Sensory Overload

 

In homeschool preschool last week we continued our Amazing Body unit, focusing our attention on the five senses.  My little guy has been having so much fun this year with the Mother Goose Time curriculum, and last week was one of his best yet.  Here are some of the two-year-old approved activities we worked on as we explored sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell

Sight

To explore our sense of sight we worked on shape and color identification.

IMG_6847

Using our newfound knowledge about shapes we explored some of Piet Mondrian’s masterpieces, which are largely created using lines and rectangles.  Then we finished the day by creating our own Mondrian work of art.

 

Smell

We explored our sense of smell by creating our own flower garden using floral foam and Mother Goose Time provided us with paper flowers and popsicle sticks to make our own flowers.  I kicked our garden up a notch by adding a cotton ball, with a few drops of essential oil on it, to each flower.

Sound

Not surprisingly, things got a little loud in our house when we learned about the sense of hearing. We discussed the difference between loud and soft and experimented with our own voices.  Then we got the instruments down and really made some noise.

Touch

The letter ‘A’ was introduced on the same day we were exploring the sense of touch, and what better way to learn about new letters than in a tactile way.  Rather than writing the letter on the chalkboard or a piece of paper, we worked on tracing the letter in the sand, at first with our fingers and then using a toy bulldozer. Since my son hasn’t yet mastered the mechanics necessary to write letters, this was a great way to develop those skills.

We finished the day using colored sand to create our own tactile masterpieces.

Taste

To explore our sense of taste we created a rainbow fruit platter and explored the different flavor of each fruit.  Not only did we have a yummy snack, but we also explored the concept of eating a rainbow each day.

Thanks for joining me for our weekly homeschool adventures.  Come back next week for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

Advertisements

What’s in The Box-October Edition

Here is a sneak peak of the Mother Goose Time, October box.  The theme for October is Weather All Around Us and looks like it is going to be so much fun.

Teacher Toolbag

IMG_6963

The Teacher Guides-

IMG_6960

Celebration Kit

October’s celebration kit includes everything to throw an awesome Pumpkin Patch inspired party.

IMG_6967

Suprise Free Gift

Mother Goose Time included some schedule cards along with some cute songs to help create smoother transitions and routines throughout the day.

Manipulatives

My son loves playing with the new manipulatives as soon as they arrive, and this month was no exception.

Week 1- Wonder About Weather

IMG_6978IMG_6980IMG_6982IMG_6983IMG_6985

Week 2- Wonder About Seasons

IMG_6987IMG_6989IMG_6991IMG_6992IMG_6993

Week 3- Wonder About Changes

IMG_6995IMG_6996IMG_6997IMG_6998IMG_7001

Week 4- Wonder About Storms

IMG_7002IMG_7003IMG_7004IMG_7005IMG_7006

Thanks for taking a peek into the October box with me.  Join me for more Chaos on the Creek later this week.
19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

Our First Day of School

IMG_6821My little guy and I officially began our 2017/2018 school year this week, and so far things are going well.  Reluctantly, I sent my other three kids off to school, leaving just myself and my two-year-old at home this year.  My little guy was quite upset when his big brother boarded the big yellow bus and went to school without him, and truthfully I didn’t take it well either.  However, once we settled into our routine, it was kind of nice.  Having some one on one time with mom will be great for my little guy, with three other siblings, it’s not something he gets to experience very often.

For the second year in a row, we will be using the Mother Goose Time Curriculum in conjunction with their Little Goose supplement.  The Little Goose supplement explains how to make the daily activities more toddler-friendly, and also adds some other fun toddler activities to do with your toddler each day.  Our first unit of study this year will be focusing on our amazing bodies and looks like it will be so much fun.

Our First Day

Morning Walk

Before we got to work with homeschool, we took a moment to get some fresh air and started off our day with a walk around our meadow.  My son was thrilled with being able to have all of my attention focused on him, as we smelled all the flowers we could find and explored the meadow.  I love getting my kids outside, and it was a great way to get our day started out on the right foot.

Circle Time

IMG_6717
Our Circle Time Area

Once we returned, refreshed and relaxed from our walk, we got started with circle time and talked about the calendar and weather.  My son loved having complete control over this whole process and was thrilled when he got to glue the date up all by himself.   He also spent a lot of time pointing out different images on the calendar and talking about what they were.  He is all about learning new words right now so this was a great activity for him.

