Saturday, June 17, 2017

Game Time: Building Sandcastle Towers

It's almost been a year since we started Mother Goose Time, and I can't believe my girl is almost 3! 
MGT supplies us with all sorts of fun; all I have to do is open a bag and set it up.  
I am so thankful for that.
Usually each month there is some type of board game that can be played.  I had tried one in the past, but Sweet Pea wasn't ready.  When I saw a bunch of other bloggers mentioning how much fun the sandcastle game was, I decided we would try again. 
I am so glad we did! Sweet Pea absolutely loved this game, and we've played it several times since!  

The game is great at reinforcing math concepts, color recognition, and fine motor skills.
She had to roll the die, count the dots, move her crab piece, recognize the numeral and color of the  space she landed on, and then count out the number blocks in that particular color and build a tower.  We were supposed to have 2 separate towers and see whose was the tallest at the end of the game, but Sweet Pea wanted to combine our towers into one enormous tower.  How could I resist?

She has trouble being persistent with challenging tasks.
I honestly thought she would have a hard time placing these lego like blocks together, 
but she did awesome and kept up with it even when she couldn't get it the first time!

Please pardon the Chick-fil-a sauce all over her shirt  :)  
We ate lunch before we played the game.

At the end of the game, Sweet Pea was so stinkin' proud of her tower!  She kept saying, 
"Wow Ma! Tall tall tower!"
And look at that smile, yall!

I love how a variety of learning skills was taking place during our game including:

 math- number concepts (identifying numerals and counting to determine quantity),
math-pattern and sorting  (matches, sorts, and charts),
and physical development- fine motor skills (controlling small movements).

Mother Goose Time does such a good job with incorporating more than one skill in the activities they provide. I love watching Sweet Pea grow and feel accomplished with something that was once so challenging for her- in this case the fine motor skill of connecting these little blocks.

Here's to more fun times playing games together!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Creating Crabs

This post is brought to you by the letter C.  :) 
We are on Alphabet Island having adventures studying island life including crabs!
Mother Goose Time came up with this little crab craft for Crab Day, and it doubles as a musical shaker!  I love it when crafts have a dual purpose.

Mother Goose Time sent us a little cardboard container with a lid, a strip of eye stickers, red glitter sand (I love this stuff), and a red piece of cardstock which I cut out 6 strips and 2 claws.
All I had to do was provide a paintbrush and paint, 
which is modge podge mixed with a little red acrylic paint
(Thanks Stacy at Things to Share and Remember for that great idea!)

It did not take Sweet Pea long to get after painting! I was so proud of how focused she was and how she tried to cover the entire surface of her container.  Most of the time she ends up painting her hands and making prints, but she really worked at just placing paint on the cardboard tub and the lid.

TIP:  Give things in steps one at a time to help keep kids from being overwhelmed.

When I placed the tray in front of Sweet Pea, I only had the container, lid, paint, and paintbrush on it.  .  Once she was done, I took away the paint and paintbrush and replaced it with a teaspoon and the glitter sand.  I also placed the red tub in a container to catch the glitter sand.  Using the teaspoon, Sweet Pea scooped and poured the glitter sand on the red glue surface and it stuck like a charm.

I helped by holding it so she could pour the glittery sand on the sides of her container.
After it dried outside, which didn't take long, I added a bit of rice into the container and hot-glued the lid shut.  No one wants to clean rice off the floor. 
Been there done that.
Sweet Pea folded the red cardstock strips in half, and I hot glued them and the claws onto the container... all he needed now was eyes.

Why have 2 eyes when you can have 12?

Sweet Pea was so proud of her craft she took it to her grandparents to show off later that afternoon. 
I love that she is becoming proud of her creations and I absolutely love watching her create.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Science Discovery: Rainy Day Slime

Each month I check out a huge batch of books from our local library that goes along with our 
Mother Goose Time monthly theme... this month happened to be BUGS.

Rainy Day Slug was one of the books I found this month that has been constantly read!  
The slug explores the inside of a home leaving a nice slimy white trail behind him that Sweet Pea traces with her fingers.  When I mentioned making slime like what the slug leaves behind on our rainy Memorial Day, she was all about it!

On SLUG day, the STEAM station had a slime exploration and recipe that I could not wait to try.
My only problem... I didn't have a 4 oz bottle of glue, but I did have a 16 oz bottle of Mod Podge.  So I found a video and recipe that was very similar to what MGT sent us.


Below are all the ingredients we used.  We were going to add some paint to our slime, but we decided to just add the glitter instead.  Sweet Pea was all about adding glitter.  We added a lot more than just the 2 pictured below.  I guess you can't have too much glitter.
Sweet Pea did a great job helping make the slime, but it is definitely an ADULT SUPERVISION project considering borax is involved. 

I actually added about one more tablespoon of borax 
to our mixture which helped the slime solidify more.
However, the thing that helped the most in making our slime come together was
using a kitchen towel to dry out the slime a little.
Once some of the moisture came out of it, the slime really began to take shape.

Once the slime was complete, it was time to play!
Sweet Pea stretched it, poked it, stamped her hand and shapes into it, and buried her bug manipulatives into the slime.  We even acted out the Very Hungry Caterpillar by wrapping one of her caterpillar manipulatives in the slime, making a cocoon, and then making the butterfly come out. 
She loved it!

Sweet Pea explored and played with our Rainy Day Slug Slime for at least an hour before we had to put it away in a plastic airtight container. 
This morning right after breakfast, she came into the kitchen asking for her slime.  As I watched over her and cleaned the kitchen , she played at the table with her slime burying tons of her bug manipulatives into it.  Today she was all about the ladybugs getting slimed.  She sat there and played quietly with her bugs and slime for at least 30 minutes without inviting me to play with her! 

