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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creation Unit (Day 4)

Day 4 actually took a LITTLE prep for me. Partly because I didn't have any good ideas for a project to do for the sun, moon and stars and when I figured out what I wanted to do, I didn't have everything I needed, so I had to wait until I went to the store. I quit doing what I Can Teach My Child was posting because I was impatient and she had only posted the first 2 days when I was ready to finish up the week. (Ironically, though our projects didn't all turn out the same, we chose the EXACT same activities for day 2-6.... I guess there are just logical things to do to teach toddlers these concepts. :) We started out the same as the other days by reading the section about Day 4 from the Bible and re-reading it from a children's Bible. Then we moved onto our craft. I decided to do a mobile with the three things God created. Here is Isaac starting on the sun. We used a paper plate and yellow and orange tissue paper. If you've received a gift from me lately, you know this is not something I usually have on hand. The last gift I gave, I was too embarrassed to not have tissue paper so I went down the street to my sister's to borrow some of hers. :) Needless to say, this is one of the things I had to go buy, but now I've got some for the next time I have a gift to give! I just cut a little of the paper into squares and helped Isaac put dots of glue on the paper. Then he chose a square and placed it on the plate. We did it to both sides of the plate. I got the idea from here. I adapted the Sunshine Art Project.
To make the moon, I took newspaper and cut out two crescent shapes and shredded up some paper as well. I got the idea here.
I stapled around the outside edge and made a pocket.
Isaac helped me crumple the paper and fill the moon with it.
After it was "stuffed" I stapled the open side closed and it looked like a sort of 3 dimensional moon.
Isaac painted it yellow.
The only thing I didn't like about this project was that Isaac used a lot of paint which meant it took FOREVER to dry and I got impatient and had him paint the other side while the first side was still tacky in spots and it ended up ripping the paint off and I had to touch it up later. The other thing was that where he really saturated the paper with paint it ended up tearing just a little. It didn't really mess it up, but it just didn't look as nice. A sturdier paper might be better to use for this project.
Next we made the starts using cardstock stars, glue and glitter. Glitter was another thing I had to go purchase. I don't know if it was a good deal or not, but Target had this multi-pack for $2. I got the star pattern here.
He painted on the glue...
and then sprinkled on the glitter.
His finished product! I just used some twine to tie the pieces to a hanger. I thought it turned out great and it's hanging on the fan in his bedroom.
We also did his Day 4 picture from Bible Story Printables.
The only reason I put this picture in here was because he rested his little hand on mine while he colored. It was the sweetest thing ever!
I also found some random space and weather stickers that had suns, moons and stars. He peeled them all off and then "colored" it when he got done.

Isaac singing Day 4 of Creation from I Can Teach My Child while holding his mobile. He was sort of distracted so I ended up singing most of it. Again, my son and cameras usually don't mix well. :) video

Day 4, Day 4
God made sun, moon, stars galore!
Day 4, Day 4
God made sun, moon, stars galore!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Creation Unit (Day 3)

