Creative Arts in Space!

When I think of space, I think of Science and Technology. But Science and Technology wouldn’t be anything without creative thinking and artistic minds who ventured outside the box. We have had so much fun this month with paint and sensory experiences, but we have also enjoyed our Dramatic Play adventures and creative building projects as we explored Space with Mother Goose Time!

We had three different Rocket Tents in our classrooms. One teacher put Space Shuttles and such in there and they had so much fun playing in their own little world. Another teachers turned hers into the Reading Rocket and they loved using flashlights to read and cast images on the ceiling of the tent. And the third put old calculators and radios in there as controls, and they had great adventures blasting off! As we came to different planets during the unit, the teacher would combine Dramatic Play and the Theme Poster to go to that planet and talk about what they saw, how it felt, etc.

The telescopes we made were a big hit, and continued to be long after Astronomer day! Provided in the Mother Goose Time Kit for that day was short cardboard tubes and stickers. The children were asked to design their own telescope, but the fun didn’t end there. One of our teachers made a large poster of constellations and they used their telescopes to search for pictures in the sky. Creative Arts isn’t just finished artwork, but a mindset of seeing things in a new way and children are naturals!

Neptune is swirled and covered in ice. We had small foil sheets in the daily kit and we used sparkly paint and glue to create our Neptune Art!

Jupiter came with a few ideas. Our Preschool/Pre-K class used marbles and swirled it around like a tornado. Then they added a red sticker (provided) because Jupiter’s red spot, or eye, is actually a giant storm.

Our younger kiddos had a different technique to create their Jupiter Art. They helped to squeeze a few dots of paint onto their paper and then they covered it in plastic wrap. They squished it around and when the wrap was pulled off, the print left behind was really nice.

We used shaving cream and liquid watercolor to make Earth prints. We talked about what the colors represented (land and water). One class added a little glue to the mixture, which made the puff stay up, while another group scraped it off with the edge of a ruler, for a more marbled effect.28826939_10155471949311527_5610348190362832522_o-e1521678172338.jpg


We like to post the Daily Theme Poster after the lesson is complete to help communicate to parents what we learned about that day.big_6F252D93-5A16-43F5-92AE-351488E40E1A








One of our favorite building materials this month has been these Magnetic Shapes! They have been Rockets, Space Stations, Rovers, etc. They have worked together and independently- worth every penny!

These Kiddos are so creative!

We are really enjoying “Blast Off to Space” with Mother Goose Time! The Lesson plan books have so many fun activities and a lot of helpful information (in the event that you are not an astronomer yourself).

We have sang songs and danced like different planets with the Mother Goose Time CD (word of caution… they will get stuck in your head!) “Ice, Rock Ice, Spinning in a ring…”, “Spider in Space…” “3,2,1, Blast off, hold on tight…”

We have read books, gone on adventures, and made art together. Mother Goose Time inspires our creativity and gives us the tools we need to make sure our children are learning and having fun!


Babies in Space!

When talking about creative work with our precious babies, we have to start with the keepsake artwork that our teachers help create for their parents! It is so fun to see little hands and feet in themed art, even if the kids don’t find it as amusing as the adults. Work like this communicates to parents that we did something today and they have it to hang at home. These little hands and feet will never be this small again, so we should take every opportunity to capture them.

Now, on to the real work these little ones do everyday with Mother Goose Time- Experience Baby!

This month, we received this fun set of sensory balls (Planets) as part of the Experience baby kit. They are easily washable and they love them! They are fun to feel, chew on and chase, and they are the perfect size for little hands. These balls have been a big part of the activities this month.

We have been testing gravity, playing hide and seek, learning to follow simple directions, learning color and shape recognition, practicing our fine motor skills, taking turns, and having so much fun!big_IMG_20180320_112051 We even did some color mixing with our Space Goo activity.

We love that Mother Goose Time- Experience Baby gives so many fun ideas to help teach Creative Arts to our youngest students!

Our Community is Blasting Off to Space!

We have a large bulletin board at each center that we call our “Community Board”. Each month, we take a theme (usually our topic of study from Mother Goose Time), and we involve all of our children to create a fun display. The boards for “Blast Off to Space” (March 2018) turned out very cute!


At our main center, we gave each class a different piece- we had Astronauts, Shooting Stars (Which the children corrected when they learned that “shooting stars” are actually not stars), Aliens, and Rockets. We try to get a picture of each child for the board every month because it is so fun to see how much they grow throughout the year.29472965_10155471327191527_1644770619595495722_n

At our second location, everyone was an astronaut, but we incorporated the order of the planets. The children got to decorate their piece and put it on the board however they liked. I think they turned out so fun and I can’t wait to see what we come up with for next month- Ocean Commotion!

