Mama in the Galaxy

Mama in the Galaxy

Welcome to Mama in the Galaxy. I'm a mom of 2, and former teachers. Follow me for simple and fun lea

Operating as usual

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 06/02/2023

Galaxy digging 🪐👷🏼‍♂️
Here’s the thing about play, it doesn’t have to make sense. Think about two things your kid loves. For mine, it’s diggers and space.

Guess what, they can go together and it’s FUN. So we’re playing along for and having a blast! And if you don’t follow Jessie go check out her page. Lots of simple and fun sensory dig ideas!

🪐Space blocks: (discount code Galaxy10)
❤️Playmat:

⬇️What are your kiddos favorite two things right now?




Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 28/01/2023

Love in TRAIN sight ❤️
Yep it’s another train themed post. Can you tell what my little guy is super into right now, This setup was super easy. Track tape, heart shaped pasta, and tiny trains in a tray.

Track tape:
Pasta:


19/01/2023

Morning, MOON, and night we love space play.

We set up a fun sensory tray to explore different textures and test out the Astrovan’s performance. 🚀 All system’s go!

Astrovan: save with Galaxy15
Mat:
Play sand:
Wooden road: .usa


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 16/01/2023

“I have a dream today…” ❤️
Honoring the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today for his wisdom, his grit, and his vision.

This is one of our most favorite children’s books about Dr. King. Swipe through to see a few pages from the book written by the amazing and illustrated by the talented

Tray:
Peg dolls: For Felix Too
Sensory mix:
Letters:


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 06/09/2021

⭐️Doughrific Fun ⭐️
Y’all know we LOVE sensory play at our house. It’s basically always happening in some form somewhere. When Stacey at reached out to us wondering if we’d try her new dough bins I just had to say YES! She kindly gifted us bins for each of my boys. 💙🎁

The boys were ⓣⓗⓡⓘⓛⓛⓔⓓ when I opened these for them. So much instant imaginative play—made my mama heart very happy. ❤️ They’ve asked to play with them almost every day since we got them! I know people think I’d play dough as a “preschool” activity, but my 7 year old still loves it, and I find it’s a great creative outlet for him.

The bins have so many fun pieces. I was honestly pretty impressed with the sheer amount of items that fit into the bins. She includes three different colors of play dough (the sand one in the ocean bin was our fav) 🏖 She even includes ziploc bags to store your play dough in once you open it. 👏🏻👏🏻

She has so many offerings, including some of your favorite characters. I’m thinking Paw Patrol might be next on our list 😉

Go check out and comment here which bin you’d love to have!


🎁

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 02/09/2021

Space Race Nugget Style 🪐
Did y’all know that some wooden toys ✨stick✨ on the Nugget? 🤯

It’s the magical combination of grains in the wood “sticking” to the microfiber of the Nugget covers. We love felt play on the and this is the next level!

Today we used some of our wooden train tracks and space toys to explore the universe. This is a perfect toddler or preschool STEM activity to explore: balance, building, motion, problem solving, and more!

Do you have a Nugget or are you dreaming of one? Tell me your favorite cover color below. I’m dreaming of a second! 🌈


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 02/09/2021

Water Play 💦
Simple play is often the best play! If you’ve been watching my stories, you know I’ve been posting daily Amazon deals. Most are for kids, some for adults and home.

I found these colorful sponges (they called them reusable water balloons 🤔🤣) on a big sale. They are normally about $8 a pack but with the deal and coupon they were like $3 something. Anyway, they are so fun for water play!

I put some water in a bin on one side of our sensory table and the sponges in the other bin. Then my little guy scooped and poured water onto the sponges. He started walking around the whole table, scooping, pouring, then looping around and around. He was giggling and having the best time!

Sponges still linked under “deals” in my Amazon store.


04/01/2021

I’ve partnered with some wonderful play and learning accounts on Instagram to giveaway a Nugget Comfort gift card! Go to my Instagram page and find this post to enter!

