My kids love the fun collection of games included in Mother Goose Time’s A to Zoo. Never has encouraging growth in literacy and mathematics been so much fun. My youngest is absolutely gaga over being able to create a “fur-like” effect for his gorilla mask using a comb! Mother Goose Time continues to be a wonderful way for my kids to learn through play!
Gorilla Mask – Make and Play
We love learning more about animals and how they interact. In this fun activity we created a gorilla mask and chatted about how families of different species can be behave in ways that similar, yet different from humans.
- gorilla mask*
- craft stick*
- stuffed animals
*materials provided by Mother Goose Time
- How does a mama gorilla take care of her baby?
- How does your family take care of you?
- Invite the children to use the combs as a painting tool.
- Paint “fur” on the mask.
- Add other features as desired.
- Attach the craft stick and pretend to be gorillas.
- Encourage children to gently pat the heads of the stuffed animals, like gorilla parents do.
- Encourage children to wear their gorilla mask and gently pat a friend’s head.
- Did the child explain how his caregiver cared for him?
- Did he act out the role of being a gorilla parent?
The kids are huge fans of using the comb to create a fur-like effect with the paint. I feel confident that technique will be used on several art projects in the very near future. The big kids got a kick out of patting the little ones on the head and were pretty entertained when the little kids turned around and started patting their heads. The baby was thrilled that he got to play with a gorilla mask too and loved patting his big sister on the head!
Eating Leaves – Small Group Math
This table top math activity focuses on patterns and sorting, listening comprehension, and number concepts.
- number and color cubes*
- scrap papers (same colors as color cube)
- Assemble and tape both cubes.
Discuss and Explore
- What is your favorite food?
- Invite children to choose a paper scrap “leaf.”
- Prompt them to tear pieces off and share with the other children.
- Spread the colorful paper scrap “leaves” on the floor. Invite a child to toss both cubes. Identify the color and the number.
- Invite the child (or all children) to pick up that same amount and color of leaves. For example, if the child rolled “red” and “2” then he picks up two red leaves. Continue taking turns.
- Simplify: Toss only one cube.
- Challenge: Add another feature for the child to sort by, like size. For example, “Can you find 5 small blue leaves?”
- Did the child sort the leaves by at least one feature?
- Could he sort by two or three features?
The kids are big fans of this game. They loved coming up with different foods that the scraps of construction paper could represent based on color and set up their very own stuffed gorilla to eat. He got his very own bowl and fork.
Jungle Search – Literacy Game
This game does a wonderful job of exercising kid’s letter/word recognition and spatial awareness.
- letter search cards*
- letter sticks*
- tub of nature items (leaves, grass, rocks, and sticks)
- Hide letter sticks in the tub of nature items.
- Arrange the letter search cards on the table.
- Encourage children to pretend they are gorillas searching for food.
- Uncover the letter sticks that are hiding in the “jungle.”
- Place the letter stick by the matching letter on the search cards. Continue until the entire alphabet is found.
- Did the child uncover the letters then match them to the card?
- Were there any letters she did not recognize?
Since it has been pouring rain for the past few days I was fresh out of nature items I wanted to stick in a bin. So, I had the kids hide the letters in their rooms. We split the letters in to two groups of 12 and the kids into groups of two. Their rooms are pretty jungle like anyway right now, so that worked pretty well. When the toddler found one of those sticks. Holy cow, you could hear the joy all the way through the house and possibly in China. What a great game! You should totally give this one a try!
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As a blog ambassador for Mother Goose Time, I am happy to share preschool curriculum ideas, activities, and crafts with my readers. Mother Goose Time provides our family the opportunity to use their curriculum free of charge in exchange for honest and authentic stories based on our personal experience.