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A huge thanks to Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) for providing us with their Experience Preschool curriculum for free in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. It’s been such a huge blessing to us! As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own.
Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best mama judgement when planning activities for your little kids.
We did something totally different this week. I wanted to see what would happen if I switched things up around here. For the last few months, there have been at least a few days a week that the little guy and I work from 1 PM to 6 PM. This week, I decided to try to squeeze in a lesson first thing in the morning. Spoiler alert: It definitely didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.
I even picked a lesson that I thought he would enjoy. T is for Tiger. Obviously, he’s about as much of a morning person as I am, which isn’t saying much. Lol… Epic fail on my part. So the real lesson for today was we probably shouldn’t be doing preschool at 9 AM.
To this point, we’ve always done Mother Goose Time right after his afternoon nap. And bonus points if he wakes up on his own. Waking him up before he’s ready usually results in little to nothing getting done and a very tired and cranky little guy. Not exactly a surprise, right?
I chose this particular lesson specifically because the little guy loves cats and, at barely two, a tiger is just a “kitty cat” to him. He hasn’t quite realized that there’s such a thing as wild cats yet. That’s okay, though. All things in their time.
When I showed him the topic poster for today he had the exact reaction that I expected. “Kitty cat,” he says. Yep! He’s definitely got that much figured out. Lol…
Curriculum with toddlers needs to be flexible. Most toddlers are of course just starting to express themselves verbally and a lot still have relatively limited vocabulary. And then there’s the whole attention span thing. There are definitely a lot of differences between toddlers and preschoolers. Sometimes, I find myself breaking up the activities throughout the day or even choosing just a few of them to focus on for that particular topic. I know better than to expect my just-turned-two toddler to sit for more than a few minutes at a time. And even then, it really just depends on whether or not he’s actually interested in whatever it is that we’re doing.
I also make a point of doing the coloring page for each lesson. Coloring is of course awesome for developing fine motor skills. And it’s something that the little guy truly enjoys, so that means it gets his undivided attention and gives this mama a chance to set up our other activities for the day. In a perfect world, I would be setting things up the evening before and I really try to do that, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
When we finish each day’s lesson, I add both the daily topic poster as well as the little guy’s coloring page to his book, which I made from a binder and sheet protectors. Creating a scrapbook of sorts gives him the opportunity to flip through and look at all the animals we’ve talked about thus far. He totally loves it.
We spent some time working on the Tiger Mask. The little guy was all about it. And when he was finished, I added the yarn so he could try on his mask. I love how the Little Goose Teacher Guide encourages inviting the child to draw “stripes or scribbles.” For the little guy, it was of course scribbles, but that’s okay. There’s a lot to be said for the process at his age. The product isn’t as important.
This Jumping Tiger activity lots of fun for both of us too. I love gross motor activities, especially ones that involve following directions as well.
The Tiger Shape Sort was definitely the favorite from this lesson. This type of activity is such an awesome way to get your child to use multiple skills from different domains of learning. The Little Goose Teacher Guide lists the skill as Mathematics & Reasoning, but I also consider the collage aspect of this a Creative Development activity. This is definitely one of the reasons I love Mother Goose Time. It’s so well-thought-out. Everything works together perfectly.
I love watching the little guy make connections between what he sees and hears and experiences. And you know what? That’s exactly how we learn.
The idea of theme-based learning is awesome. Theme studies give you the ability to effectively teach different learning styles. For example, this month’s theme is A to Zoo Animals and each day we’re learning about a different animal. We’re not just reading about them, though. We’re singing animal songs, doing zoo-themed crafts and activities, and even playing animal games. Sure, we could just read the book and be done with it, but what if the little guy wasn’t an auditory learner? Maybe, he’s a kinesthetic learner. There are “tray play” activities in the Little Goose Teacher Guide that would be just perfect. And of course if he’s a visual learner, there’s a brand-spankin’-new topic poster for each and every day.
There’s definitely a lot to love about a play-based curriculum that places a strong emphasis on creative expression.
Looking for more insight & inspiration? Here are the top 10 most popular posts from The Keeper of the Memories. You’re definitely not going to want to miss these!
More Preschool Zoo Crafts & Activities:
10 Quick & Easy Zoo Craft Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers
5 Tray Play Ideas + Why They’re So Important
A is for Alligator Activities
A is for Alligator Zoo Craft
B is for Bird Activities
B is for Bird Craft
C is for Camel Activities
C is for Camel Craft
D is for Dolphin Activities
D is for Dolphin Craft
E is for Elephant Craft
The Process is Almost Always More Important Than The Product
F is for Fox Craft
G is for Gorilla Craft
J is for Jellyfish Craft
L is for Llama Craft
T is for Tiger Activities + Curriculum Design
U is for Urchin Craft
Thanks so much for visiting. See ya next week!