Nametag Activity

When we finished our circle time, we moved onto the name tag activity, which is featured in each month of the Mother Goose Time curriculum.  At this point, my two-year-old is not writing, so I write his name on the name tag for him and let him scribble over it.   During this activity, we also practiced some of our writing skills on the chalk board by drawing different shapes.  By the end of our lesson my son was able to recognize his name, and would gleefully shout “Me” whenever he saw his name tag throughout the day.

Cuddle and Snuggle Time

After working on our name for a little bit, we took a break and moved onto our cuddle and snuggle activity.  The Little Goose supplement features a new cuddle and snuggle activity each day.  This is a great opportunity to have a quiet, bonding moment with your toddler.  Today my son sat on my lap and looked at himself in a mirror.  We worked together to point out different features on his face, including his eyes, ears, and mouth.  He loved this activity and was quite mesmerized with himself.  He especially loved making silly faces at himself.

Art Time

Normally my son loves art time, but that was not the case today.  We were supposed to work on self-portraits, but my son had no interest in drawing a picture of himself.  I even sat next to him and showed him how to draw a circle and then add eyes and a mouth, but to no avail. He was more interested in his new crayons and discussing what colors they were, so that’s what we worked on.

Block Time

We finished our day with an activity involving blocks.  We practiced stacking them and then attempted to make block towers as tall as ourselves.  However like most two-year-olds, my son had more interest in knocking the towers down, so we never were able to get a tower as tall as either of us.  Nonetheless, this was his favorite activity of the day, and we proceeded to build towers for almost a half an hour.  In a two-year old’s world, thirty minutes is an eternity.

All in all, our day was a success.  It was definitely different having just my little guy home, but I think it will be a very beneficial year for both of us.   My little guy will continue to grow and thrive with the Mother Goose Time curriculum and my undivided attention.  There are lots of things I hope we accomplish this year, most importantly being potty trained and getting rid of diapers for good (it’s been 10 years since we have been diaper free). I am looking forward to sharing our adventures with you this year.

See you next week for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

Our Homeschool Space

IMG_6527One of my favorite things to research on the internet is how others have set up their homeschool space, whether it’s a carefully planned out corner in the family room, or an elaborate room solely devoted to homeschool.  Often these voyeuristic endeavors result in new ideas for how I can improve my own homeschool space.  Over the past year and a half, my homeschool space has evolved from a portable trifold board in our family room, to a homeschool corner in the playroom, then finally into a homeschool/craft room.  With the new school year quickly approaching, I thought I would share my space with you.  It is still a work in progress, so please excuse our unpainted walls.  That’s my (husband’s) next project once I decide on a color.  I’m torn between a cheerful pastel yellow, a peaceful blue, or a  neutral khaki (let me know below in the comment section what you would choose).

This year I will only be working with my two-year-old son, so I’ve set up the room with the Little Goose Supplement in mind.   There is lots of room to move around, a place to cuddle, and an area to create.  So without further adieu, here is our homeschool space….

IMG_6516

Now let me show you some of the finer details…

Our Cuddle and Snuggle/Reading Area

One of our favorite parts of the Little Goose Supplement is the daily Cuddle Snuggle activity.  It’s a great time to slow down and have a quiet, bonding moment with your toddler.   This area is one of our favorite spots to cuddle, even when we aren’t doing school work.  This book caddy is from Ikea and is a great place to put the books on our monthly list (for more information on the monthly book list check out this previous post….Read With Them, Everyday)

Space to Create

Arts and Crafts are a big part of the Mother Goose Time Curriculum, and also one of my little guy’s favorite part of the day.  We’ve had this table since my oldest was a baby, and it has been well used.  It came with three sets of legs so I can adjust the height accordingly as my kiddos grow.

IMG_6530

We also needed an area to display all of the artwork we created, so I found an old board in our garage and glued some clothespins to it, and voila we have our own art gallery.

img_6535.jpg

Storage

When we started homeschooling, we didn’t have that much in the way of supplies, but as time has gone on, our collection of art supplies has grown.  I love finding creative ways to organize things, so I was thrilled when we got this old card catalog from my father-in-law.  It was the perfect place to store all of our crafty things.

We were also given this great hutch, which is great space to store paper, play dough, book, games and other odds and ends.

IMG_6542

I use this rainbow cart to store all of my Mother Goose Time supplies and daily bags.  This was one of the first purchases I made when I began homeschooling and has been one of my favorite items.  IMG_6540

Circle Time Area

When we first started homeschooling with Mother Goose Time, we used a trifold board to set up our circle time board.  We would pull it out each day, and then store it away when we were done.   Now that we have a more permanent space, I have upgraded our circle time board to a blue felt board.   The board is hung at toddler level and I laminated all the circle time pieces and put a piece of velcro on the back.  My son loves picking out the weather pieces for the day, although he is so enthusiastic about this job, most days our weather says it’s sunny, rainy, snowing, cloudy, and windy.

