Thursday, November 23, 2017

S is for Serpent

We've been battling sickness around here...
stuffy noses, hacking coughs, and constant snuggle time make for long days.
However even during the struggle of these days, it is so nice to break open a Mother Goose Time bag and explore the new items that make learning so much fun.

Snake day was just what both my girl and this momma needed, and it was perfect to tie in a lesson from our Experience God pack (Eve tempted by the serpent).

We started our day with a table top activity to build a snake. 



The pieces resembled dominoes, except they had stripes or dots. Sweet Pea and I took turns build our snake.  I love how this activity allows the snake to look different each time you build it.  We must've rebuilt this snake at least 10 different times throughout the day.  It was also the first thing she showed Daddy when he came home.  Here's a quick video of us building it together...


After building the snakes, I pulled out our Experience God pack. Before we did anything, I read the story from Sweet Pea's Bible. Of all the Bibles I have seen for little kids, this one is my absolute favorite!  The pictures are perfect, and the truths are spot on.  Daddy reads it each night and this is our 3rd time to go through it. 


After reading about the story in the Bible, I then used our Experience God pictures to retell the story and asked Sweet Pea to point and tell me about what she saw in the pictures.  
MGT does a superb job in their graphics.  I just love all these pictures.



Afterwards, she worked on her cutting skills by crafting a serpent from the materials in our Experience God pack.



Later that afternoon after the glue had dried, Sweet Pea told me different ways Adam and Eve sinned (didn't obey God; did not listen; hid...),
 and we wrote them on some of the orange squares she placed on her snake. 

Then, it was glorious nap time.

While she napped, I prepped our next snake activity:
an uppercase and lowercase matching activity using snakes and trees.


    

When she woke up she was ready to play.  It's amazing how a little rest rejuvenates the body.
We discussed how many snakes live in trees especially in the rainforest.  She slithered her snakes along the pink lines in our carpet and matched the uppercase snake pictures to the lowercase trees.
I thought I would stump her with "d" and "b," but matching those two did not phase her one bit!

So today is Thanksgiving, and I couldn't be more thankful to be able to spend time having fun with my girl even on sick days.  




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Make and Play: Taking Learning Home

I am so impressed with the math skills my 3 year old is learning thanks to the help of Mother Goose Time.  Last year, when Sweet Pea was 2, we usually skipped out on the Make and Play crafts that were in our unit kit.  This year though, we are not skipping them!
Here's why:

  1. The Make and Play's can be great games to take home and reinforce concepts...like math! 

Last week, Sweet Pea decorated all 12 mushroom caps, and I hot glued them to cut pieces of thick straw.  We then stuck all 12 mushrooms in play dough and drew cards numbered 1-10 to subtract that many mushrooms from our patch, each time asking,
"How many are left in the patch?





You could easily turn this into an addition game by starting with an empty patch of play dough, drawing a card (ie. 3), placing that many mushrooms, drawing another card (ie. 5), and placing that many mushrooms.  Then have your little one count and see that 3+5=8.

Here's a little video of this in action:


What a fun game to play at home with the family!

2.  The Make and Play's become puppets to use in other lessons.

Our first lesson in our Rainforest unit was on Jaguars.  During our Make and Play, Sweet Pea turned the letter J into a Jaguar. which you can see below.  When she finished, I just hung it up in her playroom, but it became a puppet in our monkey lesson 5 days later...

       

In our monkey lesson, I sang a rhyme provided by MGT and the Jaguar would scare Monkeys off the vine or tree.  Sweet Pea loved this game and was really into using her Jaguar to scare the Monkeys.  

Here's a little clip of it in action:



3. Make and Play's can become toys to help explain concepts learned during the day.

If you missed our Leafcutter Ant day, be sure to read about it here.
On that day, we made a Make and Play Leafcutter Ant from an egg carton.  The paint was still wet, so the other day, Sweet Pea finished creating her ant.  She played with it throughout the morning making it carry leaves to build a nest.  Explaining leafcutter ants is a tough concept for preschoolers, but by being able to use a toy, parents can easily see what little ones are trying to tell them.


Make and Play's are not just crafts, but great ways to take the learning home!
So before you trash that craft project that was brought home, be sure to ask and talk to your preschooler about it and see how you can use it at home.

When kids see that the home and school are incorporated, it becomes understood that learning happens all the time- everywhere.

Have fun Making and Playing!



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