Preschool Living Books

29 Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool Books

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Preschool Living Books
Preschool Living Books

 

First, I list our favorite preschool, or early years, read alouds! Next, I explain my journey of how I began homeschooling my children. Next, I discuss my favorite method and philosophy of Education.

  • Please keep reading to the bottom for some great homeschooling resources!

FAVORITE BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS

A big part of Charlotte Mason was her belief in God. However, I also come across another secular early years CM resource and it can be found here if that suits you better: Wildwood Curriculum.

BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
BIBLES FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

  1. The Jesus Storybook Bible – ABSOLUTELY our favorite Bible for the younger years!!!
  2. The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – gorgeous illustrations and more in line with a traditional King James version of the Bible…a nice transition before the real deal for little ones!
  3. The Random House Book of Bible Stories– gorgeous illustrations and more in line with a traditional King James version of the Bible…a nice transition before the real deal for little ones!
  4. The Wonder Book of Bible Stories – recommended by Ambleside online

FAVORITE GENTLE LEARNING BOARD BOOKS FOR PRESCHOOLERS

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

GENTLE LEARNING
GENTLE LEARNING
  1. 1 is One – Beautiful, timeless illustrations and gentle introduction to counting numbers 1 through 20
  2. Counting with Barefoot Critters – you can’t beat these sweet illustrations and carefully created stories for each number 1 through 12
  3. Adventures with Barefoot Critters: An ABC Book – the illustrations are incredible and I love how this story includes both ABC’s and the calendar months
  4. B is for Bear: A Natural Alphabet – a nature inspired alphabet book
  5. In a Pumpkin Shell – a beautifully illustrated alphabet book based on mother goose nursery rhymes
  6. A to Z Picture Book – wonderfully illustrated alphabet book by Gyo Fujikawa

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOKS TO PREPARE FOR HOME EDUCATION

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

Although I’m no Charlotte Mason expert, I believe these books in the list below, represent Living Books. These books:

  •      create imaginative play in my children
  •      contain beautiful stories that my children ask for over and over
  •      are comprised of beautiful literature and pictures
  •      inspire good values and
  •      are passed down from generation to generation
Preschool Living Books
Preschool Living Books
Charlotte Mason Preschool Books
Charlotte Mason Preschool Books

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

  1. Albert – a sweet story about a man overcoming his fears and how nature helped him learn how
  2. Blueberries for Sal – a sweet story, we just love almost everything from this author
  3. Corduroy – a sweet story of hope, adventure and an adorable bear
  4. Make Way for Ducklings – both kiddos (ages JUST now 4 and 5) LOVE this book
  5. Miss Rumphius – what a lovely story…I may have shed a tear or two… We have read this one MANY TIMES by request of my kiddos
  6. One Morning in Maine – I just love everything by this author
  7. Roxaboxen – what a lovely story about the freedom of childhood and playing in nature
  8. Story of Ferdinand – a lovely, classic story about self-control and kindness
  9. The Complete Adventures of Peter Rabbit – my oldest REALLY loves these stories
  10. The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter – if you can swing the whole set, this is wonderful and my children love these stories! (The literature is rich, so its a nice preparatory for their future formal school readings)
  11. The Little Engine that Could – I love this version because of the lovely illustrations
  12. The Little House – a sweet tale of patience and kindness
  13. The Little Red Hen – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  14. The Three Bears – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  15. The Three Bill Goats Gruff – if you can swing for a set from Paul Galdone, I think they are delightful versions of these classic tales
  16. The Velveteen Rabbit – love this original version and illustrations
  17. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree – this one has made me cry happy tears each time I have read it aloud to my children
  18. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh – I can’t recommend this one enough! My boys love these stories
  19. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes – this version by Tomie DePaola looks fabulous!

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN/FIRST GRADE READERS

Finally, here are some suggested wonderful First Readers if you are Preschoolers are beginning to read on their own!

Click the Links below to view the book more in depth or to purchase through Amazon!

First Readers
First Readers
  1. Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury – my children BOTH love the stories in this Treasury. Its going to be a great stepping stone to reading on their own!
  2. Little Bear – My children LOVE these stories and I’m excited for them to learn read them aloud to me one day!
  3. Treadwell Primer – these contain the classic stories hopefully your kiddos will grow up with and be inspired to learn how to read
  4. Treadwell First Reader– these contain the classic stories hopefully your kiddos will grow up with and be inspired to learn how to read

PRESCHOOL YEARS

My greatest joy is spending as much time with my children as possible. Have you read The Five Love Languages? It was recommended to me by a friend to strengthen my marriage, and I highly recommend it! The most important thing, to me, is building a relationship with my family.

