Castro Valley Game Library

Resources for parents & teachers

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade presents

Would you like to give homemade gifts this year?  I can make them for you!

I have been busy in my workshop creating safe, interesting activities for children, and I want to make more!  I just cut the prices on the materials in my Etsy shop (up to 40%)

If you'd like to borrow materials like this, and you're in the Bay Area, please join my lending library.

Practical Life

 Sorting Fruit/ Fine Motor coordination (tweezers)       Transfer bells using wooden spoon or tongs

Fall sorting activities (tweezers)                               Snowman Sorting/ Fine Motor (with tweezers) 


Spinning Wheels water work (coordination) 
(Pour the water in the top, use the baster to get it into the cup).

Sorting Stars                                         Rainbow Pompoms sorting with tongs activity

 Colorful pompom sorting activity


Sports Sequence activity (match the order)           Matching drums (box lid is also a game)

Alphabet beads (match, spelling, fine motor)


Number of Beads math activity (linear counting)  

 Addition Strip Board Activity (math)

Area and Perimeter squares


Learning Games


Hands on Activities

Games for the older kids (& parents)

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I'm thankful for you, and hope to provide you and your family with valuable information and services.

Here is what is currently on the menu:

It's Thanksgiving break, and your children need something interesting to do:

Meet me at the public library and pick up a puzzle, game, book or activity chosen just for your family from my collection of learning activities, based on what your children like and what you want them to learn.  Email me later in the week, and borrow something new.  

(Tangram and Magnetic Pattern Blocks)
Product Details
After parent teacher conferences, you know your child needs help with multiplication and handwriting.  Or you want to provide extra practice for your child, who has a particular strength or interest: 

Call up your personalized education consultant (me), and give me some information about your needs and preferences.  We'll meet for a few minutes, you'll choose the activity that appeals most to you, and you can try it out or ask questions.  Your child will either love it and use it or we'll try something different.  

(I didn't expect this Phonics game to be a hit, but my almost 5 year old keeps asking to play it.)  

You are homeschooling, or just love to play and spend time with your children, and you want to supplement your materials:

Instead of spending the time and money to buy a few games or lesson materials, that will lose their novelty and have to be stored, join our library and borrow some of the more than 300 activities for children from 3-12 years.  You can check out 1 activity at a time, for up to 1 month.  

(Big Block World Atlas, Match It! Telling Time puzzle, and our family favorite, 4 Way Countdown - math)

I am a credentialed Montessori teacher with an interest and talent for choosing and making great learning materials.  I provide parents and teachers with safe, interesting activities that teach basic skills, such as those needed for strong reading and math abilities.  I support customers with personalized instruction and service.

If you live in the East Bay, becoming a member of the learning library is easy.  Just fill out an application, sign the waiver, and pay for the 6 month membership ($30 or $5/month).  Then start checking out materials, just like the library.  What happens if something happens to one of the materials?  Just be careful when using the work, and if something happens, we will resolve it fairly.  It is $5 per activity for custom materials (which I create for the library at your request and name after your child).  Custom materials to keep are also an option.

(A custom sorting activity you can buy from my Etsy shop)

Sorting activity - Fish and shells

For more information on the WorkKidsLove learning library and other services:

Pinterest: (pictures of activities, codes, and descriptions)
Blog: (updates)
Etsy: (activities for sale)
Google doc: (list of activities with skill focus, like reading)
Facebook: (material(s) of the day, pictures of children using the activities)

Please leave comments about your impressions, suggestions, or feedback.  I would love to know what you think!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We partner with parents to help children learn

During the next 2 weeks, everyone who comments on any blog entry on this site will be entered for a chance to be one of 5 who will have custom activities named after their child (1st name) for the library.

I believe children benefit immensely from time spent with their parents, and some of these materials require adult direction, at least in the beginning.  Something also tells me that homeschooling and involved parents are the most likely to invest in a service that connects them with activities for their children to do at home.  These are some of the reasons I'll primarily be focusing on supporting the parents of children between the ages of 3 and 12 with the learning library project.

I found a useful website (, which gives the directions for Montessori activities.  I'll be sending you directions and videos of how to use the work.  I'll also select materials based on your preferences and the preferences of your children (very personalized).

I took an activity (Luke's Writing in Grain)  to a friend who met me at the library.  Several children tried out the work, and I plan to bring activities to the library again.  That way moms and children can learn to use the activities, try things out, and ask questions.  What better place to find people who love and understand libraries?

What is new for you since last time?  A bunch of new learning games have been added to the collection (pictures coming soon), and the workshop (where activities are created) has been reorganized.  I also presented to the Hayward School Board (with a great founders' group) to start a Montessori public charter high school.  Whew!

During these weeks I've been learning how to play several games, checking pieces, and testing (playing) games with my own children.  I've also been researching how to best meet your needs.  Coming up, I'll be labeling the activities so you can find materials by age and learning area (like math or language).

These are some of the new games my kids have enjoyed lately:

Chimalong chime set with music books (hand eye coordination, reading music, auditory discrimination)

T-Rexcavator (fine motor skills, dinosaur facts)

They have really been into puzzles, like this Ravensurger, and one by F.X. Schmid (coordination, concentration, and patterns)

I found my early risers playing Memory the other day (instead of popping in a show) (memory :) and matching)

My future vet was also trying out Animal Habitats Game and Amazing Animal Trivia Game (science, zoology, biomes)


Although she wasn't having much luck figuring out Racko (numbers, strategy) on her own (she's been trying out a lot of 8 and up games even though she's turning 7 soon), Dad and I recently played Payday with her (financial planning), and we all had fun.