Ladybug (34 months) has always been highly inquisitive and active. Over the past year we have really enjoyed completing curriculum units from Sonlight and Timberdoodle. We’ve also rowed through several of the BFIAR stories. She loves to read, craft, sing, dance, and play outdoors. She’s been pushing me for some time to do more and more, but I really didn’t want to advance her to the next level of any of the above curriculums and end up overdoing it. She’s not quite 3 and I love that she loves to learn and want to keep it that way!
Recently, I found a new promising preschool curriculum, Mother Goose. Special thanks to Kris and her preschooler, Elion for sharing their fabulous experiences with Mother Goose on Instagram @homeschoolingworldof7 and on bookwishes.wordpress.com. Elion and Kris convinced me without even trying that our family was a good fit for this program. The activities and crafts looked like so much fun and learning was clearly happening! Mother Goose seemed like a perfect fit to give Ladybug more of what she needed without pushing her too hard to the next level with one of the other curriculum sets.
Owl (18 months) is equally interested in playing and learning. He’s old enough to want to do many of the activities that Ladybug completes, but still too young to have mastered many of the required motor and attention skills. I was happy to find that Mother Goose offers a toddler supplement called Little Goose that provides alternative methods that allow him to work alongside Ladybug as she completes the daily activities.
Since it’s our first week, I can’t tell you too much in the way of an official review, but I can say that so far it’s been a big hit with me and the kids! Both Ladybug and Owl loved the crafts and activities. By the end of the second day, my eldest was asking for Mother Goose Time and singing the theme song included on the CD. I loved the book suggestions, alternative activity selections for Owl, and the prepackaged ready to go educational crafts.
I’m happy to share what we’ve been up to as we explore our first week of Mother Goose. Mother Goose’s curriculum is arranged in monthly themes. This month’s theme is “Nature Detectives.” Below are several of the suggested activities and crafts. Some we completed exactly as directed and others we adapted for our unique interests and needs. The first week was a short one – only 3 days, but oh the fun we had! Ladybug is 34 months (almost 3 years old!!!) and Owl is 18 months.
Day 1 – Climbing Trees
Name Climbing: Ladybug is good at recognizing her letters, but we have yet to work on putting them together into words. Her name seemed like a good place to start. We had hoped to do this activity outside, but since rain kept us cooped up, we converted our living room into a pile of couch cushions, a baby mattress, and pillows. Using Bananagrams, I arranged Ladybug and Owl’s names onto the piano bench. I hid Bananagram letters including the those that make up their names throughout the couch and pillows.
As she found each letter, Ladybug matched it to a letter in either her or her brother’s name on the piano bench. She enjoyed this game and asked to play again. I’m looking forward to completing this activity outside and as part of a sensory bin using both capital and lower case letters with our Eureka Tub of Letter Tiles. **Note: You don’t need letter tiles of any kind to complete this Mother Goose Time activity. This is just what we had on hand and what worked for us 🙂
Nature Search: There was a poster included in Mother Goose that had illustrations of children completing a variety of fun activities outdoors. Little Goose, the toddler supplement to accompany Mother Goose suggested covering the poster with leaves and then discovering what was under each leaf one at a time. Both kids loved this plan. They loved collecting the Magnolia leaves from the neighbor’s yard, placing them over the poster, and then removing them one at a time to describe what was happening in the poster underneath. Ladybug did a fabulous job describing the activities she saw on the poster and even created a little story about the characters in the tree house. Owl contributed by naming colors and animals.
Dough Critter: This activity provided a recipe for making our very own play dough. We were to create a creature that would climb trees. I’m not sure if the kids enjoyed making the dough or creating their critters more. I loved watching them work together to make the dough and loved hearing them explain their creations to each other and Daddy! Ladybug created a porcupine and Owl made a bear.
Koala Bear Puppet: Ladybug loved exercising her newly acquired scissor skills to cut out the koala bear pattern. She enjoyed using the puppet and pretending that it was eating leaves throughout our house and backyard. She was super excited to get to use the glue and to have a reason to draw circles!
Tray Play: Owl was a big fan of one of the tray play activities suggested in Little Goose. This simple activity of moving animal images up and down and off and on trees provided a ton of enjoyment. The trees were super easy to make and we actually ended up using this craft as our activity for participation in Poppins Book Nook this month.
Outdoor Play: The assignment was to climb on playground equipment; never a problem for our little Ladybug. She mastered a new challenge, climbing this super steep set of climbing stairs (OK, as her Mom I thought it was death defying, but refuse to hold her back….lol). She pretended she was climbing a tree, while singing the Mother Goose song “Climbing Up a Tree” included in our kit.
Day 2 – Building with Trees
Ladybug absolutely loved playing with her shapes on this tree activity. She requested it multiple times. We took an Instagram picture and were tickled when Mother Goose Time shared it on their page 🙂
Pine Cone Birdfeeder: We are avid bird watchers! The kids both loved making these pine cone bird feeders. The concentration on Ladybug’s face while she puts this together warmed my heart and she was so proud of her finished masterpiece.
This, dear readers, is what happens when you let the 18 month old make his own pine cone bird feeder! LOL I’m so glad we did this activity on the screened in porch. It was raining or we would have been outside. I’ve also learned I need to get enough materials to let this adorable little man play/craft along with his big sister. Process art anyone?!? 🙂
The kids also loved the story that went with this day’s suggested activities, “Leaf Man,” by Lois Ehlert. We had a fabulous time combing leaves from our backyard and our neighbor’s yard to mimic the leaf critters pictured in this book. I loved that this book and the others suggested for this week were all available from the local library!
Day 3 – Painting Trees
Painting Trees: My kids love paint. This activity was an easy sell. The activity was simple, but very well received. Ladybug loved making the trees using the painter’s tape and of course enjoyed applying the paint. She started using the tape to create the letters E and F, which also made this Momma smile. “Look Mommy, I made a tree shapes like a F.” 🙂
The music included with Mother Goose Time was an unexpected bonus for my kids. Both of them love the songs. Mother Goose Time posted a Friday Freebie on their Facebook page for the youtube video Preschool Learn to Dance – Rainforest Explorer, part of their Dance ‘n Beats program. Apparently, there is a dance component that provides easy steps that can help preschoolers learn to dance set to the music on the CD already included in the monthly kit. This may be a must try for us! Anyone have any experience with this?
Mother Goose Time has been a huge hit for me and for my kids. I’m excited to continue with this curriculum and will continue to share excerpts from our activities and experience.
Do you Mother Goose?
I’m looking to connect with other Mother Goose Time parents and I’d love to hear from you!