We’re nearing a close on this month’s Growing Gardens theme by Mother Goose Time, but I couldn’t let it pass without sharing another aspect that I absolutely LOVE about this program. The Garden Themed Investigation Stations.
PIN IT! ↓
If you’ve missed my previous Mother Goose Time posts, here’s a quick recap! Just click on any of the images below!
I’ve REALLY enjoyed this theme! So much so that I will be incorporating it into our new theme, The Alphabet House (which I am also super excited about)! By now you all know that I adore Mother Goose Time. Most of everything one needs is provided into daily bags, which is perfect for mothers like myself who don’t have a lot of time for prep. But before I get too carried away, I MUST share with you another one of my favorite aspects about this program. Monthly themed Investigation Stations!
Toward the front of every month’s Teacher Guide are two pages full of Investigation Station suggestions, broken into station categories:
- Dramatic Play
- Block Area
Today I’m going to share 5 of the 20 suggestions given!
Manipulative: Peeling Carrots
Set out hand-held carrot peelers and a collection of potatoes and carrots. Demonstrate how to safely peel a carrot then invite a child to try with supervision. (You may wish to add additional veggies, as I did! Feel free to go for it!)
Who would have thought something as simple as peeling vegetables would be such a big hit?! And frankly, I was a bit surprised that I hadn’t thought of doing it before! lol. My children felt so grown up and had such a fun time! They snacked on their freshly peeled carrots and after we decided to peel a large batch of potatoes and we made mashed potatoes together! It was such a fun learning experience!
Outdoors: Potato Friends
Children mold play dough into a potato shape then search the outdoor area for grass, twigs, pebbles, or other item to add features to their potato friend.
We loved this! I opted to make homemade play dough and threw in cocoa powder to give it a potato color (I may have gone a tad overboard. ha!) My daughter enjoyed creating crumbly baby potatoes while my boys got creative and started creating alien, one-eyed potatoes! lol.
I love inspiring creativity and watching them run with it!
Art: Bean Art
Draw outlines of different shapes on pieces of paper (or have children draw their own shapes). Set out various types of dried beans and glue. Children fill the shapes with a bean mosaic of their design.
I drew my daughter’s circle and had my older two children draw their own shapes. As my daughter played with the beans as a sensory activity, I discussed with my boys different measurements of weight. We discussed ounces and pounds, and noted & compared the difference in how heavy their papers got as they added more beans to their art. This would be the perfect time to pull out your kitchen scale!
Next, they all had a blast dumping the beans and going crazy with the glue!
Math: How Many Peas?
Set out green play dough (or homemade fondant if you’d like to make this edible as I did!) and a bowl of small, round manipulatives or beads. Children make a pea pod out of the play dough. Pretend beads are peas. Roll a die, then place that many ‘peas’ in the ‘pod’.
This is such a great activity to simplify or challenge! For a challenge I mixed it up a bit, so here goes my version:
Using homemade fondant, I had my children (with help if needed) create their pea pod and peas. We had previously read the book ‘Little Green Peas‘ and I left the book out for them to reference as they made their peas and pea pods. I gave them each a laminated piece of paper and whiteboard (erasable) marker. We took turns rolling die. Whatever number landed they would count, then add that many peas to the pod. They would then write that number down and roll again. They’d then count the new number from the die, write it down, and subtract it from the previous number. To help the process (and to visualize) they would remove that many peas as they subtracted. If they did not have enough to subtract, they would add to it and subtract the next turn. (As an added bonus I would allow them to eat the subtracted peas every few turns!)
Writing: Vine Tracing
Draw various vine shapes on pieces of paper and put them in page protectors (or laminate, as I did). Children trace the vines with erasable markers. Set out paper for them to draw their own vine designs and add tomatoes if desired.
We loved this! My daughter had fun focusing on tracing the lines, and then she went a little wild! ha! My middle child drew lots of little tomatoes, while my older son drew larger ones on a wider vine! …So cute watching different interpretations!
Make sure to stick around for more Growing Gardens AND Alphabet House posts! What can I say? We LOVE Mother Goose Time!