Belle do a few things, and then go play, do a few things, and then go play. It helps us both so much and we get a lot more done. It also helps because Lucy can run around and she isn’t frustrated with us doing school.

I am going to be prepping snacks ahead of time for the month as well in a special basket in our pantry. That way, the night before I can pack our diaper bag and school bag and we’ll be set to go for hours at the playground every day. It’s going to be a really fun month together!

I will also do be doing a post sharing everything Lilly Belle and Lucy will be learning this month, I have a full month planned for the girls. Lilly Belle is going to be learning a lot of history this month and Lucy is going to do another unit from our My First School curriculum that you can find in our shop. I also have quite a few read aloud books I want us to get through together this month. Lilly Belle took October off from a few of her dance classes, but she’ll be jumping back in with a full 8 classes a week this month. So, the more playground time in the morning and early afternoon, the better.

November Morning Basket

As always, we do our main 3 that we do every single morning: Bible, poetry and fairy tale.

Bible: We are continuing with the Jesus Storybook Bible this month. The girls love it and we are now on our 3rd time reading through it together. I have also prepped some of the activities from The Little’s and Me Story Alive Bible Study that the girls and I will do together this month in the mornings.

Poetry: We are going to be working on some of the poems that Lilly Belle has to memorize for her school Thanksgiving lunch and performance. All of my students will be learning these poems during class and at home with their families and then the week before Thanksgiving we will be having a class Thanksgiving celebration with all the parents and siblings. It’s going to include a performance and pot luck. We are not learning all of these poems, as some of them we are cutting out, but there are 3 in here she will work on.

Thanksgiving Poems, Chants and Performance

Fairy Tale: Fairy tale use to always mean an actual fairy tale, but it has evolved into just favorite stories I read to them. I chose Lucy’s recent favorite since it is her birthday month. She loves the Little Golden Book Mommy Stories. The book, Baby Dear, was my favorite book when I was a little girl and now it is her favorite too. The girls have my doll and my actual book from when I was little but then I found this copy that includes 3 of those stories and Lucy has been loving it! She asks for me to read them to her all the time. For Christmas the girls already have asked that they get baby dolls and baby doll furniture and accessories. Perfect before their baby brother is born in March!

Read Aloud: I am going to be reading Dear America The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple Journey to a New World to the girls this month. Lucy most likely will be running around us while I read, but Lilly Belle will sit at the table and work on her cursive or finish her breakfast. I loved this book when I was little and it’s perfect for November.

Science for Both: The Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature was one of the things I bought the girls at the FPEA Homeschool Convention in May specifically for Morning Basket, and we haven’t read through it at all yet. Both of the girls love The Berenstain Bears and this book is packed full of information. We’ll be outside a lot more now that the weather is changing so this is great timing to get it out!

Lilly Belle’s Basket Goodies

Sight Words: We are working through each of the Let’s Play School Sight Word Packs each month. Lilly Belle loves the games and it has been helping her a ton to learn her sight words. We add the cards to her door when she learns them and it’s fun to see how many she learns each month. Since all the games are seasonal or holiday themed, I have them going down her door and we can see when she learned the words: apples, halloween and this month with some turkeys and thanksgiving games! She is now working through the Dolch Primer words and probably knows close the 3/4 of them now because of these packs!

Phonics Bingo: We play these Let’s Play School Bingo games every morning to reinforce phonics skills she is working on. I add a new set to the shop each month just like the sight words. It has helped with her reading a ton and she loves to play bingo!

Handwriting: Lilly Belle loves to practice cursive. I haven’t officially taught it to her yet, but she likes to work in cursive tracing books. I got this little book at the FPEA Homeschool Convention in May and it will be great for her to work in while I am reading to her. You can find the same on at Miller Pads and Paper (one of my favorite homeschool stores to go to each year at the homeschool convention!)

Language Arts/Math: Lilly Belle loves the No Prep Packs from The Moffatt Girls. I have the November Kindergarten No Prep Pack all set to go in a binder for her and she will work on these pages while I am playing with Lucy and doing Lucy’s morning activities with her and also while we work on Lucy’s speech. Most of these pages Lilly Belle can now look at and do independently. I have all the supplies in the basket that she needs to complete these pages and she learns a ton from them.

Readers: I am going to have Lilly Belle read these to us each morning. She will pick one every day. Right now we are working on her confidence and fluency as she reads, so having just three to work on will help her a lot with some new words and things she is working on. This month I have Ladybug Girl Do You Like These Boots?, Little Bear, and Bake, Mice, Bake! included for her.