As we continued our Creation Unit, Day 3 was another spur of the moment day. I LOVE how easy it has been to make an ordinary day a little extra special by doing something fun to learn more about our Creator. I've done little to no prep for most of our learning moments and it's been just as much fun as the ones I've spent a lot of time getting ready for. We read in our kids' Bibles and Mommy's Bible about how God made land and then filled it with vegetation. I had gotten a little "plant kit" in the $1 section at Target at Valentine's Day and decided this was the perfect time to whip it out! (They have some out again in with the Spring/Easter $1 stuff). I actually had no idea what was in the little pot, but I assumed seeds and for $1, I wasn't expecting much else. I got the Mini Rose package and there was a package of seeds and a dirt pellet inside. It said to add 2 tbsp. of water to the pellet in a bowl. I assumed it would absorb it, but apparently it did it rather quickly because I turned my back and heard Isaac yelling, "Mommy! It's GROWING!" :) It looked disgusting, but we put it in the pot and it was time to add seeds.
The package doesn't lie when it says "Mini-Roses." The seeds were minuscule and I was a little bummed because there was NO WAY that Isaac could plant them. You were supposed to put no more than 6 of those little suckers down in the dirt. I have no idea how you are supposed to even pick them up, let alone count them, so I just dropped a few in (definitely more than 6) and hoped for the best! If I had it to do over, I would have chosen a different kind of plant at the store in hopes that the seeds would be a little bigger.
I LOVE this picture of Isaac. He's finally starting to occasionally comply when I ask him to smile for the camera. As you can see, it's a very genuine smile. Hehehe! :) He was excited about the plant though and checked it quite a few times throughout the day to see if it had started growing yet.
I decided it would be a good time to go through some of my old preschool stuff and see if I had anything on plants. (Ahem) It took me a while to find something in this mess, but eventually I came up with something. (I have since organized this tub a little. I have a lot of great stuff that's not getting used simply because I don't even know what I have!)
This is what I found. So I got to cutting and Isaac got to coloring.
Here's his finished product. We talked about all that plants need to grow and he can still tell me if I ask him. He liked doing this a lot.
I got him some dot markers for Christmas and he's finally starting to have the patience to actually place the marker on the circles and not just slam it down randomly all over the page. I was so proud of his work here! (I get a lot of dot marker patterns from the DLTK website.)
I also had some number dot marker pages in with my random preschool stuff, so we started doing a number for each day of Creation. I haven't really tackled the tracing part at the bottom much yet, unless he really insists, but he LOVES doing the top part and has done several sets of each number. One trick they taught us in preschool with these sheets is to fill the first dot (where they should start to correctly write a number or letter) and then instruct them to continue by following the dots consecutively in the correct pattern. This way they're not filling the dots randomly and are actually learning the proper motion for making the number or letter when the time comes to use a pencil to write it. He's doing great with it, though occasionally he still goes crazy with it and daubs all over. :)
It took about a week for the mini-rose seeds to finally start growing. Guess what mini seeds make? Mini plants. :/ Can you see that small speck of green on the upper right side? I promise it's there. Yeah. So... hopefully we can try this one again with a little bit bigger of seeds next time. :) All in all, he still enjoyed it and he does like checking on it from time to time. He's long since lost interest in watering it, but I'm hoping that when the tiny roses appear he'll change his mind. (By the way, I Can Teach My Child had some great ideas for planting as well and suggested using a medicine dropper or syringe to help your little one water the plant... it worked great!)
Here's Isaac singing the Day 3 song. I did change one word from the I Can Teach My Child version. (Mostly because I got antsy and guessed what she was going to say and had already taught it to Isaac this way when she posted her ideas and decided not to change it. They're really not that different... I changed "flowers" to "land.") video
Day 3, Day 3
God made land and plants and trees.
Day 3, Day 3
God made land and plants and trees.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Creation Unit (Day 2)

Day 2 of our Creation Unit was very simple and took no planning on my part. I had everything I needed to do the project and Isaac appreciated having something fun and extra to do for the morning. We have been reading what God created from several children's Bible's that I have before we do our activities. I got the idea to also read it straight from God's Word over at I Can Teach My Child. Each day is only several verses of material and he loves getting to pretend he's reading from Mommy's Bible. I love that he's beginning to understand that my Bible and his Bible's share the same wonderful message.
The activity also came from I Can Teach My Child. We used two different colors of blue paper (mine were pretty close in color, but it's all I had on hand) and some cotton balls to make the sky. I had a new "revelation" as I taught Isaac this part of Creation. I always thought that God created "water and sky" on day 2, but he really only "separated the waters" by putting in the sky. The water was already there! Before he began creating! Hmm... I guess you learn something new everyday!
He glued down the water and the cotton balls and then we labeled it together.
I wasn't sure that labeling everything was necessary, but I was surprised by how much more he talked about what everything was once I had written it on the paper. He noticed that the word "water " was written in the sky and the water and we talked about rain and clouds a lot. I really think he understood. (I doubt he could tell you much about our science lesson now, but I think he was getting it at the time. :)
I printed another coloring sheet from Bible Story Printables and he colored it.