03/12/2020

Need Elf on the Shelf ideas, follow me on Instagram for our adventures!

Holiday Gift Guides 10/11/2020

Holiday Gift Guides are here! Lists for toddlers, preschoolers, big kids, and Mamas. More coming soon!
https://www.mamainthegalaxy.com/post/holiday-gift-guides

Holiday Gift Guides The following list contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission on items purchased. Gift Recommendations are here! Everything I've listed is either a product we own and enjoy, was recommended personally to me, or is on our wishlist too! I never post things just for the sake of purchase. P...

PRIME DAY DEALS 14/10/2020

Looking for Prime Day deals for kids? I've got my favorites linked here and updating throughout the day. Toys, clothes, gear, and more! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I'm posting pictures and updates in my stories today!
https://www.mamainthegalaxy.com/post/prime-day-deals

PRIME DAY DEALS Check out all of my favorite Amazon Prime Day deals here! I will be updating as deals come up, but know that prices/quantities may change. The products I've linked below are ones that I either own myself, wish I did, or products that have been personally recommended. No random product plugs here! Th...

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 06/10/2020

Solar System Spree Math Resource 🪐🌎✨

In honor of this week, I’m offering my Solar System Spree math game for only $1! ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Good through Friday, 10/9.

This is a digital resource you can download from my teachers Pay Teachers site. Simply download, print, and play!

This game uses a 120 board, perfect for reinforcing 1st grade math concepts. Roll your dice (2 for an extra adding challenge) and move your counter. I like to use mini erasers or candy 😉 First to 120 wins!

🪐 Link in bio!



05/10/2020

Pumpkin Play 🎃

I love quick, easy, simple play. The kind that uses minimal items and gets lots of engagement.

Enter gel clings 🙌🏻 You can find these at many stores. I picked up these jackolanterns and spiders at . While we usually use these on our sliding back door, or for play on an airplane, this time I paired them with one of our favorite Halloween books Spookie Pookie by .

🧡That’s it: a sheet of $1 gel clings and a board book. Doesn’t get much easier than that! 🧡

My toddler loved moving these around the table and putting them inside the pages of the book. Lots of giggles and play!


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 28/09/2020

Super Hero Math 🦸🏽‍♂️🔢

My kids love superheroes and my big kid loves math! While he is quite the numbers whiz, we’ve been working on fact fluency, specifically 9 addition facts which tend to trip him up. I decided to combine his love of super heroes and math for a fun game!

🔹I used flash cards from and pulled out all of the nine facts. 9️⃣

🔹 Next, I put dot stickers with the answers to the specific flash cards I pulled onto our super heroes. 🦸🏻‍♂️

🔹Then, I created a sensory bin full of dried white beans, glass pebbles, and some toilet paper rolls. I drew windows on the rolls and stacked them up like a skyscraper. 🏢

I decided to make it a sensory bin so that my toddler could also play along. He enjoyed removing all of the dot stickers from the heroes and scooping the beans into the paper rolls.

Who is your favorite super hero?



14/09/2020

We were so graciously gifted a StoryBricks set from Creative QT and I’m telling y’all right now, this needs to be on your holiday or birthday gift lists! 🎁

Imagine a kid friendly letterboard that’s compatible with LEGO and other building bricks. 🎉 Oh and I haven’t mentioned yet, the back is magnetic! 🧲

My brain is in overdrive with so many possibilities for play and learning. 🧠 As a former English teacher I would have LOVED one of these in my classroom. Vocabulary practice, poetry development, writing centers, and more.

Just think: Learning centers in the classroom, family organization board on the refrigerator, supplemental learning tool for homeschool, independent play for siblings, vertical play for LEGO... endless FUN! 🤩

Link to purchase yours from Amazon (I earn a small commission at no cost to you!)

https://amzn.to/3ihFJTr

How would you play with StoryBricks? Comment below!