Lucy’s Basket Goodies

Alphabet Art: I am going to help Lucy to decorate an alphabet letter or two each morning. I love the alphabet curriculum from Bitty Beginnings. We will use it with Lucy while she is two. Once she is three and talking more we will be using the alphabet curriculum from Moffatt Girls as well. She will do these alongside the Let’s Play School curriculums. Once she has them all decorated, I am going to make a banner out of all the letters to put in her room. Or maybe add them to a large board. I haven’t decided yet. She’ll get to use paint, markers or crayons to color, do a dot markers, stickers or Kwix Stix.

Fine Motor: I have covered her oatmeal container we use for fine motor (it has holes drilled in the top) in brown construction paper and I used one of the turkeys from our Sight Words Pack. She will stick tons of popsicle sticks in the holes as “feathers” to keep her busy while I am reading the bible, poetry and fairy tale to the girls. Just something to keep her hands busy and she loves to play with this! She has used it for over a year now and it’s one of her favorite toys.

Book: I will be reading the Usborne Very First Book of Things to Spot with her. She loves these books and they have been really great for her with speech!

That does it for November. I’m really excited for this month’s basket!



What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Books 2018

I love teaching the girls through stories. At their ages, I feel this is the absolute best way to teach history to them. All. The. Books! We read a lot together every morning during Morning Basket and I read them at least 3 books each night during bath, then more for bedtime and most days we read some throughout the day as well. Always reading.


Here are my picks for the girls for Thanksgiving this year. These are books we already have and also a new book I just purchased for Lilly Belle today because I remember reading it in first grade and loving it, Dear America: A Journey to the New World. I remember reading it independently and keeping the Dear America books in my desk and choosing to skip recess to read them.

Lilly Belle loves the Who Was and What Was books. For November we will read What Was the First Thanksgiving. These books give the perfect amount of information for her age.

I got the book, What is Thanksgiving, with Lucy in mind. This book is actually wonderful for both the girls. It talks about how yes, all the food and football and family and parades are fun, but we are all so thankful for God who gave us those things.

We have been using the Passport to Adventure curriculum which focuses on each of the Magic Tree House books. We will be skipping ahead for the first week of November, and reading Thanksgiving on Thursday which is book #27. These books are so much fun and at the same time packed full of fun information and history! Perfect for a kindergarten / first grader.

Our girls love The Berenstain Bears so we have two Thanksgiving books with them; Thanksgiving All Around and The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks. I feel like these books are always teaching great morals and lessons to the girls. They are a bit long for Lucy (about to turn 2) but she will play and listen along while I read them to Lilly Belle.

If You Sailed on The Mayflower in 1620 is another great history book for littles. This book does not focus solely on Thanksgiving, but more on the Pilgrims and how they got here and then it does have quite a bit of pages about Thanksgiving and how it was celebrated for the very first time.

Ever since I was little, my absolute favorite Thanksgiving tradition is that we woke up bright and early to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while my mom started cooking and cleaning before family arrived. Every year my mom would move our kitchen chairs into the living room so she could scrub the floors. My brother and I would make a train out of the chairs and pretend we were on the floats. We did it every year. Now with our girls we continue watching the parade except we do not have family here in town so there is no cleaning involved. We make cranberry strands to hang for Christmas and Matt makes a huge breakfast skillet while we watch. I love it so much! When I found this book on Amazon I was so excited! We were going to go to New York for Thanksgiving this year so I could take Lilly Belle to the Christmas Spectacular, but I’ll be a bit over 20 weeks pregnant and we weren’t expecting me to be walking. This book makes me so happy! We’ll be reading it all month long!

I’d love to hear what your favorite books are about Thanksgiving…!

October Morning Basket – Toddler (23 months) and Kindergarten

Hooray! It’s my favorite month of the year…tied with December of course. Our October Morning Basket is once again my favorite one. We love Halloween and this basket is always so silly and fun for the girls. Anytime I can theme our baskets for holidays is so much more exciting.


We are keeping our usual first important 3: Bible, Fairy Tale and Poetry.

Bible: We are still reading the Jesus Storybook Bible because both of the girls love it. Last month was a rough month for Morning Basket because I’m pregnant and exhausted and we’ve had a lot of doctor appointments (I’ve had a lot of doctor appointments). Lilly Belle said to me in the car the other day, “Mom. I really miss the Bible. I miss you reading it to me every morning in our Morning Basket.” It made me realize what an impact our Morning Basket time really has on our girls and our routine and our lives. It’s huge!

