Wednesday, March 12, 2014

40 Days of Lent Egg Basket

So before I even start this post I want to give all credit to this Blogger! I just thought the idea was SO brilliant that I booked it to Hobby Lobby and immediately started putting together my own basket!

I grabbed an unfinished cross (that has a built in stand so it's easier to display) for painting during Good Friday. A bracelet, several charms and a wooden coloring scene of Easter and the empty tomb. I had already purchased a small Bible coloring book from the Dollar Store for J's Easter basket which I decided to use pages from in some of the eggs. She can color the picture and we can talk about the biblical scene.

I decided to number my eggs and fill them as I go so that I can control what things we're doing on what days. It just makes it a little easier for me to plan ahead. So, this is what I came up with...

Medal Mondays- receive a charm for bracelet along with lesson on what it means (cross, miraculous medal, angel, dove, etc. This is a good chance to do a mini lesson on Mary, angels, saints, holy spirit...)
Taking Time Tuesday- acts of service (visit elderly, clean up a park, give food to homeless, household chores, etc)
Word Wednesdays- read one of the Mass readings and have a craft or coloring to do
Thinking-of-You Thursdays- Make and mail a painting/ drawing/ homemade card to a family member
Family Fridays- pray one decade of the rosary for a family member (today we did our immediate family, next week will be Grandma & Grandpa, then Nana & Papa, then a week for each set of Aunts & Uncles... just so happened to be exactly 7!)
Sacrifice Saturdays- give up one small thing (tv show, water instead of juice for dinner, put fav toy away for the day, etc)
Sweet Sundays- I am a believer in Sundays being a day of rest as well as a day of no Lenten penances (The 40 days don't count Sundays.) So I don't have any numbered eggs for Sundays. We are going to do the same thing we already do which is have J listen in Mass and ask her questions about the readings. Basic stuff... who was in the story, where were they, who was talking, what were they doing... what ever questions apply. And if she is able to get a few answers right she gets an egg with some candy or other treat inside.

This is what I have so far if you're interested in the specifics...

1. (W) Bracelet to wear during Lent as a reminder (I didn't have any charms on it yet.)
2. (TH) Coloring page of Jesus, kneeling and praying. Colored it and hung it over the basket. Talked about Lent being a time of prayer. Also, that the color of Lent is purple.
3.(F) Egg with Rosary and a piece of paper saying "Mommy, Daddy, C and J". Prayed one decade together for our family.
4. (S) Give away two toys (talk about sacrifice)
5. (M) Angel medal (+ teaching... I just did a post on guardian angels here.)
6. (T) Bring meal to homeless
7. (W) Jonah and the whale with coloring page and bible time (Jonah didn't obey God and he got swallowed by a whale! Give goldfish snacks to go with the theme. More ideas here, here and here. )
8. (TH) Mail Letter/Craft to Grandma & Grandpa
9. (F) Pray rosary for Grandma & Grandpa
10. (S) Make playdoh and give to a friend
11. (M) I put some chocolate gold coins in her egg, talked a little about St. Patrick and did a coloring sheet
12. (T) Make something for J's teachers & talk about how Jesus was making his disciples into teachers
13. (W) Read toddler bible Mass readings and talk about St Joseph
14. (TH) Mail letter craft to Nana/ Papa
15. (F) Pray decade of the rosary for Nana/ Papa

(I will fill in more as I go... but you get the idea)

J woke me up this morning by whispering "It's time to open egg #3, Mommy!" I think she likes it! Hope your kids enjoy it too!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Teaching Kids About Angels

I was asked to teach our little preschool playgroup about angels today and I thought I would share our mini lesson here!

Kids LOVE angels! They have wings, they are invisible, they are warriors... what more could a kid ask for?!? So, there are plenty of angles to approach teaching kids about them. Generally, I approach teaching young kids with a less is more mentality so I chose 2 attributes to focus on and added 2 activities as always!!!

