Thursday, January 11, 2018

Preschool Paleontologist

That's what my little girl became last week as we opened our newest box from Mother Goose Time: Dinosaur Dig!

For our first 4 days of home school preschool, we studied paleontologists, bones, fossils, and excavation sites.  

With her name tag, I wrote her name, and she used a glue bottle to trace her letters.  She did really great! Honestly, I was surprised.  Then using a 1/2 tsp she scooped and poured sand on the glue creating a raised surface.  Once her name tags were dry, I buried them under the sand creating an excavation site. Using a paintbrush and an old magnifying glass (also from MGT), Avaleigh went digging for the bones of her letters.

Mother Goose Time also sent this really cool field guide on our Paleontologist day.
It's filled with images of different dinosaurs and their names.  I added some background to the coloring pages, like mountains, and the dinosaur's name so she could trace and color it. 

We used the field guide the next day while completing our STEAM station on excavation sites.  Using some shape manipulatives from a previous box, Avaleigh put together "bones" in play dough to make the image of the dinosaur.  She looked at the Pterodactyl and created what you see below in the play dough!  

On Wednesday we studied fossils.  She created her own fossil stamp and using a stamp pad she pressed her image all over the provided paper during our Invitation to Create.  She decided she wanted to imprint the purple marker into her image as well.  Stamp it all! 

Our stamping fun didn't end there though.  MGT sent us some awesome dinosaur manipulatives this  month and what better way to make a fossil than to stamp dinosaurs into play dough? So much fun.

 On Bone Day, she worked with pre-cut pieces to make fossil images.  This activity is going into a baggie and going into her "out to eat" activity bag.  Perfect for the restaurant table!

The final activity we did during our Paleontologist week was a math board game called Dinosaur Dig.  Each month there is some kind of board game and these are so perfect for preschoolers.  They're simple and don't take too long to complete so attention spans don't waver and you can finish a game pretty fast.  This also helps with her wanting to play again and again. 
In this game, we used our dino manipulatives as our pieces and moved around the board collecting bones and losing them based on where we landed.  
The challenge for Avaleigh was at the end when we compared the amount of dinosaur bones we had.  She has no problem counting, but when I asked who has more, she really struggled answering correctly. I now know what we need to work on...comparing. 

It was so much fun doing activities with my girl each day and watching her become a paleontologist.  I just loved when her daddy asked her what she learned about, she spouted,
"I'm paleontologist, Daddy."

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Mother Goose Time and the NICU

On December 1, 2017 at 1:35 in the afternoon, my husband and I welcomed our newest addition to our family, a baby boy we named Everett Ryan.

Everett was due on Christmas Eve; however, he had decided to grace the world with his presence at 36 weeks and 5 days.  He was 6 pounds 7 oz and 20 inches long, and I can't imagine how much bigger he would be with an additional 3 weeks. I never would have thought we would end up in the NICU, but we did when his blood sugar count came back at a 15 (avg 40-60) and he immediately was whisked into the NICU while I was wheeled to my room and forced to wait.

17 days.
17 days we were in the NICU.

I need to write a whole post or more on our stay in the NICU, but this post is about how 
Mother Goose Time created some normalcy for my family when nothing was normal at all.

With Everett and I in the NICU, it was Daddy and MGT to the rescue for our girl.  Due to our situation, Jason requested paternity leave for the month of December and was approved.  
Praise the Lord!

I showed Jason the teacher guides and the daily discovery bags and told him to just pick one that looked interesting for them to do together.  So he did.

We could only visit Everett every 3 hours- on the 3 o'clocks, 6, 9 and 12.  In between I would pump, eat, and try to visit Jason and Avaleigh.  Sometimes, I would make it home, set up MGT for Daddy and then leave again.  

I was able to catch them in action when I came home one morning and snapped this pic above.
They built an igloo here for one of her little bird toys using our cube manipulatives from the 

They made snowflakes, practiced tracing her name with glue and a paintbrush, used glitter (that's true love right there! Jason hates glitter), built igloos, played games and puzzles, and of course read many, many books.  Jason would take pictures of their learning and send them to me throughout the day.

MGT made it so easy to pull a bag, set up the activities, and leave to go back to the hospital for me.  All the while, creating simple opportunities for my husband to continue fostering Avaleigh's learning, and giving them activities to have fun together and keep her everyday pretty normal.

As chaotic as our December was, Mother Goose Time made our month manageable, provided memory making opportunities for my husband and little girl, and kept a sense of normalcy to our crazy days.

This little school bus box is more then just preschool curriculum-
it's a lifesaver for days you barely know how to survive.

Avaleigh and Everett holding hands Christmas morning 2017.


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