Big Concepts for Small Hands

I feel like many of us underestimate young children. I’m really glad Mother Goose Time doesn’t!

This month our Mother Goose Time curriculum has covered some big and complicated topics, but they’ve made them relatable and comprehensible for preschool aged kiddos.

This was X’s first introduction to the names of 3-D shapes. I loved the exposure to these beginning geometry concepts! I am consistently impressed with the manipulatives we recieve each month. I’d actually been considering buying a set of these on my own, but they came right with our curriculum!

We discussed constellations and how ambient light can reduce the number of stars we see. X was very excited about this. It was good timing also because he’s been finding shapes and pictures in the clouds lately. This gave him a new idea for discovering stories in the sky!

He also carried his 3-D shape lesson into his journaling. He created a “pyramid” of sticks for his fire. MGT naturally presents so many opportunities for cross concept learning. The hands-on approach to learning really helps X grasp the bigger concepts and use them in every day life.

To build on our Stars lesson I gave the boys a great sensory play opportunity by making galaxy slime. They loved it!

The leftover glitter from our Invitation to Create added a new texture and the foam stars from our constellation lesson added so much depth to the level of play.


Learning Letters with Mother Goose Time

In my last post I mentioned how I had been excited for Alphabet Island because we’re really focusing on X learning all his letters- by name and by sound. We’re hoping to start on some reading lessons come fall. So I was BEYOND excited when I opened up July’s box from Mother Goose Time (which is a Camping theme) and discovered that it is also a full review of the alphabet!

These alphabet cards are adorable! I was so thankful I had an extra set to display for the whole month. The second set will be used daily in the adorable alphabet journal.

Each day X will cut out the letter of the day and use it in his journal. It also has a ton of bonus writing practice.

Here’s how we’ll be using the cards in the journal. So great! July is going to be a blast!


Wrapping Up Alphabet Island

This month has been a whirlwind, but I’ve been happy we’ve had the opportunity to calm the storm and find our center with Mother Goose Time. I’ve been anticipating this alphabet review as X will be starting a homeschool Kindergarten program in September. I wanted to use this month to make sure he was feeling confident with all of his letters. This also helped keep us on track despite birthdays, trying to buy a house and good friends preparing to move cross country. 

X loves everything pirates, so he was on board with this month’s theme (HarHarHar pun intended). We reviewed shapes and colors with a fun treasure came. This was just one of the many games we enjoyed this month!

We also got to learn about balance on our Surfing day! This was such a fun challenge for them!

The alphabet coloring book was a great addition this month. It inspired a whole variety of conversations and questions. It also kept X busy while I was prepping other activities for the day.

Next month is alllll about camping and we can’t wait!


Our Week with Mother Goose Time

We have been so crazy busy lately! We’re trying to buy a house and it’s summer and some of our best friends are moving away and grandparents have been visiting… These are the weeks that I’m SO thankful that I have Mother Goose Time. Not only has it made it easy to get school done during this busy time, but it’s given us an opportunity to calm the chaos, focus, and learn TOGETHER. My kids thrive on togetherness, and when things get too hectic, they struggle. But having Mother Goose Time as an anchor to bring us together every day, they’ve been doing awesome!


Blending Skills in an Arts-Integrated Learning Environment

Our amazing curriculum by ​Mother Goose Time is an arts-integrated curriculum that uses music, visual arts, dance, dramatic play, storytelling, engineering and construction to help children experience and learn about
our world. 

But what does that all mean? 

It means that the amazing Mother Goose Time staff is constantly working to create a curriculum that presents classical education concepts (abc’s and 123’s) as well as physical and social skills in a way that is engaging and fun. They provide intensive learning plus skill and character building activities that appeal to a young child’s natural instinct to play. This may look like all fun and games, but it’s also a complete curriculum!

All of those dots and stars are important skills, concepts and developmental goals. This is just ONE month in the Mother Goose Time curriculum. There are 33 skills that we work to cover, falling under these 7 categories: Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics and Reasoning, Social Studies, Science and Creative Development.

How do we accomplish all that in one month?

Many of the activities blend skills. If they aren’t specifically written that way, the open ended structure of the activities makes it easy to tie in a review of other skills. That’s the beauty of play based learning- flexibility! If you’re wondering what that looks like, here’s an example of just one activity.

