Life at the Pond

*We have received some free materials from Experience Early Learning, in exchange for our weekly blogs. You can check out what Experience Early Learning has to offer on their Website!

Circle Time 🙂

The toddlers are LOVING this week’s Experience Toddler curriculum! So far, they’ve measured pond animals, matched colored fish in a puzzle, made imprints of fish in a (homemade) play doh pond, hopped on “lily pads” like frogs, painted their own lily pads and so much more! The Experience Early Learning activities really think of it all! The Toddler class has the freedom to learn to their abilities and it’s so much fun to watch!

Hopping on lily pads!
Enjoying the many activities crafted by EEL! We LOVE Experience Toddler!

During circle time, the toddlers sat on lily pads while listening to story books and really enjoyed using their imagination and sitting on them. During table time, they used their fine motor skills to rip tissue paper and glue it on a duck as part of the Experience Early Learning curriculum supplied in the teacher book! They had fun playing with legs as they glued those on also. Now they are proudly displayed on the art wall in the toddler room!

Experience Toddler Duck Collages!

After toddlers rest and are ready to take on the world again, they do some afternoon activities. On this particular day, they spent the time counting frogs! Lily pads were cut out of paper and placed on a cookie sheet with pompom manipulatives. They really enjoyed working on their pre-math skills!

Count the Frogs!

Itsy, Bitsy Spider and other Character Rhymes

This week is all about Character Rhymes in Experience Early Learning’s February unit of “Nursery Rhymes”. We enjoy blogging for Experience Early Learning, and in return, receive some of our supplies free!


Week 2, Lesson 8 is all about the Itsy, Bitsy Spider. During circle time we completed the Caught in the Web activity. We put tape on the wall to create a web and placed the picture cards on the web. The teacher handed the child a card to read and they had to match the word to the picture on the web. They took turns until all of the cards had a match.

84653015_627277461151829_5273691296517586944_n86185480_2668723016695816_1127327863209459712_nThe children enjoyed their “spider” fingers during the Spider’s Web of Cards activity. The teacher created a web on the table and placed the matching cards under the yarn pieces. The children had a piece of tape around their finger (sticky side out) and they used it to flip over the cards while they tried to find a match.





86210198_225070301858435_2771679409860509696_nThe Creative Corner activity for Experience Early Learning’s Itsy Bitsy Spider lesson was to create a web. This activity touched on Earth Science and Visual Arts. The children used a paper plate, sequins, yarn, glue and scissors to create their own spider web. They loved using the sequins!

So far this week, we have done activities with “Humpty Dumpty”,

“There Was a Crooked Man”0075ec7d7080ae9e45de95474027be45 and ” The Itsy, Bitsy Spider”. We will be doing “Hey Diddle Diddle” and “Old King Cole” to finish out week two of Experience Early Learning’s Nursery Rhyme’s unit. Experience Early Learning provides a lesson for every day of the week. Each month comes with 20 lessons. This play-based curriculum, developed to meet National Standards for Early Childhood Education, provides a lot of fun every day of the week! Check out what’s coming up in March


Sorting our EEL Materials- Nursery Rhymes

Take a look at how we sort and organize our curriculum!

Each month we get three boxes of Experience Preschool curriculum, which means we count and sort it all, so each class has their curriculum ready to go.


In exchange for our blog posts each week Experience Early Learning provides us with some of our curriculum materials for free. We purchase two smaller boxes on top of the free materials so that we have enough materials for both the students and the teachers in our Preschool 1, Preschool 2, and Pre-K classes. Each teacher has a file box that is labeled with the week and lesson number.

Every teacher gets the Core Concepts and Teacher Tools packages. We put these in the front of their file boxes, so that they can sort through the materials that Experience Early Learning provides them, as they more through the month. 84651301_203508991046880_90501944543543296_n (1)Our Preschool 1 class also gets the Little Goose Supplement,which breaks down the regular Experience Early Learning lessons into what is developmentally appropriate for our youngest preschool group. This allows for one more way our teachers can challenge or simplify to meet the needs of their children.

Each lesson comes in one package. It makes it easy to keep track of everything. We get three packages of every lesson and start counting it so that each class has enough materials for roughly 10 students.83514450_773829726443178_8515556817974067200_n (5)








This month we tried something new, and every class got a bin where all of the extra materials that Experience Early Learning provides for the kids goes. Some of these extra materials don’t fit in the file boxes with the lesson so having an extra box where the teacher can quickly find what they need works well.83629486_193686912028775_8235394829945667584_n (1)



It’s a big task sorting all of the curriculum for every class – but this system works well and it keeps us organized all month long! 


Baby Animals- Experience Toddler

Who knew sticking cotton on contact paper could be so much fun?

The Experience Toddler curriculum provides the teachers with Discovery Table ideas in the weekly teacher guides. “Discovery Table 1” this week was a cotton wall, where they get to ‘squeeze, push, press down, and stack up.’ Our toddler teacher set this up on the easel. Having the discovery tables set up as the children arrive in the morning makes them feel welcome and excited to start their day. They arrive to a fun project ready for them!


Experience Early Learning has a new theme each month, which keeps the children engaged. January has been all about “Baby Animals”. Experience Toddler has the same theme, but they have one focus topic each week. This month their focus topics have been: “Lion and the Beetle”, “Baby Animals”, “Puppy’s Visit”, and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.

