Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Resurrection Story

Tomb Cookies
Here is a recipe for a fun cookie to represent the empty tomb.

Resurrection Eggs!
We made these at MOPS. This is a great way to get your child involved in the Resurrection Story. Each egg has a symbol with scripture to read that leads up to the Resurrection. Here is a website that an example can be found.

Crafts about the Cross and Resurrection
Hobby Lobby is a Christian business and have many great crafts that are half off right now.

Coloring sheets that have the story on them make it easier to hold a small child's attention as you talk.

Books- There are many great board books that help to lay out the story.

Handprint crafts

Music at Home

Research shows numerous benefits for development in young children and music. Babies are stimulated in the womb by music and come out recognizing and being soothed by songs mom sung to them. Music initiates growth in mental pathways in the brain which leads to spatial reasoning skills. These skills are used in subjects like math.

You can take your child to a music class or give them lessons but here are some ideas that can start with items already found in the home.

Tambourines made with beans, hole punch and yarn. Decorate it and shake it up!!

Drums made from old formula cans and paper towel rolls stuffed with paper towels and taped over. He decided to decorate with Bob the Builder stickers.

Shakers made out of plastic containers and beans, cheerios, or rice. Kids can decorate shakers and glue shut.

Homemade guitar with shoebox, different size rubber bands, and paper towel roll. My son loves to pretend to rock out on this and believe it or not, it actually sounds kinda like a guitar. Different size rubber bands make different sounds.

Harmonica made with wax paper, rubber bands and a comb. Put up to lips with picks facing down and slide back and forth while blowing(Can you tell it's been played with?)

Family Fun Dance Night!! Start a night where the whole family gets silly and jams out to different tunes. My son personally loves rock n roll.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor skills are developed through practice and working small muscles in hands. These skills are necessary to work so your child can do things like dress and feed themselves, tie shoes, brush teeth and eventually use scissors and write with a pencil. Some doctors says children today have fine motor weaknesses due to more issues like tv watching. Although, I will argue that some systems like the Wii are helping kids to develop these very skills.

6 months+- you can start letting your child grab at food like puffs to practice "raking" motion and eye/hand coordination.

11 mo+- use egg crate to help child use index finger and thumb "pincer grasp."

Stacking cups and pulling them apart- let them try as soon as they can sit up and start grabbing at objects.

1 yr+- putting clothespin into bottle and dumping back out.

2 yr+- using turkey baster with water, scooping and pouring. Can also be used with uncooked rice or beans.

1 1/2+-large piece puzzles as soon as they become interested in trying to put them in place and don't put in mouth.

Practice with large crayons, chalk, large paintbrushes.

3 yr+- trying out scissors as well as using a fat pencil to trace name.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Edible Playdough with Pudding Paint

This is very yummy and easy to make! It's made with peanut butter, powdered sugar and honey. There are many variations if you don't like one of those ingredients!!

I mixed it myself because I wasn't quite ready to have it fly onto the ceiling.

Noah had fun rolling the dough out but I recommend using a plastic rolling pin that can't be used as a weapon.

I realized that I "accidentally" left all the paintbrushes at Mimi's house so we improvised. Contrary to what it looks like, those are primary colors.

Noah decided he liked all the colors mixed together. Gotta love a nice shade of browny-green.

I still thought it tasted fabulous with the pudding goop on it!!

The recipe can be found here

The pudding paint is simply instant vanilla pudding with food coloring.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Activities

Happy Valentine's Day. I really meant to do a post earlier to give ideas for Valentine's but didn't get to it. This is some of the activities that we did.

I focused on the heart shape to Noah this month by letting him trace hearts, color hearts, made heart sandwiches and talked a lot about Jesus in our heart.

I found some door hanger kits at Dollar Tree that he decorated and put together for his teachers.

I made some heart shades for Noah out of pipe cleaners that he kept on for about 3 seconds.

This is a cute little mouse that Noah made at school that says, "This may sound cheesy but I like you."

These make cute class favors. Picture from

They are so cute!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sorting and Matching

Sorting and Matching skills are important skills to learn for future success in the classroom . This is something you can start early when they turn two. It begins with the child being able to identify a difference in the shapes, colors, and sizes put before them. If you notice what you do in one day as a mom then you will see all the sorting and classifying that you do. Involve your child in your tasks like laundry or putting away silverware, etc. to teach them these skills.

Sorting shapes and colors can be fun when you use an egg carton. I had the different colored lids but you can use all kinds of different objects. Of course, using edible objects makes for easy clean-up.

You can make matching games that interest your child with construction paper or index cards and stickers that they like. I used Toy Story stickers that Noah loves and he was super excited to find the matches.

You can find great cheap matching games with shapes, colors or numbers. This is a Sesame Street beginner's matching game.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Name Recognition

Helping children to recognize and learn their name can be part of everyday tasks. You can start pretty early with talking to them about their name around 12 months. Having the letters of their name on the wall above the changing table has really helped me. Every time I changed Noah's diaper we would look at his name and talk about it. Pretty soon he had the letters memorized(only 4 letters) and now he recognizes his name on paper and we will be work on writing it next. You can make up fun chants to help them remember and let them decorate their name. You can use cheerios, marshmallows, buttons, candy,etc for a fun way to learn their name.