I was so surprised at how much she enjoyed this slime!
She's not one to get wet and sandy or really dirty, but this slime doesn't stick to hands, easily comes off, and is generally a clean project.  She has absolutely loved it!  
And watching her explore something new all on her own just makes me so happy.

Happy Slime Time!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Painting Butterflies

Thanks to Mother Goose Time, Sweet Pea is obsessed with butterflies, 
which is perfectly fine with me. 
They're insects that I actually like.
My previous post was all about our caterpillar day, and naturally, 
the next day, we studied butterflies.

Mother Goose Time supplied this Invitation to Create, but you could easily do it at home.
Here's what you need:

-large sheet of white paper (11x14 or larger works great)
-tempra paints (or any you prefer...tempra comes out of clothes)
-painting supplies (brushes, sponges, whatever you want to use to put the paint on the paper)
-pictures of butterflies (discuss symmetry if child is old enough to understand)

When I set up her Invitation to Create, I made sure to already have her paper folded in half so that she would only apply paint to one side.  Later we flipped the other side on top of the paint to make our symmetrical butterfly painting. 

Here's what she did:

Sweet Pea used all the tools to apply the paint, but she definitely loved the sponge.
She dragged it across the paper and created stamping impressions with it as well.
Don't limit your child to just brushes! 
Anything could be used to apply paint, and you never know what surprise you might end up with.

I love that little line of orange dots Sweet Pea made with her paint brush.

Bringing the sponge back out this time to stamp rectangles.

Once Sweet Pea was done painting, I flipped the folded over white piece on top of her painting and told her to press hard and rub her hands all over the white paper.  This allowed the colors to blend together and really make a good symmetrical print onto the white paper.

Time to dry this beauty.

Here is her masterpiece hanging on the wall with all her other artwork.
I absolutely love it.  I feel like I could really cut around the colors to make a true butterfly shape, 
but I will not do that.  Maybe I'll buy a frame though.

We had a bunch of paint left over and Sweet Pea was all about painting some more, so 
she whipped out a few more butterfly prints.
Perfect gifts for grandparents.

Both grandparents have their butterfly paintings on their fridge.... the perfect artwork spot.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Crazy Caterpillar Crafts

If you have been following our adventures for a little while, you know that I have really struggled with being able to fit all the daily discovery bags in each month.  I wrote about that here
The last several months we have picked and chose bags from our Mother Goose Time box that interested Sweet Pea.  I really loved how easily this month could be adjusted and how 2 bags could both covered in the same day if needed! 
For example: Spider and Web, Ant and Hill, Bee and Hive, or Caterpillar and Butterfly!

We studied caterpillars one day and butterflies the next and had so much fun with both.
Check out these "Insect Builder" mnaipulatives that came in our beloved Mother Goose Time box

Sweet Pea would pull out the objects she needed that matched the card,  and I would help her build them.  She really liked the snail/slug and caterpillar.

They are still built and she loves to play with them... last time I saw the caterpillar, pictured above, it was in my bed. 

Next we used some corn starch noodles to build caterpillars.
Have you ever used these?! 
I had never seen them until they came in one of our unit studies, and when my friend Julie saw them, she gave me a whole box of them her mom had stored in her garage! Jackpot!  
All you need to do is lightly dip the end in water and press them together.  They will stick together and this is a perfect sculpture art project for little ones!

Sweet Pea built 2 caterpillars. I had some chenille stems cut into small little segments that she stabbed into the cornstarch noodles to make legs for her caterpillars.

I asked Sweet Pea to look at the caterpillar picture and tell me what the caterpillar was walking on. "Stick."  
Do you know where we have a stick like that in the house?
We still had our stick hanging up by the window that housed some of our eggs and birds crafts from last month.  She ran to it and it was the perfect spot to place her caterpillars.

That 3-eyed paper plate bird Sweet Pea created is definitely keeping an eye on those caterpillars!

Stay tuned for our butterfly painting day


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tot School: Bug Sensory Bin

We've been exploring bugs this month.  I thought it would be a fun theme to make a sensory bin for Sweet Pea.  Here's what we did...

First we read this awesome book that came with our Mother Goose Time unit.  Sweet Pea acted out some of the pages. 

Look Mom!  I can carry a blue car above my head too! 
I love it when we read and she has to get up because she relates to the words on the page.

After reading the story and observing the different bugs, we worked together to make the sensory bin.
We used:
  • plastic bug manipulatrives that came with our Mother Goose Time unit
  • 2 different bags of green pom poms I already had
  • popsicle sticks with flowers glued onto the end (I've had these flowers for years in my craft stash)
  • an egg carton turned upside down and slits cut into the egg holders so bugs and flowers could fit
  • plastic bridge and pot from some outdoor stuff we own
  • plastic tongs from Hobby Lobby we already had.  Perfect to help with fine motor skills!
Cost of bin= $0.00!
It's all items I already had at home.  
See what you already have before you head to the store.
Pinto beans would be great filler too!

I love how she worked with her tongs to squeeze the bugs and pom poms. 
She plays with this bin just about every day.  I just keep it out for her to enjoy whenever she feels like checking it out.  Sweet Pea has gotten so good at using these tongs.  This is a great step before using tweezers, which I am hoping to introduce soon.

We love all the awesome things that come with our Mother Goose Time box, and I love to find all sorts of ways to use what they have blessed us with!

If you want to order the book ($7.99) or bug set ($19.99) check out this link

Be sure to follow us on facebook and pinterest for more ideas and adventures! 


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