Sunday, October 16, 2016

Experience God in Toddler Nursery

Once a month I work in our churches toddler nursery.  This time I did my best to gather some supplies to do a little bit more with the kids, even though a lot of the kids are even younger than Adam who is 2.5.  In fact, most of the attendees on this day were right around 18 months.

I had with me the Easter Story, "God Asks Me to Pray", which was left over from a previous month.  Perfect for October, right?  I figure it's the root of our faith so it could be used anytime.

When you order the Experience God Christian curriculum form Mother Goose Time you get story cards, a lesson book and then a bag of goodies for each child.  If you order supplies for 10 kids, you get 10 bags.  Each bag has all the things you will need for the full month of learning or for all 4 Sunday's if you use it as a Sunday School curriculum.  It includes four crafts and coloring sheets.  You can see more posts about our use of Experience God here.

I first dug through the drawers in our room to see what supplies I had available to me, glue, tape, crayons etc.  I didn't have much so then I looked through the crafts to see what the kids in the room would be able to do and what we had the supplies to do.  Thankfully there was one that met all the requirements.

It went with the theme of praying everyday.  It was a blank grid that you were to write calendar dates on and then let the kids decorate with the provided stickers.

As I got the calendars ready I got out the corresponding coloring sheet, which again goes with the Easter theme.  But that's okay, because He has risen, He has risen indeed!

Adam had just spent an hour the night before decorating his Dad's birthday present with stickers.  So he had just recently mastered this skill.  I first set up Little J's calendar and asked Adam to help her get the stickers off.  It was one of the sweetest things I had ever seen.  He got them off, handed them to her and then she stuck them on.  She would usually finish with a big old clap for herself as she placed each sticker.
Oh, the pride in her face.  It melted my heart.  And look at those little fingers getting so much fine motor practice, during a Bible lesson.  I also made sure to count out loud as I wrote all the numbers on each calendar because I knew little ears were listening.  On a few of the numbers Adam would chime in.  That's what is neat about Experience God, they incorporate the standard learning elements, the ABCs and 123s, into their Bible lessons and games.

All About Reading in Action

We are a big fan of All About Reading around here.  We are on level 33 of Level 1.  My favorite part is that you can make each days lesson quick, easy and productive.  I have a kindergartner and a 2nd grader and we just can't sit still for an hour to work on reading.  While we are at the table we do some of the word cards, fluency practice sheets or reading games and then later we sit down on the couch for some reading, either me reading to them or them reading to me.

Here was our time at the table with All About Reading mixed with some handwriting practice and zoology 2 by Apologia.

The first thing I had Peter do was the duck game.  We are currently working on words with the ending of ck. So a duck game goes along perfectly.  There were big ducks and baby ducks and the goal was to match the big and the little duck based on the words on the back.  When you found a matching pair you would put the pair in the pond.
My boys have always been better at finding matching beginning sounds but rhymes have matching end sounds.  With a little bit of help he was able to figure it out.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Week two of Me & My Family is all about emotions.  On this day we discussed what might make us sad.  We started our day with the story about the sad giant.  The giant was sad that he did not have any friends that would play with him.  Two children did come along when he was crying and he told them that he wished he was a turtle so that people would play with him.  Then he wishes he was a cat and then a bird.

Before I started reading the story I handed out an animal card to each of the boys.  If they had the turtle, cat or bird card they were to show me their card and then build what the story said to build.  The person with the turtle card was supposed to build a turtle shell, the person with the cat was supposed to build a tail and the person with the bird was supposed to build a nest.  I didn't want us to get down from the table, so we skipped the building part.  My hope was that we would do it later, but so far we have not fit it in.
We still had a lot of fun with the story as it described the giant, he walked with a thump thump.  This is Lachlan standing and stomping - on the chair - even though he is not supposed to.
Then the story describes the big hands of the giants and asks the kids to show me their hands.
The story concludes with a happy ending where the children point out, we have been playing with you this whole time.

Next we started working on the Invitation to Create a quilt.  Mother Goose Time provided for us a picture of a quilt.  Before we got started I pointed out the shapes inside the quilt.  Some were squares, some were triangles and some were rectangles.  Then I gave them all a paper, square tissue paper, a little bit of yarn and a glue stick.

Adam really had to concentrate to get his brand new glue stick twisted up.
 Then he got right to work.
 Ta - da!  He says as he glues one down.

 Peter cut one of the squares in half to make a triangle for his quilt.
 He described it to me in great detail.
Lachlan took his quilt that he had made and cut it into a shirt.  Then he punched two holes at the top and created a loop of yarn to hang it from.  He thought he could hang it around his neck, but the loop was not big enough to fit over his head.  I think a quilt shirt fad could catch on, what do you think?
Cutting tissue paper is not an easy task.  Adam showed me every piece and he was quite proud.
 A better view of Lachlan's shirt.
It was so nice to be creative together as a family.  My boys are in 2nd grade, Kindergarten and 2.5 years old (no grade officially).  Mother Goose Time is mostly beneficial for Adam now, the youngest.  But for us to be able to spend some time talking about emotions and being crafty together is just priceless.  Not to mention hugely motivating for a little man who wants so badly to do everything big brothers can do.  I don't think he would be as receptive as he is to learning with out watching brothers do it first.

While we were still at the table Peter wanted to do some work in his Apologia Swimming Creatures of the 5th day Zoology 2 Junior Notebook (say that 3 times fast). We are using this curriculum for a year long science adventure.  My oldest is in love with fish and fishing, so that's what got us to this topic.  But honestly, I feel like I am covering Bible and Science at the same time, which is awesome!
The Junior Notebook goes along with the text book that is written in a story format.  We read a little bit at a time because my kids are pretty young for this big topic.  When we complete a full lesson we are then supposed to move into the Junior Notebook but we have been working in it as we go.  There are beautiful coloring pages in the Junior Notebook that the boys have been coloring while I read.
When we finish the lesson then we will move into the other pages of the notebook that go along with lesson 1.  The goal of the notebook is to track all of the new information that stands out to the child.  So on the cover it has a fill in the blank written by ______________.  The book is intended to be very personal to each child.

As we have read through the lessons we have added to the information with videos and experiments. We watched this video after we read the section of filter feeders and how important they are to the health of the Earths water.
It really has been an all encompassing science curriculum, even though it comes with just a book.  Although I did see there is a lab kit that you can buy to go along with it.