Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mother Goose Time - at the counter, at the table, preschool co-op, Grandma's house and outside!

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We have been having a lot of fun learning about "My Amazing Body" with Mother Goose Time.  When we learned about heads we made paper bag puppets.  Adam wanted to stand on his chair while he worked and I was afraid he would fall off so I moved him to the learning tower at the counter.  He was able to stand and move and wiggle with out a worry of falling off.
He built himself a nice little puppet with brown hair and a yellow shirt, oh and four eyes!
Later we got out our tanagrams and built people using the shape design mat this time moving back to the table.
But not only have we been learning with Mother Goose Time at home, we have also been learning with Mother Goose Time at our brand new preschool co-op.  One of our fellow bloggers is teaching the preschool class and she made an amazing interactive Circle Time board.  It's magnetic and the metal is screwed to heavy wood boards that can be laid on the ground and walked on.  We all sit around the board as we stick the magnets on and then sing the songs.
Here is a little guy walking right across the board as he chooses the weather for the day.
Next Stephanie has us move onto stations.  At the first station we investigate, since we were learning about islands, we floated our alphabet islands in a little bin of water and tried to see what we could balance on them.
When it was just one square it was really hard.
If we got it just right we could make them balance.
But then I helped Adam connect all four alphabet squares.  We could balance everything on their at once!
It was so much fun to do Mother Goose Time in a room full of other preschoolers.  I was asked to teach the class initially but I knew Adam most likely, wouldn't let me.  I was right.  He wouldn't let me leave his side.  Maybe after a few weeks he will.  For us though, this is the best case scenario.  I can help Stephanie as an assistant, stay with Adam and give him the opportunity to learn with his peers!
Adam also made a pirate patch and posed with his brothers.  They are taking a conversational Spanish class.  We are only there for an hour every Wednesday, but everyone LOVES it!
Did I mention that it's really hard work to do preschool for an hour?
Another new thing for us this year is the morning program at my boy's homeschool charter school.  They are going from 9 to noon on Tuesday and Thursdays.  The school is in the next town over but it's only 6 blocks from my parents house.  So we go there while we wait for brothers.  Since Mother Goose Time is so easy to pack, I throw it in a bag and we are ready to go.  So we got to do Mother Goose Time at Grandma's.  He worked on his pocket and checked on Grandpa who was chatting on the phone.
I put a little tape on the end of the string to make it easier for Adam to thread.  He went up and down through the holes in perfect order.
And Grandpa is still on the phone.  Grandpa was talking to Uncle Dale and teased that Adam was doing school to learn more, "as if Adam needs to learn more" he said.  They sure do get a kick out of his vocabulary.
After he completed the pocket I wrote his name in pencil and he traced it with a crayon.
Now here we are at a new location!  Lachlan insisted that we move outside for school on this day.  The big boys were doing their math so I brought out Adam's math which was the pocket cube and tanagrams.  But he wouldn't have it.  He wanted a paper and pencil because that's what brothers were doing.  So I got out his My Little Journal and turned it to the number one page and the number two page.  He traced a bunch of number ones and then did the twos perfectly.
After that we moved onto these awesome and new hidden pictures.  These things are so cool and captivating for all kids.  So much so it was hard for the big boys to focus.  There were hidden pictures with letters in them, so they had to find the skirt on a girls dress with the capital letter H hidden in it. Or the shirt with the capital letter A hidden in it.  
He had a great time working through every single one.  We got to talk about all the letters and shapes hidden in the pictures and it really reinforced his knowledge and helped us introduce some new concepts too.
These are my new favorite learning tool from Mother Goose Time.  For now anyhow, I am sure I will have a new one tomorrow, they are all just so good!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Is Mother Goose Time Worth the Money? - How we use it and could we do it with out MGT.

 *This post may contain affiliate links.

First up, how we use Mother Goose Time.

We have continued to fly through the Superhero theme from Mother Goose Time.  In the first week we built our superhero wardrobe, in the second week we learned about superhero powers.  First super speed.  Since we were talking about running super fast, our Inspiration to Create was all about shoes.  Mother Goose Time provided us with this colorful inspiration photo of a bunch of feet and shoes.  The Inspiration to Create art projects are meant to be process based art versus project based art.  Project based is creating art with a goal of specific outcome, processed based art is more about the process of creating with little concern for the outcome of the piece.  (None of this I knew before using MGT.)

So with that in mind, I wanted to show you the stages Adam went through as he created.  First he looked at the inspiration photo and saw all the colors.  He grabbed his markers and added all the colors he had seen.  Then he took a moment to admire his work.
I had supplied him with a hole punch and a red shoe lace.  We worked together to punch holes in the corners and he started stringing the lace through the holes.
When he got through the third hole, he discovered that his lace was not long enough to get through the forth hole and he got very upset.  I suggested we tie the extra lace I had to the first lace to make it extra long.
 The lace was finally able to string through all four holes and he was very happy.
Next we learned about Super Strength and built our own dumbbell.  He painted two paper plates and when he was done he kept painting the paper underneath.
 Then our chicken jumped on the towel draped over the wheelbarrow and was surprised to sink down.
 We watched the solar eclipse.
After the paint had dried (a few days later) I cut holes in the paper plates, rolled up the black paper and placed the paper plates on the ends.  Now we had a proper dumbbell to do some strength training with.
 We were given this Strength Training spinner to spin and then do the exercise.  We did bicep curls, side raises, shoulder press, and squats.

