Today I’d like to focus on a couple amazing resources that, up until recently, I had completely ignored- the Planning Journal and Exploration Stations.
When I first received my starter kit I remember looking at the cute signs for the Library area, Blocks, Art, etc. I coveted people that had more space and were able to set up these stations. But alas, we are a homeschool family in a very small home. It took some planning and extreme organization for us to have a designated homeschool space at all, and it’s definitely not big enough for stations. This along with the planning journal I viewed as a great tool for actual preschools, with an abundance of space and more kids.
Then my June box arrived and in my excitement I started looking through all of the materials. Just out of curiosity I revisited these tools and realized I have been majorly missing out! The Planning Journal has plenty of space to make notes on activities I want to expand on and adjust. It also has room for me to write down any corresponding tv episodes that match our themes.
It also provides a suggested flow for the month, week and day. I can see all the days activities at one glance! It even shows what skills we’ll be working on with each activitiy.
But perhaps my favorite tool I was over looking is the daily activity suggestions for the stations. They highlight one station per day and provide theme related play ideas! You don’t need specific stations setup in yor learning area to utilize this, heck, most of the time you don’t even need any special supplies or planning! This gives me a great opportunity to extend our learning in to independent play. The more he’s exploring the topics we talk about, the more he’s learning. PLUS it’s a great opportunity to work on skills like fine and gross motor, writing, etc.
This picture is just half of the stations featured.
X really loved making a foxes den and curling up to read some books. It was so easy and added a really fun and exciting element to our reading time.
Another Station activity we particularly enjoyed this week was making an elephant trunk out of a sock. Then we built towers out of blocks and knocked them over with our trunks. So simple, and yet it kept X busy and giggling and THINKING for over an hour. Problem solving, experimentation, fine motor and gross motor all wrapped up in an activity that took me 2 minutes to setup and explain.
I’m so glad I finally decided to really utilize these two tools that at first I didn’t think applied to us. Mother Goose Time is so adaptable.