Evergreen Space Museum Field Trip

Last Friday, we were lucky enough to take 33 children to the Evergreen Space Museum for a field trip, as part of our “Blast Off to Space” unit with Mother Goose Time! A few of those 33 were siblings because the Corvallis School district was closed for conferences, and we were so glad to have a few bigger kids, as well as a number of parents, to help us on the adventure. The tour was mostly about the “Space Race” and things we learned from the moon landing. There were plenty of stops for hand-on fun and the mission control room is always a highlight. The staff at Evergreen was amazing! They presented everything in a way that we all enjoyed and could learn from. It was busy, but from the bus, to the playground, the tour, and lunch, it was a great day! I highly recommend checking it out if you are in the area!

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Field trip tips!

  1. Have plenty of helpful adults! (not all parents are actually helpful on field trips, either because they aren’t sure what to do, or their child behaves differently for them, then they would for a teacher.)
  2. Have special field trip shirts so they are easy to spot and everyone can tell you are all together.
  3. Name tags for everyone! We put emergency info on the children’s, so if something were to go very badly, we could hand someone that child’s sticker, and his/her parents could be contacted. We label who is a “Parent Volunteer” and who is “Staff”. We also put a little picture on it (Sun, Moon, Rockets, etc.) so each small group has their own and when we do a roll call, we can be sure everyone is accounted for quickly. For example, I simply say, “Where are my Stars?” and that adult can tell me they have the 1-3 children they are responsible for.
  4. Give yourself plenty of time! We did well on our time budget getting to the museum, but we were having so much fun, that we should give ourselves more time for the return trip next time.
  5. Pack a bag/box of all the Extras! Extra shirts, extra name tags, changes of clothes, First Aid kit, tissues, wipes, etc. A fold able wagon to carry the extra stuff and lunches is a great idea!
  6. Have trip activities and snacks! Just like when you travel with your own children, be prepared. Even if they had snack 15 minutes before loading the bus, they will be hungry. We had bags of snack with paper souffle cups for the chaperones to divide up as they saw necessary. We also had Magnetic Doodle pads, coloring books/crayons, and books all about Space to pass the time on the bus (this trip was about an hour each way for us and they did great!)
  7. Be flexible, organized, and have fun!29496277_10155471327156527_7740170970109942506_n

“Experience Baby” does STEAM!

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

Our program begins as early as 6 weeks of age- does STEAM really apply? Absolutely! Do infants and wobblers really need curriculum? What are they learning anyway?  Glad you asked!

We love that the “Experience Baby” curriculum set understands the variety of skills and abilities for these tiniest of students. Having activities planned allows the teachers to focus on the care of the children and not so much on planning. It also guarantees that our little ones have quality, engaging activities designed for their development.

“Experience Baby”, from Mother Goose Time, is set up a little differently from the basic curriculum, because the skills of a 3 month old are drastically different from a 12 month old. The lesson plans come in three colors (content areas) and they are numbered. For example, they might do Orange, Purple, and Green, number 1 on Monday, 2 on Tuesday, and 3 on Wednesday. Then on Thursday and Friday, they can do any of those that they didn’t get to, didn’t go well and want to try again, or were favorites. The cards outline what supplies we will need, a basic plan, and then what to expect from different ages and stages. The teachers are able to track how the child approached the activity and communicate to parents what we did that day. The set comes with a book for each child to go between home and school- such a valuable tool for those who cannot yet communicate! This is not an extensive run down of Experience Baby, but I highly recommend it for any program that offers infant/Wobbler care!

Here are just a few STEAM Activities happening during “My Small World” unit with our Infants and Toddlers!


Math! They loved these cards so much!

Science! This was a fascinating activity to see how truly engaged they were.

Developing Hand-Eye coordination!

Art! They love to paint and this was their version of the Eiffel Tower.

Science with Jell-o… They loved this! Testing bounce, squish, color mixing!

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And just a little more cuteness! These little ones are so precious and busy. I love that their teachers not only meet their basic needs beautifully, but strive to give them fun and challenging interactions with the world around them. Thanks for all you do Teachers!

STEAM Around the World!

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Mother Goose Time provides so many opportunities for these skills to develop naturally. Here are just a few ways that we used STEAM in our classrooms this week with our “Small World” unit!

Swirl World was one of our favorites! There are many options for how to approach this activity, but we opted to play with the shaving cream and then make a marbled print. To do this, we put shaving cream on a plate, added liquid watercolor (green and blue, of course) and then the children gently swirled it. Once it was swirled, but not totally mixed to one color, we put a piece of card stock on top. We used the side of a ruler to scrape off the shaving cream and the most beautiful prints were left behind. We cut them into circles and glued them inside the provided paper plate to hang in the classroom.

