Inside the Box: A Peek Into Our Preschool Curriculum, Part 2

Hey there! So this is the third post in the series on our new Preschool curriculum, Mother Goose Time. We have LOVED our time with this curriculum in the past (we used it for about 6 months when my daughter was 5 years old) and we are excited to be using it again our second time around with our little man. You can catch the previous posts about our initial box day here and then getting into a little bit more detail on the resources included in the Teacher Tool Bag here.

This week I will be sharing about the Circle Time materials (which I will receive monthly) and the Getting Started Packet (one time only packet) that I received with my starter kit (the first box of the subscription). The Getting Started Booklet that is a GREAT step-by-step guide on how to approach all the resources that were given in the box. I probably should have started this series with this, but oh well. We’ll get to it now.

Here is the beautiful array of materials that I pulled out of the Getting Started Packet, that includes some of the staple Circle Time materials to get my board started.

We have the beautiful map that I add to the outside of the tri-fold board that I use to create my Circle Time boards. It’s an awesome tool that we reference quite a bit. I love how colorful it is!


Here are some of the cute graphics that are included to cover the different elements of the Circle Time board (weather corner with Mother Goose Time), as well as the Alphabet Grass that I have running along the bottom of my board currently. You can also see in the first image the Months of the Year cards that are used to label each month’s calendar that is included in the monthly Circle Time bag.

Now let’s just into the Getting Started booklet! This is such an awesome resource for teachers & parents to know the ins and outs of the program. You can tell by the detail involved not only in the booklet but all the materials provided that the writers and creators really have a heart for learning and equipping others to educate well.

I guess I could have just shared this image and forgone the series, huh? Like I said, they are super helpful and want to make sure that you not only have the tools you need to succeed, but to make sure you know how to wield the tools effectively.

This was super helpful for me to get an idea of what my board could look like, and to then have some creative freedom to design our own.

Like I mentioned, they are so thorough to make sure you understand how to use the resources that they provide.

I will go into more detail about the Daily Discovery Bags next week, but here is a sneak peek on what you will receive on any given month with Mother Goose Time.

This helps take away the mystery of the lesson planning and facilitating so that you can get about the business of teaching and enjoying those kiddos. This is one of my favorite aspects of MGT!

This is a holistic approach to education, recognizing that each child has so many unique facets and that there is more to learning than just cognitive development. Mother Goose Time provides different elements of learning to help each child thrive not only cognitively, but physically and socially as well.

And as a homeschooling mama, this is also another thing I LOVE about Mother Goose Time. There is an instant sense of community and a support system available to help you give your kids what they need. There are training videos available online, as well as others you can contact with questions, so that you don’t feel like you have to do this on your own.

Next is the Circle Time Bag!

(Please excuse the awful picture)
You can see here (kind of) the super cute theme poster that came with June’s Alphabet Island box, as well as the calendar below, the day pieces (that also represent the pattern of the month), the circle time song cards with lyrics, and the example picture of a Circle Time Board.

The Circle Time songs CD is also included, with songs like the Days of the Week, Months of the Year, Little Helper, and some other well-known nursery rhymes.

And of course I have to include my little man exploring the calendar pieces and pattern play.

I love that the pieces are so visually appealing that he wants to interact with them and it brings about organic opportunities for him to learn as he plays.

Next week, Discovery Daily Bags!

As an official Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador,
I receive curriculum in exchange for posting about my honest and authentic experiences with the curriculum.
Click here for more information on Mother Goose Time.

Inside The Box: A Peek Into Our Preschool Curriculum Part 1

Last week, I shared my excitement about receiving our first Mother Goose Time box, and promised I’d share more pictures. So here we go!

As I mentioned in the previous post, each month we receive this awesome box full  of pretty much everything we are gonna need for the month: a teaching guide with the daily lesson plans, 20 daily activities (with supplies included) individually wrapped, and also monthly materials to add to our Circle Time board that represent the general themes we’ll be learning that month.

