Mother Goose Time’s December curriculum is called “Sights & Sounds of Winter.” This month, children will learn about instruments, the things you will see and hear indoors and outdoors during the winter and shadows. They will discover valuable lessons while having fun by learning the orchestra, sights and sounds outdoors, sights and sounds indoors and light and dark.
On Day 5, we are introduced to the story book, The Mississippi Musicians, about a donkey who is told he is too old and worthless to continue doing his job. He decides to travel to the Mississippi and play in a blues band. He makes a lot of friends along the way and together they form their own blues band right on the Mississippi River. After reading this delightful story to the children, ask them to name the characters and the instruments they play. Then have them invent a new ending to the book and come up with an additional animal who joins the band and plays the piano.
On Day 2, gather together this month’s theme poster and some looking glasses. Ask the children to use a looking glass to find picture of things that make sounds. Then ask them to find the flute. After finding the flute, do the activity listed on the back of the looking glass. Take turns finding pictures on the poster and following the instructions on the looking glasses.
On Day 4, pull together the die, rubber bands and a shoebox. Put the six rubber bands around the open shoebox. Ask a child to roll the die and say what number is rolled. Have the child pluck the rubber bands that same number of times. Each child will take a turn rolling the die and plucking the rubber bands to make some music.
On Day 12, gather together the ingredients listed on the recipe card. Encourage each child to make a sandwich. Assist them with the cookie cutters or plastic knifes to cute them into smaller pieces. Once the sandwiches have been assembled, arrange them on a tray and ask the children to share the sandwiches with each other. Have something to drink in teacups. The children can practice saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
On Day 6, each child will make a Reindeer Headband. Ask each child to trace their hands on paper and cut them out. They then can decorate the headband and affix the eyes and nose to it. Help each child attach the handprints as antlers. After the children have been fitted with their headbands, have them pretend to be a reindeer by walking or running through the woods or snow.
On Day 8, children get to create their own Snow Owl Puppet. First, the children each decorate the owl cutout with markers and other materials you have on hand. Second, glue the paper cup and google eyes with glue. Last, attach the craft stick to the bottom of the puppet. The children can then have conversations with each other using their puppets. They can ask each other if they prefer to live in cold or warm climates, what they like to eat and where they like to build their nests.
On Day 11, children get to make their own Cooke Plate Art. You will need to gather together the paper cookies, sprinkles, foam dots and paper plates. Ask the children to decorate matching pairs of cookies: Two with sprinkles, two with “chocolate chips” and two with “frosting”. For extended play, a pretend oven can be made out of a box. The children can pretend to bake their cookies in the oven and then serve them to one another.
This month, children practice developing several different skills including matching and using listening skills with the Guess the Sound activity on Day 3, sorting colors and matching on Day 5 with the Piano Keys activity, and identifying patterns with the Pass the Pattern activity on Day 8.
Click here to hear a sample of this month’s CD! Every month, Mother Goose Time provides a CD filled with easy to sing songs. If your child enjoys them, then you need to check out Mother Goose Time’s Dance ‘n Beats curriculum. A new series is available every month, and it ties in with the monthly theme. You are encouraged to play different songs throughout the month as your children complete various activities.
Caregivers are provided with a monthly Family Newsletter they can give to parents each month. Each month’s newsletter encourages parents to engage with their children and continue to talk with them about what they have been learning. The newsletter also summarizes the different letters, shape, numbers and color that the children will be learning. It also suggests activities that caregivers can do with their children outside of preschool and provides a reading list. More Family Connect Tools can be found here.
At the bottom of many of the activities there are suggestions for how to simplify them or make them more challenging. Mother Goose Time’s Little Goose curriculum is very helpful for finding things that you can do with your younger children while the older children do the regular activities. If you are finding your child needs more of a challenge please check out Mother Goose Time’s More Math and Literacy.
There are many fun games included in the curriculum that incorporate learning. This month, children will play an Animal Tracks Game on Day 6. Each child will choose a color. Then ask the children to take turns spinning the arrow and placing the matching card in their color on the space in their section of the board. The children will keep taking turns until each person has covered all of their spaces on their side of the board.
On Day 8, they will play a game called Owl Shapes. Place the different owl shapes on the floor. Ask the children to sort the Shape Builders and stack them next to the matching owl shape. Next, take turns calling out a child’s name and ask them to do a movement as they move from shape to shape. For example, “Skip to the rectangular owl.” Continue playing until each child has had a turn.
On Day 14, have the children take turns rolling the die and moving a gray pom around the game board. Pretend the poms are little mice moving on the board. Keep playing the game until each child has made it to the mouse’s home. For extended play, provide some cheese cubes for the children to snack on like mice while they play the game. Encourage the children to use blankets and pillows to create a cozy mouse house. Watch how they work together as they create the mouse house fort.
Each child will receive a My Little Journal. In this journal, children will practice drawing stars, using the color ‘white’, writing numbers 7 and 8, and writing letters V, X, and M in upper and lower case. On the back of the journal, children get to follow different paths for the different numbered music notes. There are also blank pages in the journal for children to draw pictures or write different words or letters of their choosing. For more writing practice please check out Mother Goose Time’s More Literacy resource.
Children will learn upper and lower case letters M, X, and V, numbers 7 and 8, the color white, as well as a new shape – star! They will also make new global friends in Mexica, Madagascar, and Venezuela.
A skills chart and gathering list are included every month to help you get organized before the month begins.
The skills chart is a great piece to hang where parents can see it. It shows you which skills your children will be focusing on each day.
You can refer to the gathering list each week before you go to the grocery or craft store so that you have everything you need to do all of the activities.
You can find other resources under Member Resources on Mother Goose Time’s website. The member code is included in your Teacher Guide each month. There are many other Teacher Tools included each month that makes the learning more interesting and the planning much easier!
There is still time to order your very own “Sights & Sounds of Winter,” or you can join in on the fun in January with Mother Goose Time’s “Going on Safari” curriculum! Not sure if you want to dive all the way in yet? Check out one of Mother Goose Time’s samples!
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