Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jesus calms the storm rain-maker craft

Last month, we tried to float sponges on our Sea of Galilee in basin before our lesson in the two year old room. The sponges didn't float, and neither did the children, but both were equally wet.

Here's the part of the lesson that did work like it was supposed to. We were learning about how Jesus calmed the storm. During the lesson we made lots of noise for the rain and the thunder and the waves. After the lesson we colored the clouds and make our own rain-makers using:

• plastic containers from the dollar store

• coloring picture of clouds. Here's mine.

• beads and tin foil bits to sound like rain... other things would probably work fine too. I didn't want them to try to eat beans, I had the beads on hand and they look kinda cool.

• packaging tape to make sure that the lids stayed on even if someone got curious about the beads

How to get Goliath to visit your class…

This week our church Bible story material gave me the story of David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17 to teach to our eager group of 2 year olds. It provided a card-board cut out of David and one of his sheep, but Goliath apparently went missing last year.

Before class, I had some of my favorite 3 and 5 year old helpers help me measure out 8 feet on the cement block wall in our class. Then I used masking tape to make a life-size figure of Goliath on the wall. Next time I'll have to shoot pics, but he was just a little better than a stick figure. He immediately got lots of attention from all ages. My little Davids had a great time hitting him with paper-wad rocks at the end of class. (Hope nobody threw things at their siblings when they got home.)

I got a coloring page from here (but we didn't get to it because we were having too much fun).

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Best Way to Help a Child Become a Strong Reader

What is the best way to help a child become a strong reader?  Read to them.

More specifically, have fun reading to them, regularly.

When my son was a baby, I started a daily habit of reading to him for just as long as he was interested.  By the time he was two-and-a-half, I had to cut back to just an hour or so a day!

My children's "big cousins"  are avid readers and great students in late elementary and middle school.  My sister-in-law told me that when they went through stages of being uninterested, she would read to them while they played.  I think that's a great tip.

Some of our favorite board books.

Just for fun, favorite Board Books

Board books are great for the period of time from when those little hands start grabbing, until they finally get the co-ordination to be gentle.  Here are some of our favorites!

Read more at Thriving STEM.

Bead Necklaces

This project originated with our creative Aunt Ranae.  When she came to visit us last fall, she arrived with a whole stash of art supplies stowed in her suitcases.  I had been looking for fine motor skill activities to help prepare for writing.  It has since become one of our favorite activities.