Mother Goose Time Butterfly House Fieldtrip

Home Depot hosted a butterfly house clinic that corresponded perfectly with our Mother Goose Time curriculum. My daughter, the budding fashionista, donned her bumble bee girl costume and away we went. Although the suggested age range is 5+, the kids were able to construct and paint adorable butterfly houses (with a LOT of help.) We also received instructions on how to feed and attract butterflies to our yard! After we finish our vegetable garden, we hope to incorporate some native plants that will not only attract but help our favorite insects!

MGT Blog Ambassador

God Asks Me to Pray like a child

Our Mother Goose Time Experience God curriculum is centered around prayer for the month of April. “God asks me to pray.” The daily devotionals this month are by far my favorite from any other series. They truly break down the mechanics of prayer and easily adapt for homeschooling one or teaching an entire preschool group. The timing is impeccable as I recently started my own quest to improve my prayer life. Prayer is such a powerful tool but something I personally struggle with. Too often, I start to pray and thoughts, to do lists, or other noise interrupt my conversations with my Creator, my Father. The Bible, and Jesus himself, reiterate the importance of prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.” (Our MGT memory verse.)

Mark 14:38 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak.”

Luke 18:1 ” Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Not only are mere mortals instructed to pray, Jesus, the very Son of God, modeled it often by retreating from the crowds to pray. He even gave us the perfect prayer for when our own words fall short: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us our today daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:9-13.

My son has truly taken the message to heart this month. We (and I mainly mean my mom) recently constructed a climbing dome. Despite the manufacture’s guideline of ages 3-10, it has proven quite dangerous for the younger crowd! My poor son had fallen a dozen times before he said, “Mom, we need to stop and pray that I don’t fall any more.” He immediately dropped to his knees and waited for my prayer. I offered up a wordy prayer asking for guidance in placing his hands and feet for stability, strength to support himself, courage to continue to try, and protection to prevent injury.

My son looked at me and said, “Mom, that’s not what I asked you to pray. I don’t want to fall.” I gave a very human answer about how he has to keep practicing before he will master it. A few minutes later and my heart hurt. I realized I had just doubted God’s supreme power and I unintentionally sent that message to my son.

Matthew 21:22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Luke 19:16-17 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little  children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

My heart is so full watching the work God is doing in my children and through my children. I am thankful for these opportunities to see my own weaknesses and even more thankful for all the tools at my disposal that are facilitating growth. Yes, even a preschooler’s devotional–the Experience God with Mother Goose Time!!

MGT Blog Ambassador

 

Mother Goose Time’s Busy Bees

As we continue our Mother Goose Time bee theme, we spent an entire day focused on Work.

We opened the day with the game Buzz to a Number. We talked about how bees gather nectar from flowers and use it as food for the colony. We reused the flower bingo cards from earlier in the month but today’s lesson included a new spinner to flick. Then the children pretended to fly the bingo chip lie a bee to the flower with a corresponding number from the spinner. If the flower was already occupies, the bingo chips were stacked. The children really enjoyed using the chips as bees and created their own flight patterns that often disrupted the flower cards! Again, it was a great game to help my daughter with number recognition for numbers greater than 10!

The next activity was called Drones in the Comb and helped introduce hexagons. The children used the attribute blocks (the monthly manipulatives) to make designs and we counted the number of sides of each shape. Then I introduced the cardboard hexagons provided in the daily lesson pack. I explained beehives are made of hexagon shaped cells but the cells come together to look like an oval from the outside. Then we went outside to collect a few twigs and returned to finish our art projects. We traced the hexagon and colored the inside yellow for nectar. Then we taped the twigs onto the paper to make it look like the hive was hanging from the twig. Lastly, we placed bee stickers on the paper. After arranging them, my son spontaneously counted the stickers and assigned them a specific function for the hive.