CHARLOTTE MASON

Charlotte WHO???

When I first heard about Charlotte Mason, I had NO CLUE who she was. I searched homeschooling styles, and took this quiz  and was surprised I scored the highest in a Charlotte Mason education style. Since I had no idea who she was, I did some research! WAY TOO MUCH RESEARCH.

Then, I reached out to the Peaceful Preschool Facebook group I was a part of, and the creator of the group, (and a very experienced homeschool mama) along with other mamas, steered me in the direction of some of my favorite and first Charlotte Mason resources: A Charlotte Mason Companion and For the Children’s Sake.

 

LOVE AT FIRST READ

From the first few pages into A Charlotte Mason Companion, I was IN DEEP! It was like the author, and Charlotte Mason herself, were speaking directly to my heart. Since what I was reading made so since much sense to me, I wanted to begin educating my children using the Charlotte Mason method immediately!

CHARLOTTE MASON PRESCHOOL BOOKS

The BEST WAY to learn about a Charlotte Mason Education is to read her volumes. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you begin with Volume 1 Home Education. Really, I recommend the whole set of Charlotte Mason’s volumes since they have SUCH great value to parents, mamas, home educators or anyone caring for children.

Home Education lays the foundation for children ages 0-9 years old therefore it is a perfect starting point for your preschoolers. Charlotte Mason (CM) stresses the importance of forming good habits, points out the value of spending long hours outdoors daily, reading good quality literature through read alouds, and introduces the concept of the early lessons. She recommended formal education began at age six for the child.

Some of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes:

  • “Never be within doors, when you can rightly be without.” CM Home Education pg. 42
  • “In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part in fresh air.” CM Home Education pg. 43
  • “An Observant child should be put in the way of Things worth observing.” CM Home Education pg. 69

 

 

EARLY YEARS (PRESCHOOL) CURRICULUM RESOURCES 

These are MY FAVORITE PRESCHOOL CM RESOURCES and I’m happy to share them with YOU!

  1. Ambleside Online – Year 0 Explanation and Book List (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  2. Charlotte Mason Help –  Preschool and Kindergarten Book List and Schedule (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  3. A Delectable Education – Episode 79 Podcast : The Early Years (Children Ages Birth – 6 Years Old)
  4. A Charlotte Mason Soiree – Free Charlotte Mason Courses and a wonderful Facebook Community!
  5. Exploring Nature with Children – A Beautiful and Gentle Introduction to Nature Study that we LOVE! Make sure to click on “Preview” if you click on this link to see a sample of the curriculum!

FAVORITE PRESCHOOL BOOKS

Favorite-Books
Favorite-Books

Reading has always been a big part of my family culture. My mom would scour countless garage sales for me and bring home boxes of books, much to my delight! I was an early reader and an avid reader and I know this is because my parents and Grammie made it a priority to read aloud to me daily. As I entered into middle school, my parent’s built their dream home and created a room dedicated to books…so we had our very own library!!!

Finally, I have used the Early Years Curriculum Resources above, as well as suggested books from the Peaceful Preschool, to hone and curate my very favorite Preschool books. I hope you enjoy this list as much as we do!!! Since we have ALL OF THESE BOOKS, I highly recommend them to you! If you have any questions about a particular book, please let me know because I would love to help!

LIVING BOOKS

Part of Charlotte Mason’s education philosophy was utilizing Living Books. Listen to this wonderful podcast which describes what Living Books are and why you might want to use these. According to Livingbookslibrary.com, Living Books contain, “literary power, rich ideas, are virtuous, inspiring, told in narrative form, span generations, and inspire imagination.”

Why Living Books

 

 

 

GENTLE LETTER LEARNING

Read about our gentle letter introduction. We are currently slowly and carefully are moving through the Peaceful Preschool and Exploring Nature with Children in order to provide a gentle introduction to learning.

Finally, here are our favorite Preschool Supplies!

In conclusion, I hope this helps provide a resource to you in your preschool and early homeschooling years. If you are taking on a Charlotte Mason education, what are your favorite resources? I would love to hear from you!

 

INTERESTED IN WRITING YOUR OWN BLOG? 

Click here to get started! Its as low as $3.95/month.

