Saturday, June 10, 2017

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Fishbowl Preschool Craft & Mother Goose Time Curriculum Review

I love this fishbowl craft because it has so much room for personalization, and no matter how you put it together it comes out adorable!


I was recently contacted by Mother Goose Time about reviewing their preschool curriculum, so today I'm sharing some crafts and activities from them, as well as what I think about their preschool program!


They sent us a complete month long set, as well as the classroom items you would get if you ordered from them. The first craft we did was the Fishbowl from the Fish Day Lesson Plan:



The lessons include fun ideas to integrate arts and crafts, science, literacy, STEM, STEAM, sensory learning, letters, numbers, and more.

Let's take a look at some of the crafts.

Even before we pulled the supplies out, my kids were ready to get started! (Those bright sticks are just irresistable!)


For the fishbowl, you need a paper plate, craft sticks, red sand, wiggly eyes, orange paper, glue, paint, and scissors.

Mother Goose Time provided all the craft supplies you see in the picture above and the "Invitation to Create" instructions card (also in the picture). I used our own glue, paint, and paint dot markers. 

I like to encourage my kiddos to create their own projects, so after we talked about fish and did a fish experiment or two I showed them the supplies, a "fish bowl" picture, and let them get to work! I loved that Mother Goose Time also encourages children to create their own masterpieces and not try to just duplicate the example product.




We had a couple that ended up actually looking like a fishbowl, and several that were obviously done with their own style! One 4-year old decided to make a fish puppet with her supplies and another child decided to make his an aquarium with a lid (he wanted to staple another plate to the one he painted to make the lid):


Everyone had a wonderful time, and even played with their fish and fishbowls when we finished!


The second craft we did from Mother Goose Time was just as popular: paper cup birds:


Once they had their supplies (a cup, feathers, eyes, pipecleaners, and glue) the kids each designed their own little pet bird.

These were super simple (you can figure out how to make them from the picture), but it was so convenient to have the cups, feathers, eyes, and pipecleaners all come in a plastic baggie marked for use on the Pet Day. Here are the rest of the Pet Day Supplies:


Each day in the month comes with its own baggie, theme card, and props for crafts and learning fun!

I especially loved the "What is it?" books that came with the Pet Day set...here's one 4-year old drawing her own pet unicorn:


These interactive readers also come with the curriculum--there are enough supplies for each child in your class, co-op, or home...your order is based on the number of kiddos you teach, and works great for all sizes!

I really enjoyed working with the Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum! They are some of the most responsive and friendly people I have ever worked with. (And let's be honest here...I have worked with a lot of companies!) They also provide email support, which is perfect for my schedule!

So, what exactly is Mother Goose Time?

Mother Goose Time is a research-based preschool curriculum organized around a monthly theme! If you've followed me at all, you know that I love preschool themes. I love exploration. And I love investigation. This system actually includes all of that! It is so flexible, and would work really well for homeschool, a classroom, or co-ops. Each month, your kit comes with music and learning props -- the kit we got included a puzzle, magnet toys, and a set of stamps (all of which have been *super* popular):



There is a set of 20 preschool-friendly songs (some familiar, some original) and a CD!


I love that their curriculum includes lots of science and STEM activities in the lessons, a physical shipment of everything you might not have handy, and all the copies that you need pre-made! Many of the lessons highlight activities that encourage child-led learning and investigation. And the whole program works for your schedule...you could follow the suggested lessons for a full day of activities or pick and choose what component would work for a homeschool lesson, a supplemental theme, or a shorter day for your class. I would honestly be happy to use and recommend Mother Goose Time to anyone, especially if you want a structured lesson and don't want to spend the time planning your own curriculum. 

In addition to the written lessons, teaching ideas, teacher planner, and daily lesson bags, your set includes letters to send home to parents and loads of classroom props, like the following:





And this map!!! Geography and animals are some of my favorite things in the world, so I cannot even tell you how much I love this map! My kiddos love it too...you can see the narwhal getting pointed out!


I am happy to answer any questions you have about the our experience with the curriculum! You can also learn more by hopping over to the Mother Goose Time website or Facebook page!

Truly, our experience with the program was wonderful. It makes me so happy to discover companies that are encouraging parents and teachers to let their kids do so many of the things that I think are so important. 

Here are a few of my favorite things about the curriculum:
* It encourages children to explore and investigate.
* It provides opportunities for children to ask questions.
* It includes open-ended art and child-designed crafts.
* Numbers, letters, and Spanish are integrated into different activities.
* Science, STEM, and STEAM projects are frequently suggested in the lesson plans.
* It makes everything soooo easy by including copies and supplies separated into daily bags.
* The lesson plans are easy to read, interpret, and adapt for individual needs.

I could only find one possible drawback for the program: It seems best for "older" preschoolers, or children at least 3 1/2 or 4. However, they have a "Little Goose" lesson book for infants and toddlers! It seems perfect for 1-2 year olds! The Little Goose program aligns with the Mother Goose program, so if you have kids of both ages, they will follow along with the same theme and similar lessons...but with different learning activities that are more suited to their age! 

There are several add-ons that you can order besides Little Goose--for example, the "Experience God" teacher and child packs may be appropriate if you work in a church-based preschool or want a Christian-based homeschool.

I hope you've enjoyed meeting the Mother Goose Time program--I know I have! Feel free to send me any questions you have...and have fun making your own fishbowls!!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Mother Goose Time. All opinions are mine. I only recommend products I love and would be happy to use myself!

Happy Educating,
Carla


I may share at any of these parties!




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2 comments:

best essays said...

wow! This is a lovely and colourful project for the pre-school kids to do. They must have loved the arrangements and the colourful craft they have made. Good job!

Sheila Anderson said...

I love how you encouraged creativity with the art projects and even supported their plans such as to add a lid on the fish tank or to make a puppet. Absolutely wonderful!