Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kids in the Word: Baby Moses / Moses and the Burning Bush

When Jonathan was one, I tried to have a monthly Bible story we learned about. Last November, we focused on the story of baby Moses from Exodus 1 and 2. This week, we repeated a lot of the same activities that we did back then.


We read the stories from Jonathan's Bible. The narrative of Baby Moses was covered in three mini-stories and the burning bush in one story. Jonathan remembered a little bit about Baby Moses, much to my delight! 

We also just received this early reader through Paperback Swap. It's part of the series of books that Jonathan just loves and requests each night. It tells the basic story of how the Pharaoh's daughter rescued baby Moses. I like that this book series is very God-centered, but leaves out some of the more mature details. We read this story three or four times and Jonathan seemed to enjoy it. However, it's not his favorite of the series. He tends to like the action stories!


We actually made our art project this week-- a burning bush:

To make this, we used construction paper, leaf stickers, tissue paper, and our dot markers. Jonathan is all about using glue and stickers, so this craft was right up his alley.

I cut grass out of green construction paper and  Jonathan glued it onto the blue background. Then I cut a trunk and branches from brown paper and he glued that on as well. We took leaf stickers and stuck the leaves to the bush.

Next we took red, orange, and yellow tissue paper and Jonathan tore them into pieces. We glued the pieces on the tree. Then we used our red dot marker to dot the tissue paper to make it look a little more like the bush was "burning" (instead of just a fall scene!).

Jonathan was very excited to show off his art work to daddy and could tell daddy all about the burning bush!

So that's what we did for the stories of Baby Moses as well as the Burning Bush!  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pinterest Tuesday: Mice & Miscellany

Time for more Pinterest Tuesday over at Our Country Road. Here are some things I've been pinning this week:


I've been looking for activities that go along with our theme (mice). Here are some things I found:

Extension activity for Mouse Paint-- using tissue paper to blend colors!

Lots of ideas for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie:

Cute alphabet craft:

Other Interesting Pins:

Stages of a Pencil Grip:

Idea for Tot School Organization:

Toddler Charades!:

Montessori Monday: Wringing a Sponge

Montessori Monday

Jonathan had a bit of a rough week last week. During one particular afternoon while I was attempting to get some cleaning done, I pulled out this activity to entertain him. I got the idea from the book Small Beginnings by Barbara Curtis.

I purchased a small two-compartment cat dish and put water in the left side of the dish. I gave Jonathan a sponge and showed him how to use the sponge to soak up the water:

Then, we moved the sponge over to the right side of the dish and squeezed our hands to wring the sponge out:

Of course, splashing in the water is fun too:

And then, to extend the activity and give me some more cleaning time, I had him "wash" his fruits and vegetables:

This activity helped him to concentrate, develop some fine motor skills, and be more aware of left and right. It entertained him long enough that I could get some cleaning done-- so it was definitely a success!

To get more Montessori ideas, visit Montessori Monday over at One Hook Wonder and Living Montessori Now

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tot School- m is for monkey (31 months)

Tot School
Jonathan is 31 Months

We spent a week looking at monkeys and we had a lot of fun. But before I begin I need some mommy-advice. I don't know if we're hitting "terrible" twos or what- but lately all it seems I do is discipline! Some of it may be a little sibling jealousy-- Grace is more mobile and gets more attention than she used to. So if I correct Grace, Jonathan will turn around and do the same thing I told Grace not to do. {Sigh}. It makes for one weary momma at times. I know this will pass... right?


This week we talked about the call of Moses and started to talk about the Exodus. We made a burning bush to go along with our Bible story. I'll summarize in a future Weds post.

Stories, Nursery Rhymes & Read Alouds

Our Bookshelf
We read lots of books about monkeys this week. To see our reviews of what we read, see this post.

Each morning we have a little "calendar" time. I write Jonathan a little message on our morning board and he enjoys finding his name in the message:

We've also been working on name recognition. I pulled out our alphabet magnets and had him match the letters in his name. He did a great job!

Gross Motor 

We had beautiful weather this week- so we spent a lot of time outside!

