Saturday, February 26, 2011

Super Tot School 2/21-26

We had another good week of Tot School!  Super Tot's attention span was rather short this week, but we did enjoy several activities, and he even wanted to do them in the evenings and other times throughout each day.  Here are some of the activities we did this week: 
 Placing bears into an empty baby wipe container.  

We use our empty baby wipe container almost every week.  It reminds me of being a kid and playing with the empty boxes on Christmas, rather than the toys that came in them, or the empty gift wrap tubes (my kids did that last week).  What a simple item, trash or recycling, really, that has become such a valuable tool! 
 Transferring spiky balls using a spoon/tongs.
 I found this cute box (it is a drawer organizer) in Target's Dollar Spot and thought it would be perfect for transferring and sorting.  I also found a pack of 5 spiky balls in the Dollar Spot the same day.  I had the cute spoon from a little dishes set and the tongs are from Ikea.

 Super Tot still has a hard time using the tongs correctly, but he loves trying.  We'll keep working on it!
Lacing jumbo beads. 
 Super Tot has a very hard time using a lace, but we continue to try.  
 I always encourage him to try with the lace first, but then he uses a little dowel (it's actually a pointer) and "laces" the beads onto it fairly easily.  It is still great fine motor work, so I'm happy for him to build his confidence using the dowel.

 More lacing practice with buttons.
 I thought the buttons might be a little easier to use with the lace.  They were a "little" easier, but still quite a challenge.

Transferring wooden cubes into empty soda bottle. 
 This one was thrown together at the last minute.  Super Tot wanted to use the cubes and I didn't have anything ready for him to do with them.  I opened my storage closet and saw a box of empty containers.  This one was inside, so I got it out.  The cubes just barely fit, so I thought it might be good for him. 

 We also changed our Valentine Sensory Bin into a St. Patrick's Day Sensory Bin!  See a post all about that here.

To see what other Tot moms are doing, click here!

Friday, February 25, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Sensory Bin

We've had so much fun exploring with our Valentine Sensory Bin these past few weeks!  It was our first one, but it didn't take me long to realize that it was a hit.  I plan to keep a Sensory Bin made at all times.  It looks like changing them out every 2-3 weeks is going to be about right for our family.  

Since we've had the Valentine one out for about 3 1/2 weeks, I decided it was time to change it.  I decided, naturally, on a St. Patrick's Day theme.  

I found a few St. Patty's Day items at Target's Dollar Spot, and a few at Michael's.  The rest are items I already had on hand.  I love the different textures that the glitter and various materials bring to the bin.  There is also a lime scented squishy ball, which is surprisingly strong when you open the box (in a good way).  

Just like with the last one, even Princess enjoys exploring it with Super Tot.  She's such a good big sister!!  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Easter Story Eggs

I know it Easter is still a couple months away, but I love gathering my craft and ministry ideas well in advance, and I thought you might, too!  

A few years ago, my husband and I were teaching children's Sunday School and wanted to put together a fun Easter project for our class.  We thought this would be a simple project that the children could put together to use as a ministry opportunity in their communities.  I was inspired by a set of Resurrection Eggs that I have used both at home, as well as in Sunday School every year.  I wanted to provide the children with a tangible way to share the Easter story with others.  They each made two eggs - one to keep and one to give away.  

Supplies Needed:
Makes 1 dozen eggs

12 large plastic Easter eggs
12 pennies
Leather lacing cut into twelve 2-inch strips (available at craft stores)
12 nails - 1 1/2 inches long
12 small wooden crosses (available at craft stores)
12 dice
Scrap of linen or other fabric, cut into twelve 1 1/2 inch squares
12 small stones
Raffia ribbon
Glue dots
Click on the document below to download and print 2 copies onto cardstock
For our Sunday School class, I had separate bowls containing each item.  First, I showed the children a completed egg and told them the Easter story using the egg.  Each item in the egg is a tangible symbol of one part of the story.  These are listed on the card, along with scripture references.  