Poetry: This month’s poetry is more cute nursery rhymes instead of poems. I found this adorable pack on Teachers Pay Teachers last year and I’m so glad that I printed it, laminated it and put it on a binder ring. It’s in just as good shape for this year and will stay in our October Morning Baskets for years to come, especially now that Baby Brother is on his way. Maybe next year Lilly Belle will be the one reading these fun songs to her siblings at the breakfast table!

Fairy Tale: We are not reading a fairy tale this month, we are instead reading a fiction chapter book. I chose Roald Dahl’s book, The Witches. It felt so funny to be reading this to the girls right after I read them the Bible. But, they loved it and I loved it and we love witches and all things Halloween so in it stays!



5 Little Pumpkins: In our Fall Preschool Pack in our shop we have a cute little 5 Little Pumpkins tracing set that also includes pumpkins to cut out and place on popsicle sticks. We sing the song to her and she holds the little pumpkin sticks up. It’s a huge hit!

If You’re Spooky and You Know It Board Book: Lucy loves this book and Lilly Belle loved it even more as a baby/toddler. The words are silly and the actions are so much fun. Perfect to keep Lucy’s attention. We like to do these little activities in between reading the Bible, Poetry and Fairy Tale. It keeps her at at the table a little longer. Today she lasted a whole 15 minutes with us πŸ˜‰

Fine Motor: I got a little pencil cup and some neon colored rubber bands at the Dollar Tree. My goal was for her to be able to wrap the rubber bands around the cup but she can’t quite figure it out so we worked on color sorting and she just loves dumping them and shoving them all back into the cup as long as she can. This kept her busy while I was reading this morning.

Stickers and Blank Books: I have gathered a large assortment of Halloween stickers and put them all in the basket along with some blank books I got from the Dollar Spot at Target. She likes just peeling the stickers off and putting them on the pages in the book.

Movement Cards: We haven’t tried these with Lucy yet but Lilly Belle loves these so I though it would be fun to add again! The movement cards are from our Halloween Preschool Pack in our shop.


Halloween Reading Bingo: I have created this set for Lilly Belle specifically and added them to our shop because I was so excited about how they turned out. I based each set off of lessons she has worked on with The Good and The Beautiful Kindergarten LA curriculum. The set includes b and d bingo, “ay” words bingo, short words with long vowels bingo, and cvc words bingo. I feel like she learns things so quickly while playing bingo, and she loved this when we played this morning! I will continue making new sets each month that will always be holiday or seasonally themed: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Valentine’s Day, St Patricks Day, Spring, etc…

Zoom Cards: We got these last year and use them often! They’re in our Morning Basket almost every month. I have her use the mini erasers from the Target Dollar Spot to cover as she reads.

Find it Fast Game: I got this last year in the Target Dollar Spot and she loves playing this game as a brain break!

Frankenstien Subtraction: These little puzzles are going to reinforce the math facts we are working on this month as our math unit for the month is subtraction! We love everything from the shop From the Pond on Teachers Pay Teachers. Her artwork is beautiful and she’s so creative with her games and activities!

Subtraction Flip Cards: Lilly Belle used the mini erasers from Target again to solve the math facts. She will do one card/morning. We have done the addition flip cards and she was excited to see a new set in the basket today!

Witches Brew Sight Words: This game is from our Halloween Sight Words pack in our shop. Last night Lucy and I went around the house before bed and Lucy told me where to tape the sight words up and hide them. Then today when Lilly Belle was done with Morning Basket, she got to go around the house and find all the potions and read off the words and then add them to the witches cauldron. She LOVED this!

Bat Puzzle Sight Words: These are again from our Halloween Sight Words pack. We will alternate each day which sight word game she plays. These two were both easy to add as part of our Morning Basket routine and I think she will love these bat puzzles when I get them out tomorrow.

Spider Web Sight Words: Again, from our Halloween Sight Words pack! Lilly Belle learns things really well when she writes it down. This morning I just had her do one page, we will continue to do that each morning. She will copy a new page each morning and then start the cycle over. She already learned 2 new words from this activity today!

It’s a full basket this month and this morning the girls did almost every single thing in it! We now do Morning Basket on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I think I may start doing it with the girls on Sunday mornings as well. It’s such a productive and fun way to start each day together.

I hope you’ve found something in this basket that your little ones will enjoy! Happy October!!


September 2018 Morning Basket (Kinder and Tot School)

We have been doing Morning Basket with the girls now for a year and a half! That is a year and a half of beautiful mornings together. I’m not trying to be cheesy. Let’s be real. The rest of our day is just as nuts as anyone else’s. But mornings, with our Morning Basket, are 95% of the time peaceful. We now do Morning Basket 4 days a week; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The only reason we do not do it on Thursdays is because now Lilly Belle and I are at her day school all day and leave by 7:45/8am to get there by 9am.


