Incorporating Books and Literacy for Preschoolers at Home

A love of reading is one of the top things I want to instill in my little Mudpie during our learning at home time. As a long time book lover, I know the power that literacy can have in an education and in life as well. We started early on by surrounding her with books and reading to her regularly. I loved seeing her explore books on her own at such an early age. 

Now that we are doing preschool at home, it’s really starting to sink in that my little gal is getting closer and closer to the point where she will start to read on her own. Throughout this year, I’ve been researching ways that I can incorporate those early skills that will come together as she starts to learn to read and write. I’m not an education major, so pulling together lessons, tools, and games became a self educated, DIY experience. 

That process went well enough, but was a time consuming rabbit hole to navigate. One of the things that I loved the most about Mother Goose Time curriculum is their emphasis on literacy. The people who create this curriculum are pros, so I no longer have to wonder if I’m incorporating the most important skills needed into our lessons. It’s already done for me. 

I love that each month with Mother Goose Time, we receive a full sized themed book that we can add to our library here at home. The books have great illustrations and include activities that Mudpie can interact with in the book. In addition, other activity suggestions with the book are added into the teacher’s guides as well. 

I love seeing my little girl’s love of reading grow and know I’m giving her the skills she needs as she starts her own reading adventure! 

Ocean Commotion Mother Goose Time Unboxing

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

Unboxing this month’s Mother Goose Time curriculum was a lot of fun. The theme this month is Ocean Commotion, so there were plenty of sea animals and plants. There were some really nice manipulatives in this month’s box and I love the ocean letters book that was included as well. I learn a lot just from taking a look in each month’s box. Check out the video above to see what’s included in this month’s box! 

Building in Creative Arts Time for Preschool at Home

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

To say my little Mudpie loves the creative arts is an understatement. Crayons, paint, chalk, glue (oh, yes, ESPECIALLY glue)… she loves being able to create something new. It’s one of the only activities that will hold her preschooler attention for more than a few minutes at a time. She also loves creating her own dances and shows to perform for us.  

I also can see how much she’s learning during her creative arts times as well. Her fine motor skills are developing and growing. She’s growing her creativity and problem solving skills. I love seeing how fun this type of learning is for her (and me too)! 

Despite our daily creative arts habit, I must admit that it didn’t occur to me to regularly  incorporate the creative arts into our planned learning time until we started going through the Mother Goose Time curriculum. I love how so many of the learning activities are built around the creative arts. The ideas and concepts that we are learning are lasting with her so much longer since they are built around these arts activities. 

If you aren’t already incorporating the creative arts into your preschool at home time, it’s definitely a great addition to learning time for preschoolers. It’s a way of learning that is especially fun for kiddos and parents! 

Our First Week With Mother Goose Time

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

Our first week with Mother Goose Time went really well! As with any new routine, we are still trying new things and finding our rhythm with the program. The circle time routine is fairly different from what we have been doing for circle time since the beginning of the year. I really like the format of Mother Goose Time’s circle time, however it does feel (understandably) more centered around preschool or daycare centers. I think that as we continue with Mother Goose Time, we will probably find some combination of the activities we used to do and the activities suggested from Mother Goose Time.

Trying out her new cardboard telescope

I have been really enjoying exploring the different activities with Mudpie and learning more about space myself. So far, my favorite day of activities has been our day learning about stars. Mudpie made both of us star headbands during the Make and Play activity and she her own constellation after learning about what constellations are. We also played a fun star game that helped her work on her counting skills but also gave me an opportunity to teach her about graphing and greater than/less than.   

Modeling our new star headbands

I also really enjoyed our day that was centered around the sun. Mudpie made a sun mask during the Make and Play activity and we practiced and later that evening performed a small song for my hubby and my parents.

Learning all about constellations

I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a general teaching section for each subject, but the way that Mother Goose Time lays out the teaching opportunities is even better because preschoolers learn best by doing. Each teaching opportunity is tucked inside an activity where they are either doing or creating. I’m looking forward to learning more as we continue with this curriculum. I hope you’ll join me as we explore during this part of our homeschool journey!

Mother Goose Time Unboxing – Blast Off to Space!

