Category Archives: Story Time

Stories With Word Tiles

What’s In The Workbox?


We scored at the dollar store recently!  They had magnetic learning packs available for $1.  These are a great fit in our homeschool workboxes.

I bought four different packages. SCORE! These included: long and short vowels, shapes and colors, nouns, and compound words.  Each package comes with over 50 different word tiles and picture tiles.  I put these in our workboxes for hands on learning fun and all the kids enjoy using them.


My son age 10 has dislexia and reading and writing is difficult for him.   But he loves making silly sentences with these tiles.  He is very entertaining.  His assignment was to tell me a short story using the tiles.  So he made a “silly” short story.

Here is his short story he made with the word tiles.  He said I could share it with you.

        The Boy, The Dog, The Frog, And The Popcorn
                                              by John   age 10

        Once up on a time, a boy had a dog, a frog, and some popcorn.

        The frog was green.

        The dog was brown. 

        The popcorn was white.

        The boy was hungry.

        He put yellow butter on the popcorn.

        The green frog ate the yellow popcorn.

        The brown dog played with the green frog who ate the yellow popcorn. 

        The hungry boy has no popcorn.

        The hungry boy has a brown dog and a green frog, but he does not have 
        any white or yellow popcorn.

We had purchased another wonderful word tile set at the dollar store a few years ago that also includes prepositions, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and punctuation marks.  These tiles are not magnetized, but they are made of sturdy hard plastic in bright colors.  My son combined the words from both sets to make the sentences in this short story. He could only make one sentence at a time as there were not enough pieces to make the whole story all at once.  But this was very good practice for story making. 

He does not like to write things down, and becomes easily frustrated with reading and writing.  I help him write by letting him dictate his ideas to me and writing it down for him.  Then he copies again what I have written.   Using these tile manipulatives is a good alternative for him, he can do it independantly, it reinforces his reading and spelling skills, and it can be fun.  However, I still ask him to write too. 


I plan to help him create some paper puppets on a stick to retell his story.  He will be so excited to find this project in his workbox.  I will look for some printouts to color and put these in his workbox with some crayons, glue, scissors, and popsicle sticks.  I will also have him draw out some of his ideas and cut them out and glue onto popsicle sticks.  We will make a theater stage with a box.  We will gather in the living room and put his stage on an end table and he can retell his story with the puppets and a copy of his story beside him.  This should be a lot of fun!


While he was being ever so clever in his story making, the younger children’s workboxes contained yet another product from the dollar store that we have gotten a lot of use out of.  We have a couple of sets of foam puzzles (capital letters, lower case letters, and numbers).  We have used these for learning and quiet play in busy bags on the road as well as in our workboxes at home.  These can be used in so many different applications (tracing, matching, spelling, etc).


You can find all of these wonderful tiles in dollar type stores and dicount stores.  I have also found magnetic letters and numbers in our local grocery store too.  Grand total: all of these hands on learning manipulatives cost $1 each or a total of $8 for all of it.  These are great items that can be used in lots of different ways, and will stand up to years of use by multiple children, in our homeschool. 

What silly sentences or silly short stories do your kids make up?
What do you use in your workboxes to encourage your children to create stories? 

This post will be linked up with:
ABC and 123
Sharing Time
No Time For Flash Cards
Raising Homemakers

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Cat In The Hat

We have been having lots of fun in the workboxes, and on the activity trays, during March with Dr. Seuss and Cat In The Hat learning activities.  Dr. Seuss published Cat In The Hat in March 1957 and every year his books and silly sayings are celebrated around the world. 

If you would like to hear the Cat In The Hat story read aloud, check out this video produced by Pizza Hutt for their Book It program.  The video features Justin Bieber reading Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss.

Activity Trays

On one of our Seuss Activity Trays this month was a wooden Melissa and Doug birthday cake.  The kids set up the cake and we pretended to celebrate Dr. Seuss birthday of publishing Cat In The Hat. 

 The cake comes with its own tray,  six wooden slices, a serving spatula, a plate, candy toppings, fruit toppings, and candles.  The kids put the cake together, added the toppings and the candles.  They counted the candles as they took them on and off the cake.  They sang happy birthday and practiced blowing out the candles.  They also practiced serving each other a piece of cake too.

