Monday, October 24, 2016

Muddy Day Play

Oh MUD day!  How much fun are you?! 
Except for little girls who hate to get dirty.
But that's okay when you pair mud with bath time.
 So here in Texas, someone forgot to tell October that it was Autumn, and the temps have been in the 90's and super humid.  Awful.
Finally last Friday, October got the message, and we were blessed with some of the most beautiful weather! So naturally we took our Down on the Farm:
Mother Goose Time Mud Day outdoors.

I whipped out our water table, shovel, and hose and took some dirt from our barren vegetable garden, and put it on one side, while adding bubbles to our water to make a nice bath for our dirty farm animals.

Sweet Pea loves these Fisher-Price Little People Animal Friends Farm that we added to the mud.

She didn't even touch the dirt... but she made the pig a nice mud puddle.  I had to move all her animals when it came to bath time which she really enjoyed giving them.

After our play time outdoors, we came into the house so I could prepare lunch and she could do our next Mother Goose Time activity.... Make and Create Mud Pies!

Mother Goose Time included this awesome homemade play dough recipe that could be used as the dirt for our mud pies!  It called for chocolate pudding mix, which I didn't have on hand, so I used a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and it worked perfectly!

This is not an edible recipe.  It will taste gross, but it's a great recipe for playdough.
1/4 cup of cocoa powder or 1 box of chocolate pudding mix
1 cup of baking soda (get the gigantic box in the laundry aisle if you are planning to do more DIY)
1/4 cup of water
3 Tbsp of veg oil

Mix it all together and this is what you get:

Once the play dough was made, I set out her tray with the Make and Play Mud Pie picture, rocks, tin foil pie plate, (all of which were included in our kit), along with some of our own jewels, buttons and shells to imprint designs into the "mud."
This is the kind of mud Sweet Pea is into.  

Sweet Pea kept coming up to me while I was making lunch and telling me to sit in the purple chair at her table and create with her.  How could I resist?  
I took a few little jabs at her new play dough and helped her press it into the foil pan before I had to go back into the kitchen.
She had so much fun creating her pie, and for a neat-nick kid like herself, I was so pleased that Mother Goose Time included a way for her to have fun without getting dirty on Mud day! 

Want to see some other great activities Mother Goose Time has for Mud Day? Check out these posts:

Watching a Child Create: Muddy Pig

This post has been linked to The Gathering Place...a great site for all things toddler related :)  

Muddy Letter Learning

This past week we looked at 5 different things we can find "In the Barn" on our Farm Unit with Mother Goose Time.  The last day was MUD.  Now if you have been following along with my blog, you will know that my little Sweet Pea is not much into getting dirty.  Read more about her here.
I was super excited about MUD day and could not wait to see if she would be up for getting dirty or be a stick in the mud about it all!

Mother Goose Time had a great Phonological Awareness activity for us today!
Through this little activity, Sweet Pea focuses on small units of letter sounds such as "mmmm" for m.

The first thing we did was match lower case letter pigs to their uppercase mud puddles. Sweet Pea had no problem with this and was really good about making the letter sounds as she matched them up with out me probing her to do that. 

The great thing about these letters are that they are reviewing the letters we were exposed to last month in our Me and My Family Unit along with our new letters this month.

The fact that we are learning these particular letters instead of ABC order is wonderful!  It leads to a lot of CVC words, rhyming words, and blends.  For example, since Sweet Pea knows these 6 letters and their sounds, we can begin learning simple CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant)
____at:  hat, cat, bat, mat

Now she is only 2 years old and 3 months.  She's not great at speaking yet, but for yall with older kids or very developed linguistic kids, this activity is great for rhyming---which is another language and literacy skill and goal Mother Goose Time incorporates through these pigs in mud!
Bet you never thought pigs in mud could do all that!  Me either....
Just take the A and the T to make "at", and then add the other letters in front.
  You could ask, "Which pig do you need to start the word mat? How about bat?"