IMG_6538

I also used some more felt boards above our circle time board to create an area to put up our daily schedule and daily topic.  This is more for me than my son and helps me remember what we are going to do next.

IMG_6537

Sensory Play Area

Since our homeschool room is on the small side, I set up our sensory play area in our playroom.  I found this table at Ikea, and it’s been one of the best purchases I made.

Although this room is still a work in progress, it is one of my favorite rooms in our house.   I love having a space to escape to and to focus on spending time with my son.  This in no way means that you have to have a homeschool room in order to do home preschool with your child.  It is just what works best for our family.  Again when we started, we had a tri-fold board and did homeschool all around our house.   The Mother Goose Time curriculum is so versatile that it can be used in a variety of environments, and can really be tailored to suit your family’s needs.

I can’t wait to start the new school year with my little guy next week, and I hope you will join us for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

Let’s Save The Earth​

We Switched gears this past week in Mommy homeschool/camp and focused our attention on the more realistic aspects of being a Superhero.   What better way to be a superhero in real life than to save the planet.  We learned all about Reusing, Recycling, and Reducing and many other ways we can help save our planet Earth.  These are some of the Mother Goose Time activities we worked on, that helped empower my kids to save  Planet Earth.  Most importantly all these activities can be replicated in your own home with common household materials.

Can Targets

When I started setting up this activity I didn’t feel very optimistic.  I figured my kids would race through it and be onto the next thing, turns out I was very wrong! The premise behind this activity is to use can wrappers (provided by Mother Goose Time) to cover aluminum cans, and then use bean bags to knock them down.  This was a great way to show the kids how to repurpose trash into something useful and fun.  My kids had a great time chucking bean bags at the cans and seeing how far away they could get while still knocking all the cans over.

 

Upcycled Art

One of my children’s favorite things to do is to make creations out of things we have laying around the house.  So when Mother Goose Time presented us with an Invitation to Create that was essentially doing just that, I knew my kids would enjoy it.  Mother Goose time did provide us with paper cups, yarn, wax sticks and an inspirational photograph, but the rest was up to my kids.  They had a great time creating different creatures and sculptures with the provided materials.

 

Sorting Trash

We have single stream recycling where we live, so we don’t actually have to sort our recyclables on a regular basis.  However, Mother Goose Time provided us with a fun game, which allowed my kids to experience the joy of sorting trash.  I know that sounds slightly sarcastic, but they actually really enjoyed the sorting experience.  In fact, they told me how much more enjoyable recycling would be if we could sort it into individual cans.  Mother Goose Time provided us with shape signs to tape onto boxes or bags, and trash shapes which we crumpled up and threw around the room.  The kids had fun picking up the trash and sorting it into the appropriate brown bag.

 

Making Paper

One of our favorite projects of the week was getting to make our own paper.  We used various pieces of colored paper and scrap paper and mixed in water to make a pulp.  We also added some glitter for extra pizazz,  and then spread the pulp onto a screen and let it dry for a couple days.  It was a great way to teach the kids about the process of recycling paper and all the effort that goes into making something they often take for granted.

 

This has been one of my favorite weeks of Mother Goose Time all year.  My husband and I are big advocates for the environment, and regularly discuss environmental issues with our kids.  We try to reuse, recycle, and reduce on a regular basis, but it is still nice to have a refresher every now and then.  This week’s activities have helped to reinvigorate my kids’ passion for environmental issues.  I am proud of my little environmentalists, and can’t wait to see what they do with all they have learned and will continue to learn.

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please let me know.  See you next week for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_n

 

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Popsicle Stick Superheroes

Last week at Mommy Summer Camp/homeschool, we continued to work on our Superhero unit.  We focused on Superhero powers, naturally sparking a discussion of what super powers we would have if we were superheroes.  My older son decided he would have the power to play tricks on people, sort of like a Super Pranker. Since my two-year-old isn’t very verbal yet, his siblings decided his power would be to make super stinky diapers (a power he already possesses in my opinion).  Personally, I would love to be able to fly or to be invisible, kind of generic I know, but it would be pretty awesome to be able to fly everywhere.