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 07/09/2020

Peg Dolls ❤️

This summer, I won this super cute rainbow peg doll set from and I instantly loved them. They are such nice quality and very well made. And if you think this particular set is darling, just wait until you visit her shop. Prepare to be blown away! 🤯 She has everything from Disney characters and superheroes to astronauts and animals. I honestly can’t think of a better gift for a kid than a set of her dolls. ⠀

🎉As a special just for my followers today only, use code LOVEWOODENTOYS for 10% off any regular priced purchase. Stock up now for holiday or birthday gifts! 🎁⠀

Why are peg dolls so good for play?⠀
⭐️Encourage imaginative play⠀
⭐️Perfect size for toddler hands⠀
⭐️Easy to pair with story books or sensory bins⠀
⭐️Encourage social-emotional development through role playing and imagination⠀

I’ll share in my stories some of my favorites from her shop and ways we like to play with our peg dolls. ❤️⠀



03/09/2020

Continent Play 🌎

Do you love maps? I do! I’ve loved them since I was a kid and now I see that same fascination from my own children.

I found this really cool Montessori wooden puzzle on a local buy and sell page. 🙌🏻 I’ve wanted one of these ever since my son was in Montessori preschool.

I paired the puzzle with my continent flash cards! They are for sale in my TPT store 🎉
The set includes all continents plus the planet Earth. Cards with labels and without are included.

I don’t drill my kids with flash cards. I use them to supplement our play. I make them available but I don’t push. I view flash cards for young kids similarly to books: they are for exploring and should be bright and engaging.

🔗Link in my bio to purchase 🌍 How many continents have YOU traveled to? ✈️🛳




Timeline photos 28/08/2020

Math Tray ⭐️ Roll, Write, Make

A super simple, hands on math lesson. I used a divided tray, a dry erase marker, and some mini erasers. You could even use Cheerios or checkers or Legos or any other small item.

This is an activity that can be done independently or with a partner. You can use it for early learners or adapt it for older kiddos (roll multiple dice, multiply the numbers, subtract from a previous answer, etc). Easy, play based learning! 🤩

Timeline photos 26/08/2020

I Spy” bottle DIY ⭐️

I’ve been wanting to make these I spy bottles for a while. If your house is like my house, you have PLENTY of tiny trinkets all over your house. 🙈

I gathered a few random items: Legos, beads, mini erasers, and more, then placed them in my bottle. Next add some rice, a little glitter for fun if you’d like, and put the top on! I recommend glueing the top shut for added protection. Spray adhesive works great!

You can ask questions for play based on the age of your child or skill:

⭐️”Can you find something green?”
⭐️”Find something that starts with B.”
⭐️ “Where is something you can use to build?”
⭐️”What is the smallest item in the bottle?”
⭐️Add together everything that is black.”

Check out my video on how to make the bottles! Enjoy!


Timeline photos 25/08/2020

Book play 📚🚀

My son loves this new Neil Armstrong biography. It’s full of facts about his steps to becoming an astronaut from places he lived, to his role in the Navy, to his astronaut training. You’ve seen me post a lot about this series. It’s because I truly love it. Go check out all of the other people featured in the series!

For today, I was inspired by one of .baskets posts where she created a mini sensory tray from her button board and mini erasers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ If you aren’t following her go do it now! She has the most fun and beautiful set ups for story basket sharing. I love how she presents reading with a hands-on and visual experience for children. I’ll share the post that inspired me in my stories!

I used our tray and filled it with black beans. Then used space mini erasers 🤩 to drop in the holes. My toddler liked to dump them out of a bowl and see how many would fall in! You could easily turn this into a math activity by counting or graphing with the erasers. Lots of opportunities to extend learning when you present books and play together!


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 24/08/2020

Space Sticky Wall 🪐⭐️🚀

I’m loving the hashtag challenge this week to share inspired activities.

I saw this great sticky wall over at and reeeeeally wanted to try it. She actually wrote her kiddo’s name on the backside of the contact paper and then hung it up. But this means you have to write backwards 🙈🤯 and let’s just say my art skills are not legit enough for that.

