This month we are completing a unit of Mother Goose Time focusing on fables and folktales. We have had a blast learning about Aesop’s Fables. I posted activities and crafts from the days we focused on “The Lion and the Mouse” and “The Crow and the Pitcher.” Follow Pray Species on Instagram and Facebook to see even more Mother Goose Time fable and folktale inspired crafts and activities.
This week we focused on Paul Bunyan. Mother Goose Time included storyboard pieces for each Paul Bunyan story. I laminated the pieces and placed Velcro on the back so they could be used with our felt board. I’ve found that this method works well for engaging both of my children, while I read. My 19 month old tends to wander and the pieces hold his attention and focus. My 36 month old LOVES to read and will keep at it for hours, but enjoys the pieces and perhaps, most notably is able to use them to retell the story to me and to her younger brother.
We also love taking Mother Goose Time outside to complete the enclosed projects or crafts. I find when given the option for free play, the kids are fond of creating stories and activities based on whatever book or topic we have covered that day. Since, Paul Bunyan was rocked to sleep on a raft as a baby, my littles built a raft out of sticks and practiced rocking a variety of babies to sleep; rocks, sippy cups, and a most unfortunate earth worm. They also played with water and recreated a river complete with log jam.
Here are a few of the kid’s favorite activities for the week according to story.
The Birth of Paul Bunyan
We also played with a growth chart, which the kids listed as a definite highlight. I taped a tree themed measuring tape on the refrigerator (provided by Mother Goose Time) and then used laminated leaves to measure the height of both kids and some randomly chosen items around the kitchen. First, I wrote both kids names on the leaves and the names of three other items. I made to sure to include at least one item that started with the same first letter as my eldest’s name to up the ante for her, since she is starting to really develop a better understanding of her letters and is learning to recognize her own name. Because they are kids and they are mine, they insisted on standing or climbing in and on every item we measured, including the Minnie Mouse Bucket!
We also played a simple game of letter recognition to focus on the letters A, B, and C. We matched upper and lower case letters and them matched those with some simple words that started with those letters. I put the banner letters (provided by Mother Goose Time) onto the piano and had my youngest hand all the cards to my eldest, who was then in charge of sorting the cards into the correct place. I love that not only are they learning together, but they are also learning how to work together as a team. Anything that promotes sibling harmony is a blessing in my book!
Babe the Blue Ox
My kids love to paint and outside, I love to let them. So, we mixed blue for Babe the blue ox with yellow for Bessie the cow and got green. Isn’t it nice when it works the way it’s supposed to? This activity worked very well in helping the kids remember what happens when you combine the primary colors of yellow and blue. Ladybug also enjoyed reading her “I Can Read Book,” which reinforces some simple sight words (“is,” “the,” and “likes”).
Paul Bunyan and the Flapjacks
I have some pancake lovers in the house who greatly enjoyed this story and the associated crafts. We made pancakes complete with strawberry preservatives (thanks Aunt Gail – they were a huge hit, especially with little Owl!!!!) We also created a breakfast pan using supplies from Mother Goose Time. Ladybug practiced counting and flipping her pretend flapjacks in the pan at the play stove for ages. She loved the enclosed pretend butter and bacon.
Both kids really enjoyed “sorting flapjacks.” Using shape manipulatives provided by Mother Goose Time, I had them take turns sorting shapes onto plates as fast as they could. For added fun, they took each shape off our “pretend stove” and had to race it across the floor to the plate to keep it warm. Both kids loved this so much, we repeated the sorting activity later using our sliding glass door. The shapes are foam, so by spraying a little water they stuck right to the glass.
Paul Bunyan and the Log Jam
The highlight for this story was a puzzle with numbers that indicated the order in which the pieces needed to be placed back together. Ladybug completed this activity several times. I loved that it simply and without any work on my part reinforced her understanding of numbers and chronological order.
Paul Bunyan and the Frozen Flames
This story was an excellent opportunity to discuss fire safety with both kids. We reviewed how important it was to get outside immediately in the case of a fire. That a fire in the house (when not controlled, i.e. in the fireplace or associated with intentional cooking) is an appropriate time to scream for help and is a real emergency. We developed a plan for calling to loved ones, getting outside as quickly as possible, telling a neighbor, and meeting at the apple tree next door. Using baking soda “flames” we sprayed vinegar onto the “fire” as a crafting tool to discuss firefighters and putting out fires. On the enclosed painting sheet, with the heading, “Don’t Hide, Go Outside,” which I love, we combined red and yellow paints to make orange. We also crafted a firefighter hat!
We had two favorite books this week. The first was a delightful picture book from Tomie DePaola, entitled “Pancakes for Breakfast“. My husband and I have read this book, so much we are considering getting a permanent copy. Ladybug has started reading it to Owl and anyone else she can find. It’s fabulous! She can tell how to go about getting more eggs, more milk, and more Maple syrup with none of the answers involving the grocery store – win!
The other favorite of the week is “No Dragons for Tea,” by Jean Pendziwol and Martine Gourbault. This book is cute and rhymes and talks about how to make sure you keep your family safe if there is a fire. It was a fabulous compliment to our Paul Bunyan and the Frozen Flames activities.
Next week, we are covering International Folktales with Mother Goose Time!
I’ll be sure to share a few activities with you 🙂
Are you home schooling a preschooler?
I’m looking to connect with other parents who are homeschooling preschool and I’d love to hear from you!
As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.