Tot School 44mo -Apples & Zoo

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.
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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.
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Little Summer Explorers

I’m a mom that likes structure. While many families take the summer off to enjoy random playing, I still like to have some structure to my day. I started a few weeks ago looking for something that would be fun for the summer. I easily found it when I came across God’s Little Explorers by Stacie Nelson. Due to my restricted time, I won’t be doing daily posts, I’ll be giving the weekly highlights. If you want to check out the program for yourself please take a look at http://www.motherhoodonadime and you can also get detail instructions on most of the crafts that we do for this program. We’ll be taking two units per week so we can cover the whole alphabet during the summer months.  Also, for your reference, my boys are 3.5 yrs old.

This first week was a lot of fun. We began by decorating a cardboard box to be our explorer’s kit. The boys mainly put stickers on the box and I wrote Explorer’s Kit on two of the sides. With that done, I explained that explorers used equipment to find valuable treasure. I hid each treasure item and marked it with an X made out of tape. The treasure equipment was 1 adult Bible, 1 kid’s Bible, 2 pencils, 1 pack of crayons, 2 magnifying glasses and 2 flashlights. Now our kit was getting full so we made the last item. We made binoculars out of tape, ribbon and toilet paper tubes. They were a hit.

Next we looked at the Bible they found. I told them that God’s word is our treasure. We looked at the table of contents, looked at how it’s divided into books, chapters and verses. I printed out “God’s word is a treasure,” with each word in its own circle, cut those out, buried them in a plastic bin with popcorn kernels and gave them some cups and measuring spoons to play with. Sensory activities are always a hit and usually require some cleanup. Then I read the story of creation from Genesis chapter 1.   I try to read the bible story for that unit from the adult version one day and the kid’s version the other times. We followed that up watching the first half of What’s In the Bible vol I dvd. After that I cut out a big piece of brown paper, made a squiggly line across it, labeled the beginning with the Bible and the end with a big X. Our theme for two days was X marks the spot. We practiced writing little X all over a big X, making X out of our body parts, making cheese pieces into the shape of an X and practicing the sound of X.

 

The next section focused on the garden of Eden during the creation.   We sounded out the letter G.  We looked at seeds under the magnifying glass, soaked the seeds overnight and cut them in half before looking at them again and placed a few in a baggie wrapped in a wet paper towel. The seeds were supposed to sprout but ours molded instead. We talked about seeds making plants and that they need water and sunlight to help them grow. We watched the second half of the Vol I What’s In the bible. I had plans to do a whole lot more with the gardening theme, but I got tired and we didn’t do them and give yourself some grace if that happens to you too. We went to see a really big garden at the end of the week. We went over to visit the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. The boys enjoyed it. They ran, they got to be loud, we had a picnic, they got to smell herbs and they even learned about some of the birds that might live in a garden. We wrapped up this week by adding a garden picture next to the Bible on our treasure map.

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