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Learning About Life in the Grasslands - Mother Goose Time Curriculum

For our third week of Going on a Safari with Mother Goose Time we learned about how people and animals live in the Grasslands of Africa.

Beads - Day 11:

I don't have any pictures from Bead day.  Hadlee and the girls were all home and it was to hard to get pictures that didn't have anyone's face in them.  So I will just briefly (as if I can ever be brief LOL) explain what we did.  First on the list was Maasai Bracelets.  We talked about what we wear when we dress us (usually just for church, we don't go very many fancy places) and I told them that the Maasai tribe in Africa traditionally wear red fabric and beads.  Then we counted beads for how old each of the kids are, and they made bracelets.  They were able to grab more beads after they counted, it was just an easy way to add in some math to the fine motor project!

Then we did Bead Shapes.  Every day we have a topic poster, and this month we saved them all to look at for this activity.  I was really glad the girls were here for this, because what we did was look for shapes in all the posters, and they were really good at it, which I think helped Little Guy know what to look for.  Then we used our Shape Beads and Shape Design Mats to make patterns and match them.

Stringing Words was a word family game.  It is really hard to explain without pictures, so I am not really even going to try.

Hut - Day 12:

To start Hut day, Little Guy got to make a mini hut.  Mother Goose Time provided a souffle cup and sand and Little Guy put it together.  I helped him actually because he was WAY more interested in squeezing glue all over the souffle cup than making sure that it was all covered in sand.  Mother Goose Time also included some little paper people for him to play with in the hut.  I don't really know how well he did playing with them, because I was doing dishes.

We also used our Storytelling Set today.  I was a little disappointed in the Storytelling Set this month.  Not because it sucked or anything, but last month the pieces were directly out of the storybook, and this month they were similar but not exact.  Little Guy LOVES Giraffes Can't Dance, and I am pretty sure he would have been beside himself with excitement if they were the same.  As it was I told a story and he was great at following along with the pieces.  He put them on the set when I said their names and had them act out the story as I said it.  

Migration - Day 13:

Usually when I play a matching game with Little Guy I have the pieces all face up.  This time I decided to be hardcore and have them face down for Elephant Matching.  HE DID AWESOME!  I don't know why I am surprised, he has the memory of an elephant.  In a year or two he will be kicking my butt at matching games...  We have talked about herds a few times this month, and today we talked about how Elephants live in herds for safety and love.  We sorted the cards by color, and then attempted to sort them by eyes.  

Animals Move to Shapes used the owl shapes again.  Well it wasn't supposed to, but it did in my house!  I taped the shapes on the wall around the room (which was to messy to photograph) and then called out a shape, a movement, and an instruction.  Then he "migrated" to that shape and did what I said.  Example: "stomp like an elephant to the rectangle, then touch the rectangle with your foot."  He did well following the directions, although he did get a little caught up in walking like the animals.

Roll to Safety was a winner.  I taped the Letter Flags to the door and then set a blanket in front of them.  I told him about the Great Migration when millions of wildebeest walk from Tanzania to Kenya (also read a book about migration that was pretty interesting) and that they cross over dangerous rivers to get there.  We pretended the blanket was a river.  He drew a Phonic Photo Card and then identified the name and sound.  Then he rolled a ball across the river to the corresponding Letter Flag.  He played this for quite some time, probably because it involved a ball.

I am really glad to see the Safari Counters move on from being a school tool to a toy.  Little Guy liked them TO MUCH!  He wanted to play with them all the time and when we used them for a game or activity he didn't want to move on from that activity when it was time (and I was not really rushing him).  We talked about where animals find food and where we get food, then I hid some Safari Counters around the room (only four, I am so mean!) and put a pan of cornmeal on the floor.  He went around the room and helped the animals find food.  Then he played for like 30 minutes with the cornmeal and the Safari Counters.  And when it was time to use the Counting Card he was really pissed of that he couldn't play in the cornmeal anymore.  We only counted a couple times, and took away a few animals, because I didn't want to get to a point of either of us getting exasperated.  

Music - Day 14:
I don't know why, but we did school time in the afternoon/evening on this day.  The girls were home which always makes it a little more interesting, and at the same time a little more chaotic.  No pictures again...  Our discussion question was: When do you, or people in your family, sing?  We came up with the shower, the car, Circle Time and church.

Repeat the Beat was great.  Why?  There was only one supply needed.  A bowl.  First we made sounds (scary, happy, sad, etc.).  Then we took turns pounding on the bowl and having the other people copy us.  Little Guy did well when the pattern was short, but got a little overzealous when the pattern when on for a while.

Next we did Letter Chant Circle.  We practiced making different kinds of sounds (loud, quiet, baby, etc.) and saying phrases in different ways with different emotions.  Standing in a circle, I held up a Phonic Photo Card and sang the sound while doing a movement.  Then the children copied me.  We passed the card around the circle and everyone took a turn, then we repeated it with the other letters.

Our craft project for the day was an African Shaker Stick (only Little Guy gets to do the arts and crafts, because I only get a one child kit).  He drew on it with markers, insisting on drawing on the inside too.  Then I couldn't find my stapler so I didn't put it together.  A week or so later I found it, but couldn't figure out how it was supposed to put the pieces together, so we didn't finish this one.

Food - Day 15:

Probably once a week, our Circle Time song really catches Little Guy's fancy.  This week it was "Grow":

to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Grow, grow, grow a yam
Grow it every day
Growing, growing, growing growing,
Grow a yam today

The Mother Goose Time Circle Time CD comes with 2 versions of almost all the songs on it, one with words and one without to use with the daily themed songs like "Grow".  It also has days of the week, months of the year, clean-up, welcome, and good-bye songs.

Growing a Feast was a participation story, and we started out by discussing where food comes from.  He knew that food grows in a garden with no prompting.  We read the story and he acted it out (with some instruction) then did awesome at the discussion questions.  He remembered that we grew watermelon in our garden last year, and said cantaloupe is his favorite food.  Which is good because someone has to like the lame fresh fruit bowls they serve at restaurants aka a bowl of cantaloupe with two grapes.
Yes, he is wearing his pajamas.  Sometimes I really need to do laundry.  Okay, all the time I really need to do laundry.
We talked about what kind of animals we eat (which was nothing new, I talk about this almost everyday, because I find it weird when older kids don't realize they are eating a cow at McDonalds) and which animals could eat us.  Then we filled in a Food Web, which was pretty advanced for a 2 year old.  I attempted to teach him that meat eaters are carnivores and plant eaters are herbivores, but he didn't catch on.  I might bring this Food Web out a few more times and try to get it to sink it a little better.

Every month Mother Goose Time provides a Bilingual Book.  I am not really teaching Little Guy Spanish, so we just use it as another opportunity to work on literacy.  I like these books because they are quite short, repetitive, and the pictures REALLY match the words so he can "read" them himself.
Little Guy and I get to use Mother Goose Time curriculum for free in exchange for sharing our experiences on my blog!  All opinions are my own!


  1. That's so exciting that he did so well with the elephant memory game. I'm still giving them face up....maybe I should be brave and give turning them over a shot :) Thanks for the encouragement!


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