Whether you’ve been using it for a long time or just starting with Mother Goose Time, it seems like we can always use suggestions and new ideas for tips for making the most of your Mother Goose Time materials.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Mother Goose Time Materials
However you do it, there’s a certain amount of organization that’s necessary in order to make the most of your Mother Goose Time curriculum. Every box has 20 daily topic bags plus the teacher tool bag. See what’s included here.
Know what’s in the box.
First, you have to know what’s in the box. There’s so much!! Maybe it feels a bit overwhelming at first but after you use the curriculum for a few months, you get the idea of what’s included each month.
I feel the most organized when I go through the box and prep it before the month starts. This post shows how I prep my materials for the month. Especially if using Mother Goose Time is new to you, you’ll want to look through everything and see what it’s all for.
The Supplied Core Tools page is one you’ll want to keep and reference all month long. I put it in the front of my binder so it’s handy. It shows you where to find each item whether it’s in the Welcome Kit, Member Resources, Teacher Tool Bag or a specific lesson. The STEAM stations are noted on the bottom. It’s so easy to find what you’re looking for at a glance!
My weekly binder of activities for Monday through Friday.
Read the Teacher Guides.
Everything you need to know is in the teacher guides and the included materials. It’s amazing how much information is in there! I always like to look at the overview pages in the front of the teacher guides.
Definitely check out the STEAM Stations right away too. These are wonderful ideas you use to set up centers or stations for the week ahead! They can be left out to be explored for as long as there’s interest. Definitely take advantage of these ideas and put them into action.
Have a plan.
Go through the teacher guide and decide what activities you’re going to do. Circle them or make notes. Then you will have all the supplies ready to go or have the time to locate them.
Maybe your plan is to grab and bag and go! That works for me many days.
Each Teacher Guide has a planning section that’s awesome for making notes, writing goals or individualizing lessons. Lots of room for planning and notes!
Check out the Member Resources.
You have access to the member resources for the kits you’ve purchased. Log in to access:
- streaming music
- activity calendar
- suggested book list
- song lyrics
- Mother Goose Time Family Newsletter
- teacher certificate
- coloring sheets
- gathering list
- assessment tools/printables
- Celebration Kits
- and more!
Watch some of the daily training YouTube videos from Mother Goose Time. What a great resource! These short little videos really help me get my head into the lesson and shape ideas before I’m in the middle of it. I don’t know about you but it seems like I’m always learning right along with my kids!
Mother Goose Time has several Facebook groups for the family child care, homeschool, center directors and preschool communities. It’s the place to find help, share your ideas or ask questions.
Laminate displays and heavily used materials.
Laminating display pieces and heavily used materials extend the life of paper or card stock materials and make them nicer for the kids to use. And you won’t get upset about card games being torn or completely crumpled.
It’s important that we make materials accessible to the children. Putting the circle time board at the child’s level allows them to look at the numbers, letters and other concepts we’ve discussed in group time and review them on their own.
I love it when I see someone at the circle time display pointing at numbers and counting or pretending to play school. Yes, they might damage some pieces in the beginning but the board in these pictures has been used for about 3 years now.
Little ones might need to be redirected countless times, but eventually, they learn that it’s to look at. Let’s make use of what we have and get the most out of it by allowing the children to actively use it! If you need a new set of display materials, you can buy them here.
Put the materials out in your environment.
I want my group to get a lot of use of the materials each month. So I don’t save the puzzle until the day it’s introduced in the teacher’s guide. On the first of the month, I change my room up for the new theme and put out many of the Mother Goose Time materials so they can be explored during free time. Items I put out at the beginning of the month:
- Theme poster
- Letter cards and loose parts
- Story scene and magnet sets
- Manipulatives/activity cards
- Matching Games
The suggested activity doesn’t sound like it will work with your group? Change it up! Have a better idea? Go with it! Make the curriculum your own and make it work for you.
On the other hand, not sure about some of the ideas in the book? Give it a try! I’m often surprised that a simple activity is so fun and engaging for the kids and I’ve learned to present a concept in a different way.
I use some of the materials for more than one task like the name tags. We use them all month long. On the first day of the month everyone practices writing their name. Then we put them in the pocket chart. Anyone who needs help remembering the letters of their name or wants to practice writing names, can grab their tag and reference it.
This month we tried laminating them and using dry erase markers. What a great idea! Now they get used even more. Plus our names tags are used for display. They are handy for any activity or transition as well.
Pocket Charts & Display
I *love* these little pocket charts for displaying the awesome Mother Goose Time tools. I change these areas up often so they get used. Otherwise, everyone just ignores them. When we did the communication/sign language activity last month it was very popular. It would be a shame to put these sign cards away where the kids couldn’t use them! This is the perfect spot for them. I keep the theme poster magnifying glasses in the bottom pocket so they can be played with throughout the day.
This pocket chart changes often too. This one is holding the yoga cards. The kids love these and I see yoga poses often throughout the day! How awesome is that?! Another tip – grab a card and use it for a transition activity. Need everyone’s attention to wash hands? Pick a card and have each child do the pose before going to wash.
I always laminate and save the nursery rhyme posters so I have quite a collection from over the years. I put a coordinating poster or two each month.
Gems like this need to be laminated and displayed! I put the American Sign Language poster in our library area. It’s a great quiet time activity in addition to resting and looking at books.
Reuse and Re-purpose
What to do with all these supplies after you’ve done the daily lessons? Here’s some ideas:
- Create displays
- Make a book of the daily topic pages
- Make check out or take home bags for family involvement
- Add craft supplies to your art station
- Put extra or
leftovermaterials in a scrap box to be used at freetime
- Donate extra materials to another provider
- Create a game file and rotate the games in your centers
- Give them to the children to take home
- Save for future use when you revisit the theme
There’s a lot of materials and activities included daily and each month. You may not be able to get to them all but don’t stress!
In fact there’s so much that some people stretch one box over more than one month depending on how their schedule works.
If you’re falling behind, just start again. Every day is a new beginning!
It works best for me to always try to keep up each day and move on to the next if I miss one. Sometimes I combine lessons if we miss days. If nothing else, I always try to use the craft materials. That’s one thing that’s so great about using Mother Goose Time, it’s all very flexible. Make it work for you!
Do you have more tips for making the most of your Mother Goose Time Materials? Leave a comment and share it with us!