Welcome December! With a newborn in the house, I am even more delighted than normal that Mother Goose Time continues to create delightful and captivating thematic play based study. My toddler and preschooler are loving the chance to get some positive encouragement from Mom as they complete their projects. My sleep deprived and addled brain is grateful for the cohesive collection of ideas and materials that keeps them interested, engaged, and away from countless hours in front of the television.
The Mother Goose Time theme for December 2015 is Sights and Sounds of Winter. The first week was dedicated to learning about the Orchestra with daily focus given to drums, woodwinds, horns, stringed instruments, and piano. Coloring pages with the name of each instrument labeled in both Spanish and English are available online. This week,the kids started their Mother Goose Time activities after breakfast each day by coloring, while I cleaned up the table. Several of the coloring sheets made their way to a place of honor, hanging on the fridge.
Every month Mother Goose Time provides name tags for the kids to practice writing/learning how to spell their names. We are still in the letter recognition phase with both children. Ladybug (3 years old) was able to use this letter stamp kit from Melissa and Doug to “write” her name with some help from Grandma.
The first letter in Owl’s name is a “T”. I used painter’s tape to outline a “T” on the ground and allowed him to trace the letter with his toy cars. This kept him busy and happy, while Ladybug created and designed her name tag.
Using pulp plates, wooden dowels, wooden beads, and yarn the kids designed and created hand drums. Both little ones loved making the drums, but enjoyed playing with them even more. Sadly, the drums simply weren’t meant for rough play and fell apart pretty quickly. We have added a real hand drum to the wish list for both kids for Christmas!
We spent lots of time playing with the musical instruments we have around the house. The drum, tambourine, maracas, and harmonica were the kids favorite ways to make music. There was singing, humming, and marching in a pretend parade.
Mother Goose Time challenged us with rhythm pattern cards indicating we should clap, stomp, or play the drum. The kids did a great job of doing the actions in the order the cards dictated. This is a great first step towards being able to understand music. Pattern recognition is also instrumental in learning how to read. It was also great fun!
I use Little Goose Time, the toddler supplement to help incorporate my two year old into the day’s activities. One of my favorite parts of Little Goose is the daily tray activities. They do require some set up and pre-work, but are fun and engaging activities to give him when the regular Mother Goose Time exercises are beyond his current reach. In the simple activity pictured below, Owl was invited to bang on the cup with the matching shape with a stick. Originally I turned over one card (post-it) at a time and had him hit the corresponding shape on the cup. Once he had mastered that activity, I turned over all the cards and had him hit the corresponding shapes on the cups in order. He had fun changing the order of the cards and re-arranging the cups.
We also made kazoos out of cardboard tubes decorated with markers, rubber bands, and cellophane. The kids enjoyed playing with the kazoos. There was also a lively discussion of the many different noises one could make with one’s body.
The theme poster showed different sounds and sights you might see inside and outside on a winter’s day. The kids always love the monthly poster and this month was no exception. They worked together to identify and count all the animals, tracks, instruments, and assorted other images.
Cards containing orchestral instruments were provided for this week. We used an online resource to listen to the different instruments and practiced identifying the different musical instruments by ear. With my eldest we played a traditional memory game and she did very well.
With my youngest, I did more of a seek and find game. I would turn over one card with an instrument and have him find the instrument that matched. We kept all the cards facing upright for this activity. He also did a great job and I was impressed that he was able to differentiate between the violin and cello. So proud of my sweet toddlers!
At the time of this post, Ladybug is 3 years old (40 months), Owl is 2 days away from turning 2 years old, and our newest is 2 1/2 weeks old. We are feeling blessed beyond all reason and a little sleep deprived 🙂
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.