This past week, I was tired and only did about 1/4 of the activities for the letter I and Q from God’s Little Explorers. We began each day reading the story of Moses asking Pharaoh to release the Israelites. We tried to watch a few cartoon videos of the story, but both boys said the Egyptian slavery was too scary. We reviewed the 10 plagues that God sent to change Pharaoh’s heart. For the 1st plague of water turned into blood, I let the boys make a batch of red Koolaid. My boys got some strange looks that week when they told people that they drank blood. The 2nd was frogs so we hopped around like frogs and then I made a paperclip hop. Remember making those in elementary school? Third, we swatted in the air at gnats. Fourth, for the flies, I sprinkled pepper on their hands. Then they shook it off as we singed Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me. Fifth, for the diseased livestock, we got on all hands and knees, mooed like a cow and tipped each other over and acted like we died. Sixth was boils and we taped bubble wrap around our arms then popped the bubbles. Seven was the best. We took the small size marshmallows and had a hailstorm fight.
For the eighth, when the locusts came we made chomping noises and pretended to eat everything. Nine was darkness so the boys covered their eyes and tried walking around. Lastly the tenth was when the death angel came to kill every first-born child unless the blood of a lamb was on your door step. So we taped a strip of red construction paper over our front door.
We spent a lot of time that week singing “Pharaoh, Pharaoh, O,O, Let My People Go!..No, No, No, NOOOO!”
Sad to say, for the quail, we read the story of God providing for the Israelites while they wandered through the desert and watched the corresponding What’s In the Bible DVD. I don’t expect them to remember much of that story.
This week, using inspiration from God’s Little Explorers, we started with the story of Abraham. We focused on the fact that Abraham lived in a tent since he and his wife was following wherever God led them. That meant that he lived in a tent that was portable. My husband and I took the boys out camping to get a small taste of what tent life is like. I briefly mentioned a few times that setting up and taking down a tent was time-consuming and boring, just like they had to wait for mom and dad to set up and teardown on their trip. We had talked about God’s promise that Abraham would have as many descendants as the stars in the sky. Unfortunately, we fell asleep before the stars came out so I made a quick and easy telescope for the boys to pretend see the star constellations. For this directions go to Kids Activity Blog at http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/53541/constellation-activity-craft. Lance really liked looking at all the constellations and saying their funny names.
Next we read the story of Joseph. We focused on two aspects, his colorful coat and grain. I spent all day making a rainbow ribbon jello salad. It made a lot so we are still eating it but it showed the kids what many colors look like together. We also did a fun color mixing lab. I got this idea from No Time for Flash Cards at http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2014/06/color-lab-science-for-kids.html. I popped out a red, blue and green tab from a watercolor set and dissolved them in separate bowls of water. I gave the boys each an eye dropper. I put out a jar of water, a jar of vinegar and a jar of oil. I had the boys smell, taste and then guess at what the color would do in each jar. The eye dropper gave them plenty of pincher grasp practice. They were fascinated that the color water formed beads in the oil. After dropping color into the jars one at a time, they went wild and started mixing colors to form new colors. Ok, generally they made purple and if they had kept going it would have ending up brown. But they laughed and had lots of fun with the colored water. To remember that Joseph’s brothers got mad because Joseph’s dream had his brother’s grain bowing down to him and then he saved Egypt from a famine by gathering grain, I set up a rice sensory bin. We named all the different grains that we could think of, including rice. They love sensory bins and they love making a mess with them. We stopped playing when the rice went flying through the air across my kitchen. We ended the week by adding a few more pieces to our treasure map that represent each week. We are on our way to reaching “X marks the spot.”
We began the last week with reading the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. We talked a lot about sin and that both Satan and Adam & Eve told lies about eating the apple. We did some easy apple themed projects. We cut open an apple and used our magnifying glass to look at the core and the seeds. We did an apple tasting using one unpeeled apple slice, one pealed apple slice and applesauce. I showed the boys how to graph our findings and we counted on the graph different outcomes if other people gave their opinions too. We read The Apple Tree by Zoe Hall and 10 Apples Up On Top by Dr. Sues. Last year I made a small laminated set of apples and a small picture of each boy to go on our felt board. We spent some time adding the apples on the picture’s heads just like in the book. For additional counting fun we played Hi Ho Cherrio but called the fruit apples. Next we made a cherry pie. I don’t really like apple pie so we talked briefly about apples and cherries both being a red fruit. This time we took the short route. We used store-bought pie crust and canned filling but the boys had fun while working on fine motor skills during unrolling the dough and crimping the edges. Because the main point of Adam & Eve was that they lied to God, we read Eli”s Lie-O-Meter by Sandra Levine. Lastly we followed up with a visual about how God always knows when you lie. Nothing is invisible to God. We named several ways that we sin. I took a Q-tip, dipped in lemon juice, to write out a few of our sins on regular white paper. When it completely dried you couldn’t see the writing. When I held the paper over a candle, the acid in the lemon juice turns the writing a light yellow/brown color that reveals what was already there but invisible to us. I have to say, that experiment was challenging because at first Lance didn’t care about what we were doing, all he wanted was to keep blowing out the candle. So remember patience and safety with that project.
We spent the second half of the week working on Noah and the ark. The boys are very curious as to why Noah was the only person that was doing good at that time so we’ve really had bunches of discussions about sin this week. We did a zoo and rainbow theme for this story. We made sounds and movements to match every animal we could think of, we took the kid’s doctor’s kit and became veterinarians to all the teddy bears in the house then did some exploring on our brother too. I cut out a small letter Z and taped it to the bottom of a box. I put a few drops of black paint in the bottom with a marble. The boys shook their box to make the stripes for a zebra. Make sure the bottom of the box is completely flat or the marble will not roll very well, do this even if you want to be lazy that day. Then I wrote their names out in a yellow highlighter. I gave them some crayons and asked them to trace their names in different colors so that it looked like a rainbow. We finished out the week by sorting colored goldfish before we ate them. For more ideas on either of these stories go to http://www.motherhoodonadime.com for her God’s Little Explorers program.