It was such a beautiful day, we decided to pretend to be bees and search around the neighborhood for flowers. Azaleas are in full bloom and we examined how the different bushes were the same and different. Although, the kids were the most excited about picking the wildflowers and dandelions!

We closed out our morning with lunch on the drive way. While the children ate, I read the monthly storybook One Busy Bee. It was an engaging counting book that both kids enjoyed. The large font enticed both kids to trace the numbers with their fingers. At the end of the book, there was a guide of common backyard butterflies and bees. Although we only saw one butterfly on our walk, I look forward to helping the kids use the reference to identify the butterflies and bees we see this spring!

MGT Blog Ambassador

What do bees eat?

Day Two of Mother Goose Time’s Bees and Butterflies curriculum centered on food for bees.

After the excitement over the nametags, I knew this month’s journals would be a big hit. The kids wrote their names and then drew a picture of themselves on the cover. There was a little hesitation when I suggested to draw baby bees around the stick figures. However, once I demonstrated an easy way to draw one with circles and ovals, they both attempted their own drawings. The teacher’s guide also had a great suggestion to make a fingerprint bee and add features with a marker. For the journal, I really wanted to stretch their artistic capabilities and at least try something new. Yet, I think we will make the fingerprint bees sometime before the month is out! They were not content to only decorate the front cover and each chose a different page to complete in their journals before I coaxed them into the next activity!

The next activity was called Transfer the Nectar and provided an eye dropper to transfer water from a container to an ice cube tray. Initially, the children found it challenging to fill the eye dropper with water and transfer it to the next bowl. Their faces lit up once the mastered it. They worked diligently to fill an entire ice cube compartment with water. The activity led to great discussions on how we carry food versus how a bee transports food. Even I learned bees have two stomachs!!

Our final game was Fill the Honeycomb. Each child was given a piece of paper with flowers that had numbers on them. We placed orange bingo chips on each number. Included in the lesson plan was a large honeycomb poster and the object of the game was to move the bingo chip “pollen” from the flowers to the honeycomb. The children rolled a di to determine how many pieces of “pollen” to transfer. The kids worked well together to fill the honeycomb up and it was a great number review for my daughter who only consistently recognizes 1-10.

There was a recipe card for an adorable bee snack. However, we were going to be taking our lunch on the road and I had already promised my daughter sunbutter and jelly sandwiches, which is rather rare at our house. To keep with the theme, I allowed them to spread the bread and then use a bee and butterfly cookie cutter to have appropriately shaped sandwiches! The kids spontaneously made a game out of using the leftover bread scraps as letters!

Also included in the lesson pack were cards showing a bees life cycle. My son enjoyed cutting them out and examining them closely. I love how Mother Goose Time includes both real pictures and illustrations.

MGT Blog Ambassador

 

Mother Goose Time Throwback

Sometimes I am simply amazed at how something from a Mother Goose Time lesson will pop up months after the initial activity. I believe it was during November’s Mother Goose Time unit on transportation, we washed a toy car with a toothbrush. It was a fun thing we did that one time but not something any of us had mentioned since. This weekend, my son asked if he could wash his toy truck with a toothbrush, squirt bottle, and soap again. I gave him his supplies and he went to work, meticulously cleaning his toy truck. Holding the toothbrush, squeezing the squirt bottle, and dispensing the soap all help develop the hand muscles necessary for writing skills. I was impressed with his concentration as he worked on his activity for close to an hour and then moved on to cleaning an inherited garden gnome. Although I can only guess at his thoughts, I can assume some of the content from those November lessons were probably swirling around in his brain as he worked!

Sometimes as an educator, it can be disappointing when children don’t receive lessons like we hope. However, little moments like this remind me looks can be deceiving and they are often learning more than they let on!

MGT Blog Ambassador

Springtime with Mother Goose Time

We had a late start with March’s lessons and just seemed to never get into a good rhythm. Thus, I decided to get a jump start on our Bees & Butterflies lessons from Mother Goose Time. Butterflies are my daughter’s second favorite animal, so I knew she would be thrilled. My son meets each month’s theme with great enthusiasm and this month was no different!