Soooo, I used some easel paper to draw my design first and taped it to the wall. Then taped the contact paper (sticky side out!) on top of my drawing. Voila!

You could write or draw anything: shapes, letters, or a theme like mine. I wrote in pencil then outlined in marker.

I’ve posted the contact paper Pom Pom wall before. It’s a quick, simple set up that gives your toddler a vertical play opportunity while using fine motor skills. What’s also great is that you can leave it up for a few days to let them enjoy over and over!

@ Northern California

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 18/08/2020

Hidden Figures picture book 🚀 ⠀

You know we love a good space book here! I'm a big fan of this movie and was so happy to get my hands on this picture book on our last trip to the library. ⠀

If you aren't familiar with the story, Hidden Figures by is the true story about the four African-American women who worked as "human computers" aka mathematicians during the Space Race and Apollo missions. ⠀

I thought the book was very well-written and contained much more detail than I expected for a picture book. This would be a great introduction to a child who is in-between picture book and chapter book stage. It would also make a fantastic read aloud. The illustrations by are gorgeous too!⠀

Link in my bio to purchase! (affiliate)⠀


Photos from SpeakEasy Community's post 12/08/2020

Thought this was super helpful as you think about setting up your learning space at home.

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 12/08/2020

It’s back to school time! 🍎📓✏️ Whether your children are learning at home this year or heading back to school, this year will likely feel different for all of us. I’ve teamed up with some other elementary educators to bring you some tips & tricks to ease the stress of back to school this year and feel more prepared!

My tip: “Brain breaks” are soooo important for kids, especially those of you distance learning from home. They provide an opportunity to
✨Refocus,
⚡️Reenergize, or
🌙Rest
in between academic lessons.

I’ve compiled a list of breaks based on 3 categories: Sensory, Art/Music, or Physical activities. Choose a “brain break” that’s motivating for your child and brings positivity.

Maybe it’s been a tough/frustrating lesson 🧠 and they need to calm down with some play dough or maybe they’ve been sitting still in front of the computer 💻 and need to bounce a ball 🏀 or have a dance party!

You can also write down some options on a white board or piece of paper and let your child pick. I set a timer ⏱ for brain breaks so our break doesn’t cause further distraction and we all know when it’s time to start academics again.

To see more tips check out the pages below:








Happy Back to School! 🍎


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 11/08/2020

Martin Luther King Jr Biography for New Readers 🌈⠀
https://amzn.to/3gPgpDM

Well y'all, Christine Platt has done it again. Another stellar biography about Martin Luther King, Jr. written specifically for young readers. I love how she really concentrates on time and place, providing a clear timeline of events in his life. The illustrations are bold and beautiful. There is just enough of the graphic touch to draw kids into these chapter books. Recommended ages 6+⠀

Save this post for future book reports and historical studies this year. I highly recommend it!⠀


09/08/2020

https://www.mamainthegalaxy.com/post/what-do-i-need-for-distance-learning

Check out my latest blog post for a few of my product recommendations for those of you starting the year with distance/virtual learning.

Have you purchased headphones yet?
What about a small dry-erase board and markers to show responses for video sessions with the teacher?
Do you have a learning space set up with a table or desk?

I cover all these things and more! Let me know in the comments if you have a product you really like!

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 09/08/2020

Sunday Shelfie 🏗 STEM style

My shelf is newly painted and I love it! Hubby spray painted it white for me and I love how bright it looks now. I set up a STEM inspired shelf and my boys were instantly ready to play!

On the shelf...
Top: 🔢 Math and science books and
Middle: 🏗 Tinker toys and our button board
Bottom: 🧲 Lots of magnets from and

Tinker toys are the current fav around here. Lots of engineering (buildings and machines) and imaginative play (lollipops and magic wands). I also love the magnets on this shelf because it’s metal, so it serves as a new play space.

Inspired to create a shelfie space in your home yet? Ask me anything below. Tag me in your shelfie posts too!