Lucy has had Morning Basket as a part of her life since she was just 6 months old! That is how old she was when we started, and she has always sat with us. For her, it is all she knows. I love that.

July and August were rough for Morning Basket and were the first months since starting where we skipped days. Lilly Belle was in 6 summer camps, we were in Seattle for 3 weeks and…I’ve been pregnant and not feeling well in the morning. Once we got home from Seattle I was about 7 weeks pregnant and we tried something new. We brought our basket down to the living room rug. From there I mostly just read to them. If there was a morning where I didn’t feel sick, we still did our normal routine of sitting at the table with breakfast together.

I am excited for September because I am now about 10 1/2 weeks and feeling a little better and getting closer and closer to feeling like myself. Getting closer to that 2nd trimester energy boost. We are started to get into the fall spirit around here and the girls are going to be so excited to see the new autumn themed activities I am including for them. We are getting to my absolute favorite time of the year here in Florida! Knowing that we are now getting closer and closer to cooler weather. Weather where we can play outside in the afternoon and spend as much time as we want at Disney surrounded by all the holiday goodness!

I’ve included a bit more for Lucy now as well because she is starting to really want to do school with us. She is 22 months old now.

I always include three main items into our Morning Basket: Bible, Poetry and Fairytales. This month we are continuing with our Jesus Storybook Bible per Lilly Belle’s request, but we are switching our poetry and fairytale selection.

Bible: Jesus Storybook Bible – this is by far my favorite children’s bible. Both of the girls love listening to the stories. Each story is the perfect length for the girls to sit through and explains things in a way that is easy for them to understand.

Poetry: Poetry Teatime Companion – Julie Bogart has been a huge inspiration for me in our homeschool. I love her podcast! This will be our first month using this book for our poetry time together and I think Lilly Belle will really enjoy that they aren’t “baby poems”. One of the girls in our class comes in to day school each week with a new poem that she has written and memorized to recite to us. Lilly Belle is now on a mission to be able to do the same.

Fairytales: Usborne Picture Book Gift Set – This is new to us. I am an Usborne consultant and have been eyeing this set for the girls forever. I think it will be really fun and exciting for the girls to hear a new story each morning.

For the rest of our basket, I like to add things that are interests of the girls, seasonal, life skills we are working on (phone number, address, name, etc.), or something I feel they should be learning about.

Here are this month’s extra fun morning basket additions (some are the same as last month)…

Geography and Science: Atlas of Animal Adventures – This book is amazing. The girls loved it last month and I wish we had time last month to do it more. I kept it in for this month. We open it up, read all about that animal and then find the country they are from on our globe. Then we head over to YouTube and watch videos of what we learned about. We save this for last since once we head to YouTube I lose the girls interest in the rest of the basket.

Math: My First Math Book – Lilly Belle is obsessed with this book so I kept it in again per her request. She saw I was switching our basket and asked that I keep this in. We do 2-5 pages/morning. Some of the pages are extremely challenging for her and she loves that with math.

Sight Words: Fall Primer Sight Word Play & Learn Pack – Lilly Belle now knows all her PrePrimer Sight Words so I created this pack with her in mind. She’s ready to learn the Primer words and so we will be playing all of these fun games during our Morning Basket time together.

Additional Learning Fun: Preschool/Kindergarten Fall Learning PackΒ – This pack is so much fun and perfect for families who do not celebrate Halloween but love the fall! It is of course also perfect for families like ours who are obsessed with Halloween πŸ˜‰ I did not include any “Halloween” activities in this pack, it is just all fall themed; pumpkins, leaves and apples. There are activities that Lucy can do with us too!

Reading: Ready 2 Read Level 2 – I purchased this for Lilly Belle a while ago. We have not been using it as it was meant to be used, but have been using it in bits and pieces and it’s helped her a lot. Currently we are using a chart that I printed from Level 2 on Blends and Digraphs. Right now I just want her to have these memorized to help her with her fluency while trying to sound out new words.

And now for Lucy. Lucy is really into sorting and colors right now so those are our main focus for her at this time.

Colors: Red Car, Green Car – This book is adorable and so simple. It really keeps her attention and she loves it.

Sorting: Bitty Beginnings Autumn Set – I have included an apple matching activity in our basket for her to use this month. This set will have her matching by size and color so I’m not sure if she will be able to do it or not, but she’s going to love trying and playing with this.