The next Seuss Activity Tray held a bucket of red and white cubes.  We used the cubes for making patterns with the colors of the cat’s hat.   We first practiced making the pattern of the red and white horizontal stripes on the cat’s hat.  Then we practiced a similar but different pattern, in which the rows of blocks could be turned vertically to recreate the horizontal stripes. 

The three year old loved this activity.  He loved receiving praise for repeating the patterns I set out for him.  He also loved taking all the cubes apart and counting them as he put them back into the bucket.

He sorted groups of white blocks and groups of red blocks into piles.

He also used the red and white cubes to
fill in the patterns on this H is for Hat printable.

His sister, age 4, used red and white pom poms to create the stripes on the H is for Hat printable.

She also did a matching activity with lots of different hats.  Then we used the hats again in making patterns.


In our workboxes  for all of the children, I put lots of printables, worksheets and coloring pages in addition to our Dr. Seuss books.    We did word searches, math worksheets, measuring, and more.  I will write about some of the worksheets and activities that go with Dr. Seuss books in a future post.  See the links at the end of this story for lots of printables to add to your workboxes with this theme. 

I had the kids trade books on different days so everyone had a chance to have some one on one time with each of them.  We included Cat In The Hat, Foot Book, Fox on Sox, Left Foot Right Foot, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and more.  Here is a picture of a few of the Dr. Seuss Books we have, and a few more are somewhere being read by someone.

I also had the older children read to the younger children.  This really blesses my heart to see the younger ones listening as their older siblings read a story.

 The kids love hearing the silly phrases and looking at the silly illustrations in the Cat in The Hat Book.  It seems that no matter how many times you read it, it is still funny.

 It is really funny to hear the three year old retelling the story as he looks at the pictures.

We colored Cat In The Hat pictures. 

We made paper bag puppets with some of our coloring pages and acted out parts of the story in the book.

We made silly statues of Cat In The Hat characters with snap Cubes.  See that story here.  These turned out so great!  We plan to re-make more Seuss characters with Legos sometime soon. 

We also spent some morning times watching the Cat In The Hat program on PBS Kids.  It is a 30 minute program on weekdays on TV on channel PBS.   We also played games and activities online on the their website.

Be sure to check out the lots of videos, games, and activities for Cat In The Hat on PBS Kids website.

We also ate dinner with Cat In The Hat at Golden Corral.  They also gave us some of the coloring pages we did to make our puppets.   See that story and lots more pictures

Time just seems to fly by.  I remember when my oldest was the toddler, and I would read the Cat In The Hat to him.  He loved all the Dr. Seuss books.  Here we are all these years later and those books, especially Cat In The Hat, still have a fun place in our lives, and we all enjoy them.


Cat In The Hat related products

You can find the snap cubes also on Amazon.

Cat In The Hat Printables and Worksheets


A to Z Teacher Stuff

Making Learning Fun

ABC Teach

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Winter Story Bin

I found a new use for our WINTER SENSORY BIN.  We are using it to retell the stories we read in books, and recreate the scenes.  We have lots of books with a winter theme.

Today we read Snow Is Falling, by Franklyn M Branley.  It is a fun story about different things you can see and do when it snows.  It has lots of descriptive words to describe snow too.  This is a fun book to read and it is easy to recreate the various aspects of the story with props such as this Winter Story Bin.

In addition to retelling the stories in books, you can create your own stories too.
Here is one of the scenes from our own story the kids played out: 


The snowman has a house for his “people” guests to stay overnight.  He has lots of snowman friends, an ice skating pond, small, medium, large, and giant snowflakes and snowballs, and letters to spell snow, ice, snowman, and cold.


The kids are having lots of fun re-creating their stories with this bin.  This is a great way to review what they have learning in the book, and further extend their learning while playing. 

I’ll write more posts about the “winter theme” books we read, and story scenes we made with our bin.  I will post the links below.



         Animal Tracks


Check out more of our winter theme activities at the bottom of the Winter Sensory Bin post. 

What fun indoor winter themes have you done with your kids? 
Please leave a comment.  Thank you.