Our first lesson focused on “Home” and we spent the day talking about beehives. There were two parts of the lessons the kids LOVED. The first was an obvious choice, painting, but the other surprised me–the monthly name tag.

Each month’s curriculum provides a nametag for the children to practice writing their names. For the first five months, I simply wrote their names and they traced them. Then I started putting dots for my son as clues on where to start his letters. Last month, he mastered writing his name legibly! Not to be out done, my daughter has been desperately trying to write her own name. Today, after tracing her name once, she wrote it several times on her own! Both kids were giddy with excitement and wrote their names multiple times on both sides of the name tag provided and then asked for additional paper to practice. Then they decided to try to write each others’ names, some attempts were more legible than others but they were so proud!!

The other favorite part of the day was Beehive stamping. We talked about beehives and what is inside. Included in the lesson was a paper beehive and bubble wrap. They were still excited about the name writing exercise and wrote their names on the beehives before covering everything with paint! The kids were supposed to use the bubble wrap to paint the beehive. Although they were fascinated with the bubble wrap and trying to pop it but didn’t enjoy painting with it. At one point, they were using the beehive cutout to transfer paint onto construction paper. However, they mainly used their hands. After the beehives were soaked with paint, they spent a great deal of time painting the construction paper and the paper plates I gave them as palettes. My daughter even did a little impromptu color mixing experiment to see what colors we could make. There was such copious amounts of paint involved, I am not sure when the paper will dry to allow us to finish the craft!!

The next activity was an adorable beehive rhyme. The lesson included a poster with the words and illustration and then an activity to transform a simple rhyme into an interactive learning experience. My son cut out paper bees and attached Velcro stickers to the back. Then we decided where the Velcro should attach on the poster. The Velcro stickers were strong and worked those fine motor skills! We sang the rhyme and counted using both the bees and our fingers. My son was very interested in the mechanics of the Velcro and kept attaching and detaching the bees from the poster. Then we took turns hiding the bees around the room and then searching for them. I think all the Easter egg hunts inspired them to be more creative with their hiding.

One of this month’s manipulatives are attribute blocks. Usually I introduce the manipulatives a few days before starting lessons but this month I waited until indicated in the teacher’s guide. For our final activity, we were to use the blocks to explore hexagons. The children were encouraged to build a tower, count the sides of the shapes, identify the hexagons, and finally create a beehive design. Unfortunately, by this point the kids were getting tired and both wanted to play with the lacing beads that were also included. My son indulged me but I look forward to observing them explore these blocks more in the coming weeks.

As a working mom, I don’t usually add much to the already impressively comprehensive Mother Goose Time curriculum but I have so many ideas for this month!! Follow along as we fly into the wonderful world of Bees & Butterflies!

MGT Blog Ambassador

Teaching Preschoolers the Ten Commandments

Mother Goose Time’s Christian Experience uses the story of Moses in the desert to teach “God ask me to obey.” What parent doesn’t want their child to learn this lesson?!?! However, sometimes this is easier said than done! Nevertheless, the Christian Experience provides an entire book of age appropriate lessons and 4 crafts to help children understand this important concept.

IMG_6186

This weekend, we made “stone tablets” and cut and glued the 10 commandments to it. We talked about the importance of living by these commandments and the best way to start is memorizing scripture, ensuring God’s words are written on our hearts.

Then, we went on a walk and scavenged for rocks. We brought them home and painted them. Once the rocks were dry, we wrote verses on them to memorize. We placed the rocks around the house (mainly in our houseplants’ flower pots) as visual reminders.

Although I didn’t discuss the symbolism of the rocks with my children, parents could further discuss the imagery of rocks throughout the Bible. I couldn’t help but recall the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders from Matthew 7:24-27 that I learned as a child:

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

MGT Blog Ambassador