This past weekend we got our Christmas decorations up, and with a dusting of snow on the ground, we excitedly dove right into Mother Goose Time's December Theme, "Winter in the Woods."
Our first topic is about Forest Animals, so we started off with Deer. We talked about where they live and how they are different from other animals and how their antlers help defend against predators.
MGT supplied us with the materials to make Reindeer Headbands.
I explained how deer can leap high and jump far, so we decided to see how far each of us could leap. Although we could've measured with any sort of tool, we chose the standard measuring tape (the kids rarely get to see it and have a lot of fun using it).
Big Sis steps in to help ("teamwork").
We used our white wand from MGT to talk about the white tails some deer have and how the tail goes up when the deer sense danger. We played a game to simulate... one child stood against a wall and we crept near her. When she sensed danger, she waved the white ribbon and we yelled "White!" and we quickly leaped away.
I used MGT's shape cube to introduce the children to the shape of the month, squares. We looked at the various square shapes on the box and then opened it up to find a white square inside. Then, we went on a square hunt around the house.
We found a square blanket with lots of squares sewn into it!
We played MGT's "Running Reindeer" song on the CD player and we first said that we need to dance around the mat.
But then the kids made up the rule that they need to dance on the mat and if they step off, they're going to melt. You can see my daughter found this to be quite silly and enjoyed "melting."
Day Two continued with Hedgehogs.
I found some pokey things for the children to feel and asked them to describe it to me.
A little hesitant at first...
...but then realized it was ok to touch.
MGT suggested dipping the pokey ball into paint and using it to paint quills on the picture of the hedgehog. However, in my new makeshift classroom, I didn't have any paint yet, so we just wrote words that described a hedgehog and used crayons to draw the quills.
We looked at MGT's Theme Poster together and used the "Look and Find Glasses" to find their matching pictures on the poster.
Then we turned the glasses over and answered the questions on the back of them and followed the suggested physical movement activities...
We rolled like a hedgehog...
...pretended to walk on slippery ice (only picture I was able to snap was when the children pretended to fall down)...
... and stood like a tree!
To continue with our squares, we punched out MGT's foam shapes and sorted them according to color and size.
The kids were still in the "school" mood, so I introduced them to the next day's work about bears. We just did the first part of the first lesson because they spent of the rest of the morning playing with their stuffed bears.
We talked about where we would sleep if we lived in the woods and I explained that bears sleep all winter long, but can be awoken by a loud noise.
We acted everything out...
Here we are feeding the big black bear a large rainbow fish, so he can get nice and fat for hibernation.
The kids decided they needed to read the bears a bedtime story before the bears could go to sleep. The 3 year-old picked The Berenstain Bears' Christmas and the 4 year-old chose Stranger in the Woods.
Then it was time to tuck the bears into their dens...
...and curl up themselves!
(As you can see with our PJs still on, the kids and I hibernate in the winter, too!)
Stay tuned to see the rest of the bear activities, as well as other animal activities and topics on Woodland, Winter Living, and Winter Gear.
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