Sparkbox Toys Delivery #3 (#playlearnreturn)

I feel like I’ve been writing about and talking about TOYS a lot lately. And that’s okay! While I tend to be a minimalist in many areas of our life, I believe strongly in the power of play for young children. Toys are our children’s tools for learning, and I’m always excited to find a new open-ended material that we can use for our homeschool lessons and our free-play time.

We recently started back at Classical Conversations, and we made the choice this year to keep Kate (recently 3) out of the nursery and in a corner of Addie’s classroom. Kate will be a VERY young 4 next year, the age the Foundations program begins, so we want her to see the flow of a regular community day to make her transition into her own classroom a little easier. (Also: I see how easily Kate picks up the memory work at home!) It’s helpful to have a variety of toys to engage her during our time at CC, which is why I was so excited to have a Sparkbox Toys delivery last week.

Called the “Netflix for toys,” Sparkbox believes in providing children with the BEST of the best toys available–wooden, open-ended, and creative invitations to play! Thanks to their generous referral program, we earned a free month of play–AND they included a FREE Laurie Berkner CD in our box as a gift. I cannot say enough about their great service!

Lone Star Signers: Our 3rd awesome delivery from Sparkbox Toys, the "netflix for toys"

Once I created an account with Sparkbox Toys and started browsing the toys, my wish list quickly filled up! I love that we can customize the box for our children based on age or skill–the selection is incredible! (You can see our first and second boxes here.) We all know that children thrive on variety/novelty, and getting a new box of toys provides that for our girls. Not to mention that they learn to be gracious givers when it’s time for the toys to go to a new home. (Best of all, the toys come to us clean and sanitized! AWESOME!)

So what was in our latest box?

* Deconstruction Blocks–We received a set of 12 F blocks–I love the rainbow colors and all the fun ways we can play with them! (View this toy on Amazon.)

* Counting Snails–This toy has been so much fun for our 3-year-old! Since it’s a “mastery” toy, I’m glad that she has two months for trial and error–she’s already gotten pretty independent at putting the pieces together in order, reinforcing fine motor skills, numbers, and colors. (View this toy on Amazon.)

Lone Star Signers: Our 3rd awesome delivery from Sparkbox Toys, the "netflix for toys"

* Balance Boat–We love this open-ended toy–lots of different color combinations and fine-motor practice! Kate calls them “my snowmans” and enjoys carrying the pieces around in the yellow mesh bag. (View this toy on Amazon.)

* Car Layer Puzzle–This puzzle is admittedly too easy for Kate, but it’s small and portable. We use the puzzle pieces to talk about size and colors when we’re on the go! (View this toy on Amazon.)

Other toys shown: wooden people blocks and farm animals from Busy Farm

We highly recommend Sparkbox Toys–check out the website for yourself and see if there are any toys you think would catch your child’s eye!

**This is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own. Amazon affiliate links are used, which means if you make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no cost to you. Referral link to Sparkbox Toys included–if you sign up, I will receive a free month from Sparkbox. (And then you can refer your friends!) View my disclosure policy here.**

Tot Trays: Weather

Weather is a fantastic Tot School theme–there are so many different TYPES of weather that this class tends to be a little different each time I teach it. And of course, our weather here in Texas is simply HOT, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend it’s winter!

Toy Rotation, Week 13


Week 13

Great WEATHER Books for Children | Lone Star SignersSigning class theme: Weather

Signing Time video: Baby Signing Time: A New Day

Main book: Bear in Sunshine by Stella Blackstone  (Barefoot Books are fun concept books with colorful illustrations.)

(affiliate links used for your convenience)

Toys with unlimited access:

  • IKEA trains
  • Inchworm Links (rented from Sparkbox Toys)
  • Purple treasure basket (including castanets, pegs, and a light-up spiky ball)
  • ABC two-piece puzzles (out of print)

Weather Sensory Bin from Lone Star SignersWe also have a CLOUDS sensory bin with cotton balls and blue marbles.

Here’s my Tot School: Weather Pinterest board–
Tot School Weather on Pinterest

Follow Melissa @ Lone Star Signers’s board Tot School: Weather on Pinterest.

Weather-themed Tot Trays from Lone Star Signers

Tot Trays:

  1. Umbrella playdough mat
  2. C is for Clouds tracing page (laminated)
  3. Rainy Day number maze
  4. Cloud lacing activity
  5. Colorful Umbrellas emergent reader
  6. Raindrop counting game
  7. Straw pieces & cheese container

All of our printables this week came from This Reading Mama.