SUBSCRIBE HERE

Did you know? When you subscribe to my blog, you will now receive a 3 Day Clean Eating Meal Plan for Busy Families! What are you waiting for? 

SaveSave

writing

Letter L Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter L. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Letter L
Letter L preschool

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors (HINT: If you click this link, make sure you click “Preview” at the top right corner!)
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land
Letter L
Letter L preschool

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. Feel free to explore all of our letter units!

Letter L
Letter L

LETTER L REVIEW

The focus books for letter L are The Grouchy Ladybug and the Corinthians Love Chapter from the Bible. Our favorite children’s Bible is the Jesus Storybook Bible. I also added Ten Little Ladybugs since my youngest really loves this story and its great for counting. Then, we read the Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, which is a beautiful, imaginative picture book and a great fable. Finally, we read through Locomotive, by Brian Floca and The Little Tree.

First, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. My children are always excited to make a new glitter glue letter.

Letter L Glitter Glue
Letter L Glitter Glue preschool

L IS FOR LADYBUG

We read The Grouchy Ladybug many times. It is a beautiful book which is part of the Peaceful Preschool curriculum. We used this small wooden clock to introduce the principles of telling time since the book highlights the different times of the day as the grouchy ladybug moves from one animal to the next. This book was a regular during our introduction of Letter L.

Ladybug
Ladybug

Then, we revisited Ten Little Ladybugs. There are 3D ladybugs which the boys love to run their fingers over as I’m reading the pages. The beautiful rhyming words are simple. The boys loved foreshadowing the next number. In the story, the ladybugs are counted down from ten to none (and are returned to home).

ladybugs
ladybugs

We used Simply Learning Kids resources for Letter L and found the letters with a cute ladybug free printable.

Ladybug
Ladybug

L IS FOR LOVE

We were lucky that our Letter L unit fell around the same time as Valentine’s Day for us. We made some simple homemade cards for the boy’s Daddy and traced the word “Love” with our sandpaper letters.

L is for Love
L is for Love

Since it was Valentine’s Day, my older son signed Valentine’s cards and we made homemade chocolate candies to share with our friends.

love
love

Finally, we read 1 Corinthians 13 which is the Love Chapter from the Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible.

L IS FOR LEMON

I asked my children to make their glitter glue Letter L’s and we looked up a recipe for homemade limonada in Nature Anatomy. I just love these Montessori moveable letters too! We bring them out for every letter unit.

lemon
lemon

We squeezed fresh lemon juice, honey, water, ice and fresh mint for a refreshing drink.

limonada
limonada

We also made these lemon pomanders, which is just pressing whole cloves into lemons. My boys were having a difficult time so we ended up using toothpicks to make the holes first, and then sticking the cloves inside the fruit. We also really love these sandpaper letters and they are very affordable!

ABC BOOK

This sweet ABC book, Adventures with Barefoot Creatures, also introduces the concept of the seasons and a calendar. I just love the whimsical illustrations too!

ABC BOOK
ABC BOOK

L IS FOR LIBRARY

We normally visit our local small town library, but we decided to venture to the big city to visit the newest library. It was absolutely beautiful, filled with natural light, and we curled up to a couple of good books, and of course played with some toys as well!

Library
Library

ALPHABAET HANDWRITING PRACTICE

We practiced tracing the letters in the word “love” on our handwriting board.

alphabet practice
alphabet practice preschool

I love this alphabet board since it has both upper and lower case letters.

letter board
letter board

L IS FOR LION

The Lion and the Mouse is a great version of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables. I love how it teaches children about kindness and the value of helping one another.

Lion
Lion

L IS FOR LITTLE BEAR

I had this childhood book saved so we read Little Bear for Letter L! My boys love this story since its made up of several stories that build on one another.

Little Bear
Little Bear

L IS FOR LITTLE TREE

Finally, we read Little Tree by Loren Long. I just love her illustrations and the story is very sweet. We have read this many times through over the past year because its such a lovely book.

little tree
little tree

SUPPLIES

Locomotive
Little Tree
The Grouchy Ladybug
Sandpaper Letters
Montessori Moveable Alphabet
Glitter Glue

OUR PICKS

Here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

Letter I Sprinkles

Letter I Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter I. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

Letter I Sprinkles
Letter I Sprinkles

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. Feel free to explore all of our letter units!

