Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inchimals: A Fun Introduction to Math

I have to be honest.  I was blogging.  I needed to distract my boys for just a tiny bit longer the other day.  I only had a little left to write of a blog post . . .

These days, I never know if this will be my last moment before I am holding a newborn.  So I am frantically trying to pre-post.


Something sitting on the table peeked their curiosity, you know . . . the Granola Boys.  And I complied.

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The Granola Boys ended up distracting me!  (I personally think they are just too cute!)

I was delighted by how they creatively played with this game from Timberdoodle, a great resource for homeschool supplies,  . . . without being informed of the instructions.

You see, the fun game that was residing on the table is called Inchimals.  Not only is it an open-ended game, but it can also be played following guidelines (AKA rules). 

The best part about this game is that the kids are learning WHILE having fun.  Score.  This game is what is called a math manipulative, meaning it is a product that is used to aide in teaching a mathematical concept.

So here is what I first allowed to happen.  All I did was give them the Inchimal sticks, which I will have you know are thankfully sturdy pieces of wood, which is necessary in our household. 

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They simply started measuring the cabinets,

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the refrigerator,

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matchbox cars . . . which eventually lead to using the Inchimals as a barrier wall for a racetrack,

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and they finally decided to line the Inchimals up according to height before they moved on . . .

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to the nifty dry erase book included in the Inchimal box.

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I must admit that the Granola Boys are particularly fond of the dry erase marker with the built in eraser.

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We also used our Inchimals to measure feet.

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We tried to come up with a variety of animals to use to achieve the same length.

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But no matter what, we always end up doing math problems, I mean playing with animals.  This is a typical addition problem.

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Followed by a subtraction problem . . .

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The crazy thing was that even the cleaning up of this game was fun. 

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Mr. Smackdown tried to make sure that each row was the same length!

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In short, the Inchimal game includes:

  • 12 Wooden Inchimals Blocks
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • 100 Puzzles in a Spiral-bound Erasable Book

It provides a(n)

  • great introduction into math by introducing words such as, How long? How high? How tall? How many inches? etc.
  • structure to explain how to obtain an answer for an addition or subtraction math problem.  Instead of starting out with numbers, add a penguin and a frog together.  To find the answer, your child can simply count the dots on the end of the wood stick.
  • practice writing numbers in the wipe-off math book that contains over 100 puzzles.

For more ideas on how to use the Inchimals, head on over to Timberdoodle.  This would make a GREAT birthday gift or Christmas gift for the preschooler in your life!

P.S. If you are interested in winning anything, head on over to the Timberdoodle Facebook page or the Timberdoodle Blog.  The company is celebrating 25 years of business in style!   They are having 25 different giveaways!

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Inchimals in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Wordless Wednesday: Drool

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Better late than never . . .

The winner of the Tropical Traditions Antioxidant Greens is Comment #1, Melanie.

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The winner of the EcoMom $15 gift certificate is Comment #19, Tamara!  

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Congrats!  You have 48 hours to contact me with your snail mail address! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


We may not have swam a lot this summer, but we sure are making up for it this week . . . in my bedroom, of all places.

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Somebody has to, right?  Because Sweet Pea sure isn’t.

(I know Melanie . . . "When the apple is ripe, it (she!) will drop.")

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Simple Woman’s Daybook (4): Waiting


FOR TODAY:  Monday, September 27, 2010

I waited patiently for the Lord . . .  Psalm 40:1(a)

(This is part of the boys’ memory verse from last week, and it surfaced as I was thinking of my state of mind currently . . . and my mom gently saying . . . “it will all happen in due time.”)

Outside my window... it is beautiful.  Sunny.  The weather is calm.  Birds are happy.  Clouds are high up in the sky, with streaks of blue painted throughout. 

I am thinking... that I feel too good to be pregnant.  I also miss the Hottie when he goes to work.  I heart open windows and EARLY fall weather.  And I wonder how I can have such talkative kids, as I am not a talker.  I am amazed at how lazy I can be.

I am thankful for...  (still) a refrigerator that supplies me with endless ice.  I am incredibly blessed by some of the GREAT things that I get to review.  All because I blog.  Amazing.  I am thankful for a great weekend, a really nice Sunday, hanging out with my SIL and her finance discussing their future, Via coffee from Rose, and my spa tub.

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(Rose gave this to me on Sunday, much to my surprise.  I loaned her my backpacking equipment and she blessed me with a gift!  Totally unexpected.  And I love this because I can only drink chai with a friend these days—otherwise I don’t enjoy chai!)

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(For those of you who are curious as to what my tub looks like from my abundant tweets about it last night . . . here she is.  I’m so glad we figured out how to plug it in right before we called my midwife and said, “It’s broken!  It doesn’t work.”  Mental note to all you homebirthers, make sure your tub isn’t plugged into the electrical outlet that is connected to a light switch!)

From the learning rooms... We finished our workboxes from last week.  This actually was nice.  I didn’t have to load the boxes this am since I . . . um . . . slept in.  We are reading Little House on the Prairie

From the kitchen...   we are plagued with fruit flies . . .

