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Getting Ready for Safari - Mother Goose Time

You can't go on a safari without getting ready!  For our Mother Goose Time Safari we are spending the first week getting ready to "go"!  This week was really heavy on the masking tape, which I was unable to find so we missed a few fun activities.  Also, although I arranged this by the day it was supposed to be done, we didn't really follow it precisely this week.  Some days we did one or two activities and one day we did SIX!
This is actually items from Little Passports, but I thought it was to perfect for our theme to not take a picture!
Also, Little Guy really needs to go to the barber shop...

Passport - Day One:  
Little Guy's idea of writing his name...  Hopefully his handwriting improves as he gets older :)
If not I guess he can become a doctor?
Every month, on the first day, Mother Goose Time students get new nametags.  Seeing as how Little Guy is the only pupil in our classroom we don't really use them for much, but its a great way to keep track of their handwriting.  Or in the case of two year olds, their lack of handwriting.  This was actually supposed to be an in-depth activity, but after he wrote his name on the nametag I didn't really bother to set up the stations for him to sign-in to.  He can't write his name, and I didn't read the Teacher Guide ahead of time to know to set them up...  So it was a very boring activity, and there was no real improvement in his penmanship since last month.

The next activity was AMAZING even though I was missing a few needed items, so we improvised.  We were supposed to look at the world map, roll the continent cube and then (after identifying it on the world map) stamp the correct page in the passport.  My inkpad (which I was 75% sure I owned) and stapler were missing, so we just folded the passport in half, then I used a glue stick to stamp the passport.  I totally don't recommend this, as its a sticky mess, but it totally served its purpose and my two year old knows his continents (at least on the Mother Goose Time map) which is pretty cool!  

Stamp a Map was probably his favorite activity EVER.  I turned on the Going On Safari CD (which is not my style for turning on in the car, but its fun and kind of catchy) and we listened to the whole thing (22 minutes) while he stamped and stamped and stamped.  First we talked about how cars and airplanes have to stay on paths while they travel.  Then I drew him an example path and asked him to draw one too.  He didn't do so hot at making a path so I just let him stamp mine.  I didn't think he would stay on the path honestly.  I have asked him to trace over letters and shapes before to no avail, but he stayed on the path the whole time!

Packing Up - Day Two: 

Packing List was a fun game that was a bit over Little Guy's head.  There were pictures of some items that you would want to pack in a suitcase, and then a packing list with corresponding pictures.  We put all the picture cards into the suitcase (courtesy of Little Passports) then I took one away.  What was supposed to happen was that he identified which one I took away, either from memory or by referencing the list.  This is designed to help them work on their logic.  Apparently my son is quite illogical because he had a lot of fun messing with the suitcase and guessing which card I took away but he didn't ever get it right.

For the craft project today he made a Safari Hat.  Actually it still isn't done, because this was the first time Little Guy used glue and although mostly he did really well there was one glob that will probably take days to dry.

Game Reserve - Day Three:

Today we used Little Guy's favorite manipulative in the history of manipulatives for most of our activities: SAFARI COUNTERS!  

Looking for a "dangerous animal"
We started out with a Circle Time activity by talking about what animals are dangerous.  Then we played a game with numbered cups.  I hid a "dangerous animal" (a toy lion) under one of the cups, and Little Guy said a number, than picked up that cup to see if the dangerous animal was under it.  He did pretty well with the numbers, but was a little apprehensive about the idea of finding a dangerous animal until he found out it was a safari counter.  

A whole herd of lions
Animal Classify and Sort was fun.  We made herds of like animals using the safari counters.  First he did amazing.  Sorting them by animal was cake.  The next step was sorting them by color, which took him many, many, many tries and a lot of help.  Apparently it is hard to sort things one way, then switch your brain around and sort them another way when you are little.

Hiding Animals could have been fun, but Little Guy was being lazy today and not interested in looking for things, instead he wanted to stand in the middle of the room and act like he was desperate for help finding things.  I was supposed to tell him where to hide cards and then he put them there.  Then I would ask where one was and using positional vocabulary (over, behind, under, etc.) he was supposed to tell me where it was.  He doesn't understand "behind" so we need to work on that.  Otherwise he sort of lost interest and was just playing with the cards, so we stopped before he bent them all up.

