Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Littles Learning Link Up: Guest Post: Pond Circle Story Time For Preschoolers

 Each month you will find:
  • A seasonal round-up (toward the beginning of the month)
  • A guest post featuring crafts, activities, tips, snack ideas or other early childhood topics. (toward the end of the month)
  • Posts where I share what I have been up to with my preschoolers and/or early elementary children (including occasional highlight posts where I share how we used ideas that have been linked up here on Littles Learning Link Up).
Each week, I will host a link up, where you can share either what you have been up to recently, or old posts that may go with the theme.  Feel free to link up more than one post.

Each week I will continue to feature a couple of posts from those that have been linked up. 

I hope you will continue to share your wonderful posts, and I hope you will find something new to try with your child.

It would be great for everyone to stop by and visit the other linked-up posts as well. Check them out, leave some comments, pin those that interest you. Let's make this a real party and socialize with each other.

It is time for this month's Guest Post:

Today I would like to introduce you to KT from Lit Mama Homeschool

Inline image 1 KT Brison offers a brand new Story Time every Monday, as well as novel studies and free downloads, at Lit Mama Homeschool.  Most days you can find her either romping about her farm with her wonderful boys or with her nose buried in a book.  Any book.  As long as it has words.  

Today KT is sharing a fun Story Time right here on Littles Learning Link Up. Pull up a chair and join me as we check out these fun activities revolving around a fun picture book.

The Big Lesson I learned when I was a children's librarian is that even the most reluctant reader can enjoy a book given the right activities.  We did crafts and food at the library, but when I started homeschooling my boys I realized I could put a lot more into this reading thing, turning a picture book into a short unit study.  Relating activities to a book enhances both the book and the activities.  I started planning lessons around my boys' favorite books and soon they were hooked.  At 11 and 13, they are avid readers.  You can instill that same love of books in your littles with just a bit of planning.  Lucky you, you have me to do the planning for you!

Spring is a great time of year to get involved in nature study and there are lots of picture books to choose from if you want to form a lesson for your preschooler.  One of my favorites is Pond Circle by Betsy Franco.  This book is told kind of in the style of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, with each page building on and repeating the last, so it's an excellent book if you want your child to start recognizing words in preparation for reading.  Add in beautiful illustrations and an account of many different creatures that make the pond their home, and you have picture book gold.

Pond Circle

What kinds of activities can your preschooler do along with this gem of a book?  Well, let's get to it.


Because there are so many similar words throughout these pages, sight word recognition is a good place to start.  If your preschooler is not quite there, letter recognition would also work.  Here's a free download that has BOTH!  That way you can use one now and one later if you want.  I mean, you're welcome.

preschool pond pack


This is as easy as studying the life cycles of some of the creatures in the book.  I've found some incredible sites for you that you can view pictures of life cycles on.  Even for a mayfly.

Flymaster -- Mayfly life cycle

Animal Corner -- Beetle life cycle

Quest Garden -- Frog life cycle (even has a video you can watch)

RSO Snakes --Snake life cycle and in-depth article about reproduction

Sparkle Box -- Owl life cycle

Twinkl -- Mammal life cycle

There are also free mini units about turtles, frogs and toads, raccoons, and owls Lit Mama's Subscriber Freebies if you are looking for more in-depth studies.


finished lilypad1

What better craft for a pond book than a lily pad?  Your preschooler will not only love this cute craft, she won't be overwhelmed by it because it's so. stinkin'. easy.

What you need:

lilypad supplies
  • Green construction paper
  • 2 cupcake liners
  • Yellow foam sheet (or if you have lots of foam shapes laying around like I do, pick a yellow flower)
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Saucer or bowl for tracing circle
What  you do:

  • Trace the plate or bowl onto the paper so you have a perfect circle
cut out lilypad circle
  • Cut out the circle
cut triangle from lilypad
  • Cut a triangle shape out of one side of the circle
  • Set aside
cut flower petals

Cut triangle shapes from the ridged part of both cupcake liners to make 'petals'

  • Glue one liner onto lilypad opposite the triangle cutout
  • Lightly flatten the petals (Sorry for the blurry pic.  Unfortunately I am seldom perfect.)
lily cups
  • Glue second liner into first, adjusting so the petals do not line up, giving it a staggered effect
  • finished lilypad straight edge
  • Cut a flower shape from the yellow foam (or go the lazy mama's route like I did and pick one out of your bag of foam shapes)
  • Glue the flower to the center of the lily flower
finished lilypad
  • If you want to use some fancy wavy scissors to go around the outside of  the lilypad, have at it!  Totally unnecessary, though.
See?  I told ya this was going to be easy.


nymphs and algae

Let's keep the easy peasy going with Nymphs and Algae Celery Sticks

What you need:
  • 2-3 celery sticks (or more, depending on the number of littles)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Green food coloring
  • Small box of raisins
What you do:
  • Scoop the peanut butter into a small bowl
  • Add 3 or more drops of food coloring, combining until your peanut butter is a nice green
  • Cut each celery stick into thirds
  • Spread peanut butter over celery sticks
  • Place 3-5 raisins atop peanut butter
Done and done!  These are so easy your preschooler can even help make them!
Doing these activities along with your little while reading this incredible book is going to create good memories and put your little on the path to a lifelong love of reading.  Plus, it offers you an hour or two undivided time with your precious baby. 

Yeah yeah.
Love wins,

If you would like to guest post on Littles Learning Link Up, please contact me via email. My email address can be found on my About Me page. I am scheduling posts for the next several months and would love to include yours. I ask that the guest posts focus on subjects relevant for young children (toddler through early elementary). This could be crafts, activities, recipes, or various tips and advice. I am always open to suggestions. Details will be emailed to those who are interested.

Now Onto:

Littles Learning Link Up Features

On my last Littles Learning Link Up post, there were 28 wonderful posts linked up. I will be picking one randomly selected post to share, plus the top clicked-on posts.  

Don't forget to stop by other posts that are linked up. See what catches your eye, stop by, pin the post to a relevant board, and perhaps leave a comment to let the author of the blog know you have been by for a visit. I know I appreciate others commenting and letting me know they have read my posts, so I am sure others do too.

This week's randomly selected post is:

Nancy from Mimi and the Grands shared In-Home Day Camp Week 1: Ice Cream Dreams.

And here are this week's most clicked on posts:

Michelle from Homeschool Your Boys shared Teaching Art Using Online Art Lessons.

Sandy from Sandy A La Mode shared Runchkins Stylish Kids Clothes Delivered to Your Door.

My Bored Toddler shared Toddler Father's Day Crafts.

Join the Party!

I would love to have you join in this week! What sort of activities do you do with your young children? Do you have some favorite activities you would like to share? I invite you to link up below. I will be pinning posts on my Toddler Ideas or other relevant board, and I would love to feature some of the activities each week from what is linked up.

Please know I may share a picture from your post and link back to it, along with sharing how we used your idea in our school time. By linking up you are giving me permission to use a picture from your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. Additionally, if you choose to try out any of the ideas with your child, please make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Linky will be open through Sunday night, to give me time to check out all the posts and get the Features organized. Please take the time to visit some of the other wonderful posts linked up.



  1. very interesting ...the story ,craft and all your activities....keep rocking..

  2. This is such a great idea. I am a grandmother so I don't home school but I can use these when the grandchildren visit. They love for me to read to them anyway but this will enhance it. Thank you for organizing this.

  3. I'm loving these responses to my guest post! Thanks so much for the opportunity, Karen. :)


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