Riding his tricycle-- still can't pedal though

Golf-- his favorite game!

Sensory Play 

We played a lot with our monkey sensory bin:


We colored a bit this week, using our Kumon Let's Color workbook. Jonathan's getting better fine motor control and trying to stay in the lines:

We also did a "M is for Monkey" do-a-dot page from Confessions of a Homeschooler. I didn't get to any more elaborate crafts this week!

And here's a peek at our burning bush craft:

Games : 

We played 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. I got this free through Freecycle. We didn't have the instructions, but we just had fun putting the monkeys on the bed and popping them off. We counted the monkeys and tried to make patterns. Jonathan had a lot of fun:

Practical Life: 

Jonathan learned how to help me with the laundry this week. He helps throw the clothes into the washer and pull the clothes out of the dryer.

We also attempted potty training. He will almost always go if I put him on the potty, but he hasn't told me when he needed to go. So, I put him in underwear for the first time. The good part is, he became very aware of when he was wet and when he was dry. He's started to tell me more after he's gone in his pull up and he did tell me once when he needed to go. I wrestle with whether or not he's truly ready... any advice?

So, that's been our week! It was a good week, and I saw some progress, but it's easy to get tired & discouraged sometimes. Maybe I just need a nap. :)

I link up to these parties! Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tot School- 12 Months

Tot School
Grace is 12 Months Old

Now that Grace is a year old, I'm starting to do some more "intentional" playtime with her. I'm not doing anything incredibly structured, but just trying to bring out different toys and have fun!


Grace sits with us at breakfast time and listens to the Bible story I'm reading to Jonathan. I don't know how much (if any) she is absorbing at this point-- but she listens and looks at the pictures, so I consider that a plus!

Stories & Rhymes 

Grace loves flipping through books-- she's especially fond at turning the pages herself. She won't sit through longer stories, but I've started trying to include some books for her each week based on the "theme" Jonathan and I are doing. This week, the big hit was:

That's Not My Monkey... by Usborne

At this age, Grace is really enjoying the touchy-feely books. We checked out this book-- which is part of a series by Usborne Books-- from our library. Grace loved it! She liked patting the pictures and turning the pages. She pulled the book out on her own several times This is part of a series of board books, and one that I'd highly recommend for 1 year olds.

We also read some Curious George concept board books, which she enjoyed, but not as much as That's Not My Monkey!

Language and Vocabulary 

I found this great idea from Amber's Articles (HT: Calton Corner) about doing an Alphabet Box. The concept is basically like making a toddler-friendly sound box. You put objects that begin with a certain letter sound into a box and allow your child to explore. So, since we were doing monkeys this week, I made Grace an "M" box. 

Here's what I put inside:  a monkey (my old 1980s Curious George), monkey rattle, mouse beanie baby, moose beanie baby, musical instruments, mitten, meat (mystery meat?), magazine, mail, mirror, "M" magnets, monster puppet with a mouth, man, muffin cups, moon, macaroni (carefully sealed in a baggie), & an empty milk jug. 

I gave it to Gracie and just let her explore it as she wanted. I named things as she examined them so she could pick up some new vocabulary words. She seemed to really enjoy manipulating and playing with everything

Exploring her macaroni
Gross Motor Skills 

Grace is cruising around the furniture but hasn't taken steps on her own:

We had beautiful weather, so we went outside and she tried out the Crazy Coupe car for the first time. She loved it! She figured out how to go backwards and she also loved opening and closing the door:

We also played on our rocking horse this week:

and went to the park and sat on some really big baby swings:

Fine Motor Skills 

I got our shape buttons out and intended to give them to Jonathan for an activity, but Grace took over. I keep the buttons in an old wipes box and she was all about dropping the buttons through the slot. She did this for at least twenty minutes! She was so proud of herself!

We also worked on a big shape knob puzzle. At the start of the week, she liked pulling the pieces out and by the end of the week she was trying to put the pieces back in. She could get circle in and out successfully.


