The kids are so excited to learn more about being on safari. Ladybug is a huge fan of learning about African animals, especially her favorite, the rhinoceros. She’s also enjoying the many animal and safari themed crafts. Owl is excited to see the safari vehicles and all the hide and seek type activities. This post details our first day of “Going On Safari,” the monthly theme for our favorite preschool curriculum: Mother Goose Time.
We started our morning with a simple prayer and song, “This is the Day the Lord has Made.”
Calendar and Weather
The calendar from “Going on Safari” has a lion, an elephant, a giraffe, and a zebra in a repeating pattern for each day. Ladybug has done a great job of looking at the pattern and telling me what animal should come next. Both kids are doing very well at telling me what number should come next. The calendar as pictured below is from later in the month, but clearly shows the repetitive animal pattern.
Discuss (Coloring Pages)
The discussion question for today was “Where do you live? Where were you born?” Both kids were able to give appropriate answers and Ladybug was able to find her state of birth on a map of the United States. Ladybug and Owl also colored passport themed coloring sheets available from the online member resources.
Carrying their newly colored passport pictures, the kids went on safari and spied yellow items around the house. They found yellow blocks, books, dishes, clothing, and the yellow school bus on the Mother Goose Time box.
The opening song about passports was set to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.” The kids really enjoyed singing the song and completing the associated motions. Later in the morning we made passports and they were able to recall that a passport included their name and gender.
Sign In Activity
After explaining that individuals have to sign in when entering another country, the kids pretended to travel to different countries and selected sheets with letters from their names and used dot dot markers to “sign in.” This activity was great for Owl who has been working on letter recognition and for Ladybug who is learning how to spell her name.
Little Goose is the toddler supplement that incorporates my little Owl into the Mother Goose Time daily activities to keep his busy hands occupied. The supplement is aimed at children 12-30 months, but my three year old also loves the unique daily “tray play” activities. The Little Goose activity for today was some dot dot art using the silhouette of an elephant available in online resources. We used the same dot dot markers that we used for our “sign in” activity. Ladybug created a rainbow elephant and Owl followed her lead and did a great job of getting all the dots on the paper and most of them in the circles. The image below shows Ladybug posing with her art project and Owl hanging his on the easel. He was too busy asking for another dot dot sheet for any posing 🙂
The kids found Africa on our global map. They looked for the letters they had used to “sign in” with their names on the map. We then walked around the house looking for other items that had the letters from their name, including boxes, posters, maps, etc.
The kids then assembled their very own passports using materials supplied by Mother Goose Time. They glued a picture of themselves to the first inside page and we wrote down their age and gender. They then located Africa and colored the drawing of the continent.
Mother Goose Time provided a dice with a color coded picture of each continent that matched the color coded continents on the global map. The children would roll the dice and then find the matching continent on the map using shape, color, and continent name. They would then find the matching continent in their passports and get a stamp. The kids took turns being the traveler and the passport agent who got to do the stamping. Mother Goose Time provided a spool that could be used along with paint for the stamping, but to ease clean up and reduce the potential mess caused by two excited toddlers, I cheated and used Crayola Washable Stamper Markers 🙂
We found North America on our global map and discussed that we are far away from Africa. We also noticed that according to our map, visiting Africa would require either air or water travel. The kids were given the task of sorting yarn pieces from shortest to longest and then using those yarn pieces to determine/measure how far away Africa was from the other continents. We used the dice to decide which countries we measured. We combined this activity with the above mentioned passport stamping activity, since the kids loved it so much.
Stamp a Map
We discussed the places we had traveled, most notably to Ladybug’s favorite location, the beach. She described our road trip in detail. Using masking tape we created lines on the floor to mirror the appearance of roads. The kids then used their MegaBlock sets to create buildings and other structures. There were bridges, statues, and my personal favorite, a dam to keep the watering hole in check. Yes, I realize that’s not 100% realistic, but I’m pretty excited that they knew about a dam and a watering hole (thanks Mother Goose Time!). Plus, they were having a blast. I then had the kids draw their own map of the roads we had created. Both kids took turns driving toy cars on the tape roads and the drawn roads. Ladybug said this activity reminded her of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.” Guess she does listen when we read to her 🙂
Outdoor Play/Free Play
The weather cooperated and there was no rain; however, it was very cold. The kids dipped nature items in water and stamped them on our concrete patio. The kids loved seeing the different shapes that the objects (pine cone, rock, tree limb, leaf, peanut shell from our bird feeder) created. Since it was so cold, we spent the rest of our outdoor time running and kicking a ball and pretending to be any number of animals we might see on safari. Even I was stamping around like an elephant, anything to stay warm since they were bound and determined to stay outside as long as possible. Gotta love toddlers!
As we quieted down for the day, we discussed what the kids learned about maps and passports. We also discussed where they wanted to travel. The obvious choice for both kids was Africa. Ladybug would love to see a lion and Owl is pretty interested in taking a ride in a safari vehicle. Both kids would like to take a trip to the beach.
“Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain: A Nandi Tale” by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal was the suggested book for today. Using the well know rhythm from “The House that Jack Built,” this book details how Ki-pat brought rain to the Kapiti Plain which is suffering from drought. With beautiful pictures and references to acacia trees, this book is an excellent introduction to African ecology.
Playing the song entitled, “Grassland” on our “Going on Safari” CD, we laid a towel on the ground and pretended it was the grassland. We pretended to eat at the grasslands and jumped each time the word “grassland” was sung. The kids engaged in some pretend play, using their passports to gain entrance to the grassland, i.e., onto the towel. They took turns stamping their crafted passports on the Africa page.
All of the above activities and projects are from day one of Mother Goose Time’s,”Going on Safari” theme for January 2016. The image below is a sneak peek for day two of “Going on Safari” with the theme of “Packing Up.” Ladybug has created her very own safari hat and is packing items from used magazines into her suitcase to get ready for safari.
Our family loves playing and learning with Mother Goose Time and often completes the curriculum as designed; however, we also enjoy putting our own unique spin on some of the activities and projects. The best parts of home schooling preschool are customizing everything to fit your family’s needs and spending tons of quality time together. We are so grateful that Mother Goose Time makes both of these advantages to home schooling doable and enjoyable!
Are you home schooling a preschooler?
I’m looking to connect with other parents who are homeschooling preschool and I’d love to hear from you!
As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.