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I am making grape water kefir soda for the birth . . . and I promise I am working on a blog “how-to” post for you all . . . 

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I love how my kiddos ask for tea . . . with honey,

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I am creating... a baby sling for Sweet Pea . . .

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and I finished this fun mushroom sling for a gal out in Colorado this afternoon.

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I am going... to read only my Bible in 90 Days . . . no more fiction until my goal is completed. I have until October 2nd.  At that point, I expect my water will break as soon as the last word in Revelation is read.   How’s that for a goal – as if I can control the birth aspect of it.  Sigh.

I am reading… the Bible, Frankenstein for Book Club, a birth book by Michele Odent, and a gazillion other books.

I am hoping... to take a shower, go to the post office, take the boys to pick out their sling fabric, take a walk, and read my Bible tonight.

I am hearing... Sir Honey and Mr. Smackdown play with Inchimals from Timberdoodle.

Around the house...the floors need to be swept and mopped (again). There are diapers to be hung.   

One of my favorite things...vanilla lattes, foot rubs from a certain husband, little boys saying, “I love you,” and good snail mail days.

A few plans for the rest of the week: complete washing and folding all laundry, cut some things I have laminated, work on the boys’ Awana verses, write a summary of our fancy book club night, and get a bunch of blog posts written for a slew of reviews that are due.

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Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

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Link up and read more daybooks at Peggy's blog.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Playing with Fire

An hour or so ago, the fire in our backyard looked like this:

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But now – it . . . ah . . . looks like this:

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I don’t know if  you can really tell how high it is . . . but folks, the wood is almost as high as the fence.

Should I be alarmed?

I mean, check out the poker stick the Hottie is using.

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I feel like perhaps we are trying to get Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego out of our backyard. 

OK, I am exaggerating.  Just a little.  Kind of.

Magneatos: A Guidecraft Mom Blog Review

Primary colors.  Magnets.  Balls.  Lots of pieces. Open-ended play.

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Three little boys’ delight.

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Guidecraft graciously sent us a Magneato 36 piece set and the jumbo curved 24 piece set to play with and review as part of Guidecraft Mom Team

What can you do with this toy?

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  • How high can you build a Magneato tower before it falls?

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  • Magneatos work great as barbells for working out! 

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  • We also used Magneatos to count and sort colors.

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  • Mr. Smiley loved cleaning them up.  Can’t argue with that!

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  • They also worked as a GREAT Tot Tray toy! 

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  • He spent time seeing what he could find that his Magneatos would stick to . . .

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But his favorite place to play with them (and I am not condoning this for any of your children) was Mussie’s crate! 


For other ideas on how to play with Magneatos, head on over to Mama Jenn’s blog!  Not to mention that Magneatos are going to be the featured “Play With Me” toy over at Totally Tots!

Or if you would like to win a set for the child in your life, here is your chance. Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations will be hosting a giveaway beginning Monday for a 36-piece set of Magneatos as part of the Guidecraft Back to School Twitter Party on Tuesday, September 28th from 8-9pm EST. 




This product was given to me for review purposes and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.  And I must admit, I am enjoying being a part of the Guidecraft Mom Blog team because Guidecraft has a lot of great educational toys for children!

Friday, September 24, 2010

She’s Real!

Most people KNOW their friends. 

You know . . . they have physically seen them.  Or they have actually met them . . . talked with them in person.  Shaken hands.    They’ve smelled each other's deodorant, or lack thereof. 

Or their pregnant bellies have hugged. 

I actually got to meet a friend for the first time today.  Yet, I already felt like I knew her. 

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That is the crazy thing about blogging.  You have these friends that are real, but you have only seen them on the computer screen.  So the rest of your family and friends questions that they are real.

Perhaps they are a stalker.

But I have good news.  Maureen, from Spell Out Loud,  is an honest to goodness real pregnant woman who also happens to be living in Hoosier land. 

With cute kids.

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She brought her nifty Easy Box Lunches and we all sat at the same table. 

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And we still were able to talk.  It was fun!  (Girls are quieter.)

It was good for the boys, too.  ‘Cause Maureen has mostly girls. 

We talked about all things blogging, homeschooling, mothering, cloth diapering, gardening, and baby. 

All because of our blogs. 

God is good!  It was GREAT meeting you today, Maureen.  Let’s do it again!

Preschool Post: D is for Dinosaur

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Sir Honey, Age 4

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Today completes 28 days of school with a special visit from Maureen over at Spell Out Loud

And no Baby Sister.

But we did have fun learning about the Letter D for dinosaur! 

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In honor of our study, we visited the Children’s Museum yesterday.  You can read about what we learned this week here.  We were also able to wrap our first few weeks of Hideaways in History by hanging out at the Egypt exhibit.

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Who wouldn’t like pretending to drive an auto rickshaw?

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We had a dinosaur dig . . .

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Today we will finish up by doing a few Little House on the Prairie activities.  We read the first two chapters last night and the boys are hooked.  Currently they are devastated because the dog, Jack, appears to be left behind on the other side of the river.

We must rescue him by building a raft today.

To find out what other preschoolers are doing, head on over to Homeschool Creations!