What are your kiddos playing with this week?

Tot Trays: Day and Night

Whoo!! We are halfway done with summer, y’all! Are your kids bored yet?! (I may have mentioned here a time or two that I am not a fan of summer weather–really looking forward to some cooler temperatures and the return to park days.) Here are the toys my girls are playing with THIS WEEK:

Lone Star Signers: Toy Rotation, Week 12

 

Week 12

Signing class theme: Day & Night

Signing Time video: Baby Signing Time: A New Day

Main book: Time for a Hug by Phillis Gershator and Mim Green (I stumbled upon this gem at the library–so many great vocabulary words mixed in with adorable illustrations.)

(affiliate links used for your convenience)

Toys with unlimited access:

Night-Time Sensory Bin from Lone Star Signers

We also have a night-time sensory bin with black beans, shiny stars, and white pom poms. We picked up these mini-pots at Dollar Tree last week, and my toddler loves pouring and dumping with them.

Here’s my Tot School: Day & Night Pinterest board–

Tot School Day & Night on Pinterest - Lone Star SignersFollow Melissa @ Lone Star Signers’s board Tot School: Day & Night on Pinterest.

Tot Trays: Day and Night | Lone Star Signers

Tot Trays:

  1. Pom-pom color sorting: use tongs for fine-motor practice. (You could even use dice to practice counting!)
  2. Star lacing activity (Kate has already asked for a moon shape, too.)
  3. Blue buttons for lacing and sorting (We’re singing a little Pete the Cat over here!)
  4. Simple craft stick color-matching activity

We aren’t using printables this week, but there are a few available on my Pinterest board.

What are your kiddos playing with this week?

Sparkbox Toys Delivery #2

As y’all know, I’m a BIG believer in toy rotation! I view my girls’ toys as TOOLS for learning, so I don’t feel bad about the wide variety of materials that they have available…BUT I don’t think they need to have access to ALL their toys at one time.

When I first heard about Sparkbox Toys, I knew that it was something we were going to try! Called the “Netflix for toys,” Sparkbox believes in providing children with the BEST of the best toys available–wooden, open-ended, and creative invitations to play!

Sparkbox Toys Delivery #2 | Lone Star Signers

Once I created an account and started browsing the toys, my wish list for Kate quickly grew beyond 20 items! (You can see our first box here.) I could easily walk into a high-quality toy store and spend $100 on a handful of items, but I prefer to RENT from Sparkbox instead. We all know that children thrive on variety/novelty, and getting a new box of toys provides that for our girls. Not to mention that they learn to be gracious givers when it’s time for the toys to go to a new home. (Best of all, the toys come to us clean and sanitized! AWESOME!)

So what was in our latest box?

* Inchworm links–SO fabulous for learning number order and practicing counting, plus they come with lacing strings for fine motor practice!

Ohio Art Inchworm Links from Sparkbox Toys | Lone Star Signers

* Rainbow blocks–I was not expecting the blocks to be translucent, so I am thrilled with the extra learning options here: stacking, sorting, color mixing!

Rainbow Blocks from Sparkbox Toys | Lone Star Signers

* Nuts and Bolts–both of my girls need fine-motor practice, so this is an ideal toy! I love the vibrant colors and large size, not to mention the open-ended options for creative play! (View this toy on Amazon.)

Plan Toys: Nuts and Bolts from Sparkbox Toys | Lone Star Signers

* Magnatab numbers 0-9–WOW, the sensory aspect for this toy is awesome! The magnet pen pulls the balls to the surface with a surprising amount of force, and it’s fun to push them back down, too. Perfect for an on-the-go activity! (View this toy on Amazon.)

O Kids: Magnatab Numbers 0-9 | Lone Star Signers

* Gears and Deluxe Puzzles–Another great open-ended toy, great for children of all ages! Children can arrange the puzzle pieces and then insert the colorful gears (hand-eye coordination) into place. (View this toy on Amazon.)

Plan Toys: Gears and Deluxe Puzzles from Sparkbox Toys | Lone Star Signers

(Note: boxes typically have four toys. Our fifth toy in this box was an excellent customer service response to a teeny-tiny issue in our first box–one of the robot puzzle pieces was slightly damaged in transit.)

We highly recommend Sparkbox Toys–check out the website for yourself and see if there are any toys you think would catch your child’s eye!

**This is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used, which means if you make a purchase or subscribe, I will make a small commission/receive a free month from Sparkbox.**