Angels are mentioned in the bible HUNDREDS of times but the verse that I think of most when I think about them is this one from Exodus 23:20

"I am sending an angel before you to keep and guard you on the way and to bring you to the place I have made ready. "

1. Angels are messengers. The best way I could think of explaining a messenger to my daughter was the example of Mailman. The Mailman brings letters from someone else to you. You can also give letters to the mailman to bring to someone else. So, an angel is like God's mailman bringing messages (letters) to you from God and where you can send your messages to go through him. (Kids love to write letters so you could choose to have them write a letter to God that their angel can see and tell God what it says.)

2. Angels are our guides. For this one I used the image of a line leader. At J's school, they have a different child that gets to be the line leader everyday and lead the group. Our angel goes "before you to guide you". I blindfolded J and had her walk around and run into a couple of things to make my point (disclaimer: no children were hurt in the teaching of this lesson. Lol!) Then I had her ask her angel for help and I pretended to be her angel and guided her around the room. The kids all thought this was pretty funny to watch. The sillier the better!

After we finished blindfolding children and letting them run into things, we prayed the Guardian Angel prayer together and they colored a guardian angel worksheet which also had the prayer on it. While they were coloring I made the point that we all have our own special guardian angels with us always. I found the worksheet here. (I cut off the bottom of the page where it asks the child to name their angel. This is a somewhat controversial topic in the Church and is generally discouraged for a variety of reasons so I wouldn't suggest using that part.)

Hope this helps!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Opposites: Part 3

For our third Opposites study we used pgs 132-143 in the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Preschool.

First, we read the book Quiet, Loud by Leslie Patricelli. After, we looked for some of the items in the book to see for ourselves how quiet and loud they were! So for quiet we gathered a pillow, teddy bear, books and crayons. They are quiet indeed! And for loud, J did some screaming, burping, singing, sneezing, banging pots & pans and acting like a monkey, dog, rooster, firetruck! Phew! My ears are still ringing!

Secondly, we emptied out two bins and sorted toys that were quiet and loud. J initially wanted to sort them by hard and soft since we did that a few lessons ago, but soon saw that some soft toys were also loud if they crinkled or made sounds. 

Opposites: Part 2

For our second Opposites study we used pgs 122-131 in the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Preschool.

We read the book Opposites by Sandra Boynton then we headed to the playground and practiced our opposites! I gave J the first word to demonstrate and she had to tell me the opposite and demonstrate that as well. Over the playscape/ under the playscape, down the slide/ up the slide, high on the swings/ low on the swings, Up on the monkey bars/ down from the monkey bars, heavy/ light on the see saw, run fast/ go slow, etc.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


For our first Opposites study we used pgs 113-121 in the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Preschool. 

First, I emptied out two toys bins and designated one for soft toys and one for hard toys. If you are working on reading as well, you can go ahead and put "soft" and "hard" signs on your bins. Once you have your bins, let your kiddo collect things until they're sick of the game! J actually ended up doing this one for a really long time plus she made a pile in between the two bins for items that were both soft and hard! Bonus!

For our second game we basically did a Simon Says with Opposites. Go "in" the bedroom (have them go) then ask "what's the opposite of in?" "Out!" "Out" of the bedroom (have them go out). Keep going: "Under" the table/ "over" the table, find a "big" stuffed animal/ find a "little" stuffed animal, find a "loud" toy/ find a "quiet" toy, stand "up"/ sit "down", "open" the door/ "close" the door, this wash cloth is "dry"/ now get it "wet", turn lights "on"/ turn lights "off", etc. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Long & Short

For our Long & Short study we used pgs 104- 111 in the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Preschool.

First, we simply arranged pieces of paper from shortest to longest. If you want to make it a little more interesting you could use rainbow colors or slice up a picture from a magazine that will be revealed once placed in the right order.

For our next game, I put some painters tape around a tile and had J try to push the cars into the square. Depending on where it ended up, we'd say "too short" and "too far." We didn't use the word long but it was a good exercise in distance, length and fine motor skills.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Short & Tall

For our section on Short and Tall we used pgs 96-103 in the Comprehensive Curriculum of Basic Skills for Preschool

We did a house-wide tour to practice spotting things that are shorter or taller than J. Doorways, counters, furniture, baby brother, toys on the floor... anything goes! Plus you'll find the occasion item that is the same size. 

Before J could eat her fruit by the foot snack she had to arrange it from shortest to tallest. A little sweet motivation never hurts!