Letter I Sprinkles
Letter I Sprinkles

LETTER I REVIEW

We began the letter I unit and had so much fun with it! The focus books for letter I are Ice Cream Summer, Inch by Inch, and a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. Also, we read The Little Island, and listened to the audio version of this one before we purchased it.

the little island
the little island

Then, we created glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

Ice Cream Summer
Ice Cream Summer

We used some spare loose parts to create ice cream cones and also read through Ice Cream Summer.

ice cream summer
ice cream summer
Inch by Inch
Inch by Inch
Jesus Storybook Bible
Jesus Storybook Bible

I IS FOR ICE CREAM

I love gaining inspiration for our homeschool on Pinterest. This simple idea came from Pinterest to cut out ice cream templates using colorful construction paper we already had on hand. The boys took turn adding scoops to correspond with the number on the ice cream cone.

Ice Cream Counting
Ice Cream Counting

SENSORY WRITING PRACTICE

Next, we added old sprinkles to a tray so the boys could practice writing the letter I.

sprinkles letters
sprinkles letters

I love providing these tactile, sensory experiences for them. Of course, the boys take the opportunity to sneak a few sprinkles into their mouths!

Sprinkles Writing
Sprinkles Writing

ICE CREAM PLAY

The boys worked together to “earn” this special Melissa and Doug Ice Cream Shop about six months ago. We brought it out to go along with our ice cream theme since it worked perfectly!

Ice Cream Play
Ice Cream Play

We also played with these felt ice cream shapes and glitter. I wouldn’t recommend it however, because it was time consuming for Mama to make and one of those activities that the boys were not engaged in for very long.

felt ice cream
felt ice cream

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM

Last summer, we purchased our first homemade ice cream maker and made our own strawberry mint sorbet. I counted this as “ice cream.” The boys loved helping me make this recipe and it was super simple. Feel free to read the post which includes this recipe here.

strawberry mint sorbet recipe
strawberry mint sorbet recipe

ICE CREAM – LICK HONEST ICE CREAM VISIT

Finally, we visited our favorite ice cream spot: Lick Honest Ice Cream. I love going here for an occasional treat because they offer delicious vegan ice cream made with coconut milk.

Then, for their dairy versions, they source milk from local dairy farms who feed their cows primarily grass. We try for whole milk, grass fed dairy options we can! Another sneaky trick about this place is they offer a hot pink ice cream which my boys love and the flavor is Beet Mint! I love how adventurous my little eaters are.

Ice Cream
Ice Cream

COUNTING PRACTICE

We reviewed our numbers with these beautiful wooden trays from Jennifer. One side is a great fine motor and counting activity using these little wooden beads.

Wooden Counter
Wooden Counter

And the other side has numbers for tracing and writing practice.

Wooden Numbers
Wooden Numbers

We reviewed numbers 0-10 with these fun tactile sandpaper numbers that come with a really nice storage box.

Tactile Numbers
Tactile Numbers

Finally, we created more glitter glue numbers and reviewed them. These are such sweet cards that come with the curriculum.

Numbers Practice
Numbers Practice

 

BALANCE BEAM – LARGE MOTOR SKILLS

Then, we found an old board lying around and some left over brick when our house was built. The boys helped me create a balance beam and then took turns using it!

Balance Beam
Balance Beam

We took out our measuring tape to measure how long and wide the board was.

Balance Beam
Balance Beam

I IS FOR INCH WORM

Have you read Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni before? It is a quick read and I love the illustrations and focus on nature. It is a sweet story of a clever inch worm who is requested to measure different birds. After reading the story, we collected some of the boys toys and measured how long they were.

inch by inch
inch by inch

ALPHABET PRACTICE

I love these beautiful sandpaper alphabet cards and they are pretty inexpensive. Its really nice to have the boys trace these with their fingers to practice pre writing skills. My youngest especially loves to practice writing this way! We also used play dough to form letters. I think my oldest made A, B,  and C before moving onto another activity.

Alphabet and Clay
Alphabet and Clay

I IS FOR ICING

Finally, during this time of letter I study, we celebrated my oldest’s fifth birthday. I made homemade sweets for his little party. We made a healthy cocoa sweet potato icing since it was delicious, nutritious and easy! If you are interested in learning more about clean eating, check out my wellness mamas post here.