In this post I will show you more of what is in the Teacher’s Tool Bag. In the following two posts this month, I will break down the Circle Time Materials and the Daily Activity Bags.

So let’s jump in!

Unpacking our first box this time around reminded me of how excited we used to get when Natalie was in preschool and we’d receive our monthly delivery. I couldn’t wait until the kiddos were down for naps or bedtime to sprawl all the contents out on the table. That hasn’t changed!

And this is just one bag! So I’m going to break it down piece by piece.

This is our monthly theme web poster. Our four main subtopics this month for Alphabet Island are Setting Sail, At the Beach, Island Fun, and Exploring the Island, each with 5 daily topics we’ll explore in our Daily Topic Bags later this month.

The Gathering List has been a lifesaver for me, as one who likes to get all my supply ducks in a row before we start our lesson each day. While the daily topic bags do contain the majority of materials the kids will need, there are a few staple supplies that I need to keep around the house and pull from as needed (glue, paste, scissors, tape, etc.) This lovely organized list lets me know what I need on hand before we dive in to avoid unnecessary interruptions in our learning flow.

These fun little goodies are examples of the 2 sets of manipulatives included in each month’s box! We’ve accumulated quite the collection from Natalie’s stint with Mother Goose Time a couple of years ago, and the kids still use them on a regular basis to build, create, and to aid with our lessons. (Insider Tip: We have a rolling cart that has 4 drawers that we keep our manipulatives in and that allows the kids to pull them out whenever they want to play with them. This curriculum has so many awesome resources that you’ll want to find a way to make them accessible to the kids outside of “school” time so they can continue to enjoy them!)

Now on to the main resource in the Teacher’s Tool Bag: the Teacher’s Guide.

Not only does this contain the daily lesson plans, but it also walks you through how to use each of the resources provided in the Teacher’s Tool Bag.

Here’s the overviews of both the Monthly Theme Web and the Planning Journal (we’ll explore this beauty below).

Here’s a quick reference on the basic concepts covered that month (Letters, Numbers, Shapes, Colors, Patterns, Sight Words, Word Family, Friendship Trait).

One part of each day’s activities is Circle Time (we’ll explore the Circle Time bag later this month that helps you build your own board). The Teacher’s Guide walks you through facilitating this time, as well as incorporating each month’s new Circle Time materials.

This is a new addition since the last time we used Mother Goose Time. They used to have different learning stations to help give the kids variety in their day (great in a classroom setting with multiple kids, but we still set up some of them at home with just our two). I love that they have developed this aspect and really look forward to discovering more of what these different stations have to offer us this time around.

Here is the overview for the first arm off the Theme Web, Setting Sail. This is such a great way to get me prepared as the teacher for what we will be discussing that week and overarching themes I can continue to pull out as we’re in the middle of the daily topics. It also gives us an opportunity to hypothesize on what we will discover over that week and keep track of our findings once we’ve completed each set of five lessons.

This is the Developmental Continuum of the Experience Early Learning Skills for Preschool chart, which allows me to assess how each child is developing in different area (social and emotional, physical, language and literacy, etc.). There is a chart at the end of each Teacher’s Guide, with specific benchmarks for your child depending on age. Pictured above is the chart specifically for Alphabet Island, to show you which activities help showcase each child’s skills in a specific area, so that I can assess them in those specific categories and then reference the chart in the back of the book to see if it coincides with their age range, etc. As a parent and teacher, this helps me to recognize a little easier how each of my children are shaped, which areas they may need some extra focus and encouragement and others where they may naturally excel (to be able to search out more activities to further stimulate their growth). This allows me to be more intentional with what activities to help fosters their strengths and further grow skills in the areas where they may be a little underdeveloped.

Here is Day 1’s Lesson Plan: Island. You can see the Circle Time plan on the far left, and then the four main activities represented for that day’s topic. In the middle of the right picture, you see the suggested book for the day, The Little Sailboat by Lois Lenski, that relates well to that day’s topic as well as the theme for the week (Setting Sail). This makes it super easy to make a library list at the beginning of the week or month, depending on how frequently you visit. Or if there are some personal favorites, to snag a few on Amazon. There is also a comprehensive list available each month on the resources page of Mother Goose Time to be able to print and go.

