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! 


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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