Birthday Icing
Finally, Birthday Icing

SUPPLIES

Montessori Moveable Alphabet
Sandpaper Alphabet Cards
Ice Cream Summer
Inch by Inch
Jesus Storybook Bible
Construction Paper
Sprinkles
Cusinart Ice Cream Maker
Montessori Sandpaper Numbers
Glitter Glue
Natural Play Dough
Melissa and Doug Wooden Ice Cream Shop

OUR PICKS

 

Finally, here is how we enjoyed the letter A unit. We had so much fun with letter A and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

 

NATURE BOOKS GIFTS

Top Gift Ideas for Mama, Toddler, and Baby

TOP GIFT IDEAS FOR MAMA, PRESCHOOLER, TODDLER AND BABY

Over the last six years, we have found some wonderful children’s items. I wanted to share some of them with you!

This post includes a list of some of our favorite things. Hopefully, this inspires you with some Christmas gift ideas! I start with gifts for baby, learning toys, gifts for nature loving kids, nature book ideas, and finish with gifts for mama. Many of these items we have and love, and many are on our wish list! Most items included have a nature or natural theme since that is one of the things we value and cherish.

GIFT IDEAS FOR BABY

Baby Gifts
Baby Gifts
  1. Organic Muslin Swaddle Blanket – We had similar blankets for the boys when they were babies and LOVE them. I almost always try to give this as a gift to my mama to be friends. They are super soft, organic and so versatile. They are large enough that you can swaddle babies and use them as the children grow! My boys continue to seek their blankets in cold weather.
  2. TinyTot Wooden Balance Bike and Tricycle – This is so adorable. It is so beautiful! I would have purchased one of these for my boys in their younger years if I had seen it! This seems to be a great price for a balance bike.
  3. Nature Wooden Mini Puzzles – These are super cute and perfect for little fingers.
  4. Natural Wooden Baby Teether – These are super cute and so important when baby wants to explore by putting objects in their mouth.
  5. Baby/Toddler Bamboo Spoons – I didn’t include these on the picture above, but these are so adorable. Its great when you can find perfect feeding spoons for the first couple of years!

GIFT IDEAS FOR LEARNING

LEARNING TOYS
LEARNING TOYS
  1. Wooden Xylophone – I’m not sure about your children, but my children would LOVE this toy! Last Christmas, we purchased them a mini piano and drum set and they STILL love to play on them! Children can learn so much from music, songs, and learning to play an instrument.
  2. PlanToys Wooden Bee Hive – This is so adorable and great for learning! Children can count, recognize colors, make patterns, and work on fine motor skills with this fun toy!
  3. Hape Alphabet Learning Puzzle – We have a colorful wooden alphabet puzzle but I have always been interested in this one. It seems this year, Hape has reduced the price quite a bit! If I we didn’t already have a wooden alphabet, we would snatch this up.
  4. Oil Pastels – I had to include these here too. My youngest son (age three) especially loves making art with these!

Here is a helpful list of our favorite, well-used Preschool Supplies.

GIFT IDEAS FOR NATURE LOVING KIDDOS

Nature Gifts
Nature Gifts
  1. Classic Wooden Swing for Adults and Kids – I have a hunch my nature loving boys will love a wooden swing hanging from the oak tree out front. This one can also hold an adult as well! It seems like such a great price!
  2. DIY Terrarium Succulent Planter Kit –  We made a terrarium this year as part of our Exploring Nature with Children curriculum and my boys loved the whole process. They really enjoy caring for plants of their own. Also, its such an easy and beautiful addition to your home!
  3. Wooden Hand-Carved Jump Rope – This would make a great pastime outdoors. My children love to be outside and active. What a unique jumprope to add to their outdoor collection!
  4. Lift and Learn Leaf Puzzle – This would be a beautiful puzzle to have lying around. Kiddos are learning so much about leaves, trees, and each leaf lifts up to reveal more facts about the leaf.
  5. Wooden Insect House – I have seen these at the garden center and I know my boys would delight at housing some insects!

GIFT IDEAS FOR NATURE BOOKS

NATURE BOOKS GIFTS
NATURE BOOKS GIFTS
  1. Animalium Activity Book – This looks amazing and I have heard many mamas recommend it! This would have been super to have on our long road trip we recently took. The Animalium Activity book and also Animalium is on our wish list.
  2. Usborne Outdoor Book – I supported a friend who sells Usborne books and the boys are getting this book for Christmas! My boys love the Usborne books. They are so informative and captivate their attention so these are a win.
  3. Nature Anatomy Collection – We use these books almost every other day with our homeschool preschool studies. They are SUCH a wealth or resources. I love the simple, watercoloring drawings and my oldest loves to draw and watercolor using these images as examples. There are so many fun projects in these books to try out as well.
  4. The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh – I think this is a MUST on any children’s book list. We have several copies from when I was a child. This particular copy is so beautifully illustrated and my boys and I have begun reading it through the second time. I highly recommend it!
  5. The Elves and the Shoemaker – I love the classic fairytales. The boys are getting this book for Christmas. I thought it would be a perfect addition for this time of year. I love the author and illustrator so I can’t wait to share this story with the boys!
  6. Tommy Smith’s Animals – Now that my boys are a year older, we have started formal school lessons. This is one of my son’s favorite books. It is a GOOD animal story and so informative.