Matching: Bitty Beginnings Autumn Set – I have also included a matching activity for her. She has so far only sorted colors Β so I’m interested to see if she can now match pictures. There was a time when she was around 16 months old where she was matching but then stopped for a while. I haven’t tried to get it out again but I’m excited to see what she does with this.

And that does it for September. I’m already excited for October’s basket…Halloween is our favorite holiday (Lilly Belle and I) so we always go big with this one. For October and December, we pretty much throw out all of our regular curriculum and dive full on to celebrate Halloween and in December the same for Christmas. Morning Basket becomes school and the rest of the day is filled with crafts and FUN!


Pre Kindergarten & Toddler Summer Morning Basket

Our summer is flying by. Before we know it, we will be having our first day of Kindergarten and first day of toddler preschool with the girls. Our first day of school will be August 13th. Before then, Lilly Belle has two more summer camps and we have 3 weeks with family in Washington. On top of that we just moved and book club has taken off, keeping us all extremely busy. This past month was the first month that we skipped days of Morning Basket, and just as I suspected…our days have felt off. They have felt messy and unorganized and chaotic. When we do Morning Basket, our day starts peacefully which sets the pace for the entire rest of the day. It really is amazing.


So, I decided to switch our basket up one more time so that we are motivated to start back up amidst the chaos around us right now. I am so excited for the morning and to dive in to all of this with the girls.

For Both Girls

Poetry: Song Sticks – We are going to sing nursery rhymes to Lucy during this time instead of reading poems. Usually I have a poetry book I read from, but with all the craziness around here, I don’t have their attention for nearly as long as usual, so until things settle down around here, we will be singing some nursery rhymes to Lucy. We used the Song Sticks printable from Bitty Beginnings for these.

Bible: Lilly Belle has been begging to start this. I had it on her Kindergarten Curriculum shelf to start in August, but she wants to start it now. I bought her a Bible of her own to use along side her brand new Write the Word for Kids! She will be doing copy work from the Bible each morning. I also have their Princess Prayers book in here and we read one a day.

Fairytales: We are going to use our Fairytale time this month to get Pippi Longstocking out again. I think we may reread this together every summer because it’s just too good to not get to read again and again. Lilly Belle was obsessed last summer and I’m really excited to read it again to the girls. We will read 1 chapter a day.

For Lucy (19 Months):

Letter Work: I kept this book in the basket for her because she LOVES it. Every time I have done reading practice with Lilly Belle this month, Lucy runs over to the shelf pointing up at the basket saying “Ah Ah Ah”, she learned the sound for the letter O and now loves to find O in the book. She loves to practice “reading” with her big sister. So we have been going through the book a few times a week with her just saying all the letter sounds as I point to them with her. Now that she has been sleeping she is making a lot more sounds and taking off quite a bit with her learning, so I am curious to see if she knows all her sounds once she does start talking.

My First 100 Words: We just got this book from Usborne and it’s been a hit. Lucy loves to look at books that I can just point at pictures to for her. Her attention span is not very long while being read to, but if I can have her in my lap and just point at different pictures with her and say the names and talk about different things on the page, she would sit forever. She does this on her own all day long as well. You can be sure to find her at one of our bookshelves anytime you notice she’s quiet…which is many times a day. It’s always been her favorite place.

For Lilly Belle (almost 5):

Star Wars Kindergarten Math Skills: She really enjoys these Star Wars books. Matt is going to be watching the movies with her this summer so I thought this would be a fun time to get this workbook back out. It is mostly numbers to 20, addition and subtraction and she’s been flying through it.

Picture Story Journal: Lilly Belle is obsessed with these. We had one last year and now we are starting a new one as she is almost 5. I like to see the progress of her stories and handwriting. She draws a picture on top and then narrates for me. I write it for her while she narrates. I write on every other line and then she does copyworb under my writing. With this new fresh book, I am going to be having her focus on writing lowercase and uppercase when appropriate and keeping the size of her letters the correct size.

Usborne Lift the Flap Adding and Subtracting: We will be doing the beginning half of this book as the end starts to get into really large numbers. She loves all of the Usborne Lift the Flap books and girlfriend is obsessed with math, so this will be a good fit for her. I am excited to be using this as a resource for Kindergarten.

My First Math Book: Another math book because it is what she loves and we are in a hard season right now where she wants nothing to do with school. So, math it is! This book is adorable. The illustrations are perfect. Each has big bold pictures with few details. The questions are all written in a way that is very easy for her to understand and that she will not get overwhelmed with. The questions all seem to be just challenging enough to make her work a bit, but also not overwhelm her. We are going to do one page a day unless she wants to keep doing more.