First off, my kids love any excuse to play with water, so I knew this activity would hold thier attention for a while; allowing us to cover a variety of skills. We started this activity by scooping out and sorting the blocks for a fun color review and sensory activity.

Next he counted how many blocks of each color.

We followed up with more advanced math concepts- estimitating, greater or less than, compairing, adding and pattern making. Finally we ended with discussing the letter that each color starts with and what sound that makes.

So we blended fine motor, number concepts, colors, patterns, sorting, measurement and phonological awareness.

The best part is, he had a blast! No whinning, crying or difficulty. Just fun.

This style of teaching allows for frequent review of concepts presented in a variety of ways. Everyone learns differently, so this is a fabulous way to teach. 

If you’ve spent any time around kids this age, you know they’re always moving! Integrating dance, movement and dramatic play facilitates so much gross motor activity during our school time. Staggering active learning and more focused activities helps my children stay focused. I can’t imagine trying to get a 3 or 4 year old to stand still for an hour, nevermind actually learning anything!

Arguably one of the best aspects of this curriculum is the use of art. It provides a balanced mix of craft projects that can be used for creative and dramatic play (Make and Play Activities) and open ended art opportunities (Invitation to Create Activities). The value in these activities are truly endless. From fine motor work, cutting and pasting skills to pre-writing exercise through coloring. These activities blossom into creative play and allow for building vocabulary, communicating ideas, following directions and expressing themselves through the visual arts.


Alphabet Island

We were so excited to start Alphabet Island this month!! X has been really interested in the ocean and pirates lately, so it’s a great fit!

From pirate fun to boat science we’ve splashed and Arrrgh-ed our way through so much learning already! The Make and Play spy glass and eye patch were huge hits.

As always, the boys LOVE our manipulatives this month! It was so neat how Mother Goose Time suggested we use our foam numbers as islands for Day 1! This fun activity was expanded even further by adding a math game element. X would roll a number one the cube dice and fish out that number island. We even were able to do a little adding!

Q has been loving puzzles lately, so he really enjoyed connecting the letters and numbers.

X spent quite some time experimenting with what his boat could hold and what would make it sink. I loved the ease of creating a tinfoil boat as suggested by our Science Experiment card. Design and physics concepts at work in preschool learning! He also explored balancing items in the boat which could result in making it flip. I use any opportunity I can to bring our school into our play, especially outside, and our Day 2: Boat unit did this perfectly!


Caterpillars to Moths or Butterflies with Mother Goose Time

Over the weekend we explored butterflies and moths! From eggs to caterpillars to telling the difference between a moth and a butterfly. 

We started the week learning about and building caterpillars. The kids loved these “noodles” that stick together when damp. They really enjoyed building their own caterpillars. 

Next we guessed what bugs were hiding in this adorable book. These easy readers are a hit around here. X isn’t to the point of learning site words yet, but he identifies letters and immensely enjoys these books. Using the site word pointers has made him more aware that each word is made up of different letters. 

This month he wrote his name all on his own! Normally I write it in highlighter and he goes over it in pen. But this time he proudly did it all on his own.

On the back cover he was asked to draw his favorite bug. I wasn’t surprised when he chose a bee after having a bee friend follow him while strawberry picking. I adore his illustration.

These neat builders were one of this month’s manipulatives. The boys got creative using these to build a variety of bugs; real and made up!

X was familiar with the butterfly life cycle from reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but I see value in a mix of new information paired with review. This life cycle dispay also brightened up our learning space (not from MGT). I love the great posters that come with the Invitation to Create as well as other learning materials. I enjoy it so much as our learning wall fills with information and beautiful images that emphasize our monthly themes.

This poster is awesome! It clearly shows the kiddos the difference between moths and butterflies. It even came with a matching game to help solidify the concepts. 

I paired our Mother Goose Time days with a box from Ivy Kids that was all about butterflies. This gave us 4 days of fun projects and learning! 

It’s been amazing to reflect on how much X has learned since we first started doing Mother Goose Time a year ago. I’m so thankful for the convenience and guidance that made our preschool year so successful. Especially while I was solo parenting due to a deployment. It gave our days direction and structure filled with fun and learning. So many memories and fire for learning have bloomed from those yellow school bus boxes.