GIFT IDEAS FOR MAMA

Mama gifts
Mama gifts
  1. Dead Sea Bath Salts CALM – Anything that evokes a warm, CALM, bath captures my attention. One of my favorite self-care indulgences is a long slow soak in the bath. My boys have even taken this on and we sometimes purchase bath salts at the grocery store to add to their bath. Such an indulgence and pretty inexpensive.
  2. Puracy Natural Household Cleaning Bundle – I have the Puracy dish liquid, hand soap and multi-purpose cleaner on Amazon subscription, which ships to us regularly. I love these cleaners because they are a wonderful product free of harsh chemicals you don’t want in your home. They do a great job and cleaning and smell wonderful too!
  3. Weck Glass Airtight Food Storage Jars – We cook most meals in our home. I’m always on the watch for functional, affordable glass containers to store our pantry items. These are beautiful as well as functional and I can’t wait to snag some for my pantry grains!
  4. Handbook of Nature Study – This giant book is a wealth of information on nature study. I have only scratched the surface, however, I have learned a great deal already. This helps me feel comfortable exploring nature with my children, therefore, it is highly recommended!

GIFT IDEAS FOR FITNESS MAMA

FITNESS GIFTS FOR MAMA
FITNESS GIFTS FOR MAMA
  1. Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Blender – We have this blender and it has been well loved and used. I love this bright, cheerful red Christmas color too!
  2. Yoga Mat Bag – This would be a great bag to store your yoga mat in when running to class or while traveling.
  3. Dumbbells – Over the last year, I have added weights into my workout routine. I feel its super important to use some weights occasionally with your workouts especially as we age (hello 35!). I really enjoy these weights and I personally use 3 and 5 lb. weights.
  4. Lululemon Juice Energy Sports Bra – Lululemon makes some really great workout clothes. They are my favorite brand because of their quality and comfort. I have this bra in white but would love it in pin as well!
  5. Stainless Steel Water Bottle – This is not pictured above, but I love a nice quality stainless steel bottle that is not terribly expensive! These are so versatile and we have smaller ones for the boys.

I hope this guide was helpful to you in your Christmas gifts for you and your loved ones. I could keep going….but Mama is ready to rest now 🙂 Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season!

OUR PICKS

 

letter b preschool unit

Letter B Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter A. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

letter b preschool unit
letter b preschool unit

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles in order to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter C unit.

letter b preschool unit
First, the letter b preschool unit

LETTER B REVIEW

The letter B unit was fun! First, we read through Blueberries for Sal. I love this story because it is so beautiful. My children bring this to me over and over to read aloud. They especially love to hear me read the “kerplink, kerplunk” sounds in the story. We also created letter B glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

letter b blueberries
letter b blueberries

B IS FOR BLUEBERRY

We counted a variety of berries and also sorted them (and of course ate them along the way).

blueberries for sal
blueberries for sal

Did you know blueberries are a wonderful superfood? According to an article on healthline.com, “blueberries are among the most nutrient dense berries.” They contain a level of antioxidants which may help reduce cancer risk. My children love blueberries and as a result, we usually have berries around to eat and enjoy!

sorting and counting berries
then, we sorted and counted berries

ACTIVITIES

My children created process art with a watercolor of the ocean and we also read the Runaway Bunny. I loved this story as a child! We made letter B bunny art with cotton balls.

b is for bunny
b is for bunny

HOMEMADE PALEO CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

Then, we made homemade paleo carrot cake cupcakes. You can find the recipe here. For the frosting, I tried a new mascarpone whipped frosting and it was light and perfect. My children helped gather the ingredients, wash and peel the carrots, stir the ingredients, and lick the bowl when we were finished!

