As I mentioned yesterday, I worked on my new felt pieces to go with the book 10 Apples Up On Top. It’s a good counting book and anything by Dr Seuss is good. Here’s what I made and the boys just love it. They really like anything that shows themselves at this stage.
-I took a full length horizontal picture of each boy
-I downloaded onto my computer
-I copied each picture into a powerpoint slide, horizontal page with picture resized to about 4″ person and I added an apple clipart image to the free space remaining then printed the page out in color
-I cut the pictures out, laminated the boys’ pictures and cut them out again
-I cut small strips of felt and used elmer’s glue to attach the felt strips to the back of the pictures
-I drew 20 apples on red felt, using the apple clipart cutout as my template
Whew, now that was done we could have some fun. I read the book 10 Apples Up On Top and had the boys add the corresponding apples on top of the “felt James” and “felt Lance.” We did this several times. This morning we read through the book and then we pulled out the felt pieces. This is a great way to work on addition and subtraction while just having fun. Any combination of numbers will work with this. Lance even decided that when he subtracts it’s fun to pretend to eat the apples.
If you listen to the stories of our older generations, you will hear the countless reminiscing of the days when flannel graphs and felt boards were used in Sunday School. About how versitle and wonderful they were and how it’s a shame that no one uses them anymore. I used to roll my eyes and say with my younger generation, move one, get with the technology. While I love technology, I mean I am blogging, it doesn’t always replace the old things. Sometimes the old and new work great together. The felt board is one of those old items that has been working along technology in my house.
The past three weeks we’ve been focusing on the story of creation in Genesis. We are using the Jesus Storybook Bible primarily for the reading. My boys just get a kick out of the wording. When they ask for the story they call it the nothing story. They love when mom talks in a spooky voice about in the beginning there was nothing, nothing but nothing and there was only God. I’m envisioning a lot of scary movies in my future. Anyways, they enjoy this story when we read it in the morning. We’ve been doing some crafts that match the creation theme. What has really captured their attention though was the new felt board set I got. It’s from the Betty Lukin set. The colors are so bright and they look good. So over the past few days when the boys wake up from their nap, I’ve pulled out the felt board set. The first time through I lay out all the pieces, read the story and hand out the corresponding piece alternately to each boy to put on the board. I gave up on asking the boys to put them in a nice neat picture. The attention lasts triple as long if they get to put the pieces wherever. I truly mean it. Yesterday Lance had the apple tree growing in the middle of the sea. Oh well! The second time through I let them try to pick out what piece I’m reading about. That cognitive skill still needs some work; maybe it’s the hearing or the deciding or maybe it’s just maturity that needs help. After that they just get to play around with the set.
I haven’t figured out whether they are auditory, physical or visual learners yet. But with this bible story system that incorporates all the styles of learning, I’m hoping the stories stick with them. So if you want to extend the bible stories that you might be reading, consider busting out the dusty ol felt board and see what your little ones do with it. Always remember though, each kiddo will respond to things differently so don’t get upset if they snub the felt board, but it’s worth a try.
December 1st, it’s more fun and meaningful than I thought it would be.
Early last month I saw a post on http://heartfelttruths.wordpress.com/advent-calendar/ about the felt board advent calendar. It was just what I wanted, even though I didn’t know what exactly I wanted until I saw it. My twin boys are 2yr. They don’t get the reason behind Christmas yet. They won’t sit and comprehend the reading of the Christmas story out of the Bible. Heck, they don’t even get Santa yet. But I still wanted to find something that would start to make sense to them about Christmas being a celebration of Jesus’ birth. That’s were Heart Felt Truths’ felt advent calendar comes in.
Thankfully she was offering a free pattern for the set. I didn’t have a ton of time to sit there cutting out every little piece and making my scene look as lovely as a picture. Nor do I think my boys will care how detailed it looks! All it took was one afternoon, during the boy’s nap, to trace all the pieces onto felt and cut them out. The next day I took Elmer’s glue and layered all the pieces together. I put the scripture reading page and all the felt pieces into a bag and stored it away until Dec 1st.
Yesterday was Dec 1st and before bed, I pulled out our felt board and my advent kit. The first reading was a few sentences about the angel of the Lord announcing to Mary that she was with child. I proudly pulled out Mary and put her up on the board. Then I had each boy say Mary’s name out loud. Lance wanted to hold her for a few minutes then Mary and the board was put away for the night.
Tonight I’ll get the board back out, read over yesterday’s reading, add Mary, read the next part of the story and add a new felt piece next to Mary. I can’t wait until the end of the month to read the whole story to the boys and put all the cute little pieces on the board. It’s not anything grand, but I just loved starting to tell the story of Christmas to my boys. I love that they will hear pieces of the story repeated night after night. Again, it’s not earth shattering, but someday this story will be life changing for my boys if they accept Jesus as their savior.
At the end of the month, I’ll post a picture of my final felt scene. In the meanwhile, below is what Heart Felt Truths’ advent calendar looks like.