We read a cute storybook called "Giraffes Can't Dance" which we both liked.  Every month we get a new storybook to fit the theme, which is great because we love books!  The goal of the storybook activity is to have the child work on reading comprehension and help retell the story when you read it again.  Although he doesn't necessarily do well at this when we look at it again right away I know his reading comprehension is good because every time we go to the library I have him return the books.  He almost always sits down with EVERY BOOK we have read (like 15 or so usually) and goes through them naming the characters and saying what they are doing.  It takes awhile for him to return books.

The last activity we were supposed to complete was Entry Fee, which we gave up on after he couldn't count the money to nine because I am trying to be less pushy about completing things correctly, and it was lunch time.

Vehicle - Day Four:

We started with this month's Little Journal, where the kids draw and/or write about the concepts (numbers, letters, color, etc.) and theme we are learning about this month.  Or in Little Guy's case you scribble some random things and tell me you drew a picture of an animal, but when asked what animal it is, or where its eyes are you draw a complete blank because, lets face it, you are just scribbling.  This is another thing like the nametags that will be really fun to look back at as they progress in their skills.

Count the Animals was thoroughly enjoyed.  Mostly because Safari Counters are apparently the coolest toys ever, and I let him play in a bowl full of water.  I seriously think he would play with Safari Counters all day if I let him!  Then we worked on counting to nine, because they ARE Safari COUNTERS.  

Last but not least for Safari Vehicle day was Safari Similar and Different.  We talked a little about what sort of animals live inside and which live outside.  Then Little Guy looked "through" the paper magnifying glasses to match the animals then follow the prompts on the back.  Which was awesome until the giraffe.  He was supposed to find something spotted like a giraffe, and despite the fact that Bitty Baby was wearing spots on a spotted blanket and I told him that spots were lots of circles, he just stood in the room NOT finding spots.  I took a brief nap on the blanket with the baby (not a real nap, just drifting a little) while I waited, which was an exercise in futility.  I ended up showing him a dress I have with dots on it, then he figured it out when we went downstairs.  I partially blame the poster though.  The giraffe on there doesn't have spots, it has diamonds!

Safari Safety - Day Five: 

This is actually the day we kicked butt and did a zillion activities, but I am just listing the ones we did that were scheduled for today.

The Circle Time song today was awesome.  Little Guy liked it a lot and sang it quite a bit today.

to the tune of "Do You Know the Muffin Man"

Did you know that hippos bite,
Hippos bite, hippos bite
Did you know that hippos bite
Please respect their space

We moved this topic into kitchen safety when he was on the counter while I cooked dinner.  Knives, stoves, and can openers are not dangerous if you respect their space.

We played Wild Animal Chase, which freaked him out.  He likes to be chased but not if you are pretending to be a lion.  We put a blanket on the floor and I told him it was a safe place for animals.  We spun the Wild Animal Spinner and we both pretended to be whatever animal it landed on.  Unless you spun the lion, then you chased the other players (or each other as the case is at our house) to the safe spot on the blanket.  Let me tell you, that kid can MOVE!  He was on that safe place before I could catch him!
We also made Safari Binoculars, then went on a pretend safari to look at animals.  Which were pictures of animals that I taped to the walls around the living room.  He had a lot of fun, but I think the most fun he had was when he realized that I had left a "wild creature" on the wall when the game was over.  He wore them around all day.

We also read a lot of books about Africa and safaris.  I have been trying to read all the books a few times so he can remember them better and "read" them to himself later.

This week was a lot of fun.  We didn't do as good as we did the first week of last month, but we got a lot done and Little Guy had a lot of fun.  I have decided to stop doing the assessment questions for this month.  I am really a results oriented person, and when I am aiming at him "passing" I am to pushy and it ends up not being as much fun as it could be.  So for this month I am going to try to ignore the assessment questions and just focus on the fun and learning.  Next month I might try the assessments again, but I will probably wait until he is three in a few months to really worry about it.

*As usual, I get this stuff for free in exchange for my experiences and pictures being shared with everyone!  All opinions are my own!*


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