Friday, January 11, 2019

Preschool: Safari Adventure

Oh my goodness yall!
This month's Safari Adventure from Mother Goose Time has to be one of my ultimate faves!
We have learned so much in the last 2 weeks, and to give you all the details would mean a forever long post (not that my posts are ever short).  

In this picture heavy post, I will share with you how MGT prepared us to encounter the animals of Africa.  Are you ready to go on a Safari Adventure?  
Well, grab your passport, pack your bag, and let's fly to Africa!

In order to know where Africa is, we started with our Continent Toss Game.  
(MGT supplied us with the map and foam die and inserts.)
Roll a continent, match the color of the continent to the bead in the bowl, and using tweezers, place a bead of that color on the corresponding continent. Get those fine motor skills ready for your safari! 
Keep playing until all the beads are on the map.

Now that you know where to go, grab that passport and fill it out!
  MGT included a stamp of Mother Goose so you can stamp your travels! Avaleigh tossed the foam die with the continent inserts to see which continent needed a stamp in her passport.  
Eventually we traveled to all the places.  Ha! Jetsetters... I wish... really I do.

The African sun is sweltering, so you must pack a hat.  Don't have one? No problem!
Mother Goose had us covered by having us make hats with leopard print tissue paper to assist us in our camouflage attire during our safari. Yall... leopard print tissue paper!
  I am so impressed by MGT's attention to details! 

You have to have a journal to record your Safari Adventure!  
MGT's My Little Journal is perfect to slip into your pack,
 but first draw your favorite animal and write your name incase your journal gets lost. 
With the help of Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals, Avaleigh drew her favorite animal on the cover of her journal, a lion.  We took it step by step, and she did it completely by herself!

Passport....check.  Hat.... check.  Journal.... check.  Safari vehicle... nope.
(reenactment of the story Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems that took place in our home)

(me)"Piggy, do you have a safari vehicle?"
(Avaleigh)"No. A pig with a safari vehicle would be silly.  Do you have a safari vehicle?"
(me) "I do not have a safari vehicle.  But I do have a MGT Teacher Guide that shows us how to make one."
(Avaleigh) "Get that guide!"
My girl loooooooves Elephant and Piggy books, and when we didn't have a vehicle, it instantly brought to her mind this story.  We ended up playing "Safari" Gerald and Piggie style for days!

You can listen to the book below, read aloud by 2 children!

According to the Teacher guide,
 whip out one of those Amazon boxes you have stacked to the ceiling in your garage, grab your exacto blade, and go all Edward Scissorhands on that box making it into a jeep ready to hit the African grasslands!  (that might be paraphrased a little bit)

Look out for lions!  They like to tear off your headlights and eat them for lunch!
(Everett really ate her headlight...smh)

My little lion, Everett.

Netflix has a great show for kids called Wildlife Quest.  Take a quick break and encounter real live animals in the safety of your Safari Vehicle.  The Wildebeest is napping on the tile while we keep a close eye on the cheetah in Wildlife Quest.

Yall...there is so much more I want to share!  I haven't even told you about our reading activities or the fun we had with elephants and math, or the watering hole game, 
or the creations we made during our animal study week! 
 There has been so much fun AND learning packed into this Safari Adventure box!  

I don't want to overwhelm you with so much info.  So how about you go enjoy getting your safari started and meet me back here next week as I share more about how Mother Goose incorporated math, reading, and the arts into the safari theme!

Until then....

Stay safe on your safari and like us on Facebook to keep up with the adventure!

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year, New Classroom Set-up

Happy New Year!
New Year, New Month, and New Preschool Homeschool Room set-up!

Our son turned one at the beginning of December.  Look at that adorableness!  
Don't let him fool you though; he is a destroyer! ;) 

This tornado of a boy has torn apart our preschool classroom, and has staked his claim of what is his, which is EVERYTHING!  And every single thing goes into the mouth.  Every. Single. Thing.
I didn't laminate everything with my girl because she was never into eating paper and tearing things off the wall.  Not so with Everett.  We watched in horror as our adorable pterodactyl tornado of a boy destroyed our classroom for the last 5 months.  Eating much of our Circle Time materials from Mother Goose Time.  The ABC grass was his fave...ugh. 

Make our homeschool room baby friendly (more toys for him to play with in a controlled area), 
protect our learning materials especially our Circle Time materials, 
put things out of reach for Everett but still easily accessible for Avaleigh.  

Here's what we did.

The above picture is what you see as you enter into the Homeschool room/Playroom.
Everett pretty much dominates this part of the room and Avaleigh has the window side. 
We put the kitchen and all the materials for it in the tower to the left of the kitchen.
Our light box is on top of the silver trunk with all our transparent and colored blocks in the basket to the right.  Everett has a few toys on the carpet as well.  Since our MGT unit this month is Safari, I added his Safari Melissa and Doug puzzle I got him for Christmas into the classroom.

We had to move their artwork display up so we could move everything else up the wall as well.  
My son loves to tear things down.
I reorganized the whiteboard to make the days of the week clouds and calendar easily accessible for Avaleigh.  The theme poster is to the left of our calendar and to the right of the window.   I moved our map so she can see it better as well.  This set-up is working great so far!

We have a new (to us) table! 
A preschool in town was shutting down, and had a big sale!  Since we are homeschoolers, they allowed me to come in early (with the other preschooler owners) and shop before opening everything to the public!  I scored some amazing gifts for Christmas (musical toys and Melissa and Doug chunky puzzles for Everett, and an abacus for Avaleigh), this table (for $20!), and a 7 drawer Sterilite tower (for $5!) that house all our Mother Goose materials!  Such a huge blessing to us!  

Teacher Central.
Our materials are all housed in this corner.  
I usually sit it the little purple chair teaching and guarding this area 
while Everett plays, and Avaleigh learns.  
I reorganized our bookshelf some.  
The bottom shelf still houses games, playdough and puzzles.  
The next shelf houses my old Childcraft Encyclopedias, coloring books, and our Classical Conversations materials, not to mention some safari animals.
The middle shelf holds MGT manipulatives, magnets from our monthly stories, and a supply caddy.  
Second shelf from the top has sensory bin materials in the 6 compartments and manipulatives from previous MGT months.  
The very top shelf holds bins I organized that you can read about here.  
I'll talk about my 7 drawer tower below, but the small tower to the left of it used to lay horizontally and housed our kitchen stuff in my old post.  It now stores more learning games, manipulative, and hides materials in Amazon boxes that I need to go through.

If you read my old post about my classroom set up, you know how much I hated the "ugly yet functional cabinet."  I traded it for this 7 drawer Sterilite tower that has finally allowed me to organize my MGT materials better!
In the past, I just grabbed a bag from the box, but there was so much I was missing when I couldn't see every lesson.  The top 4 drawers in this tower are skinny.  I took each weekly Teacher Guide and the 5 lessons that go with it and placed it into the drawer.  It has made such a difference in the short time that I have used it!  The bottom 3 drawers of the tower are deep and house a bunch of our materials that I don't want Everett into.

Tour is almost over!
It's our book wall, which remains constant in the room.
It houses many of our Usborne books, but also our wonderful stories from MGT.
Everett has his stash of toys including his new (to him) chunky Safari puzzle to go with this month's theme, which I love.

I didn't expect to be doing a classroom redo in the middle of the year, but it was the perfect time, and honestly, I like it even more than I did when we started in August!

Here's to a New Year and new changes that work out!
Be sure to come back for some Safari ideas to share with your learners!