loving life with the little man and an elephant

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Valentine's Day Book Advent Plan


It is hard to believe we are almost at the end of January and with February brings Valentine's Day. For some reason I enjoy Valentine's Day especially decorating for the special day. This year I added some new decorations for the kids. 

I went to Hobby Lobby hoping to find some metal mailboxes and did not have much luck. But I did find some paper mache mailboxes. I then found some unfinished candle sticks at Micheal's. I brought them all home and painted them and this is what I came up with. 

My thought is to put something new in the mailboxes each day for the kids to find in the morning. I was looking around on my favorite website: Pinterest and found this great idea from Not Consumed.

What better way for the kids to learn about love than to learn about God's love for them.

I also reached out to some family members and asked if they would write a quick note to the kids that I could put in their mailboxes to find. I think they will really enjoy that.

Then I got to thinking, I have always wanted to do a Christmas book advent but let's be honest December is crazy. Next year right?!? So I thought I could test it out with a Valentine's Day book advent. The plan was to read a book and do a related activity for each day. So I wanted to share the plan here with you. My hope is to take pictures and share how it is going along the way. So here is the plan:

Day 1
Book: The Giant Hug by Sandra Horning
Activity: Send a hug in the mail
Our  family lives far away from us so we might have to make more than one of these to send all our hugs.

Day 2
Book: Plant a Kiss
Activity: Hand Print Heart Tree Craft

Day 3
Book: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose
Activity: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose sequencing activity 
Day 4
Book: Snowy Valentine
Activity: Heart Snowflakes

Day 5
Book: Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse
 Activity: Sticky Heart Suncather

Day 6
Book: One Heart: A Valentine Counting Book
Activity: Valentine Number Matchup

Day 7
Book: The Day It Rained Hearts
Activity: Cloud Kid Craft

Day 8
Book: My Heart Is Like a Zoo
Activity: Heart Animals and Poem

Day 9
Book: Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day is Cool
Activity: Make valentine's for kids Sunday school teachers

Day 10
Book: The Kissing Hand
Activity: Kissing Hand Print and Poem

Day 11
Book: Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink
Activity: Make kids' valentines for friends

Day 12
Book: The Shape of My Heart

Activity: Chocolate Play Dough in Chocolate Heart Box

Day 13
Book: Secret Sparkling Valentine

Activity: Love For the Birds: Cheerio Bird Feeder

Day 14
Book: The Berenstain Bears' Valentine Party
Activity: Valentine's Day Party!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Inside the "It's a Small World" Box

As I have mentioned before we live in West Michigan. The land where last year it seemed to never stop snowing. I grew up in Central Illinois so I know snow but not snow like last winter. After last winter I have to say I was dreading this winter and it really had not been too bad. (Knock on wood, if it is not covered by snow.) We have had a few times that we have had to get out the snow blower but overall it is tolerable. Let's hope that continues! There were still some days that it was much nicer to stay inside than try to get out. It is nice on these days that we have preschool activities at our fingertips to keep us busy inside.

 This past month the kids enjoyed learning more about the dinosaurs through Mother Goose Time's "Dinosaur Dig". They really enjoyed the manipulative from this month and played with the dinosaur eggs over and over again.

Mother Goose Time's February curriculum is called "It's A Small World". I think this will be a great opportunity for my children to see there is life beyond their home. This is such a difficult concept for little minds to grasp but I know Mother Goose Time will help bring this to life for them.

One of my favorite parts of Mother Goose Time's curriculum is the new book you receive with the curriculum every month. This month's book is titled Wonder Around the World. It has beautiful pictures of many places that someone could only dream of visiting.

Library-Style Story Time Book, Every Month

We are introduced to this exciting book on day four when we are learning about cameras we might take with us on a trip. Before reading the book you will discuss what the children wonder about.  Children will then look through the book and explore the photos. As you read the story aloud children are invited to act out their responses to the questions.
 On day 15 students are introduced to sequoia trees. They will work together to put the Story Sequence Wands in order from a seedling to a massive sequoia tree.
On day 18 students will answer the question "Where on the map would you like to travel?" They then will have time to use the Storytelling Set and Pieces to tell a story of their travels to the places they have learned about.

125 Active Discovery Tools, Every Month



There are so many things that little minds get to discover. One thing my children are enjoying more and more is cooking in the kitchen. Each month Mother Goose Time provides us with an opportunity to do at least one activity in the kitchen. This month this opportunity comes on day three. While learning about airplanes and boats they will have a chance to make pita boats. Mother Goose Time provides a colorful recipe card to guide you through each recipe. Children will learn new Spanish words on day 10 with the discovery activity: Kite Height. Each child will receive their very own passport that they will carry with them on their adventures. At each stop they will be able to place a sticker in their passport showing they have learned about each place. 