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Sharing and Story Time.

Books are always better when read in special places and with special friends.

This really blesses my heart to see these two sitting together and sharing books.  My daughter will turn 4 this coming week and my son is 2 1/2.  They are so close in age (only 18 months apart), they end up doing a lot of things together. 

Last year, my husband got these camping chairs to go fishing with the children.  This past week, my daughter “discovered” them in the garage and brought them in the house.  These two have sat in them every day since.

Today they thought it was great fun to put them up on a coffee table and read books.  So funny.  So precious.

Our books have served us well over the years.  The book my son is holding was bought for his older brother eight years ago.  It is titled: It’s My Turn Smudge!

It is about sharing and taking turns.  An animal friend, named Smudge, has a net and is exploring in a creek.  His animal friends want a turn with the net so they can catch interesting things to look at too.  But Smudge doesn’t want to share his net.  He wants the others to watch him use it and ooh and ahh at his discoveries, but he doesn’t want to take turns.  When his friends get frustrated, they go off to play with someone who is more sharing.   Smudge eventually realizes he is alone, and goes to see what fun the others are having together.  He wants to join them and realizes he needs to share.  Finally he offers to share his net with them.   Through this experience, Smudge learns the value of sharing with his friends and being a friend.  

It is so funny that this would be the book he was looking at today, while sharing this special reading spot in these special chairs with his sister.

What do your children like to share?  What don’t they like to share?  Leave us a comment, thanks.

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Dreaming Green

These Tots are learning about the color green.   It was a full day with lots of activities.

As part of our activities today, they are having free play and role playing with their babies (babies are dressed in green), reading a book about God’s Colorful World with Boz the Green Bear, and watching a Boz video.

Boz is a wonderful character that teaches biblical principles to children.  He is very excited about God’s creation and loves to explore.  His videos are full of lots of songs and adventures.   He is created by the same author who created Barney the Purple Dinosaur that airs on PBS. 

I snapped this photo while they were watching their video.

Not long after, they were like this…..

Sound asleep, with their baby dolls.  He had been sharing his Boz the Green Bear book with his baby.  Look, even the baby doll fell asleep.

They never fall asleep at the same time.  One or the other is always awake.
The color green sure tuckered them out today!  This was priceless.

A few moments of quiet.  Now…how can I use this rare free time????

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Books About Valentines

We’ve had so much fun with this holiday!  Besides crafts and parties, we read several books in honor of Valentines Day. 

We are learning about sharing, giving, and love.   

We studied:
The love verse from 1 Corinthians
Its Fun To Share
Its Mine Christopher Bear!
Clifford Loves Me!
Where Is Love, Biscuit?
Pinkalicious, Pink Around The Rink
The Night Before Valentines Day
I’ll Always Love You
Love You Forever
Happy Valentines Day Little Critter
Super-Fine Valentine
My “V” Book (not pictured)

Each child had their own favorite book.  The six year old loved the Clifford story.

The two and three year olds loved the Boz Its Fun To Share book, and the Biscuit story books.

Where Is Love, Biscuit? is a wonderful little book about love being in everything we do for each other, even sharing a blanket.  It has tactile places on each page to touch and feel, to reinforce the story.

The eight year old loved having Mom read Super Fine Valentine.  Its a romance story about a boy named Bill who has a crush on a girl in his class.  He makes her a valentine, but is embarrassed to share it with her.

The ten year old loves to read everything he can get his hands on.  He seems to never get tired of reading.  He enjoyed all the stories.

Both the eight and ten year olds read to their younger siblings.  This is my favorite thing to see.  They snuggle in on the couch to share a good story.

Mom’s favorite story book is Love You Forever.  I bought this for my oldest son when he was three.  We have read it every year.  I sing a song from the words in the book and it is a really special for us. 
“Love you forever, love you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”

When he was younger, he would ask me to sing it again and again.  He is a big ten year old now.  But he will always be my baby.

What books are you reading with your children for Valentines Day?  Leave us a comment, thanks!

If you have crafts, recipes, activities, lesson themes related to Valentines Day, be sure to share your ideas in our comment section, and if you have a blog, link up to our Valentines Day Link Up .

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