IMG_6184As is customary with Mother Goose Time, there were lots of fun activities for the kids this week, but one stood out from all the rest.  It was another one of the Mother Goose Time Make and Play projects, entitled Flying Hero.  During this activity,  the kids made super heroes using a popsicle stick and also created a piece of scenery using a paper bag.  Then they used the two pieces to act out adventures.  Since my youngest son was napping at the time, it was a nice opportunity to spend some toddler free time with his older siblings.  It was fascinating to watch each of them approach the project in different ways.

My older son used multiple popsicle sticks, breaking some of them apart to give his superhero arms and legs.  He used his bag to recreate the crazy demolition bus, Miss Fritter, from Cars 3 (which he is a little obsessed with).

My youngest daughter made a fantastic superhero, complete with a bejeweled cape, and also a pet to go along with her hero since her special power was having the ability to talk to animals.

My oldest daughter made multiple superheroes, one evil one and one good.

IMG_6204

Each of them ended up with awesome popsicle stick superheroes which they played with for the rest of the day.  I worked on a superhero too so my littlest guy would have something to play with when he woke up from his nap and he was delighted with my Super Mommy superhero.

IMG_6215

This project was easy to do and could easily be replicated with materials most of you have around your house.   You could be very flexible with this project and use the popsicle sticks to make whatever characters your child might be interested in, whether it be princesses, pirates, or knights.  We have had a lot of fun this week and are looking forward to exploring more superhero fun next week with Mother Goose Time.

Join us next week as we focus on Saving the Planet, and of course for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

What’s In The Box-September Edition

The start of a new school year is always an exciting time, whether you are homeschooling or sending your kids to a traditional school setting.  Although we are still a few weeks away from the official start of school, my kids are already bubbling over with excitement.  When our Mother Goose Time box arrived this afternoon, they all went crazy.  Everyone was so excited to see what was inside, including me.  The theme for September is My Amazing Body, and it looks like it is going to be so much fun.  Here is a look at what was included in our box.   There are a ton of new features for the 2017/2018 school year, which I will do my best to highlight for you.

Welcome Pack

This packet is included in all September boxes for returning customers and is included in your first box if you are new to Mother Goose Time.  It contains everything you need to set up a Circle Time Board in your classroom/homeschool area.

IMG_6245

Here is an example of one way to set up your Circle Time board

IMG_6246

Teacher Tool Bag

img_6249.jpg

This Teacher newsletter was included this year and features the monthly activity calendar on the inside, and some interesting insights into teaching as well.

This year the teacher guides are in full color and there is a different guide for each week.

IMG_6253

Manipulatives

IMG_6257

Celebration Kit

Each monthly box includes a different celebration kit, corresponding with the month’s featured holiday.  This month’s celebration is a back to school themed party, which would work well in both a preschool or home setting.

IMG_6264

Week 1

At the beginning of each week, a set of Daily Notes is included to send home to parents or to include with your child’s artwork.  These would be great to use in a scrapbook with your child’s work as a reminder of what they were learning about when they created their masterpiece.

img_6284.jpg

IMG_6255

IMG_6256IMG_6258IMG_6259IMG_6260

Week 2

IMG_6265IMG_6266IMG_6267img_6268.jpgIMG_6270

Week 3

I am missing day 13, I received two of day 14 by mistake.  One quick call to customer service resolved this quickly, and I will post a picture of Day 13 as soon as I receive it in the mail.

IMG_6272IMG_6273IMG_6274IMG_6275

Week 4

This year Mother Goose Time has included high-quality magnetic storytelling pieces that correspond with the included story book.  I have a feeling these are going to be well played with in our house.  (They are inside Day 19’s bag)

img_6283.jpg

IMG_6277IMG_6278IMG_6280IMG_6281IMG_6282

This box was jam packed with fun and I can’t wait to get started with my little guy.  We are really looking forward to the whole year ahead.  This calendar was also included in our box, highlighting all of the wonderful monthly themes for the year.

img_6276.jpg

It will be so fun to watch my 2-year-old learn and grow with this fantastic program.  Become a follower of my blog so you won’t miss any of the fun, and join me soon for more Chaos On the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_n

 

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

 

Creating A Superhero

IMG_5990We are closing out the summer with a unit all about superheroes.  This month the focus will be on both imaginary superheroes and real life superheroes.  As is customary with the Mother Goose Time summer units, there is lots of letter and number review included in each daily lesson.

IMG_5939
My son loved using his super secret spyglass to decode different pictures.