After hearing the story, it was time for them to make their own eggs.  We created an assembly line and each child went down the line and put their own eggs together, getting one of each item and putting it in their egg.  I had already cut out the cards and hole punched them, so they were able to do everything themselves, and very easily.  We used a single glue dot to hold the ribbon onto each egg.  The children went through the line twice (this was easier than doing 2 eggs at a time), so they ended up with their 2 eggs.    

Once the eggs were put together, we practiced telling the Easter story using the egg.  We also prayed over the eggs and talked about how the children could use their extra egg as a ministry opportunity.  

Some of them decided to leave them on neighbors' doorsteps.  Some wanted to give them to friends, teachers, or the homeless.  Others had family members who they wanted to share the Gospel of Christ with.  It was really neat to see each of them coming up with mission opportunities that worked for them, and to be so excited about sharing God's Truth with others.

We got such incredible feedback from the children, as well as their parents, after doing this project.  This is an activity that we will use every year, and I hope you will, too!

Please keep in mind that there are many methods of using the egg and symbols when sharing the Easter story.  Just remember that whatever is natural for you is the best way!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Peony & Halle (Short Story by Princess)

Princess is 10 years old.

Peony and Halle
by Princess

Once upon a time, there was a fairy princess names Halle.  Her best friend was Peony, a pink kitty fairy.  They had been friends since they were both 2 years old.  They lived in a lovely pine tree palace.  They slept nestled in pine needles on their favorite branch.  Halle ate pine seeds, while Peony sucked the sweet sap from the pine needles.  

One day, Peony heard a shout, "TIMBER!!!"--then a loud thunk.  She looked out of the tree to see a man chopping down trees.  She gulped.  Then, she flew to Halle as fast as her wings could carry her. 

After being told the story, Halle made up her mind.  They had to save the forest.  "Let's rescue our tree!" she exclaimed.  "But the man is so much bigger than us, "argued Peony.  "Bigger?  I've got a plan," replied Halle. 

And so she told Peony her plan.  Then, they flew through the forest gathering sticks, leaves, etc.  They flew to the safety of their tree and worked as fast as they could.  When they finished, they had a 3-foot tall scarecrow.  Then, they dragged it away.

Later, they watched as the man got closer to the tree.  He raised his axe..."Who goes there?"  The man turned and got the scare of his life.  For there was a child, made of leaves, walking toward him.  The man ran so fast he could have outrun a gazelle.

Halle and Peony dropped the scarecrow and cheered!  "We did it!" cried Halle.  "He won't be bothering us again," Peony said.  And so, they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Color Bags

I saw these bags at our local craft store and immediately knew I wanted to make "Color Bags" for Super Tot.  The contents can be changed out, but here is what I have in them right now:

Painted clothes pin
Painted popsicle stick
Large button
Painted wooden cube
Plastic color tile
Painted wooden star
Foam pencil from a colors puzzle I got for $1 at a drug store
Paint swatch I cut out and mounted onto cardboard
Colored train from our counter set

Linking to:

What DID we do all day?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Tot's First Valentines

We are having a Valentine's Party this weekend, so I thought it would be fun for Super Tot to make his own Valentines.  I saw this little kit on sale for $2 at Michael's and thought it was cute.  The price was right and I knew it would be perfect for him!  

I didn't get any pictures of him making them, but he did all the work himself.  The bears are made of craft foam, and the pieces are all foam stickers, so all he had to do was stick them on.  I took the backing off of each piece, handed it to him and told him what it was (nose, eye, ear, etc.).  He did the rest all by himself!  All I did was draw the mouths on when he was finished.  We worked on one part at a time (all the noses, all the eyes, all the hearts, etc.).  It was so much fun and I was so proud of him.  All on his own, he gave each one of them a kiss when he was done!!  It was very sweet and I think they turned out so cute!