It took her no time at all to match these pigs to their mud, so I took out the animal pictures that were also provided next for her to match to the mud puddles!  I loved this whole activity. She had pictures of an alligator, bird, mouse, horse, turtle, and a cow.

She matched 3 of them and then left to go start cooking in her play kitchen. 
But I still have this tray out in her play area and she still goes to it and matches the letters when she feels like it.

Just a little side note to help with Phonetics....

We don't have cable at my house, but we do have Netflix, and I have let Sweet Pea watch 
LeapFrog: Phonics Farm which has really helped reinforce the letter sounds and it's a FARM!
Does it get any better?!
She pretty obsessed with these dogs.


This is just the beginning to our MUD DAY!  Want to see some more hands on fun we had with Mother Goose Time on our muddy day and farm unit? Check out these posts:

Happy Learning!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Watching a Child Create

Sweet Pea is a cautious observer.  Always has been.. and hopefully, always will be.
I have always known this about her, but I had never seen it so prevalent in her creations as it was on the day we had an Invitation to Create a Muddy Pig.

She did not pick up the picture of the pig, or study it any more than she normally looks at something.  But as I watched her place her "mud" aka brown paint on her picture of the pig, and compared it to  the provided picture of a real live muddy pig, I noticed just how much she paid attention.

We paint outdoors a lot. Sometimes in her frustrations, she throws a fit, she loves to run and throw herself face-down on the couch or chair or whatever.  With paint filled hands, I don't want to risk it indoors.  So we take it outside and place everything in our water table.  Works perfectly for us.

She placed the "mud" even in his ear (where the shadow makes it darker)


In the end, her picture of her pig mainly had mud on its nose, feet, ear, and a spot on its belly.  

Once Sweet Pea had these spots done, she didn't want to paint her pig anymore. "Done," she said.
 I was really surprised she didn't want to paint more since she seemed to enjoy it so much.  As I thought about it, she was done because her work resembled that of the picture. 
I am truly amazed by her and what she knows and comprehends.

Since Sweet Pea was done with her painting, she decided to have some fun with the paint, sand, and water... making mud.  She's usually not into getting really messy, so when she does, I just let her have at it!  I love to see her get dirty.


I learned something new about my girl through Mother Goose Time's Invitation to Create.
I learned about how cautiously she creates her images to look like that of the picture.
I learned that she has a goal in her mind, and when she reaches that goal she's done. 
(unless frustration takes over before the goal is met.  What do you mean 2 year olds get frustrated?? **wink wink**)
Would I have learned this about her without Mother Goose Time?  
Probably later on in the future, because honestly, I would never had thought to give my girl a picture and let her create something after looking at it until later on when she is older, maybe around 3 or 4 years old.

I'm so grateful for being pushed outside my comfort zone with her, and learning more and more 
about my girl each and every day. 

Watch this video to get more information about what Mother Goose Time's
Invitation to Create is all about!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Learning our Shapes

Sweet Pea is 2 years old and 2 months.  She is an only child and I am blessed to be able to stay at home with her. 
I say all of that because I do not have any other kids to compare her to or know at what age certain children learn certain things.  I am just doing my best to expose her to new things, be intentional about what I say to her, and teach her to the best of my ability.  
Mother Goose Time has truly helped us with the teaching part for sure!
Sweet Pea has known her colors for quite some time, but shapes are a whole new ball game. 
Mother Goose Time has sent us some great stamps to help her learn her shapes!
Last month, we received the circle stamp, and this month we received the triangle. 
We play with these stamps everyday whether in play dough, using a stamp pad, or placing it in glue or paint.  There's so much we can do with them!  It has also helped me, as a mom, be intentional about what to focus on throughout the month and toys to play with.
For example, I add more circle things into her play dough tray and keep using the word "circle" when talking to her.  We draw circles and then put something in the circle, or when we see something outside (maybe a rock or whatever) say "Oh wow, that looks like a circle!"

