Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Adventures of a Preschool Archerer and Escape Artist

Today, my daughters had a very busy day.  Everyday is busy, but today was especially exhausting. Oh, but it was fun... And scary.


We began our day traveling to their homeschool P.E. The girls did archery, and lots of other sports.
Today was the first day our youngest daughter, who is 4-years-old, ever shot a bow and arrow. She hit a blue balloon on her first shot (of course with help from her amazing coach)! It was amazing to see her face light up after making her first shot.


On our way back home the girls didn't want to go home, so we went for a little drive and I felt an urge to go towards a lake we like to walk around. As I began to park, I saw a man lying on the ground with people staring at him. Obviously, he was hurt, so I immediately called 911.

The girls and I noticed that no one was making eye-contact to help him. Some people were looking at him from a distance. Some people actually thought it was funny to see him hurt (which is strange).

Of course, I ran right up and starting talking to him. I told him I just called 911 and that he was going to be okay. I prayed for him and I helped him calm down. He could not move his legs and he was shaking. He did calm down after I talked to him for a while, but he could not respond. It looked like he had a stroke. I could not tell for sure. I realized that he probably could not speak English. He was Chinese. After about 10 minutes, his wife showed up and she was very upset. I gave her my phone number because it seemed like she did not know anyone in the United States to help her besides her husband. She wasn't calling any friends or family to help them. I was worried about her. I helped her understand that she needed to go into the ambulance with her husband.

As we left, the girls and I talked about the reactions of people around him. Why did some people just stare and not try to help? Why were some people so weird that they thought it was funny? Why are they like that?  This was completely in line with our preschool studies for this month, Friends and Feelings with Mother Goose Time.  Maybe some people are not able to respond in a caring way because they are de-sensitized? We talked about why some people don't care about other people, or just don't know how to show they care. Abusive parents, neglect, violent television programs, and violent video games are all things that destroy the ability for people to respond appropriately to other people's feelings, especially other people's pain.


The Escape Artist Hanging Out with the Skateboard Boys!

When we got home I was exhausted. I thought the girls were, too. Apparently, our 4-year-old was still up for some adventure.

She stood on a water bottle to unlocked the very high double bolted top locks and walked out the front door, when I was only around the corner in the kitchen. She even shut the door behind her. I was sitting in the living room and I was shocked to see her walk in the front door! I thought she was in her bedroom!

As she walked in she ran up to me and said, "Sorry mom, I was playing outside with the skateboard boys."

I felt her little heart and it was beating very fast. My heart was frozen in a moment of extreme gratitude that she was in my arms.

I had her walk outside with me and show me everything she did in detail. I also talked to the boys that she met up with and they explained exactly what they saw her doing. Basically, running down the street and telling them she can run really fast, which she can. After our investigation, we realized that she was outside for a total of about 3-5 minutes.

If anyone knows me, they know that I am very careful, super-paranoid and I would NEVER allow my child to be anywhere without me. The only reason why she got away is because she purposely unlocked both bolted locks by standing on a huge water bottle to do it. I was shocked. That was very sneaky and very adventurous. It scared the heck out of me.

Copyright Caroline Brooke
So, I immediately installed alarms on the door and windows. She was so mad at me for doing this. The alarm goes off really loud if a door opens and there is no way she will ever be able to get out again. It really upset her. So, I had to listen to her crying about this for a long time. (God, please help me.) I also moved the water bottles to a room far, far away from the front door. I am also looking around to see if she could ever use anything else to get out in the future. I also scared her by telling her about kidnapping. She is just so brave. God, please help. Thank God we have dogs that would
tear anyone up that tried anything.

I then remembered the time I snuck out when I was her age. I walked over to the boys house next door and just walked into their house without knocking. I remember that his mom looked at me really funny and just started laughing, and she was shocked. She also wasn't very happy that when she made us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches her son would only eat the crust and he gave me the inside of his sandwich. Later, my mom had to explain to me that you can't just walk into other peoples houses and start hanging out with them. They did have their front door unlocked. I'm not sure about my parents though. I do remember climbing on a lot of stuff to reach locks and climb into and out of things, so I wouldn't be surprised if I did the same thing she did to get out. I also remember playing karate with him, and when he started to win my pit bull dog appeared out of nowhere and held onto the hand he had been using to injure me. She did not break his skin, and he was beating me up pretty bad. He never did it again. Especially after my dad taught me to kick between the legs the next day. So, honestly, I see where she gets it from.


Then, my husband got home and rushed out the door with our oldest daughter to church to play guitar with friends there. I went out shopping with our younger daughter and met up with them there later. While we were at church we had adventures, too. My oldest daughter loves to sing and was able to sing to a small group of people while we were there. That was the nice part. But there is more. I'm just so tired, I can't tell you more. I also don't want to traumatize you.

Copyright Caroline Brooke


So, either I was going to hit my pillow like a rock tonight, or I would stay up much too late. Truly, I want to go to sleep. Yes, homeschool families just sit inside all day and do nothing, right? The kids are un-socialized and lacking. Ha! My daughters are social butterflies and they are full of adventure. Let's just pray that I can get some sleep.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mother Goose Time - Friends and Feelings, Saying Hello with Puppets

Friends and Feelings Daily Activities for This Month

I love the Mother Goose Time theme for this month, Friends and Feelings. It's perfect for the beginning of the year. Children need to develop trust before they can feel safe enough to really focus on learning. These activities are perfect for both classroom and homeschooling environments.