carrot cake cupcakes
carrot cake cupcakes

FIELD TRIPS

The Peaceful Preschool recommends a field trip day each week. Since our boys are at home for preschool, we have the luxury of taking many trips! We visited Blue Butterfly Farms and learned about farm animals and gardening and we also took a beautiful hike with friends from a Wild and Free group.

blue butterfly farm
then, we visited blue butterfly farm

We picked fresh strawberries at Sweet Berry Farms. Since we had so many berries, we came home and made homemade strawberry jam.

strawberry farm
strawberry farm

We smelled bluebonnets at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. We visit it often because it is one of my favorite places.

b is for bluebonnet
b is for bluebonnet

ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES

Simplylearningkids offers free extension activities for the curriculum. We made symmetry butterfly art from simplylearningkids which turned out more beautiful than I expected. The boys painted on one side. Next, we folded the paper in half. Then, we opened it to discover a beautiful butterfly.

butterfly symmetry art
Finally, butterfly symmetry art

ADDITIONAL BOOKS

the biggest bear
the biggest bear
be blest
be blest
the three bears
the three bears
the Jesus storybook bible
the Jesus storybook bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I read the Biggest Bear, Be Blest and The Three Bears to my children because these are beautiful stories. The Biggest Bear is a loving story about a boy and his bear and it was great to find another beautiful bear book to add. Be Blest is a great resource because it goes through the seasons and has beautiful illustrations. The Three Bears is a wonderful and classic children’s story and it is a great delight to include it again. In the Jesus Storybook Bible, we read the creation story. We try to read a chapter most mornings from this beautiful book. I LOVE this Bible version because the illustrations hold my kiddos attention.

SUPPLIES

Blueberries for Sal
The Runaway Bunny
The Jesus Storybook Bible
Cotton Balls
Alphabet Tactile Letters
Unbleached Cupcake Liners
Watercolors
Glitter Glue
Watercolor Collection of Bees

Here is how we enjoyed the letter C unit. We had so much fun with letter B and can’t wait to share the next letter with you!

letter c preschool unit

Letter C Preschool Unit

I’m so thankful I get to spend time with my children for their preschool years. First, I share our curriculum choices and why we use them. Keep reading to find out how we explored the Letter A. Finally, at the bottom, we list our favorite supplies for the preschool years.

letter c preschool unit
letter c preschool unit

PRESCHOOL CURRICULUM

SUPPORTS AMPLE NATURE TIME

  • The Peaceful Preschool – The schedule is amazing because it sets aside one day per week for field trips
  • Exploring Nature with Children – This works well for my family because it is centered around being outdoors
  • The Abundant Gardener – We are learning more about gardening together so this will naturally provide chances to visit gardens, plant stores, and be outside on our land

THE PEACEFUL PRESCHOOL

We currently follow the Peaceful Preschool curriculum by Jennifer Pepito and we love it! The content is full of rich literature, therefore it is a perfect fit for my book-loving family.  We read through many rich, classic stories. We also complete playful projects to go with the literature theme or letter. Download Unit A for free to try it out with your littles in order to see if you like it.

The community she has created is such a beautiful resource and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Jennifer has included a wonderful preschool e-book which helps you prepare to guide your child in early learning. We have found her curriculum perfect for our homeschool preschool. The curriculum is comprised of Read Aloud, Phonics, Counting Skills, Fine Motor Skills, Large Motor Skills, Practical Life Skills, and Art Skills. Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter D unit.

letter c unit
letter c unit which turned out beautiful

LETTER C REVIEW

The letter C unit was fun! There was so much to explore. We began by creating our glitter glue letters. The Peaceful Preschool recommends glitter glue in order to create the finishing touches on sensory, textured alphabet flashcards. We have used them with all of the letters so far. It is really one of my children’s favorite parts.

letter c preschool unit
letter c preschool unit

EXPLORING NATURE

We went outside and gathered wildflowers since our yard is full of them. This time of year, the wildflowers begin to fade, so we were lucky! We sorted the flowers, and counted them with our number cards. Finally, we filled up our letter C template with petals.

preschool nature counting
Then, preschool nature counting
letter c preschool unit
letter c preschool unit

LETTER C INSPIRED FOOD

Included in the curriculum, is a homemade whipping cream recipe. It was simple and easy to make. We mixed three ingredients in a small, mason jar. When it was complete, my boys topped homemade gluten-free pancakes with it.