Usborne Very First Reading books: We are now on books 2 and 3. This is a set you can find in my Usborne shop that takes children from the very beginning stages of reading, all the way to reading full books fluently. It is a little pricey, but if you join our Let’s Play School Book Club and get the 25% off, this would be an amazing thing to get in your cart! She loves the stories and looks forward to reading practice with them. The stories are short and silly and all very different. They keep her attention. She is at a point where she does not to read right now so we are taking things slow (again) and letting her go at her own pace (which is the right thing to do especially with reading)…Give this girl math all day and she won’t complain a bit. Mention reading with her and she gets all anxious and fears “failing”. Our Let’s Keep Playing School positive affirmation curriculum is going to come in very handy with her…there is a reason I created it πŸ˜‰

Roald Dahl’s Scrumdiddlyumptious Sticker Book: This book is adorable. We will do this book on the days when I know they aren’t going to stay at the table for anything past our main 3 (poetry, Bible, fairytale). We are going to be trying something new this month and go sit in Lucy’s room for Morning Basket once the girls are done eating. She has a desk in there and all her toys. We just got a new rug that is super cozy and the girls have been enjoying that space as it’s the only room in our home anything close to feeling like home. This book is filled with 3 short excerpts from Roald Dahl books and then there are stickers for each of the stories at the end.

I also have our Summer Reading cards from Bitty Beginnings in the basket so that we can write down our reading time together. I noticed tonight that there is a page that is almost completely filled with “Dear Zoo” as Lucy has been having us read it on repeat most everyday!

I am so excited about this basket and hope you found something here that you think your little ones will love too!




Our Learning Shelf | Week 1

We had so many questions about our Learning Shelf this morning after sharing in our stories on Instagram that I decided that I will start blogging about them more often. So here is our Week 1 share of our Learning Shelf. We have a shelf up for the girls always. There was a bit of time when Lucy was first mobile that I stopped doing them for Lilly Belle, but besides that time, we have been putting them up for her since she had just turned 3.

Last week we had a Dinosaur Shelf up. The girls had fun with it but we are in such a busy season right now as Lilly Belle started summer camp this week, I am working a ton, we move in a few weeks and…it’s summer! So I decided to keep it simple this week.


I set out three cubbies for Lucy and three cubbies for Lilly Belle. I did not have a plan for this shelf, I just went into our homeschool closet and started creating. When I make these shelves I think about their interests and things they are learning and go off of that.

Lilly Belle’s Cubbies (Age 4 Years 9 Months Old)

  1. Writing: She is super into writing stories right now. All day long we hear, “How do you spell _________?” I found this pack on Teachers Pay Teachers and grabbed it immediately. These cards have everyday words on them as well as some blank cards for you to write in your family’s commonly used words. I used the blank cards to write friends and family’s names for her to use when she is writing her stories. I also purchased a pack of seasonal handwriting pages for the whole year on Teachers Pay Teachers. She loves these cute handwriting pages. I put them on a clipboard for her and set the writing word cards in a little basket with a pen.
  2. Math: Lilly Belle is really into addition right now, so I set up a little addition station for her. We love the Addition Cards from From the Pond on Teachers Pay Teachers. I laminated them and put them on a binder ring. She uses them along with a beautiful wooden number set we got on Etsy from My Little Light Shop. I also put out a little container (from the Dollar Tree) with our Usborne Number Tracing Cards that go from number 0-100.
  3. Reading: We are working on CVC words right now so I put out two different resources for her to use. These are again both things she can sit and do on her own without me. I found these wonderful word rolls on Etsy from Array Creations. They’ve been a lot of fun for her to use! I also have out these little CVC books from Moffatt Girls (our favorite shop)! She loves making these into little books. We have math ones from her too.

Lucy’s Cubbies (18 Months Old)

  1. Straws & Felt Activity: I put out a basket filled with crazy straws. I then cut up squares of felt and cut a slit in each square. Lucy slides each of the pieces of felt onto the straws. She also likes when Lilly Belle does it and then she likes to pull them all off. It took me less than 10 minutes to make and she can use these for a while. As she gets closer to 2, I will have her do them on the right matching colors. At this time I just let her play and learn how to use them. Or use the straws however she’d like. It’s here for her to just explore.
  2. Road Chalkboards & Cars: These have been so much fun for both of the girls to play with. The set comes with 4 boards and you can put them into different designs to build a little city. Lucy is really into playing with cars and anything that rolls right now, so she is having fun with this so far.
  3. Name Puzzle: I set this out for her so she can begin exploring how a puzzle works and just so she is seeing the letters of her name. We say the letters out loud to her as we show them to her.
  4. Cheerios Book & Cheerios: She hasn’t quite figured this one out yet, but she loves looking at the book. I haven’t really sat down with her yet on this one, so we’ll keep it out for a bit so she can keep discovering with it.
  5. Color Matching Velcro Sticks: I found these huge craft sticks and immediately knew what I was going to do with them! I cut out little circles with colored foam and then added velcro dots to the back of each circle and on the craft stick. I have them all in a little basket for her. I will leave one circle at the top of each stick and see if she can match the colors. At this age I am just happy with her exploring how the velcro works and watching her fill them up and take them off. Also working on putting all the circles back in the basket when she is done playing.

