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  • Cristi Wuenschel

Prickly Hedgehogs, Counting Quills & Pokey Things

Updated: May 12, 2020

collage of topic poster hung up with text title

As an Experience Early Learning Blog Ambassador, we receive the Experience Early Learning preschool curriculum in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, our opinions on amazing things for children are 100% our own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best judgement when planning activities for your children.

Hello friends!

Last week was our very first week using Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) preschool curriculum and it was a total win! The children are loving it!

The topic for the week was Forest Animals and we've explored deer, hedgehogs, bears, mice, and even owls.

daily topic poster for lesson about hedgehogs

Hedgehog day was especially exciting and I thought it'd be fun to talk about our daily routine and how we're fitting it all in.

While the children are playing in the morning, I generally pull the daily discovery bag and hang up the topic poster on our circle time display.

Anything that needs to be laminated will have already been done the week prior, so it's really just a matter of glancing at the Teacher Guide for the day.

hedgehog painting activity from Teacher Guide

Usually we look ahead both daily as well as weekly so that we're able to plan accordingly for the Investigation Stations.

Because Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) mostly uses things we already have on hand (and of course encourages us to use alternatives and be creative in adapting the ideas to materials that we do have), there's really no shopping specifically for this preschool curriculum.

The children have been cleaning up from free play and meeting for Circle Time around 9 AM. It's Mother Goose Time is followed by the circle time song and everyone's been having a wonderful time dancing to these two songs.

Jump, jump. Run in place. Turn around and then sit down.

We greet one another, do calendar and weather, and then discuss the daily topic. Usually we also read the suggested story at this time.

Today's story was Stranger in the Woods and we took turns pointing out the animals on each page.

child painting on paper plate using pokey ball and clothepin

Several activities ended up being favorites. Both the Invitation to Create as well as the Investigation Station were really popular among the children.

We have two semi-round tables where we usually set up the process art and STEAM activities for the day.

On one table we had pokey balls, paint, paper plates, etc. And on the other, were play dough, wiggly eyes, and toothpicks.

preschooler painting paper plate with pokey ball clipped to clothespin

The children took turns working in small groups with the other preschool teacher and I on those activities during center time.

Generally speaking, non-messy math and literacy activities are in their respective centers where they can stay out for several days to be played with.

My Creative Mind daily note about making hedgehog art

If for whatever reason, we can't put that particular day's activity at the center, we've been setting it up wherever it makes the most sense. Possibly at one of the two large tables or even on the carpet near our circle time area.

After we're finished with the day's activities, it's Closing Time and then lunch.

I am seriously loving how easy this preschool curriculum is to implement. It only takes us a few minutes in the morning to prepare for our day and we're ready to get started.

Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) has done an outstanding job of making sure that exactly what you need is in the daily discovery bags and that everything is teacher-friendly.

hedgehog made from play dough and wiggly eyes

I can say without a doubt that I'm spending a lot less time planning and prepping than I was before. And you know what that means, right? More time for everything else!

After all, preschool teachers are all kinds of busy. That's something I'm sure we can all agree on. This amazing preschool curriculum is just one more tool to make our jobs easier and it does exactly that!

We're seriously in love with everything about it and excited to see what next week brings!

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