Last week was probably one of my favorite weeks of preschool so far. Maybe it’s just been in contrast to some of the weeks where I’ve felt tired and stressed, but the theme was a fun one and Daddy was home. It’s always nice when Daddy’s home; he helps out with the kiddos, transitions so easily from playtime to a life lesson when my examples often feel forced. Oh… and it was the week of my birthday so there may have been some anticipation involved.
Last week was about baby Moses and this week we talked about how he led the Israelites to freedom and brought them across the Red Sea. I found this cute Red Sea craft and the kiddos had fun picking out the “clothes” for the people and playing with them afterwards.
These simple projects make the lessons more concrete for them when it might otherwise have just been a fanciful story; I try to tell them that some stories are make-believe, but the Bible contains stories that actually happened.
Our verse for the week was Philippians 4:19 – “My God will supply all your need.” Simple yet profound. It was relevant to the story of Moses and the Red Sea when the people needed a way of escape from the Egyptian army, and it’s relevant to the lives of our children. I tell Gwendolyn that she can pray to God whenever she wants or needs and God will help her – whether she’s scared of the dark or needs help being a good girl for Mommy and Daddy.
Josiah especially loves rocks, which became our theme for the week. Our word was “gem,” and it was fun working these things into our activities. I have a couple books from when I was growing up, Eyewitness Books Rocks & Minerals and Crystal & Gem. They’re meant for older kids, but they contain beautiful photos and I showed Gwen some of the images along with the simple differences between rocks and gems. One of the images was a birthstone chart, so we both picked our birth month and appropriate gem. She colored her “gem” page with glitter markers and we sprinkled it will glitter; after all, gems are sparkly.
In the future I would like to try to grow our own rock candy – something I did once when I was younger, an interesting science experiment – but I settled for buying each of them a rock candy stick. A big hit!
We also made rock necklaces; more on that in a bit…
G is for giraffe… and of course Gwendolyn! Since Daddy was home I thought it would be nice to take a field trip as a family. After breakfast we made a giraffe G and then I asked the kids how they would like to see the real giraffes. Of course, they knew we were going to the zoo. We got a zoo membership over the Summer and used it quite a bit but we hadn’t been in a while so it was a nice change. The weather was gorgeous, and we did in fact see giraffes… and other animals.
Whenever we go to the zoo we pack a lunch, and while we were eating we went through the alphabet and tried to come up with an animal from the zoo to go along with each letter.
Going to the zoo we hit two birds with one stone – no pun intended. After talking about the rocks I wanted the kiddos to pick out some fancy ones of their own. I remembered those tables where you can pick out a bag of rocks and we figured the zoo gift store would have one. They did… although I was a bit disappointed they didn’t have a pamphlet with descriptions, and the selection was minimal. I won’t even get to the part where the cashier wouldn’t give us an empty bag to divide the rocks between Gwen and Josiah. *sigh*
The next day, they each picked a rock to turn into a necklace and I helped them wrap it with wire. It took some tweaking and re-wrapping to get it tight enough, and I didn’t have leather cord so we used stretchy rainbow cord instead.
There are lots of letter ideas on the ABCJLM site, and one of the ideas that we’ve been consistent with is what I call a letter hunt. Lately I’ve had one index card for inside and another card for outside and we write down as many words as we see that begins with the letter we’re studying.
Among our dry erase activities and workbook pages we also did a cut-and-paste sheet and playdough mat, both alphabet resources from Homeschool Creations.
We glued green Easter grass to our G page, one of our more creative letters.
I love that the kiddos love books, and it just melts my heart when I see them quietly reading books together.
This week we did the number six and Gwen loved the glitter markers so much doing her gem coloring page that she wanted to use them for her number page. The number rhyme from ABCJLM was short and sweet, which makes it easy to remember - “Make a loop and then a hoop.”
Appropriately enough, the shape for the week was the diamond. Gwen decorated her shape page with plastic gemstones.
In the past she hasn’t been too enthusiastic about lacing shapes, but I hadn’t brought them out in a while and she was excited that the diamond shape was a kite. She did the lacing with just a bit of help from me, then insisted on carrying – er, “flying” – her kite around for the rest of the week.
Sometimes I try to come up with a rhyme that goes along with the theme, but this time I just picked one that coincided with the letter G. I’ve been using the same book of nursery rhymes that I got at a consignment shop when Gwen was a baby, The Puffin Baby and Toddler Treasury. This week it was “Georgie Porgie,” and I found it ironic because an old family friend named George just recently passed away and that’s what we called him.
Other easy letter G snack ideas: green grapes and goldfish crackers. We also got a little packge of chocolate rocks at the zoo gift shop.
Moses Crosses the Red Sea
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
If you Find a Rock
Diamond in the Snow
The Magic Ring
Eyewitness Books – Rocks & Minerals
Eyewitness Books –Crystal& Gem
Gabby & Grandma Go Green
Gorgonzola – A Very Stinkysaurus
Goldie and the Three Bears
Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum
Giggle, Giggle, Quack
My “g” Book
The Fairies’ Alphabet Book
The Gingerbread Girl
Six Silly Foxes
My Number Book
My Shape Book
Leapfrog Letter Factory
Planet Earth - volume 2, Caves