@ Northern California

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 07/08/2020

Write a Mat Learning ✅⠀

These mats from are so great for practicing math facts. Here’s what I like about them:⠀

⭐️ Larger size ⠀
⭐️ Works with a #2 pencil and erases easily⠀
⭐️ Teaches facts with a hundreds board style visual. ⠀

I added some of our fav mini erasers to make a game. I covered certain equations for a quick, lightning round style game where he gives a verbal answer. Then I mix them up and we play again, trying to solve as many as he can quickly. First graders loooove competition! 🏆⠀

Link in my bio to this subtraction mat on Amazon. *affiliate link* They also have mats for addition, multiplication, and division as well as some preschool learning mats. ⠀


@ Northern California

Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 06/08/2020

Vowel Match with stickers ⭐️⠀

I love sharing quick, simple learning activities you can do at home to teach or reinforce skills. ⠀

I get asked all the time about how to teach a child to read. The science of reading is actually pretty complex 🧠 and some teachers spend years of schooling and professional development studying “reading”. 📚⠀

But here’s a simple fact, if your child doesn’t know the “sounds” of letters reading will be a challenge. 🗣 Activities like this are really important to practice saying, hearing, and identifying the sounds. ⠀

Short vowels or “weak” vowels as I like to say, are sometimes difficult to understand. In this activity I used a sticker to match to a word and left out the vowel. Then I wrote out each vowel on dot stickers to match to the word. Easy peasy! 🙌🏻⠀


Timeline photos 04/08/2020

Mini Eraser organization 💛⠀

Yeah, I know... more mini erasers! 🤩 They just make me sooo happy. Organizing them is making me EVEN MORE happy. 💗 I found this box at . I love that you can put multiple sets in there and take out the ones you need or use for multiple students. 🙌🏻 All of my erasers are from and one bag fits perfectly in one of these compartments. ⠀

Today I’m getting my son’s learning space set up at home. New desk, new supplies, LOTS of reorganizing. I’m planning a combination of distance learning from his school with a little homeschooling too. ⠀

What questions do you have about prepping for the new school year? 👇🏻 Leave me a comment below. I’m happy to help! ⠀


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 30/07/2020

Sensory Read and Play 💛⠀

Have you heard of story basket sharing? I find this to be an easy way to think about teaching a lesson to a child at home. ⠀

Choose your book and then collect items in a basket that fit with the theme. Maybe it’s a sensory experience (things to touch or hear) or maybe it’s Legos or blocks to build something inspired by the story. ⠀

I love this book I Hear a Pickle by Rachel Isadora. She walks through all the senses. Things to see and hear and taste and touch from a toddler’s prospective. This version came from so I also love that it’s written in Spanish as well. ⠀

I collected a few items that appear in the book and placed them in a small basket. A few things I improvised (cotton balls for snow). This books would also be fun to do a scavenger hunt with “find a flower to smell” or “here is the stove, not for touching”. ⠀

As many of us enter learning at home for the first time this school year, think of ways you can teach simply, like this one. Remember it’s not about you being a trained teacher, it’s about you inviting your child to learn. You’ve got this!⠀


Photos from Mama in the Galaxy's post 28/07/2020

Toddler Dinosaur Dig 🦕

Our little dinos got a toddler friendly place to play today. If you’ve followed me for awhile you will recognize my favorite sensory element on this tray: coffee grounds! ☕️

I love coffee grounds as a sensory material because:

1. It’s taste safe (I do monitor because well, you don’t want an over caffeinated toddler🙃)
2. It’s a recycled resource for me. I literally empty my espresso machine, dump in a bowl to cool, then add to a bin or tray for play!
3. Smell is an important sensory experience that we often forget about in play.

We read Sandra Boynton’s “Oh my, Oh my, Oh Dinosaurs” while we played. This is a favorite read at our house. I like the rhythm of this story and all of the fun sounds you hear when you read.

Like and save this post to make your own coffee grounds play. Tag me in your play too! Would love to see what you create. ☕️🤩




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