We spent this week of preschool with the classic book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.
After a tough time in preschool land last week, I went into this week with a bit of a more relaxed approach, planning activities that weren't so heavy on letters and numbers. Instead we spent more time with creative story-telling, music, fine motor skills and crafts. I wanted to just bond with the kids with some intentional PLAY this week and if, while we were enjoying each other's company, we also got in some good learning, then great!
To keep the flow going, we did continue with a letter for the week: "M" and made our weekly collage with macaroni and "do-a-dots" in the main colors from the illustrations in the book.
One morning I made our version of "mush" for breakfast - pumpkin pie oatmeal! Yum!
In addition to our readings of the book this week, we also enjoyed the story by watching this sweet Goodnight Moon video. It was very calming and fun to watch before bedtime in the evenings.
Going along with the "M" theme, we did some simple counting and matching exercises with our "M &M Counting Books". Suffice it to say that there were very few protests with this activity!
Since the book references the nursery rhyme, "Hey Diddle Diddle" and the fairy tale, "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", we thought we'd have some fun with both of these classics!
I found a simple version of, "Hey Diddle Diddle" set to music in iTunes and we used this multiple times for some music fun. During some listens, we used rhythm instruments to join in with the beats in the music. We also built on that by adding a "marching" element to our merriment with each of them having several opportunities to be the leader for the duration of the song. We also had our fair share of dancing to the music with ribbon wands and sashes. They SOOO got into this and I saw that it inspired them toward more creativity-after one of these music sessions, they created their own game of "jumping over the moon" with a balloon. Pretty cute. : )
We enjoyed the story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" by reenacting it with finger puppets and doll house furniture that we already had. This encouraged lots of creative collaboration and fun!
I used their hands to trace out "mitten" patterns on foam craft sheets and had them cut them out, decorate them and pin them on to a length of yarn I strung up in our school room. This was a great fine motor and creative activity.
I find that when we are practicing cutting with scissors, it's better to use something other than plain paper, because often they will just rip right through the paper when their efforts with scissors aren't going their way! I have found that using craft foam sheets, felt fabric sheets and heavy card stock seem to facilitate better cutting practice for them.
We also enjoyed a picnic and a trip to the zoo with our playgroup friends! Taking inspiration from the red balloon in the story, we thought it would be a fun surprise to bring one for each kid. That was also a big hit!
This week (like any week) had its highs and lows. I had my moments as a mommy when my patience ran thin and I caught myself thinking that I just wasn't cut out for this "homeschooling thing". I ALSO had chances to observe their creativity blossoming, see their satisfaction when they grasped a new idea and watch their affection for each other grow. And getting to be present in THOSE moments, makes the perseverance through the difficult ones worthwhile. All in all, our week with Goodnight Moon was a meaningful and memorable one.