Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jonah Day!

A while back I posted about doing Bible theme days with Isaac to teach the Bible in a fun and age-appropriate way. We just finished our first one and I think it was a success! We had so much fun! My mom was there to share in the adventure with us and between the two of us we took about a bazillion pictures. I tried to condense it WAY down and just show the highlights. I worked during the boys' naps a couple of days this week to get things prepared for the day. Here is a whale I made from a milk carton. I got the idea from I also prepared a craft ahead of time, which was a whale with a hole for the mouth for Jonah to go in and out of:
One of my favorite last minute additions was a giant whale in our living room made from a blue sheet, paper and our coffee table:
I couldn't wait for Isaac to wake up. I was like a kid at Christmas! When he came out to the living room, he pointed to the coffee table and said, "Whale!" (Whew! I was so glad he knew what it was). We had breakfast and stayed in our pjs because one of our first activities included the bathtub.
After breakfast we read the story of Jonah out of one of our children's Bibles. After that we played in the whale and acted out the story. He loved being swallowed and spit out by the whale! We read another Jonah story out of a different book and then it was off to the tub!
First, we painted the "water" on our posterboard with Crayola washable paint for our craft later.
Looks good!
After we painted it was time to clean up and take a bath. I'm going to take a moment to brag on my little genius. He knows all of the letters of the alphabet and their phonetic sounds already, so of course, we had to spell out Jonah with the foam bath letters we have. Okay, moving on before my pride causeth me to stumbleth anymoreth...
Isaac was amazed at how the captain and Jonah (really he's supposed to be Noah from our Little People Ark set, but we pretended) braved the storm for a while.
But eventually, Jonah was thrown overboard and the giant fish scooped him up in one big gulp!
Isaac's turn to practice acting out the story:
He totally got it. I was thrilled!
Silas got in on the action too by wearing my favorite outfit: an adorable whale ensemble! He was so good all morning as usual.
Next we read the story again from a different toddler Bible and then had some down time with the VeggieTales Jonah movie. He was mesmerized because we haven't been watching much TV lately. (I will say that I have a few issues with the presentation in a few areas and thought some things were disprespectul about the movie -like calling God the Big Man- but I think that as a whole it was an entertaining way to present the story and know that the "issues" I have will provide for good conversation when the boys are older.)
Next we sang a song about Jonah to the tune of London Bridges. I found it here: (Scroll to the bottom for the version I used. It was the one submitted by a girl named Amber.)
Time to move outside! This was actually a spontaneous portion of the morning. My mom suggested sidewalk chalk to retell the story since he was getting antsy to play outdoors. He enjoyed it a lot!
His slide has a steering wheel on it that we pretended it was the wheel on a boat. He was screaming in delight here because I was shaking the whole toy to make a storm. Next he slid down the slide (Jonah being thrown overboard), and ran around in the grass (swimming in the water), until Mommy attacked (being swallowed by a big fish).
On to lunch! We had fish sticks (gag!), goldfish and Swedish fish. Looks appetizing, right? It was fun, but I don't think it really did that much to reinforce the story. I had all of the "supplies" except the Swedish fish, so it really wasn't that big of a deal, but in the future, I probably won't worry about lunch lining up with our theme too much. (Oh yeah, the "W" was for whale. I know, I know, it was a "great fish," but I didn't have enough fish sticks to make a "GF." ;) Plus, I think there's logical evidence to conclude that it was probably a whale.)
After lunch our water background we had painted earlier was dry and it was time to complete our craft. He loves being independent!
Next, he colored a Jonah figure that had a "frowny face" on one side and a "smiley face" on the other. We put Jonah through the fish's mouth sad-side-up and after he had stayed in there for "3 days and 3 nights and prayed" he came out with a smile. (Okay, probably not in real life, but he got the point that it's better to obey than disobey.)
Isaac's turn to try!
We had so much fun and it made me so excited to plan another one! By the way, one website that pointed me in the direction of many of the other ones was: (Go to the Bible Lessons over on the right hand side.) I'm hoping I can do them all so inexpensively in the future. I already had everything I used lying around the house except for the Swedish fish. Please let me know if you've done anything with your kids that you think we could do in the future. I'm really looking forward to reviewing what we learned today over the next few days and weeks!


  1. How FUN! Love this!! Isacc is so lucky to have such a wonderful mommy that spends so much time on teaching him about fun bible stories. I bet this story will stick with him and so will the memories!

  2. Des, I love your ideas!! What a great way to introduce Bible stories and concepts in a fun, memorable way! I may have to use some of your ideas some day!
    Katie Barkman

  3. Yay for Jonah Day!!! Love this Desire'!!!! I saved our milk carton today for our very own Jonah Day!!!

  4. What a fun day!! Such a great way to make the Bible come alive to a kid. Way to go!! -Amanda

  5. Mandie-Thanks! I heard about/saw your Noah day and it was awesome! I may be stealing some ideas!

    Katie- You should definitely use some of them someday! I miss seeing your beautiful face! :)

    Jen- Totally yay for Jonah day and I'm glad you remembered to save your milk jug. I had to empty mine into a pitcher because I didn't!

    Amanda- Thanks! It was super fun!