Disclosure: I am a Mother Goose Time blog ambassador. I receive the Mother Goose Time curriculum free of charge in exchange for sharing my experiences with you. All of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own. You can see more about Mother Goose Time here: https://www.mothergoosetime.com/

After a recent search of preschool curriculums available, I settled on Mother Goose Time for our homeschool time. Recently, we received our first month’s box of supplies for the program and I am so excited to bring you along with me as I unbox everything we need as we “Blast Off to Space” this month! 

You can watch the video above to see the entire unboxing. Here are some of my favorite things that I discovered as I unboxed our supplies for this month: 

  • The supplies and materials needed for each day are separated into different bags. No sorting through a big box of supplies each month! 
  • Everything that is needed for each activity (other than basic supplies that you will likely have on hand) is provided! I love that I don’t have to spend hours tracking down supplies that I will only use a fraction of for learning activities. I’d much rather spend time that time playing with my little gal. 
  • This curriculum is in-depth and covers so many areas of learning, while pulling it all together under a central and fun theme. 
  • The illustrations on all of the supplies are so adorable! 
  • There are awesome activities and supplies, like board puzzles and a book, that will used over and over in our home. 

I am so excited for us to jump into the curriculum this month and, of course, share our experiences with you! 

 

How I Plan Our Homeschool Time In OneNote and Our First Day Preschool at Home DITL

I just recently realized that I no longer have a toddler. Now that Little Gal is three, she is considered a preschooler. How in the world did that happen?! 

We’ve been doing relaxed, organized learning in some form for a year a half. Now that Little Gal is older, I’m working to create more routine and structure in our learning day. Nothing too intense since I do believe that the majority of learning at this age comes from play interaction, but just some anchor points to give us a little more structure in those sometimes unpredictable at home days. 

My first focus is to build up our circle time, or morning time as I call it. Our routine for this currently includes: 

  • Singing “This Is The Day”
  • Adding the date to our wall calendar
  • Singing our days of the week song
  • Talking about what day of the week it is
  • Singing our months of the year song
  • Talking about today’s date
  • Listening to the Bounce Patrol counting song
  • Talking about our number of the week
  • Listening to the Preschool Prep phonics song
  • Talking about our letter of the week
  • Singing a Bible verse song (currently coming from ABC Jesus Loves Me)
  • Saying a prayer 
  • Talking about what we are going to do for the day

I’ve also started planning for our homeschool time in a new way this year – using OneNote. I’m really finding OneNote to be a great fit for my prep and planning time due to the flexibility of being able to use it on my phone, tablet, and laptop. I love that I can embed YouTube videos for our learning time right into my plan for that homeschool day. 

I’m definitely not a homeschool pro, but little gal and I are learning together.  We are both really loving this morning time and our homeschool activities so far this year! 

 

Apple Watch Unboxing and First Thoughts

A bit earlier this year, I started considering getting an Apple Watch and researching their benefits and drawbacks.  The tech world can be so confusing sometimes as one expert says that it’s a total miss and another says that they use it every day and love it, am I right?  In the end, I decided to go ahead with getting one in the hopes that it would make our everyday lives go a little more smoothly.  I almost always have my phone right beside me in case I need to be reached during the day. While I realize that this is overkill for some people, we have some family members who have had health issues and I like to be available in case, Heaven forbid, there are any emergencies that come up. I don’t always love toting my phone everywhere I go though. Carrying it around the house seems a bit too much for me while I’m playing with my little girl or handling chores. Having the phone out while we are at playgroup is not my preference either. I loved the idea that I could easily see text messages and even receive phone calls on my wrist with the Apple Watch and ultimately that is what sold me. 

As with all Apple products, the packaging is top notch and sets you up for a wonderful feeling watch. It feels substantial in your hands and on your wrist. I ended up purchasing the aluminum watch in part because I have been eying some pretty yellow bands and I just can’t picture them working with the beautiful rose gold watch. I have some concerns that the white watch band will get dye stains on it from clothing or other items given it’s silicone feel.  I’ll be interested to see how it holds up with use. 