Each month, Mother Goose Time features weekly subtopics, which coordinate with the monthly theme.   The subtopic this week was Superhero dress-up.  The boys learned all about the different components of a superhero’s uniform including glasses, capes, masks, belts, and the Superhero’s Symbol.  We have had so much fun this week, playing games, reading stories and reviewing concepts we learned throughout the year.  The boys also worked on creating their own superhero alter ego, complete with superhero name and special powers.

All of the art projects this week were Make and Play projects, resulting in a kid-made prop to be used in dramatic play.  Conveniently all of the materials to make the items are included in our Mother Goose Time box.   My boys love creating their make and play projects, but often the projects end up being destroyed during play.  Inevitably this ends in tears and dismay over their hard work being destroyed.  To prevent this from happening this month, I came up with a brilliant idea!  Using easel paper, I traced each boy and hung their outline on the wall.  IMG_5907As we completed the different make and play projects during the week, we add them to the outlines and created our very own superheroes before our eyes.   The boys’ special creations were preserved and used in a creative and fun way.

The boys have had a ton of fun making the various superhero elements, and have used untold amounts of glitter, sequins, and gems.  Our superheroes are now decked out with a superhero symbol, name, mask and belt.  My older son also had fun picking out special power’s for each of their superheroes, his superhero’s power was being able to do all sorts of magic tricks.  As for his little brother, he decided that his special power was creating the world’s stinkiest diaper…boys will be boys.  We will continue to work on them as we progress through the month.  They loved adding the different elements to their superheroes and have really enjoyed watching the transformation during the week.

img_5996.jpg
Glitter everywhere!

This month marks my last month of homeschooling my soon to be kindergarten student,  and I am so grateful for these last weeks of fun we have together.   As I prepare him to head off on the big yellow bus in a few weeks, I am confident that he will have a fantastic year, and will also have wonderful memories of our past year together.  Most importantly it’s not the time for school yet, we have a few weeks to go and we can’t wait to learn more about superheroes.  Next week join us as we learn about Superpowers, and of course, use our own superpowers to create more Chaos on the Creek.  Next week join us as we learn about Superpowers, and of course, use our own superpowers to create more Chaos on the Creek.19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_n 

Disclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

The Thriving Twos

IMG_5790What’s adorable, messy, frustrating, sweet, and unpredictable all at the same time – a two-year-old!  Often described as “The Terrible Twos” this stage of life has earned its esteemed title with good reason.  If you have ever dealt with a two-year-old, I’m sure you know about their drastic mood swings.  Mine is like a time bomb waiting to go off at any second.  One day bananas are the only food he will allow his lips to touch, the next day the mere sight of a banana induces a massive fit of yelling, screaming, and throwing himself to the ground.  A minute or two later the tantrum will be done, and my son is cuddled in my lap with his chubby arms wrapped around me.  He will look into my eyes and tell me he loves me, and all is forgiven.

 

IMG_5785
Working on scissor skills, while listening to a story.

As frustrating as this roller coaster of emotions is, I remind myself how difficult being a two year probably is.  Two-year-olds are caught in between two stages of life, baby and big kid.  They want to act and be treated like a big kid but don’t have the means to do so yet.  Many two-year-olds are still learning to communicate, they have a ton to say, but don’t have the words to say what they want.  In reality, two-year-olds are actually doing so much learning and growing, the “Terrible Twos” should really be referred to as the “Thriving Twos”.

 

Throughout the summer I have watched my little guy grow both physically and mentally.  If you have read my previous posts, you know that I have been taking advantage of Mother Goose Time’s toddler supplement, Little Goose. If you have not had a chance to read my posts about Little Goose yet follow these links – A Day with Little GooseToddler Diversions.  Here are some of the highlights from our Camping unit.

Exploring Nature

During the camping unit, we learned about many aspects of the natural world. What better way to learn about something than to experience it in real life?

 

Manipulative Fun

Each month we get two sets of manipulatives to use with the daily lesson plans.  One of the manipulatives we received this month was a set of three-dimensional shapes, which have been a huge hit with my two-year-old.

Art Time

My son’s favorite part of the day is completing the art project with his older siblings.  He loves getting messy during the process too, often ending up with paint all over his whole body.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dramatic Play

I found a TeePee at a local consignment store and knew it would be perfect for our camping unit.  It has been a great addition to our dramatic play area, and the little guy is a huge fan.

img_5584.jpg

Learning New Vocabulary

The high-quality materials that are provided in each Mother Goose Time box help to captivate and motivate toddlers to learn new words and concepts.

