Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Quiet Time Boxes - updated with independent reading and math activities!

Well, I've learned quite a bit about quiet time boxes since we started them about a year ago. To see those boxes of activities check out this post here!

One of the things that I learned was that those little books were a waste. If she wants to read, she'll go to her bed and read one of her favorite books. The little books, although cute, were never opened. Oh well.

Another thing I learned was that the puzzles were very challenging and she felt like she could not do them so I needed to be near by to encourage her (not the point with a quiet box though...she needs to be able to independently do all of the activities)

Finally, I learned that she gets really excited about the quiet time boxes at first but then as time goes on her excitement fades. I should have done new activities about 6 months ago, but I guess this is a live-and-learn opportunity. I'll plan to have these new activities for about 6 months then find some new ones.

That leads me to... our new activities! I figure that since I've done the work, I'll just share what I printed and where I got them. All of the printables were free. Obviously the stuff I bought at Target, the Dollar Tree and the Party Store were not :) But none of this was very expensive.

Pick what you think will work for your child, leave out the others and add things you think your child will enjoy! I love how personalized these boxes can be :)

The bottom right corner of each picture has my checklist of what areas are addressed in the box. It makes so that I don't have a box that is heavily focused on writing or math or whatever. Keeps me it balanced. You can get a set of these checklist here.

Box #1

Starting on the left going to the right we have
  • Easter Eggs with money amounts from .$40 to $.90 with enough dimes to fill each one correctly. I updated the lima bean counting by eliminating the double digits because I thought counting by tens to numbers 100+ seemed a bit complicated for just starting out. But if your child has some experience with skip counting by 10s do the amounts that work for you!
  • Rhyming Words book (here) - I did not want it to be a huge book, so I shrunk the pictures down to 4 on a page in my printer's settings. I actually did that A LOT for many of these activities!
  • Number Matching card game that I got in a 2 pack from the dollar store (the other deck is in box 2!)
  • Spiral notebook with lined pages. This is one of the few items that transferred from the first set of quiet time boxes to this set. I like that she can do independent writing when she wants to. Mostly she colors the lines but sometimes there are letter-like marks
  • Addition Doubles - CookOut! from (here) This activity was free but you do have to sign up to be able to print (it's totally worth it...I love the activities I get from this site!) There are six or so different themes with the same information. We did two different sets. Again I printed them 4 to a page to save paper and ink.
  • Spiral Art from the Target Dollar Spot area. It was either $1 or $3...I can't remember. It seems to work pretty ok. But it does need sharp pencils.

Box 2

Starting on the left going to the right we have
  • A color-it puzzle from the Dollar Tree. It's a little difficult for her to put together, but she loves it!
  • Letters of your Name Sequencing (this is a repeat activity from the last set). I just typed her name at the top, printed twice, cut one of them into individual letters, made lines on the second sheet under the letters so that she can correctly sequence the letters of her name.
  • Occupation Match Up card deck (the second deck from the 2 pack from the Dollar Tree)
  • Addition Doubles - Fish Friends! From (here) Again I printed them 4 to a page to save paper and ink.
  • Spiral notebook with lined pages. 
  • Money Matching - match the coin to it's amount (last page of this packet here)
  • Coin Books  from Teachers (here). They are cute one page books about each coin. They have the picture of the coin's front and back plus how much they are worth.
  • Syllable Counting (here) - as long as your child can remember what each picture's name is (it's not a spider, it a tranchula) and can count syllables, this is a good one for independent practice. Also, it is short one picture (not sure why....) but there are only 4 4-syllable word pictures. So, since big sister's name has 4 syllables, we completed the set easily. You could do something like peanut butter or television or whatever you can think of!

Box 3

Starting on the left going to the right we have
  • Medial Vowel Identification - Letter-Sound Train from (here) I printed this one 4 to a page as well. This took a bit of prep work as I had to cut out and attach the trains and print out a bunch of picture cards to go in the trains. One train for each vowel. I also modified it a little. It's just supposed to be for the /i/ sound, but I wanted her to practice all medial vowel sounds since that is one of the areas she struggles with. So in addition to the pictures from the Train activity I also printed the pictures for this activity here.  The train only has room for 3 pictures so choose the pictures you think your child will like/get correct/challenge her (depending on what your goal is!). 
  • Writing Pad, Markers and a ruler for measuring, coloring or whatever else she wants to do with these items (this is a favorite!) We got these in a little party pack from Party City.
  • Mickey Number cards from the Dollar Tree (these are a repeat from the last set but I've seen them at the dollar store recently)
  • Zoob toy - from the Dollar Spot area at Target ($3) These are pretty cool. She can connect them in lots of different ways to create - well, anything she can think of! It does require a bit of fine motor strength as the pieces can be tough to snap together, but with a little bit of elbow grease she can do it independently!
  • Money Match - Match the coin to the coin's amount from Teacher's Pay Teachers (here)
  • Shape Book from (here). Well, when I originally found this it was free (maybe it was on a special?), but now it's $2.50. If you are looking for a free shapes book try this one (here) but I haven't printed it yet. This one looks like the kind I would print 4 to a page to save ink and paper and so that it'll fit in the quiet time box.

Box 4

Starting on the left going to the right we have

  • Egg Carton Addition Game - from (here) We made the numbers in a Word document and printed it. I cut them out and she glued them in the egg carton (in any order she chose). Add two pom poms and a print out that matches her ability level and there you go!
  • First Words flash cards from the dollar store. These are older but I think they are still available.
  • Clips to match Numbers - I got these little interlocking shapes from the Dollar Tree. I printed out numbers and glued them on 3X5 cards that I had cut in half. The extras she likes to turn into bracelets or snakes (apparently).
  • Coin Amounts with pennies. This was fun to put together because I showed her how a number, say 5, could be changed into a money amount: .05 and you call it "five cents." We collected the pennies from a jar and then researched how to clean coins. It was easy - vinegar and table salt.
  • Note pad with pencils for writing, drawing or anything she thinks of. This is an activity from the last set of quiet time boxes, but it's good to have open ended activities for creativity to shine through!
  • Shape Book from (here). Well, when I originally found this it was free (maybe it was on a special?), but now it's $2.50. If you are looking for a free shapes book try this one (here) but I haven't printed it yet. This one looks like the kind I would print 4 to a page to save ink and paper and so that it'll fit in the quiet time box.
  • Counting Sounds in Words from The Florida Center for Reading Research (here). I did not make it the game that the original document calls for but rather an independent activity. I only printed the record sheet (page 5). I put tape along the coloring area, but I'm thinking I'm going to cut lengths of WikiSticks or yarn for her to lay over the pictures to count the number of sounds in each word. My only concern with this activity is that back in box 2 we were counting syllables and now we are counting sounds in words, so she may get confused, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I hope that your child enjoys these quite time boxes as much as mine does! And I hope that you can get a few extra things done around the house while your child is independently working :)

What will you do with a few minutes of quiet time?

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please know that I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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