The Big Green Pocketbook {Before FI♥AR}

In The Big Green Pocketbook,a little girl takes a bus ride to town with her mom to run errands. She brings along a big, green pocketbook and fills it with memories of her morning.

Make a Memory:

Since we don't have a regular city bus, we took a "bus" ride on the "Big Green Trolly" ~ a trolly car "bus" that operates in the Summer for local transportation and historic tours of our town.

I laminated the green pocket book that I printed from Homeschool Share, punched holes for a lacing activity and then brought all the items the little girl collected to put in the purse. I read her the story on the trolly and gave her each item as we got to it in the story. (She loved this!) I even brought along a few surprises like a yellow and purple (organic) sucker for each child ("one for now and one for later"). =)

Waiting for the trolley ~ everyone wanted to go!

Here comes the Trolley!

All aboard ~ 

They sat at the very back for awhile and then wanted to be by the big, open window. 

Mali and Elli were so surprised to drive past our house. =) They had never noticed the trolley drive by before. Now they see it all the time (it drives by every hour) and each time they think it is a different trolly (ha ha), even though I've tried to convince them that it is the same trolley we rode.

We rode past an original trolley car at the museum.

The trolley ride was one hour long and the older boys got a historic tour of our area (community history!). Afterwards, we ran our errands in our own vehicle.

We tried to go to similar places in the book for fun, but ran some real errands too.

We went to the candy store and bought Pop a treat:
We passed by a jewelry store on the way:

Made a special stop for ice cream ("just like in the book" as my kids said). . .

. . . then stopped at the grocery store to pick up some limes. I had Eliana do all the shopping for me ~ she loved it! (I had to put the limes within her reach). 

It was such a fun and memorable morning. =)

Lap Journal and Activities:

Make the Color Green:

We mixed blue and yellow powdered tempera and added water to make green paint. 

Lollipop Activities from Home Grown Hearts:

Lollipop math ~ recognizing numbers 1-10, patterning, and a puzzle. 

Tracing the Letter L:

Ice Cream Cone Math:

I printed these from HSS. They painted their ice cream scoops, I labeled them 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. and had them put the scoops in order. 

My Box of Crayons:

(The little girl gets a box of crayon in the story).

Another printable from HSS (see link below). 

Do-it-Yourself Chalkboard:

This project was inspired from Part Two of the Before Five in a Row manual: the "Parent's Treasury of Creative Ideas for Learning Readiness." 

The manual suggested that the board be "as large as you can afford in terms of both space and cost." So, we turned our Make-Your-Own White Board into a chalk board. The thrifty panel we used was getting old (it lasted us 3 years!) but it was time to replace it. 

We painted the surface (smooth side) with chalkboard paint (about 3 or 4 coats), followed the instructions to prime the surface (I am not sure the good it did because as soon as we did I wiped it clean with a wet rag), grabbed a piece of chalk and started creating! 

"A chalkboard is a lot like blocks in the sense that it stimulates use of the imagination, provides large and small motor exercise, and grows with your child with need of any monitoring on your part. . . chalkboards, like blocks and boxes grow with your child for years to come." ~ Lambert, p. 138 

Delightful Links:


  1. This is on my to read list, and now I have fabulous ideas to go along with it!

  2. I love reading about your FIAR adventures. Brings back lots of memories!

  3. What a fun idea! We have those exact same green trolley cars here in our city and my kids LOVE riding on them around town.

  4. Oh my! What a post, just "chalk"-ful of great ideas! (Oh, and I wanna know, why didn't the boys have purses?) :0)

  5. It looks like your kids loved the trolley. What fun! Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

  6. All the pictures are great! I love the first days of school! We started a couple weeks ago too!
    Shabbat Shalom,