IMG_5167
My son is learning how to say Racoon and also spotting other creatures on the monthly theme poster.

Being able to incorporate my busy toddler into our daily activities has been wonderful this summer.  He is learning so much while he is participating in activities alongside his older siblings.  I look forward to continuing to with him during the school year.  Most importantly, I am excited to watch him continue to thrive with the Little Goose program.  If you have any questions about Mother Goose Time or the Little Goose supplement, let me know in the comment section.

Join us next week as we don our capes and soar into the Superhero unit, and of course, expect more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.

 

Hiking with Little Ones

IMG_5349.jpgLast week we went on our summer vacation to Vermont, which surreptitiously coincided with our Camping unit.   One of my family’s favorite things to do when we venture northward into the much cooler climate of Vermont is to go hiking.   The area we visit in the Green Mountains offers tons of options for every type of hiker.  I should preface this post by telling you that I am not an outdoor expert.  In fact, a few years ago (13 to be exact)  I wouldn’t have been caught dead hiking, camping or participating in any outdoorsy activities.  Luckily my husband (an avid outdoor enthusiast) came along and showed me the errors of my ways.

IMG_5287Unlike me, my kids didn’t need to be convinced about the awesomeness of nature.  You could say that they were born wearing hiking shoes and carrying backpacks.  They love being outdoors in nature, learning, and playing as they go.  They have no qualms about hiking up huge mountains, going to the bathroom in the middle of the woods, or sleeping in a tent with animals all around.  Being outside seems to transform my children, instead of sibling squabbling, they begin to help each other, the whining stops, and they have a great time.

IMG_5367Watching all of my kids simultaneously enjoying themselves is great, but when I can sneak some educational time into the mix, it’s a win-win for everyone.  A few weeks ago, as I was flipping through my Mother Goose Teacher guide, I came upon the Trail Map day.  I knew it would tie into our trip perfectly, so I pulled out the daily bag, gathered the necessary materials, and threw it in my suitcase.   The lesson was easy to work on throughout the trip, as we hiked our way through Vermont. The kids learned how to read actual trail maps and how to follow trail markers while they were on the trail.

One of the daily activities, called Color Trail,  had the kids hunt for different colors in nature. It’s now my kids’ favorite hiking activity.  Although we didn’t complete all the activities from the lesson plan, we had fun applying the lesson in a real life situation.

IMG_5438
My Daughter was super excited to find all of these different colored wildflowers.
IMG_5457
An upside down red/orange mushroom we found on one of our hikes.

 

IMG_5612
The rest of our finds during the search for different colors in nature.

Tips For Hiking with Kids

IMG_5414

Hiking with my kiddos is an awesome experience, and I learn something new each time. Here is some of what I’ve learned thus far.

#1 Know the trail-  Do your research ahead of time so that you know what you are getting into.  I like to use an App on my phone called AllTrails, which will tell you trails nearest to you and also rates their difficulty.  It’s a good idea to hike the trail on your own before your kids are in tow, that way you know what to expect.

#2 Pack healthy snacks-  Pack some fruit, fruit leather, or trail mix for the kids to eat during the hike.  If you kids are anything like my kids then they are hungry all the time.

#3 Bring lots of water-  My kids each have their own Camelback Pack, which is a backpack with a built in water reservoir.  They can drink water whenever they need to and we don’t have to constantly stop to pull out water bottles.

#4 Hype the Hike-  Let your kids know about all the amazing sights you’ll see as you hike, and get them excited!

#5 Pack some treats-  I like to bring a bag of M&M’s in case my kids need extra motivation to keep moving.

#6 Let them Lead-  Let them take the lead and follow the trail markers on their own.  It helps them gain confidence and it’s fun to be in the lead.

#7 Have FUN!

IMG_5446

We had a great vacation and had lots of fun exploring Vermont.  It was wonderful to be able to do Mother Goose Time on the road and tie our learning into family activities.  When we decided to homeschool our children this year, being able to educate them beyond the confines of a classroom was a big selling point.  Mother Goose Time is extremely flexible and easy to use in almost any environment and has helped us fulfill this idea, and we are so happy to have discovered such a wonderful curriculum.  While we had a blast, we are glad to be back home and back to our normal routine.

Come back next week to read more about camping unit and of course for more Chaos on the Creek.

19510309_1588341684509993_3025539560496814781_nDisclaimer:  I am so grateful to have found this curriculum and am excited to share our experiences on the blog.  In exchange for my unbiased and honest reviews, Mother Goose Time has provided us with the curriculum free of charge.