Boys homemade whipped cream
Boys homemade whipped cream

My boys also worked with their daddy in the kitchen. They sorted, counted, and peeled heirloom carrots. We are members of a local CSA and these carrots were from Johnson’s Backyard Garden.

counting carrots with letter c unit
counting carrots with letter c unit

BOOKS

We read through Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. This one surprised me because at first glance, I thought it was too babyish. It is a wonderful alphabet book and my children love it! They have brought this book to me countless times to read aloud. Corduroy was the next book to read. This was nostalgic for me since I also read this story as a child. To include an activity, we counted and sorted buttons.

sorting buttons with letter c unit
sorting buttons with letter c unit

We also began a simple button sewing craft on burlap to enhance fine motor skills. I gained the idea from the Peaceful Preschool community Facebook page and I’m so grateful to have this as a resource.

beginning sewing button craft
beginning sewing button craft

ADDITIONAL BOOK AND ACTIVITY

I also included the Carrot Seed book. We purchased it at Half Price books for a few dollars. My children, especially my youngest, love the story. We created a sensory bin for them to plant carrots. I found a similar idea on Pinterest. Dried chickpeas became the rocky soil. My older son and I made carrots out of natural scented play dough. He also added brown play dough for dirt soil and planted a chickpea seed.

the carrot seed preschool
the carrot seed preschool

In conclusion, we cut out and differentiated between Living and Non Living characters and parts from the story. I’m so thankful for the Peaceful Preschool curriculum because it provides the boys with many skills they need. Most of all, we are having fun while we are learning.

the carrot seed
the carrot seed which was so fun

SUPPLIES

Glitter Pens
Vanilla
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Corduroy
Colorful Buttons
Burlap
Plastic Needle
The Carrot Seed
Natural Play Dough
Wooden Trays

 


Also, here is how we enjoyed the letter D unit. I can’t wait to share what we are learning next!

The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

Favorite Cookbook List To Check Out

OUR PICKS

Over the past five years, I have been gathering a wealth of good quality and useful cookbooks. I want to share a list of my favorite cookbooks with you, including my favorite cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte.

My passion for healthy cooking began about ten years ago when I became certified as an RYT 500-hour hot yoga teacher. I was led down a path of consuming nutritious and whole foods. With each passing year, I have discovered more food knowledge, and a deeper desire to consume the best foods we can afford.

My husband and I quickly learned that making and consuming foods inside the home was a much more economical and nutritious option. We both fell in love with the process of being creative in coming up with meals and introducing various foods into our diet on a regular basis.

Favorite Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe
Favorite Vanilla Bean Cupcake Recipe

When I became pregnant with my oldest son in 2012, I had JUST opened up a cupcake shop. We sold mostly gluten-free cupcakes and used as many organic options as we could source for a good quality product. Over and over we heard that we made the best testing cupcakes around. I could hardly keep up with business at first. Due to the nature of being a start up business, I put in long hours at the shop, was on my feet all day, and despite my best intentions, mostly ate foods from restaurants out of convenience and sheer exhaustion. On the day I delivered my son, unfortunately, I had developed preeclampsia. I blamed myself for not taking better care of my body in pregnancy and the outcome of my birth experience.

Fast forward nine months after my first son was born, and we were pregnant with our second son. I vowed to take better care of my body. We ate in as much as we could.  My husband often brought me home cooked meals at work. While I didn’t rest as much as I should have, my second pregnancy was better than my first. I did not have preeclampsia with my second pregnancy. I attribute a healthy second pregnancy to eating nourishing, home-cooked meals as much as possible.

Now that my sons are toddlers and preschoolers, we try to eat home-cooked meals as much as we can. Cooking with our children is quickly becoming one of our favorite ways to connect as a family! I’m so fortunate I can stay at home with them, and my husband’s flexible hours mean that he is often home cooking meals with us for breakfast and lunch. I teach them preschool at home and preparing and eating meals together is a big part of our day. We are so lucky when Daddy can join us!

As my sister says, “Food is everything.” Below are MY FAVORITE COOKBOOKS that I refer back to and regularly use recipes from. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I does! Scroll down to the bottom of the page to purchase any of these stellar cookbooks on Amazon!

  1. The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods by Sara Forte.
  2. The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy by Amanda Haas
  3. Green Kitchen Smoothies: Healthy and Colorful Smoothies for Every Day by David Frenkiel an Luise Vindahl.  
  4. Whole30 Cookbook by Melissa Hartwig
  5. Eat Beautiful by Wendy Rowe
  6. The Wellness Mama Cookbook by Katie Wells.