13+ Art Projects, Every Month
 There are so many exciting art projects this month. Children will start the month by making their very own suitcase for all their travels. They will also have an opportunity to make their own camera to capture all their memories. When visiting different destination they will make things like a drum, cable car, waterfall wand, and camel.

33 Skills Built. Every Month




You will set up a restaurant on day five and students will have to use their travel wallet and money to order food. While learning about Victoria Falls children will perform a science experiment to find out why it looks like a pencil bends in water.


20 Brand New Sing-Along Songs, Every Month

Hear a sample of this month's CD here!

If your child enjoys Mother Goose Time's music CDs provided every month check out Mother Goose Time's Dance n' Beats curriculum. A new series is available every month that goes along with the monthly theme.

Parents Want the Best, Every Month


 Caregivers are provided with a monthly Family Newsletter they can give to parents each month. This month's newsletter introduces parents to this month's book Wonder Around the World and gives a suggested book list. It also gives parents tips on how to have quality time with their preschooler. Lastly, it suggests at home activities parents can do with their children outside of preschool. More Family Connect Tools can be found here.

Child-led Exploration, Every Month

 At the bottom of many of the activities there are suggestions on how to simplify or make an activity more challenging. I feel I mostly need to simplify the activities for my 22 month old. I find that Mother Goose Time's Little Goose curriculum is very helpful for finding things I can do with just her while my three year old does the other activities in the curriculum. If you are finding your child needs more of a challenge please check out Mother Goose Time's More Math and Literacy.

Discover Games, Every Month




 On day six children will play the game Mask Puzzle. They will take turns spinning a spinner and making expressions on their mask face. They will have to follow the instructions as the land on each space. They will have the opportunity to work together to make multiple faces. On day seven children will play Giving to the World. They will start the game by talking about things they need to survive. They will have the chance to look through magazines and tear out pictures of things they need. They will receive four need cards at the beginning of the game. Each time they land on a space they will find the matching needs card in their pile and give it back to the world by placing it on the board.

New My Little Journal, Every Month



 Children will be introduced to their My Little Journal on day three of the study. They will have the chance to discuss who they would take on a boat trip. They then will be able to play with toy boats in a tub of water. When they are given their My Little Journal they will have a chance to draw their own boat and whomever they want in the boat. They will then be able to tell stories about their picture. For more writing practice please check out Mother Goose Time's More Literacy resource.

New I Can Read, Every Month


 Children will work on their reading skill on day 10 with their very own I Can Read book. Students will focus on three letters and three sight words throughout the month that are also focused on in the I Can Read book. I keep our letter and sight word flowers close during circle time and we look at them each time we do circle time. Many of the resources I use for our circle time are from Mother Goose Time's Welcome Kit. The kids especially love our Circle Time CD. When it starts to play they know it is time to start the day!

New Letters, Numbers, and Shapes, Every Month! 


This month students will explore the letters G,K, and Q, numbers 6 and 16, the color red, and the shape heart. Students will visit the letter sets over and over again throughout the month. They are a great long time addition to your learning space also. 

New Friendship Feathers, Every Month
 This month children will focus on being loving. On day three we will discuss who has given each child a gift. Children will then explore gift bags, boxes, ribbons, and bows. They will then have a chance to decorate their Friendship Bracelet. They then will have a chance to give their bracelet to one of their friends. 
Monthly Skills Chart, Every Month
 A helpful skills chart and gathering list are included every month. The skills chart is a great piece to hang where parents can see. I refer to the gathering list each week before I go to the grocery store. 

Teacher Guide with Built-in Assessment, Extensions, Every Month





 You can find other resources under Member Resources on Mother Goose Time's website. The member code is included in your Teacher Guide each month.There are many other Teacher Tools included each month that makes the learning more interesting and the planning much easier!!

There is still time to order your very own "It's a Small World" or you can join in the fun in March with Mother Goose Time's Blast Off to Space curriculum! Not sure if you want to dive all the way in yet? Check out one of Mother Goose Time's samples!!


I received curriculum from Mother Goose Time for honest and authentic stories resulting from my daily experiences in using the curriculum. I applied to be an official Mother Goose Time blogger and will continue to share my experiences throughout the 2014/15 school year.