The Wooden Airplane activity tested our engineering skills, and they became quite artistic in their design as well. Some children had fun using as much glue as possible to stick the wooden sticks in every which direction, while others studied the photo carefully as they constructed the body, wings, and tail.

On “Rug” day, our older children really enjoyed sewing their own rugs. This type of activity is why we love Mother Goose Time so much. The fabric, string, and plastic needles were individually cut and ready to go

Our younger children had a different variation of the rug activity in the Little Goose Supplement. They used tape to make a design on paper and then painted over it. After the tape was removed, their design showed through. Our preschool and Pre-K children liked that idea, but they got to tape the design themselves.

Mother Goose Time is packed with STEAM opportunities within the basic curriculum. An addition to the weekly lesson plan book this year is STEAM stations. The first couple pages of each book has a variety of ideas for how to incorporate STEAM into the classroom. Thank Mother Goose Time for continuing to improve the education opportunities for our children!




Celebrating Love Around the World

On the first Thursday of each month, our center hosts a Family Night (6:00-7:00) and everyone is invited to participate. One of our wonderful parents volunteered to organize these events and it is such an amazing addition to our school community. We began in December with a pajama story time with milk and cookies. We had a wonderful Storyteller from the community come to share “The Christmas Spider”. Then in January we had a Bilingual (Spanish) story time with a fun craft, organized by one of our Spanish Speaking families.

For the month of February, we learned about traditions surrounding Valentine’s day from around the world, which tied in very nicely to our Mother Goose Time unit, “It’s a Small World”. One of the Pizza restaurants in town was kind enough to donate a few pizzas (Thanks Papa’s Pizza!), so as the families arrived, we fed the children and explained the activity to the parents. Each family was in charge of a country and their job was to teach the others about the traditions from that country. The children worked together to fill in the blanks on their worksheet. When they thought they had them all figured out, they earned a small prize. Then we all sat down and each family got a chance to share about their country while we looked at pictures of children from around the world.

To round out our evening, we had a photo booth for each family to get a Valentine’s picture taken. We had each child make his/her hand prints on a large poster heart. We added the family pictures and the pictures of the children from around the world, and this poster will decorate our classroom.27336683_10155341813251527_4873058863418775222_n

This morning, we took the flags from each country, the traditions that happen in each country, and the Mother Goose Time Map and put them all together. This way we have a reminder of the fun things we learned and it will be part of our study of the world around us this month, (and Valentine’s Day, of course).

Attached are links (hopefully they work) to the activity we used and the Powerpoint with the photos of children around the world.


Valentines around the globe

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Positive Time Out and Empathy

Here at Wonders, we believe children who feel better, behave better. We encourage children to explore their world, interact with friends, and engage in activities. Children are encouraged to use words to identify what they are feeling and communicate with their friends and teachers. We try to approach each situation with a positive attitude and outcome in mind. We want children to behave because they know what is right, rather than fear of punishment. The goal is to teach children that their actions have an effect on the world around them and it is okay to take some time and space when needed, or ask for what they need to feel better- wouldn’t the world be a better place if adults understood this very thing?

When a child decides that he/she does not want to behave in a kind way toward a friend, teacher, or material, they will be asked if they need to take some space until they feel better. If the child chooses not to take space, they will be asked to mend the situation (i.e.: pick up the thrown toy, show a gentle touch, check on their friend, etc.) If the child really needs a little time to cool down, but chooses not to do it on their own, the teacher will go with them to the designated quiet space and help them calm down. When the child is ready, they can return and help find a solution to the problem. A child will not be forced to stay in the quiet space for any length of time, just until they are calm and ready to mend the situation. It is a place for the child to go anytime they feel like they need to calm down, have some quiet time or space to themselves (we all need this permission sometimes) and they can return when they feel they are ready. If the child returns to the group, but doesn’t seem to be calm or feeling better, they will be encouraged to go back to the quiet space until they are really ready.

When the child returns to the group, they will be greeted warmly and asked if they are feeling better. The child will be reminded of the situation and asked to help find a solution.

Example: “oh Johnny, I am glad you took a little space to calm down. Are you feeling better? (Child has time to respond) “I understand that you were frustrated, but when you pushed Molly down, she got hurt and it made her feel sad. Can you show her a gentle touch and see if she is alright?” (For small children, guide their hands to show gentle touches until they can do it on their own.) “Nice job! Next time you feel frustrated, remember that we don’t need to push. You can take some space anytime you feel like you need a break.”