Then we went to the eye doctor and Adam sat in the chair "like a big brother".  This is what he calls himself when he does something a big boy can do because he wants to be like his big brothers.
 Then we went to the dentist where they have the best waiting room toys ever.
 He also got his very own dentist chair "like his big brothers".
Eventually I took the time to set up our Circle Time display for the coming year.  All this stuff comes in the Welcome Kit you get when you order your first box of Mother Goose Time.  You get the letters, the calendar, the theme poster and the topic poster new with each month.
I am so thankful for how easily Mother Goose Time fits into our crazy life.  It allows for me to have priceless moments of learning and creativity with Adam.  Moments I would not have the time or energy to put together myself, moments that prepare him for Kindergarten.  This alone makes Mother Goose Time worth every penny.

It did get me curious though about the actual monetary value of Mother Goose Time.  So I took the time to put together the cost of buying some of the things you get in a box of Mother Goose Time from Amazon. I wanted to see what I would have to pay to put together something like this on my own.
To buy a puzzle, a calendar and weather display, two music CDs, a bag of STEAM manipulatives, and a bag of counting manipulatives, a children's book, basic craft supplies like construction paper, googly eyes and cotton balls we are already at $59 approximately.  But I ran out of time to keep shopping, I would need to look for children's games, and many more craft supplies to really find out the true value. (Maybe a more detailed post is required.)
For a box of MGT with supplies for one child it's $67 a month (plus shipping), less if you pay for more than one month at a time.  But in each box you get so much more than the basic items I priced on Amazon.  You get all those things and more all put together in a theme that your child will LOVE. On top of that, you get detailed instructions on how to carry out activities that will teach and train your child in 33 areas of skill development. Which translates to a peace of mind, another thing that is hard to put a price tag on. AND it's easy to do!  You get 20 daily discovery bags that are filled with everything you need, you just open and go.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Building a Superhero Wardrobe with Mother Goose Time

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In the first week of fun with Mother Goose Time's Superhero theme we created our Superhero wardrobe.  Starting with a superhero symbol and then the cape of course.  My oldest was gone on cape day so we had one extra set of supplies and asked our little neighbor if she wanted to come over.  Her and Adam are such a good pair.  They play so well together.  I helped cut out the cape shape and they decorated with stickers and markers.
The cuteness is a bit overwhelming when these two are together.
After making our capes we played a game called Cape Trick.

I first set it up with just five items but then I made it more challenging for Lucy and Peter who are six years old.
I had them look away and then I took one item and hid it under a fabric cape we have in our dress up collection.  Then I would ask, what's under the cape?  They loved this game and we played it many times.
Then we played the Fly and Rescue game which we adapted a bit to make it easier for Adam and changed it to play with just one child.  It was intended for a group of children to sit in a circle and "fly" to the center to grab a letter tile, then roll the pocket cube and check to see if the tile they rescued matched anything on the cube.

Adam just simply looked at the cube, found a letter and looked at the letter tiles on his board to see if he could find a match.  Then he placed the matching tile on the cube.  Yes, I could have rounded up siblings to play this with him and it would have been a lot of fun.  But they were all super busy doing their own thing and Adam loves investigating things like this.  So you can totally adapt these games and activities to fit their personalities too.
Next up it was time to make our Superhero Mask.  I tell you what, these Make & Play crafts make AMAZING photography props.
I will cherish these photos forever.

Now that we had a cape and mask I knew that trying to jump off of something to fly was not far behind.  Adam has already broken his foot trying to fly, so I decided to face this potential problem head on and provided a small step stool for superhero jumping.  Not the best photo, there is a lot of blur, but I think you get the idea.  And of course he is wearing no pants.  Do three year olds where pants?
The last piece of the wardrobe was the Superhero Belt.  He used A LOT of glue for his jewels.  So he had to wait a long time to put it on.  Mother Goose Time thinks of everything and they gave us a set of Velcro tabs for each belt.  That way it can come on and off.  With the wardrobe complete I had to take pictures.  I had no choice.

It was the end of the day and when he stood on the patio his shadow cast perfectly towards me so I had him stand in a "superhero" pose, although now that I look at him it looks a bit more like Peter Pan.

Our old fence has lead to some amazing pictures over the years.  Unfortunately it's about to fall over in many places so we will have to to work on putting something new in.  But I am going to make my husband try to save a panel or two of the fence that I can use as a photography backdrop.
He gave me all sorts of goofy poses.

This last one is my absolute favorite and it was a perfect format for a quote to be placed on the photo.  This is a wonderful quote from Dana at Care.Craft.Cook.
And of course the fists are out and he is ready for take off.
He learned, he played, he crafted and I photographed. :)