The colors our Toddlers have been learning this month are orange and white. The activities this week incorporate a lot of white so it ties into this week’s theme really well. The teacher guide also includes vocabulary words for each lesson of the day. Today is Monday so we completed Lesson 1 ‘Sheep Toy’ and the vocabulary words were sheep and lamb. By the end of the week our Toddlers will have learned eight vocabulary words!83257136_1031301183903921_5001605367424090112_n

These easy to follow lessons, with simple assessments help our teachers check for developmental milestones without interrupting all the fun!83683407_185448032560895_4088509025535131648_n (1)

We are happy to blog about what is happening in our classrooms with the Experience Early Learning Program. In return for our blogging efforts, we receive a portion of free curriculum materials for our classrooms.blogger_stamp_new


Paw Prints

We are  having fun in Week 3, Lessons 11-15 in January’s Baby Animalsunit with Experience Early Learning.


This week is all about ‘Keeping Babies Safe.’ In Lesson 11 the children learned about a Veterinarian Visit. During our Creative Corner activity, we made a Paw Prints collage. In the Teacher Guide, the goals they are working on are listed, and you can easily find what benchmarks match up to the goals with the table in the back of the guide. For instance, with the Paw Print activity, the goals listed were Visual Arts 32.2 and Fine Motor 5.2. When looking at the benchmark table (pages 22-23 in the Teacher Guidebook) you’ll see that 5.2 says “Uses drawing/writing tools.” The teacher can make note of this and observe how the children are using the writing tools- for this project they were observed using paintbrushes.

We love that these goals and benchmarks are listed in the Guidebook with each activity and each lesson. Having them easy to reference makes assessments go smoothly. Early Childhood Development is so important. This is where children learn physical, social and cognitive skills that set them up for success later in life. While it looks like they are “just playing”, there is critical learning happening. We love that Experience Early Learning exposes children to a variety of skills, and makes it easy for our teachers to be sure that children are meeting important milestones in their development.

Experience Early Learning provides most of the materials – which means our teachers don’t have to worry about gathering much. All that we needed to supply for the Paw Print activity was the paint – super easy! Experience Early Learning provided us with the Title Display, Inspiration Photo, as well as the stencil and paper for each child. The children looked at the Inspiration Photo to decide what animal the paw prints belonged to. We compared the paw prints to our own hands and fingers. These paw prints turned out super cute and were very colorful. The teacher is going to put a frame around them to make them complete!

We are happy to blog about what is happening in our classrooms with the Experience Early Learning Program. In return for our blogging efforts, we receive a portion of free curriculum materials for our classrooms.



Welcome Back!

We welcomed back our students from Winter Break with new classrooms. Sharing a space (we share the building with a Church) means trying to use every bit of it in a way that makes sense for each class. The building has two classrooms – and we have 5, so this means we have to get creative. Our teachers came in on the last day of their break to rearrange the classrooms. Because switching rooms is always a busy task and it takes time to get settled, we were even more thankful for the curriculum from Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) this month. Having curriculum ready meant our teachers didn’t have to spend much time planning and it made the transition back on Monday easier.

This month is all about Baby Animals. The theme for the Experience Toddler
curriculum this first week is The Lion and The Beetle. Our Toddler teacher went to
the Dollar Tree and found crowns and a toy beetle that went along perfectly with
the lessons this week!


The curriculum book is laid out nicely and makes planning very easy. This month the cards were included as part of the lesson book, and that made everything much easier to keep track of. They made their own dramatic play prop this week with the activity ‘Lion Mask Roar.’


With the ‘L is for Lion’ activity the children got to dip a pompom in orange paint and stamp over the masking tape (creating the first letter of their name). They discovered that the paint felt cold and squishy!

‘Waiting for Babies’ was the theme this week for our Experience Preschool
curriculum. In the lessons this week the children have learned about Mammal
Moms, Oviparous Animals, Helper Dads, Birthdays and Adoption. When making
their nametags this month they took a look at the Theme Poster that Experience
Early Learning includes in the curriculum. They chose their favorite baby animal
from the poster and after writing their first name, they got to write the animal as
their last name. For example, “Rowan Giraffe.” The children have been busy
working on their fine motor skills this week as well as having fun with art,
counting, and writing.
We are looking forward to continuing our lessons with Experience Early
Learning’s Baby Animals curriculum.


Dramatic Play and Sensory Fun

This week’s theme in Experience Early Learning’s Toddler curriculum was Baby Animals. We love that Experience Early Learning includes ideas each week for Dramatic Play. Because they were learning about Baby Animals, the idea this week was to set up a Baby Animal Vet clinic. The teacher made a sign, put it in a frame and hung it on the wall above the Dramatic Play center. The children got to be veterinarians and it was precious!

Dramatic Play is important in the early childhood classroom. It allows the children to use their imagination, they gain social interaction skills and it helps their language development. It is fun to see how the children use the materials provided. It is priceless watching their imaginations go to work.


The Sensory/Science idea this week was called Tweezer Feathers. The teacher adapted a “Sticky Bird” activity for this. The teacher used contact paper with a bird cut-out and the children got to stick feathers to the bird. This was a great idea! We even saw some teamwork among the Toddlers to give the bird some feathers.

Experience Early Learning provides great ideas, and teachers can have fun putting their own spin on them as well. This curriculum is such an asset to our program!