Fall is here in Texas!  The weather is beautiful and the humidity is depleting, so that means some wonderful afternoons spent outdoors.  I decided to make a little shape game for us to play.
I drew a circle and triangle on the ground (since these are the 2 shapes we have mainly focused on), but then I thought I would also challenge Sweet Pea with a square.
I would call out to her, "Can you stand in _________" and then she would run to whichever one and stand in it.  Here's a little video of our game :)



 Mother Goose Time has also emphasized our learning through the theme of a FARM.  
So we snatched up our farm animals and took them outside.  

She created her own little game with the shapes I drew outside.  I did not prompt her in any way, but she placed each of her animals in their own circle using all the circles drawn; however, Farmer Eddie was left out.  After looking around, Sweet Pea decided that he could go in a triangle.  
I was really amused watching her and found it exciting to see her using the shapes we have studied in our Mother Goose Time curriculum. 


Show off... 

I am grateful to have the opportunity to be intentional with what she is learning and how we play each and everyday.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Getting a Handle on Emotions

This month has been an emotional month FOR SURE.  We have endured a flood of emotions this past month.  Sadness reigned as we went to a funeral for one of my best friends, my pastor, and co-worker, Ryan King and his sweet brother-in-law, one of the finest men God let grace this earth, Bryson Adkison.  That happened at the beginning of the month.  
However during that time, my family was given a beacon of hope and light in the form of a positive pregnancy test. This past week we went to the doctor, hoping to hear the heartbeat of the wonderful pregnancy we were graced with, only to find out that I have what's called a "molar pregnancy."  Basically my body thinks it's pregnant when there is no embryo. It's like the pregnancy started, but the chromosomes never were compatible, but my body never knew.  We lost the baby yesterday.
I know that this is a teaching blog mainly, but my faith is who I am, and it is so important for me to share that He is in control, He loves us more than we can imagine, and He is present even though we feel crushed from all sides.

1 Peter 1:6-7New Living Translation (NLT)

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
So teaching emotions this past month was perfect!  Sweet Pea has really been into looking and taking pictures and imitating the facial expressions she sees.  Here are the pictures she took today.

Her sad and mad face are the same. Makes sense because she cries when she's mad.
Being able to understand a person's emotions creates empathy and understanding, character traits I want to instill into my girl as much as possible.  It all starts with first being able to state what a feeling or emotion is, and Mother Goose Time had some great suggestions of activities for us to do.   
Talking about emotions with Daddy using our cube from Mother Goose Time.  It's amazing how she knew each one without us really telling her.  She's always been so observant.

Finding and pointing to the emotions Daddy asks her to find. 
"Who is happy?", "Can  you find the person who is mad?"
She really enjoyed this cube game and it was great that my husband could play with her too.
Afterwards, we read the book My Many Colored Days by Dr. Suess that we checkout out from our local library, but here's a link to it on Amazon if you are interested.

It is a perfect read about emotions and how certain colors express certain feelings.
When we finished the story, I asked Sweet Pea if she would like to paint a person like the one in our book. She ran to her apron in the hallway...that's a "yes."
So I created the "Invitation to Create" suggested by Mother Goose Time, and we used finger paints.

Sweet Pea has been really into putting the paint on her hands and then stamping it onto the paper.  As much as I would like to get out the tempra paint, it's just not the best option for us right now.  I want her to have fun and experience painting how she likes it.  If that means getting messy and dripping it on the floor, and painting all over her clothes... then finger paints are perfect.
We will use tempra another time :)

I absolutely love this last picture.  She was dancing to our monthly CD, Dance 'n Beats, and painting at the same time.  Who doesn't love listening to music while they make art?!  They go hand in hand.
We placed the masterpiece outside to dry, and of course I forgot to snap a picture of the finished work of art.  I'll update this post hopefully tomorrow.

God's timing is perfect, and I am grateful He used such an emotional time for our family to teach her about emotions.  I am truly blessed by this girl of grace in our lives. 

Mother Goose Time is an amazing and organized way to do preschool with your kiddos. If you are looking for some more great ideas, be sure to check out the gathering place on 1+1+1=1


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