The startup for the watch was a breeze and very intuitive, as most Apple products are. Right away, I loved checking out the different watch faces. My daughter will definitely love the Mickey and Minnie options! I love that I can have custom photo watch faces also. 

As I look around at the apps on my watch, I’m certain that Apple must work on the format of the apps page in the future. It’s not terrible, but it’s certainly not what I would call a “good” format. I do like the dock where you can pin frequently used apps for quick access. I’m always appreciative of any personalization options available. 

All in all, the Apple Watch feels great and is fun to play around with as I check out the features. I’m looking forward to giving it a try and seeing if it’s a good fit for my life as a stay at home mom. I’ll be checking back in with you in a couple of weeks to let you know how it goes! 

Studio Adorkable Planner Sticker Haul – Harry Potter, Hamilton, Gilmore Girls, Supernatural, and more!

 

Studio Adorkable is full of some of the cutest planner supplies I have seen! The artist, Lacey, not only is any amazing artist, but also does a great job of adding action and feeling into her characters! Check out my PR team haul to see what all Studio Adorkable has to offer!

https://www.studioadorkable.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioAdorkable
https://www.instagram.com/adorkablestickers/

 

Pick up a set from your favorite show or movie in the Studio Adorkable shop. Use the code Meryisadorkable to get 15% off your order (excludes custom work).

 

 

I am part of the Studio Adorkable PR team for this quarter and received this as part of my involvement with the team, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Expand Your Capsule Wardrobe with Poppyclips – Poppyclips Review

**Please note that while I did show how boots could be styled with Poppyclips, I spoke with the lovely people at Poppyclips after and they are not recommended for boots or shoes. They do have an awesome product called BootClips that are designed for boots and have a much stronger magnet. You can purchase those here: https://www.poppyclips.com/poppyclips-for-boots  
They are so very cute and I’m looking forward to adding them to my capsule wardrobe soon!**

I’ve been working to simplify my wardrobe since before my little girl was born. After I became a mom, I realized that I had even less space, time, and energy for upkeep and styling of my clothing and began focusing even more on creating a capsule wardrobe for myself. For me, a capsule wardrobe is full of pieces that can mix and match to create different looks and/or pieces that I am just totally in love with. It’s still a work in progress and I’m always looking for ways to add new looks to my outfits (particularly if they are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of space). 

Enter Poppyclips! Poppyclips are beautifully crafted fabric accents with strong magnets that hold them onto place on your clothing. I was so impressed with the quality of my Poppyclips and the strength of the magnets. My Poppyclips weren’t going anywhere! 

These adorable little accessories add so many possibilities within a capsule wardrobe. You can add them to scarves, sleeves, pants, and even boots! Check out my video above to see how I changed one outfit into four extra looks with just one pair of Poppyclips!

Ready to expand your own wardrobe with Poppyclips? You can purchase your own pair of Poppyclips on the Poppyclips website.  

 

Disclosure: Poppyclips sent me this set of Poppyclips in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this video and post are my own. 

My Momma’s Derby Pie Recipe

This video is based on a post from one of my much older blogs that you can read below. Since this post was originally written, I’ve made this pie many times. A true testament to just how easy this recipe is, even for a novice cook like myself!

I’m not a natural cook. While I wish I were, I guess we all have to learn somewhere. I’m slowly learning to make some of my favorites from my mom’s recipes. This past week I gave my favorite pie – Derby Pie – a shot!

It turned out great! This is an easy pie to make, even by my standards. You basically mix everything and pour it into the pie shell. In the oven, it (almost magically) turns into a beautiful pie!

It’s definitely not a healthy pie or anything like that, but it is so good!

My Momma's Derby Pie
Perfect for Derby week!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 stick melted butter (cooled)
  4. 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  5. 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces
  6. 1 cup chocolate chips
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, sugar, eggs.
  2. Add butter & mix
  3. Add chips & vanilla & mix
  4. Pour in unbaked pie shell.
  5. Bake for 30-40 minutes @ 350 degrees.
  6. It is done when it doesn’t jiggle when you shake the pie pan.
Notes
  1. This pie is especially yummy if you heat it up just a bit in the microwave!
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