I have found most of our baskets we use for our shelves at The Dollar Tree and also in the Target Dollar Spot.

We get a ton of questions about which printer and laminator, so here are links for all of those as well! We purchase our laminating sheets in bulk of 500 (we purchase over 3,000/month because of Book Club) I recommend buying the big packs at Target πŸ™‚

Summer Morning Basket (1) 2018 – Pre-Kindergarten & Toddler

We didn’t switch out our Morning Basket at the beginning of May and I noticed a huge difference in how our days went because we weren’t as excited about doing Morning Basket. The girls were bored with everything and there were even a few days we didn’t do it at all, which hasn’t happened the entire year of us doing this together. So now I know, always switch the basket! It keeps things fresh and exciting for all of us. I for sure would not switch it out more than once a month, it takes me one who night and the next morning (Sat Night/Sun Morning) to do this always, so I wouldn’t be able to switch it more. A month at a time seems to be working just fine.


Lilly Belle is now done with preschool and is in full-on Kindergarten mode! All of the contents of the basket that are for her are all Kindergarten level. This month I did not include many activities for Lucy IN the basket other than our stories, just because she is usually eating breakfast and then wants to get down and play. Now that she is almost 19 months old, she is just too busy to sit anymore. We have a learning shelf set up that is right next to our kitchen table, so I will send her that way when she wants to get down. Then when I’m done working with Lilly Belle, I’ll take about 15 minutes to sit with Lucy at the shelf while Lilly Belle goes and gets herself ready for the day.

Here is what we have included for May/June 2018!

Girls Together:

We always do Bible, Poetry & Fairytales (stories) together first. Those 3 things always happen no matter what. No matter how fussy Lucy is or how tired I am, we always do those 3. After that depends on how the morning is going. Lately we are at about 75% of the time continuing with more. I find it changes every month as the girls change. I imagine as Lucy gets closer to 2, this will change again and there will be a lot more I can add for her again.

Bible: My First Bible and Prayers | We are continuing to read through this Bible per Lilly Belle’s request. When I told her I was switching Morning Basket, she shouted, “NO! Please. Keep the Bible that we have in there, I like that one.” So, that is exactly what we are going to do. The stories are short and sweet and the prayers at the end are so cute. We are also going to be memorizing the Morning Prayer from our Little Golden Book Prayers for Children.

Poetry: My latest discovery is Book Warehouse! I’ve found so many awesome books there and they’re all always super discounted. It’s the best. I found A Family of Poems by Carline Kennedy and loved it for Morning Basket and Poetry Teatime. It is filled with classic poems that are beautiful for children to hear. They aren’t silly like Where the Sidewalk Ends, but I think Lilly Belle and Lucy will love to hear me read them aloud.

Fairytale (Stories): This month we are going to read some of our treasuries together. We are starting with A Treasury of Curious George and then reading A Hundred-Acre Wood Treasury. Once we finish those, I will re-read their favorite stories from each until we start a new basket. Lucy loves monkeys so I think she’s going to love Curious George! Both of the girls love Winnie the Pooh. We will for sure be having a Winnie the Pooh day at Magic Kingdom, too!

Wooden Hundred Board: Lilly Belle will be using this to count to 100 as it is meant to be used. We are also going to start counting by 5’s as she can already count to 100 by 1’s and 10’s. Lucy will be using this as a toy while I am reading if she finishes breakfast early.

Camp Littles and Me: Ashley over at The Littles and Me has an amazing summer family program that is free on her blog! I printed out each week and will be printing out all the printables and gathering supplies so the girls and I can do this together this summer. It will be great family time. We are keeping the binder in our Morning Basket, but this is actually going to be our afternoon activities when we get home from Lilly Belle’s summer camps everyday. I am so excited about this!

Activities for Lucy (18/19 Months Old):

Mudpuppy Alphabet Flashcards: Ours aren’t arriving until Tuesday from Amazon so I didn’t get to add a picture to the blog or share them on Instagram, but we have had our cards for so long that it was time for a new set. I use to give them to Lucy during Morning Basket when she was a baby and she chewed them all up. Now I am going to give them to her but we are going to say all the letter sounds and names as I flash each one.

