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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.

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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!

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Interactive Story: The Sad Giant

Each month Mother Goose Time includes a short story with participation pieces. These stories always have a great moral or lesson about being a good person and feelings. We really love these activities. Generally they come with cut out characters and a background so X can reenact the story (which by the way is a great activity to build reading comprehension!). It also gives us an opportunity to explore other possible endings or make our own stories with the characters.

This month the participation story went a step further. It incorporated a block building element! It also included some gross motor work and (of course) comprehension exercises. We love blocks around here, so X loved the fact that reading and building with blocks were brought together in one activity. These are easily his two favorite activities.

X was asked to build a turtle shell, cat tail and birds nest out of blocks to go along with the story. This was a great activity because it stretched his creative use of blocks. Generally he builds houses, castles, cities… he loved figuring out how to build something organic and so different with the blocks he uses so often. 

After we’d finished the story he decided to build the sad giant out of blocks. I loved his representation!

I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.

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July- The Art Studio!

I am so excited for July’s Mother Goose Time unit! The Art Studio! July and August have more of a summer camp feel and I’m really looking forward to it.

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Lately we’ve been exceedingly busy. Q turned 1 and I threw a party for that. We had a few days that were a little cooler then normal, so we took advantage of them by getting outside. Due to the chaos of our schedule we’ve been a little more laid back with our school time. Most days I’ve pulled out our activities while Q is napping and X and I will sit at the dining room table and work. I apprecuate how MGT seperates each days supplies into one bag per day, so when life gets hectic I can just grab a bag and be all set.
Since our school room has been neglected, I decided I would get a head start on setting up July. There are a handful of new components that haven’t been in our previous curriculums, so I needed to spread everything out and plan a setup that would work best for next month.
I can’t even contain my excitement! Not only will we be learning about famous artists AND doing an art project every day, but we’ll be learning about money and financing, 4 European countries AND 5 important values (discipline, integrity, resourcefulness, contentment and generosity).
Every day as X completes each lesson he will earn Fly Dollars which he will divide into Save, Spend and Give pockets. He’ll be responsible for using his Fly Dollars to purchase art supplies each day as well as other activities including learning about the difference between needs and wants.

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I love that he’ll gain an understanding of earning and spending money in such a kid appropriate way.
X definitely took to heart June’s lesson on being helpful, so I’m looking forward to exploring more values with him this month. We’ll read about Falco the Featherless Bird and hopefully learn from some of his mistakes while getting a deeper understanding of some important values.
I’ve always felt strongly about introducing children to beautiful art. X has had books on great artists like Monet and Van Gogh since he was a baby. I’m thrilled to have these beautiful posters to teach him more about these artists and display in our school room.

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We’ll be learning about these pieces as well as the artists who created them, the countries those artists are from and the techniques used to create them. July is full of so many creative projects in a huge range of styles and mediums.
With a game, story or song, Art project, world activity, value lesson and money activity EVERY SINGLE DAY, we’ll be having a blast! And of course we’ll be reviewing colors, shapes, numbers and all of the other important preschool skills!

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I received this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing our experience and my opinions. All content and opinions are 100% mine and truly honest.