Another great, fun resource is the monthly CD that goes along with the Circle Time activities each day. They are all themed (of course, right?) and then the lyrics are provided at the back of the Teacher’s Guide to help until these catchy tunes make their way into memory. My son has the CD in his personal CD player in his room already.

And along the side of the lyrics page are some of the Spanish vocabulary words for the month. I LOVE that this is provided in a preschool curriculum, and is such a great way to not only begin learning a new language, but to continue to expand my kids’ worldview and introduction to other cultures.

I really could add about 20 more pictures of the Teacher’s Guide and ways that we have already been utilizing the materials from the Teacher’s Tool Bag, but I gotta stop somewhere. More to come: Circle Time materials and Daily Topic Bags!

As an official Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador,
I receive curriculum in exchange for posting about our honest and authentic experiences with the curriculum.
Click here for more information on Mother Goose Time.


Summer School – Box Day!

I am so excited to announce that we’ve decided to use the Mother Goose Time curriculum again as our official Pre-K curriculum for Peterman! We’ve been waiting until The Sweetness finishes first grade to start a new, longer learning routine with Peter (now that he’s a big boy four), and it’s finally here! Call us crazy, as most other families are counting down the days until summer break just as we are ramping up to start a new school year with Peter, but that is the flow of this household. A little crazy. Truthfully, we’ve just enjoyed a little hiatus from our usual school routine as we moved into our new home and have gotten our new footing here, and so we’re looking forward to a fun, fruitful summer!

One reason we chose to go with Mother Goose Time is because it is so hands-on (and super visually appealing)!  Check out June’s Theme, Alphabet Island!

I have found that each day this week that we’ve pulled out our Mother Goose Time daily bags, both kids still want to stay at the table longer, and continue with their “free play” time making additional improvements or adjustments to their STEM creations & art projects. That speaks volumes to me, in and of itself.

When Day 1’s Topic, Island, called for water play, Peter stayed at the table an hour past our lesson time, continuing to explore what he could do with this month’s math manipulatives in his water tray. This was super handy because it allowed Natalie to do a little bit of her handwriting and reading practice while he was engaged, in the same room, with minimal interruptions. Can I get a Hallelujah? (I am pretty sure I heard angels singing in the background.) So far, it has been a total win for our family in this season!

And we all just love Box Day! I mean, look at how adorable this is (and the kids aren’t too bad, either)!



And then you open it up, and everything is already organized (swoon)!

This is my first box, which will include the Starter Kit (one time bag), and then all the other materials that I will continue to get each month (the Teacher Tool Bag, pictured below, that includes materials such as the Teacher’s guide and the monthly planning journal; the Circle Time bag, that includes materials that I can add to my Circle Time board or station each month, including letters of the month, new calendar pieces, theme poster, etc; and the 20 Daily bags that include each day’s topic poster, as well as the majority of materials needed for each day’s lesson plan (minus a few everyday household items, like glue, markers, and the like).



With all the materials already divided up and the lessons planned already so clearly laid out, I don’t have to spend long hours planning and compiling materials. Which means I am freed up to put my energy into teaching my kids and enjoying my time with them as they explore the materials.  I have found that the extra time and energy it saves me on the front end allows for me to follow their ideas and moods on even given day to further personalize their learning.

I am a visual person, so I want to show you just what I experience on any given box day each month, as I pull out all the colorful materials and get excited about the time we’re going to get to enjoy together over the next few weeks. I mean, who doesn’t love getting mail?!

So we’ll explore Alphabet Island together in some upcoming posts, where I will share pictures of the contents of these fun little bags, and a few of our personal take-aways from the lesson plans.

Thanks for reading!


As an official Mother Goose Time Blog Ambassador,
I receive curriculum in exchange for posting about my honest and authentic experiences with the curriculum.
Click here for more information on Mother Goose Time.