Montessori Books: I just ordered these and LOVE them! They’ve been on my Amazon wishlist for Lucy for-ever and I got them this week and in the perfect timing. She will love touching the sandpaper letters throughout the book. Again I will just be flipping through saying the letter sounds with her for the Montessori Letter Work book. For these we are not going to say the letter names, just the sounds. For the Montessori Number Work book we will be saying the name of each number and then count to that number until we get to 10 at the end of the book. I’ll let her hold them and feel the numbers. She’s too little to understand how to trace, but she will love touching the letters and numbers.

Color Circle Stickers: I am going to give here these stickers to play with while I am reading if she finishes breakfast and is getting antsy during Bible, Poetry, or Fairytale. She loves stickers lately, so these should keep her busy.

Wipe-Clean Alphabet Cards: Bitty Beginnings has adorable toddler and preschool activities. We found her shop when Lilly Belle was 2. I am excited that Lucy is now old enough to start doing some of the activities as well. I got out the Wipe-Clean Activity Cards for her to play with while I am reading. She will just be coloring on them with dry-erase markers, but I want her to just start seeing the letters more.

Activities for Lilly Belle (Almost 5):

My Summer Learning Packet: I purchased this from The Moffatt Girls and it is perfect for our Summer Morning Baskets and for when we head to Washington for 3 weeks this summer! It has over 100 pages of math and literacy work. I purchased the Kindergarten one for Lilly Belle because when I was looking at them online, I realized she can already do 75% of what is included as Kindergarten REVIEW in this packet! So apparently, Lilly Belle already did Kindergarten lol. Oops! There are some new concepts included that I am excited to work with her on this summer and just touch on before we really dive in during Kindergarten. I printed this out on colored paper and she is going to love that I made it like a rainbow. It’s the little things πŸ˜‰

Let’s Play School Play & Learn Weekly Spelling Program: This is our newest product in the Let’s Play School shop and I am so excited to be working on this with her! Each week she will follow the program I have created using the Spelling Lists from The Good and The Beautiful Kindergarten Language Arts curriculum. I will have a whole separate post on how this program works, but she is going to love it! She was so excited this morning to see her Spelling Box all ready to go filled with fun for her. She is super into spelling and writing right now, so she’s pumped and so am I!

Early Readers: She really wants to read “real books” right now, so I included two for her in our basket that she can read to us during breakfast. Her favorite beginning reader is, I Love Pink and I bought her a new one last night, Biscuit. She’s going to love it!

Explode the Code 1: I will have her do a couple pages from this each morning. She just completed the beginning series for Explode the Code and is excited to be on the “big girl books” now!

ABC See, Hear, Do 2: Lilly Belle knows all her letter sounds like the back of her hand now, so it’s time to start working on blends! I am putting together a Blends Box for her right now, but don’t have it quite ready yet. Once that is done, that will also be added to our morning time. It will be a box similar to our Spelling Box that will included fun activities and resources for her to learn all her consonant blends! These books are so much fun and make learning sounds so silly as your child does actions with their body to remember the sound of each blend. Lilly Belle AND Lucy will think this is hilarious. They both loved the first one. Lucy just loves watching Lilly Belle do the actions, she cracks up and I love it!

Let’s Play School Play & Learn Sight Words: This is our next new program I am working on but am not quite done with it. Once it is complete, this will become a part of our morning time as well! Each week we will focus on 3 new sight words and play tons of games and activities to memorize them. She will have a Sight Words Box just like her Spelling Box and Blends Box. It’s just a matter of when I get it all together that we will start it. She is still working on the Dolch Pre-Primer list. She isn’t super into memorizing so I think this will REALLY help her! I cannot wait to share it with all of you!

Zoom Cards & Timer: As a part of our letter sounds and blends practice, we are going to be using some of the Zoom Cards from From the Pond. Lilly Belle thinks these are the best. She has to say the letter sounds and on the new cards I pulled out for her, sound out the blends, as fast as she can. We time her and she tries to beat her time everyday. It’s a really neat idea!

So there it is! Our 1st Morning Basket of the Summer 2018! I am beyond excited about all the new things the girls are going to learn from this basket and about all the beautiful time we will be spending together. I can’t wait to start tomorrow! Lilly Belle ran out this morning thinking today was the day, “Ahhh yay! I can’t wait to see our Morning Basket!”

This has become such an amazing part of our everyday and I cannot imagine life without it!