Grace tried coloring for the first time this week. It didn't last long, but she made a birthday card for her Nana:

So that was Grace's first week of "tot school!" I think she had fun! See what other moms and tots are doing at 1+1+1=1

Thursday, August 25, 2011

M is for Monkey: Books for Toddlers & Preschoolers

As usual, we are reading a lot of books this week as we learn about monkeys. Here are some highlights of what Jonathan and I have been reading:

The Original Curious George by H.A. Rey

We've enjoyed George before, but I pulled some of our books out again for our "monkey" unit. We read the first book  in the series which tells how George meets the Man in the Yellow Hat and comes to live in the city. We also read Curious George takes a Job, Curious George Learns the Alphabet, and Curious George Goes to the Hospital. Jonathan loved them all-- he loves reading about this silly monkey! (The original books, in my opinion, are the best-- even if some of the illustrations, such as in the hospital, are a little "dated").

Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys, and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina

This is an another fun and classic story from 1940. It's about a cap peddler who falls asleep and wakes up to find that some monkeys have stolen his caps! He tries different tactics to get his caps back-- until the solution ends up being something unexpected! Jonathan engaged with this story. We had fun acting it out and playing "monkey see, monkey do".

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

This is another classic book that I remember from my childhood. If you aren't familiar with it, it is about monkeys beating on drums- dum ditty, dum ditty, dum dum dum. It's  very rhythmic and lends itself well to acting out the story. We beat on our Leap Frog drum, our knees, the floor, etc. in time with the story.  Jonathan had so much fun he even wanted to take the book to bed with him!

Five Little Monkeys by Eileen Christelow

This is a modern-day classic based on the children's song. The five little monkeys are jumping on the bed. One by one, the little monkeys fall off of the bed and bump their heads. This is a very toddler-friendly book. Jonathan loves pretending to be a little monkey. Another book that we read (in honor of Grace's birthday) was Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake.

Counting Coconuts/Contando Cocos by Wendi Silvano

This is a fun, bilingual counting book that aims to teach skip counting. The monkey is hungry, but he wants to count his coconuts. The various rainforest animals suggest counting by twos, threes, fours, fives, and tens to help monkey count his coconuts. The Spanish numbers for one, two, three, four, five, and ten are taught as part of the book. It's a fun concept, but was still a little over Jonathan's head. Older preschoolers may enjoy this fun book even more.

I'm linking up to:

Read Aloud Thursday @ Hope is the Word
Feed Me Books Friday @ Little Sprout Books
What My Child is Reading @ Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns
Book Sharing Monday @ Smiling Like Sunshine

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kids in the Word: Joseph

Before we went down to central Illinois to celebrate Grace's birthday, we learned about the story of Joseph.


As usual we read, the story out of Jonathan's toddler Bible. We do this at breakfast time, when J's attention is best. Even Gracie has started enjoying looking at the pictures. The story of Joseph was broken into ten shorter stories, so we did two stories each day. We talked a lot about being forgiving and obedient just like Joseph.

Joseph and His Brothers

This is another book from the I Can Read! series. Jonathan loves all the books in this series and this week we focused on the book about Joseph. We read these books before bedtime, so it ties back in with the morning lesson. The stories are simply told, but Jonathan knows them so well he can tell us what is happening in each passage.

First Virtues for Toddlers: Tiger Forgives by Mary Manz Simon

Jonathan's Nana got him this book and I'm very thankful for it, because we've used it a lot. It illustrates twelve different character traits in little stories. This week we read the story "Tiger Forgives". Very cute!


I didn't get around to these, but here are some we bookmarked:

This is a simple cut/paste craft where your child pastes different colors onto Joseph's coat. It would be great for teaching color recognition! You can also print a black/white template so your child can color each patch of Joseph's coat. I meant to do this one, but the week got away from me. Maybe next year...

This link is to a full lesson on Joseph. I love the idea of using different fabric to make a multi-colored coat!


We wrapped up the week by watching this Veggie Tales movie that tells the story of Joseph, but puts it into a western backdrop. Very entertaining!

So that was our week on Joseph! To see more Joseph ideas I found, check out my Pinterest board.

Next up- Moses!

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