Jul 26, 2017

Canoe STEM Challenge

We have been loving this month's Mother Goose Time theme, Camping! There have been some really fun topics every day, but our favorite this week was Day 17: Canoe. We did three out of the four activities, and the boys were so engaged in each one. We actually did our activities backwards. One of the things I love about this curriculum is how versatile it is. Even though it is all planned out for you, it is still flexible. You don't have to follow everything in order. You can pick and choose, go backwards like we did, or even change the way you want to run through everything entirely. The benefit of having everything provided at your fingertips, is that you can just easily go with whatever feels right. No stress!


We started the day with this month's I Can Read book. The book was about what you can do at the river. Basically it asked a question and the kids could check the box for "yes" or "no". My kids love answering questionnaires and surveys, so this was really fun for them! Kingston read the questions to Bentley since Benny can't read yet. It was perfect because it allowed K (who is a fluent reader) to take a leadership roll. He showed Bentley that each of the sentences began with the same few words, and had him read them with him. I liked watching them work together to complete the book. 


After they finished, I set up the "station". Today was Dough Canoes, and the boys were really excited to get their hands on the Play Doh. I swear, it just never gets old! I set out the craft sticks that came with it, but to make it a bit more interesting and offer more options, I also set out some Wooden Skill Sticks from CraftProjectIdeas. These looked authentic and the boys imaginations started cranking. 


I always find myself drawn to the daily stations in the Teacher Guide. They are always simple to set up and incredibly engaging for the kids. Once the kids had their dough, I started showing them an example of a the canoe shape. We looked up pictures of different canoes online for inspiration and used the cover picture from today's bag also. 


Bentley was super focused on his. I showed him how to pinch up the sides. He got some great fine motor work in as he molded and shaped. We broke the craft sticks into thirds and took advantage of the teachable moment to introduce some basic real life fractions. 


Benny put his craft sticks in the center as seats, and then I helped him attach a support along the bottom of the boat so that it would be sturdy enough to play with. He was so very proud of his finished canoe. We imagined what kind of fish he would catch while on his canoe, and it opened up some great discussions!


Kingston took a little camping detour and brought it back to one of our previous days by first building a campfire with his materials! I loved that his brain went there first. Mother Goose Time always seems to provide activities that really bring out the creativity in kids.  


He just had to roast a nice big marshmallow before canoe building time. This kid cracks me up!


Then he got to work crafting his canoe. He followed the method that Bentley and I had used to make his. His finished product was adorable, and just perfect for our next activity! I couldn't have planned it better. 


The last activity we did was the Canoe Challenge. We used the Math Story Cards, but instead of the rocks and sticks suggested, we used our dough canoes and our craft sticks became people! Bentley went first. I gave him one that was simple enough for his skill level. It simply said, "There were 4 people in a canoe." He counted out 4 people and stuck them into his boat. He was so proud that he got it right. Look at that sweet face!


Kingston did two of the other cards that were addition and subtraction word problems. He loved them and had fun adding and subtracting "people" in the canoe. I absolutely loved this activity. It was as if Mother Goose Time planned it just for us! I was able to easily give each child a challenge that was good for each of their specific levels without having to put in any extra effort to tailor it to them. 


Today went so well! The boys were engaged from the beginning to the end, and spent quite a bit of time afterwards imagining and making up scenarios with their dough canoes. Slam dunk MGT! 

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As a Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador, I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.



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Jul 14, 2017

Camping Books for Kids


One of the things I love most about homeschooling is finding amazing books that tie into whatever we are learning about. In the past, I would spend hours on Amazon and on the library catalog searching for books that fit our current topic. When I signed on to work with Mother Goose Time, I had no idea how amazing their monthly book choices would be, and just how EASY it would make our library trips!



Every month inside of the Teacher Guide, there are "suggested stories". Each day there is a different suggested story that fits both the broad monthly theme and the narrower day's topic. We have enjoyed these book suggestions so much over the past two months. Now, instead of searching, I have my list at the ready. I pop onto my library's database and order all of the books. It doesn't get simpler than that! 



