This week the Mother Goose Time theme of Friends and Feelings focuses on identifying emotions. The Teacher Guide makes quickly putting together a day of fun and learning a simple task. Most of the materials needed for the crafts and activities are included in the monthly themed box and all other materials are listed separately and include materials commonly found around the house. Everyday after breakfast we use the monthly calendar to review months and days of the week.
The first of the daily topics on identifying feelings is dedicated to more fully understanding the emotion of happy. We had a lot of fun making happy faces and discussing how we look and act when we are happy. We also sang the recommended song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It” supplied on the included Circle Time CD.
“My Feelings Book” provides space for the kids to record things that make them feel each of the featured emotions. Ladybug said she felt most happy when she was able to play outside, help her Daddy in the garden, and go to gymnastics. We spent some time making happy faces in the mirror and drawing how our faces looked.
Included in the welcome kit from Mother Goose Time, is a brightly colored map of the world which the kids love. “Global friends” arrive as part of the monthly kits and give us a chance to talk about other countries and cultures. The global friend for this day is from France and the kids were able to find Europe on the map and discuss how we could travel from North America to Europe (airplane, boat, etc.). This global friend also introduced us to a French game called Petanque [pay-tonk]. While playing the game we discussed what games make us happy and what games make us frustrated.
Both kids (3 years and 21 months) really enjoyed playing Petanque and it was a fabulous exercise in teaching them to follow rules and take turns. To play, stand behind a line (we used masking tape to create one); toss a bean bag or paper wad; then, roll a bouncy ball towards the originally thrown object. The goal is to get the bouncy ball as close to the originally thrown object as possible. Take turns. Measure the distance from the bouncy ball to the original object and see who is able to get the closest.
The Woodcutter’s Woes is a short story about a man granted three wishes. He wishes for things to make him happy, but ultimately ends up using his final wish to improve the life of his loved one, rather than for material objects. Each time an emotion is mentioned, we made a face to correspond to that emotion. We practiced being happy, sad, mad, and surprised. This story is a fun way to discuss people that you and your children love and how happiness comes from being around others and enjoying life, not necessarily from possessions.
The final reflection of the day was to discuss what makes us happy. We have actually incorporated this into our daily nighttime routine. We spend a few minutes each evening after prayers and story time to discuss what we are grateful for each day. I’ve enjoyed the responses from the kids and my husband so much, I’ve actually started a family journal to record them.
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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.