video

We also learned a new song to go along with Day 2 (from I Can Teach My Child). I had to let him hold his cloud picture in order to get him to allow me to tape it. Here are the words:
Day 2, Day 2
God made clouds and skies so blue!
Day 2, Day 2
God made clouds and skies so blue!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Creation Unit (Day 1)

So, I decided a few weeks back to do a Creation unit with Isaac. I have been a little overwhelmed by trying to do the Theme Days because I feel rushed to get everything in around nap times and lunch and nursing and all of that. I'm leaning toward doing weeks and/or months from now on to take a little pressure off and make it more enjoyable for everyone. Creation has proven to be a perfect one to do this with since it's broken up into 7 nice easy sections. Here's a peek into what we've been up to: With Isaac's language developing quickly now and after he successfully memorized Psalm 36:5a last month using this clothespin method, I decided that I may try to do one new verse each month this way. Genesis 1:1 seemed like the most obvious choice so I made these cards using clip art and Publisher.
I've found that Isaac will happily learn just about anything put to a song, so I found this video on YouTube and thought the tune would work perfectly. (I didn't really like the video much when they started talking about the specific days, but the tune for the verse was simple and repetitive and Isaac caught on quickly.)
By the end of the first day, if I prompted him by saying "in" he would finish the verse saying, "da beginning, God a-makin' da heavens and da earf. Genesis 1 by 1 by 1." Haha! I love him so much! He has corrected it now, but I kinda like his old version too. (I'm not sure where the 1 by 1 by 1 thing came from. The only thing I can think of is the animals going on the ark 2 by 2 by 2...)
I discovered a new website that I'm really liking. It's called BibleStoryPrintables.com. It's got a lot of great coloring pages, file folder games, timelines, crafts, even handwriting sheets and calendar numbers. They had a coloring page for each day of Creation, so I printed them all and am having him color each one while we read the verses and talk about what God made. (If you're wondering how I got a two year old to color only yellow on one side and black on the other, it's because I used my hand to cover up the side I didn't want him coloring on. :)) I'm not a HUGE fan of worksheets and things, but this is great for his fine motor skills (which he's not particularly strong at), he really enjoys it and it provides a great visual for review because we hang it on the corkboard in his room.
After I decided to focus on Creation for the next few weeks, a blog I follow posted that she was going to do that with her toddler son as well. I was SO excited! Her site is called icanteachmychild.com. She had this great idea for conveying the concept of dark and light. I had everything on hand that I needed so we got to painting the inside of the shoe box black. When after a couple minutes it looked like the above, I was afraid he'd lose interest before it was covered, but to my surprise, he pretty much covered every square inch of the thing, even the lid. :)

There was already one round hole in our box, so I only had to make one for the flashlight. When he looked in and I asked him what he saw, he said, "Nufeen." Then I had him keep looking and turned on the flashlight. Voila! I asked him what he saw now and he said, "Wight!" :) I thought it was a good idea for an abstract concept and he had fun, so it turned out to be a great project for us.

video
The I Can Teach My Child site also had a great idea for doing a short song each day to help them remember what God created. You use the same tune each day and just change the words to fit what God made that day. Yes, Isaac's still wearing his pajamas. He does his best work right after he wakes up and since he is NOT a fan of me taking video of him, I'll take what I can get. I had to let him hold his Day 1 picture and do like 3 retakes to get a video of him where he isn't flipping out because I'm recording it. Here we are singing Day One:
Day One, Day One,
God made light when there was none.
Day One, Day One,
God made light when there was none.
video
I was also kind of able to get him to do his verse. I pushed my luck and asked him to do it again after he did it the first time and as you'll see, he did not oblige. Oh well. :)
I'll post Day 2 soon!