Try it, you’ll like it.
No matter how “good” of an eater your child is, you have probably used this phrase on more than one occasion. Despite my children’s usual hungry disposition, I have found myself coaxing them to try a new vegetable or new style of cooking vegetables. February’s Mother Goose Time’s Food and Fitness wastes no time in getting the conversation started about vegetables.
Our first activity of the day involved journaling, even prereaders (and non writers) are encouraged to participate. We discussed favorite foods and then closely examined the Vegetable Counters included in the teacher’s tool kit. They found trying to trace the counters frustrating, so we talked about their shapes and colors and then tried to draw the shapes independently. Lastly, they each attempted to draw a picture of themselves with their favorite foods on the cover. The teacher’s guide always provides suggestions on how to modify the activity for every student. Today’s advice for simplifying was to cutout and glue pictures of foods from grocery store ads onto the journal. I used this as an extension activity and they meticulously cut out all the food from several advertisements while I prepared supper.
“Sprout a bean” was our next activity. It lead into discussions on parts of a plant and requirements for plant growth. We started by experimenting with cotton balls and water. The children enjoyed wetting, squeezing, and shredding the cotton balls. Then we placed a wet cotton ball and bean in a plastic bag and went on a hunt to look for a sunny place for it to germinate. I knew my son truly understood the term germinate when he explained the activity to my husband that evening. As he was explaining why the bean was in the bag, he quickly walked over to one of my houseplants and yanked it out of the pot to show my husband the roots that his bean would soon form. The best part of the activity was the included observation log. The children were provided a chart to track the changes the bean goes through. My son checks on his bean almost hourly!
“Hide and Seek Vegetable Counters” was exactly what it sounds like. We took turns hiding the vegetable counters around the room and then the other two had to find where they were stashed. It is a simple premise but I am secretly hopefully that the monthly Mother Goose Time hide and seek games will help with visual acuity! After each round, we practiced counting and found multiple ways of grouping the counters. We talked about why vegetables are important and that they needed to eat 3-4 servings every day. The game was initially a delight but after a few rounds, it went from family fun to unfriendly competitive. Thus, it provided a great opportunity to discuss kindness and teamwork.
Due to the melt downs that ensued during the hide and seek games, we never did the suggested vegetable washing activity. However, for Christmas they received a vegetable brush and child safe knife. They truly take pride in helping with meal prep. I wish I had incorporated them in the process earlier.
Each month, the Mother Goose Time curriculum includes a CD that corresponds with the theme. In my opinion, December’s Sights and Sounds and January’s Goin on a Safari were outstanding. In comparison, I found this month’s to be a little cheesy. However, my children adore all the tracks and the song “Eat Broccoli” has become a staple around the dinner table.
I feel like a broken record, but I truly love how Mother Goose Time can take such mundane topics and captivate my children. Although children are curious by nature, Mother Goose Time is expanding on that and enables them to see the potential in everything around them! Find out more at mothergoosetime.com!