If a child is abusing a material/toy, they will be asked to change their behavior. “If you stand on that toy, you might break it or you could fall and get hurt. Can you please get down?” If the behavior continues, the child will be asked to use the material/toy correctly or to find another activity. If that still doesn’t resolve the situation, the material/toy will be removed and the child will be redirected to another activity.

We try to use a lot of redirection and positive language with our children. Instead of saying, “Don’t stand on the chair” we say, “I need your feet on the floor” for example. It is challenging at first, but this technique reminds us to focus on the positives and to be direct with our language.

As far as “The Space” goes, it is great to have the child (children) helps design a space that is comfortable and welcoming. There can be tools or reminders there of strategies (stress balls, anger hands, breathing techniques, etc) or maybe something to snuggle. Sometimes all a child really needs is a hug to feel better.

(For more information on this technique, check out “Positive Time-Out” by Jane Nelson)


Holidays with Mother Goose Time

Being a teacher is so fun this time of year and there are many wonderful activity ideas out there. But let’s face it, on top of the many things to do, who needs to run around searching for red pom poms, googly eyes, and wooden spoons? Mother Goose Time has us covered with their Holiday Packs! These can be used as an Open-house to involve parents or just some fun activities for the children on a festive day.

The Holiday packs come complete with their own lesson plan book and the materials to make it happen!

The other day, we were trying to come up with a fun snack idea for our party. We searched the internet and finally decided on this cute little Reindeer, went to the store to gather the ingredients, and then when we opened the Santa’s Workshop pack, there was the same cute idea. We should’ve known there would be something so fun in the lesson and we could’ve saved our precious time searching for an idea! The children loved making their own Reindeer snack either way, but I love the Mother Goose Time developers put their time, energy, and heart into these activities!

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We didn’t get to everything, but we had fun decorating our playdoh trees, counting with Santa, making spoon puppets, and a delicious reindeer snack as part of our holiday celebration!

Math is Everywhere!

How do we teach preschoolers mathematical concepts? Number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, spacial awareness, ordering and patterns… Mother Goose Time has thought of it all!

Let’s begin with the amazing Math Manipulatives that are included each month!

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For the month of December (Winter Wonderland), we received a set of colored cubes and snowflakes for each class. To go along with these useful manipulatives, there are activity cards, games, and lessons in which they are used, all spelled out in the Teacher Lesson Plan Book. The activities pictured above were from two different days. One was “Snowflake Math” and the other was all about the shapes of Arctic Gear. We have used these manipulatives in the sensory table, at the math table, they have been built with, stacked, and sorted. They have even been used creatively at the carpet with other toys- the fun is endless!


One morning, the children were having so much fun stacking the cubes, but we couldn’t quite stack them as tall as each other (there weren’t enough and they wouldn’t stick together). So, we got inspired to pull out some other cubes that would stick together. We pretended they were ice cubes and measured how many ice cubes tall we were. We broke our really tall stack into groups of 10 to count them a bit easier. It took us a while to count the ice cubes for each child, but they were excited to have a turn and help each other.

In a similar way, we measured each kiddo compared to a small Spruce Tree on the wall. Children love to have a turn and it is fun to compare ourselves to the things around us.


During our “Winter Wonderland” unit, Mother Goose Time provided a variety of fun activities for spacial awareness. There was a snowman puzzle matching game that we laminated to help it last the rest of the month because it was so fun.

When we learned about snow leopards, the activity was to cut the given picture in half, glue it to the white background paper, and then draw the missing half of the picture. This was challenging, and it was so interesting to see how each child approached this task. For our toddlers, their teacher cut the picture of the snow leopard into a few pieces and they put it back together like a puzzle (Little Goose Supplement).


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Each month there are a variety of math games included. There are games for counting, patterning, number recognition, and anytime we count, add, or subtract, we are learning one-to-one correspondence.

big_D2C00A37-2991-48CC-A3B5-16C9E711FF3BIt may look like these cuties are just playing with blocks, but they are actually using spacial awareness to create a tree line that fits within the blue line on the wall. They are stacking blocks to be tall enough, like trees, and all of these skills are quite challenging- this is not “just playing”. (This activity was not in the MGT lesson plans, but it was so clever and the children loved it.)

Not only is so much included in the monthly curriculum to foster mathematical skills, but there is also the “Toy Box” recommendations from Mother Goose Time for fun things that will coincide with what we are learning. We have not actually purchased the toy boxes (because we have been doing this long enough that we have most of the toys/games/puzzles, etc. in our collection) but as I understand it, the toy boxes come with cards for even more ideas of how they can be used in the classroom. We look at what items are included so we can pull from our collection as we plan for the month. Each of these activities foster counting, balance, shape/color recognition, stacking, and are just plain fun. We have loved this Winter Wonderland unit and we love Mother Goose Time!