Month: Friends and Feelings
Weeks: Making Friends, Identifying Feelings,
Keys to Friendship and Talking with Friends
Days: Each Day is Numbered
Everyday, we open a new
curriculum bag full of fun activities!
I also love these activities, because they can be differentiated easily. They can work well with all ages of children, with simple adjustments. Because I homeschool my daughters, ages 4 and 8, Mother Goose Time is the perfect curriculum for my daughters. My older daughter has very challenging, age-appropriate curriculum (Seton) and these Mother Goose Time activities give her a nice break, while helping her learn and have fun with her preschool-age sister. Surprisingly, my older daughter gets a lot out of it, too. So, we really enjoy Mother Goose Time.

How to Create Friends and Feelings Puppets by Mother Goose Time

The kids need to make two puppets, so they can act out friend scenarios.
The puppets can have fun, adventures and conflicts.
Then, the children can find creative ways to work out the conflicts.

"Hi, Yellow, is your eye okay?"
(Blue is thinking that she does not know what to say about Yellow's drooping eye, but she wants to help him.
Fortunately, she was able to help him without embarrassing him before his eye dried crooked.
Friendship takes so much work.
Then, Blue realized that her hair had glue in it, but she couldn't take it off because it was holding on her hair!
What are they going to do?)

How to Make Friends Puppets


  • Feathers
  • Cardboard puppets
  • Paper
  • Wiggle eyes
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Markers


  • What do you do when you see a friend?


  • Encourage children to explore tossing and catching the feathers. Observe hand-eye coordination, as well as emotional response to missing or grabbing the feathers.


  • Invite the child to create one puppet that looks like a friend and one that looks like himself.
  • Cut out the clothing from the paper and attach it to the puppets.
  • Glue on some feathers for hair and attach the wiggle eyes. Decorate the friends with markers.


  • Encourage children to use the puppets to practice saying hello and goodbye to one another. What other conversations do the children have with their puppets?

The girls loved creating their puppet friends, eyelashes, necklaces and all. They even got out the
stamps my youngest daughter got from a friend for her birthday.

Here they are... Putting on a puppet show!

Check back soon
for more free and fun lesson plans!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Mother Goose Time - Making Flapjacks/Pancakes with Preschoolers

Play Cooking Breakfast Pan

Look at this adorable little craft/toy pan, eggs, bacon and pancakes! Mother Goose Time included it in our Day 13 bag, Paul Bunyan and the Flapjacks.

You could also make this craft/toy pan at home or school with your preschooler.


  • Paper lid (or you could use a lid from just about anything, as long as it's small.)
  • Jumbo craft stick
  • Paper (To draw the food.)
  • Breakfast food pieces (Create these pieces by using a black marker to make eggs, pancakes and bacon. The child colors the food with crayons.)
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Plates (optional)
  • Forks (optional)
  • Black Marker
  • Pencil (For you to draw the food before tracing over with the black marker.)
  • Crayons (For the children to color the food.)
  • Stuffed animals or dolls (optional)
First, we talked about what you can make in the frying pan.

The girls glued the stick to the lid to make a frying pan.

Then, they created the food (eggs, bacon and pancakes).

"Look mom, the eggs, bacon and pancakes are so little!"

The girls loved making these little toys. They ended up getting out their stuffed animals and making a pretend breakfast with them.

Making Real Pancakes/Flapjacks without Eggs!

For lunch, I decided to make them pancakes, since it was already part of their lesson for the day and they were so happy about it.

I looked in the refrigerator... And there were no eggs!

I just couldn't let them down. I had to think of something. I thought, "I know there is a way without running to the store. They are so hungry and that will take forever."

So, I thought about a no egg cake recipe I knew of and decided to give it a try with pancakes.

Will, it work?

Yes, they loved it! Yeah!

So, here it is...

Ginger Ale Pancake Recipe

  • Pancake Mix
  • 1 Can of ginger ale!
Follow the recipe as instructed on the box, but you don't need butter/oil, eggs, milk or water!
(See everything else pictured above: Maple syrup, coconut oil to spray pan, pancake mix, ginger ale, Earth Balance dairy-free butter.)

As you mix the pancake batter, you will see carbonation bubbling. Don't  worry, as it settles the batter
will thicken. This is fun for the kids to see. The girls enjoy stirring the batter as the carbonation bubbles and then settles.

Pour the batter on the warm pan after you spray it with coconut oil (low to medium heat.) It may take one or two practice pancakes to get it right. Sometimes, you need to adjust the temperature.

After you see bubbles on one side, flip it over. Use your spatula to peek underneath, and flip it over when it is a very light brown color.

The girls put a dab of butter and some maple syrup on top of their pancakes. Yum!

The girls told me it was the best pancakes they ever had. Amazingly, I like them better this way, too. I was thinking that it would be fun for a camping trip, so you don't have to keep the eggs cold and they won't break. For some reason, these pancakes don't feel totally filling. They seem lighter than normal pancakes. I guess if you used seltzer water, they would have no calories either, except for what's in the dry ingredients, so they would have less calories. They were really good. This maple syrup is so good, too. It's from Trader Joe's and it's the real maple syrup, not mixed with corn syrup.

So, next time you realize you don't have eggs, don't worry! You can still make yummy pancakes.

Proper Table Manners

When cooking and eating with preschoolers, it's nice to teach and review manners. We practiced putting our napkins in our lap, eating with mouth closed, and not talking and eating at the same time. (Ha! Ha! How many adults do you know that still need help with this.)

We also practiced passing the food while saying, "May I please have the _____?"
"Thank you."

Our New September Focus Will Be on Friends and Feelings

We started the Mother Goose Time Friends and Feelings activities for this month, and there are so many fun things for the kids to do! We have a new bulletin board for the year, and Mother Goose Time even include everything preschool teachers need for a parent visit. I'm homeschooling (former  teacher), but I am so impressed with all the extra tools they provide for preschool teachers. Be sure to check back soon to hear about a free, fun, friends puppet lesson plan, and how to help the kids role play ways of saying "hello".