Real or Make-Believe Stories

Little ones have the BEST imaginations; yet, some things that we define as make-believe may seem like a real possibility in a child’s creative little mind.

Still, it is important to start having “real” versus “make-believe” conversations with our little ones…..PLEASE don’t take this post out of context and start breaking their hearts about different heroes they may have that may or may not exist 😉

I am talking about asking questions about books and stories like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”….

Asking questions like: “Could that really happen in real life?  Can animals talk?  Do bears live in cabins in the forest and act like people?”  Etc.

IF your little one says “yes” say “hmmmm….I wonder if we could observe bears in the real habitat/home they live in to see how they really are.”  Go to and search for different real-life bear videos to show your little ones the reality THEN ask questions like: “What are some things that are the same?  What are some things that are different?”

A great way to make a measurable chart contrasting real and make-believe is to

1) Print the freebie I made for you: Real vs make-believe printable  (You could also make/use a venn diagram)

2) Cut out pictures from magazines and place them in the column under the category it falls into.

3) Talk about it….ask questions to get your little one to figure it out logically!

This teaches your little one critical thinking skills, introduces the concept of fiction vs. nonfiction, and allows your little one the opportunity to build on oral vocabulary and express their ideas about their observations.

The Random Toy Collection

Doesn’t it seem like toys come out of the woodworks to find their way into your playroom and toy chests?

I am assuming every household has an assigned place for random toys, or maybe you make frequent trips to your local donation drop-off.

But, I have found that there are definitely uses for your toy bin (full of happy meal toys, childhood toys, birthday presents, and more.)

Here are a few ideas….all sorting activities:

(Remind yourself that I am NOT a photographer and I am NOT fancy)


.   Write down the beginning letters that the majority of the items in the box start with on project paper or a sketch pad.  Before you ask your little one to help you sort the beginning sounds TALK about the items and name each one first.  For example, “here’s a /d/ /d/ duck and a /s/ /s/ swing, what is this (picking up a new item)?”  Then, TALK about each letter: “This is the letter “S” it stands for the /s/ sound….are there any toys in our bin that start with that sound?”

2. Write as many color names as you want on a sheet of paper and name each color or ask your little one to help you sound out the color names that are listed.  Then ask your little one to sort/group the items by their color.  Ask questions about the “data” afterwards: “How many orange toys are there?  How many more red toys than yellow?”

3. Write one digit numbers and their number word in a clear and organized chart.  Ask your little one to find something (a person, a car, an animal) that has more than one of it’s kind in the toy bin.  Give an example first like “There are only 2 cars in this toy bin so I will take them out and place them in my “two” square to show that there are two of the same kind of toy in my bin.  Can you find something else in our toy bin that has a match that would make a pair?”

4.  Write down size words in an organized chart, choosing whichever words you want to focus on such as “big/little,” “small/medium/large,” “tall/short,” etc.  Then 1) demonstrate an example, 2) have your little one “help you” find another example, and 3) have your little one come up with an example on their own.

Have fun creating your own sorting charts and ALWAYS feel free to share photos of your mommy teacher “style” of doing things with The Mommy Teacher Fan Page 🙂


Sorting Numbers

Are you the type of person who likes to play around with fonts in a Word Document before you “feel” like you have picked the right one.
Well, if so, you will love the concept of this post.
I have made a template of numbers in several different fonts that you can print onto cardstock for your little one. Cardstock is much more durable than computer paper so I definitely recommend investing in some for free printables 🙂
Then, you can cut out the numbers – or let your little one practice their scissor skills and cut them out.
Explain to your little one that the line under the number needs to be at the bottom so you know that the numbers aren’t upside down.
Then, let your little one sort by number….putting all the ones together, twos, threes, etc.

This is a great activity to practice sorting, number recognition, and concentration on number formation! So here is your free printable: Number Font Sorting



Sorting Letters of the Alphabet

Two days ago I decided that my next post was going to be on sorting letters of the alphabet because every time I teach letters I make my own sorting mats. This is a great skill for children to practice, not only because it is a grade level expectation for children, but because it is a skill that teaches children how to organize data and focus on grouping based on similarities and differences.  When children can do this with letters of the alphabet it gives them a stronger memory recall for the letter formation and the aspects that make up a letter.

Usually the mats I make have three columns and usually look something like this: Alphabet Sorting mat.

Other ways to sort include 1) upper and lower case, 2) tall letters, short letters,  and letters “with a tail.” 3) letters in my name vs letters not in my name, etc.

Casey must have read my mind because she shared with me this AWESOME idea from a cool blog.

You can make your own game pieces the way she did, you can use magnetic letters, or other loose alphabet pieces you have around the house, or you can cheat all together and buy the following game from lakeshore:

Sort & Learn Alphabet Center


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