Below you will find some great comprehensive camping themed book suggestions from both Mother Goose Time and one's that we found on our own and have enjoyed!



Curious George Goes Camping - by Margret & H.A. Rey's


Bailey Goes Camping by Kevin Henkes


Biscuit Goes Camping by Alyssa Satin Capucilli


Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer


Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London


A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen


Maisy Goes Camping by Lucy Cousins


The Berenstain Bears Go to Camp by Stan and Jan Berenstain


The Berenstain Bears Blaze A Trail by Stan and Jan Berenstain


Stella & Roy Go Camping by Ashley Wolff


When We Go Camping by Margriet Ruurs 


Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman




The Kids Campfire Book by Jane Drake


Arthur's Camp-Out by Lillian Hoban








Sleeping In a Sack by Linda White 






The Bear Scouts by Stan and Jan Berenstain




Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems by Kristine O'Connell George


We have been loving reading all of these books along with our Mother Goose Time activities! We chose a great balance of leveled reader books that Kingston has been reading to his siblings, picture books for everyone, and larger activity books that we have been using to dig deeper into the topics introduced in our MGT curriculum.




Stay tuned to see more Camping themed activities from our box this month!

I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.


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Jul 7, 2017

Easy Campfire Snack for Kids

This month, our Mother Goose Time theme is CAMPING! This is so exciting for us, because we love camping. Not only that, but we have a camping trip planned for right after this theme ends. It couldn't be more perfect. This week, we explored At The Campsite. The topics for this week were awesome! So much so, that we may try to extend this week a little bit. This week's topics were: Backpack, Tent, Sleeping Bag, Campfire, and Guitar.


One of our favorite activities that we did this week was this easy campfire snack for kids!! My favorite part is that it pretty required zero parental involvement to create. I love cooking with my kids in the kitchen, but I love that MGT provided a recipe that the kiddos could execute on their own. 


Like any good recipe, this one was flexible! We used what we had on hand (which was slim pickings) and improvised. The recipe called for pretzel rods and pretzel sticks, but since we didn't have those, we used Veggie Sticks. My kids are OBSESSED with these (especially the ranch ones), and I have to admit paired with the cream cheese and the other elements of the recipe like the cheese cubes (we used mozzarella pearls) and the lunchmeat (ham!), they were delicious!


The boys were excited to get started. Don't let Bentley's stinky face fool you, he was psyched! I provided them with some child-safe plastic knives, plates, an placed the food in between them. We followed the durable recipe card that was provided by Mother Goose Time. I love that we can save and collect these cards every month and have a bunch of easy to follow, kid-friendly recipes at our fingertips. 


In the Teacher's Guide, each activity has a "Discuss", "Explore", "Play" section. For this activity, they suggested we discuss "What foods can you cook over a campfire?" The boys yelled out simultaneously, "marshmallows"! We have been roasting a lot of marshmallows lately, so I knew they would be quick to say that. We brainstormed several other ideas: hotdogs, corn on the cob, fish, and mac and cheese. (Macaroni and cheese is something we personally make over a campfire when we go camping!) 


The boys got to work building their campfires. They used the cream cheese as glue and went from there. I made a few suggestions and showed them some pictures of a campfire, but mostly I just let them have at it and create what they imagined a campfire would look like. I love that this was not only a recipe, but a STEM activity! When they were satisfied with their fires, we set to work making our items to roast. The boys pushed a mozzarella pearl onto their veggie stick. Then they cut the ham into pieces and I helped them roll and attach the pretend hot dog to the veggie stick. 



The kids started roasting their pretend marshmallows and hot dogs right away. They loved it! Not only was it cute, but it was delicious. While the kids ate, I read them the suggested story for the day, We love Little Critter, so it was perfect!


This was such a hit! I can't wait to try some of Mother Goose Time's  recipes for kids. 

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I receive Mother Goose Time curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. All opinions/thoughts are my own and are in no way influenced by others.


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