Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Sunday Showcase: Easter


Happy Easter everyone! I hope you're enjoying a weekend full of remembering Christ, His sacrifice and His love for you. This week I'm featuring the Christ-centered Easter activities from last week's linky. Enjoy:

Resurrection Garden (LOVE this idea!) from Crafts Moms Share

Easter Cross Craft: Fingerprint Cross from Leapfrog & Ladybugs

Resurrection Eggs from Princesses, Pies & Preschool Pizzaz

Resurrection Craft from True Aim


Happening on the Blog:
We spent the last 2 weeks celebrating the joy and sorrow that comes with Easter. See all of our crafts, activities and books in our Baby Bear Preschool: Easter post.

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Baby Bear Preschool: Easter

We spent 2 weeks on Easter activities this year and I divided up a bit so that our first week involved bunnies, eggs and more springy type Easter activities while our second week focused on Holy Week. Jesus' crucifixion was our underlying theme throughout as we talked about the cross, what it means and why Jesus died for us. This is the first year we've actually discussed His death with Sweet P and while I'm fairly certain she doesn't understand the term death, she knows that He died to save us.

Verses: "Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" ~Matthew 21:9
"He is Risen!" ~Matthew 28:6

Here are the activities we did over the course of the past 2 weeks: 
Sound Eggs
Window Bunny: My mom found this plastic bunny window hanging at GoodWill and gave it to us last year. I found it in my trunk a few weeks ago (oops) and put out for her as one of her trays the 1st week. It was her first choice. She asked me to color with her so I helped do the flowers on the sides. 


Smallest to largest and Nesting: I have a set of small, medium and large eggs and they started out in a bucket. We sat on the floor and modeled the activity using one color and arranging in order from smallest to largest. This was pretty simple for her so I added a nesting element. I didn't show her how to do it, but asked "Let's put all the eggs inside one another. Which eggs would we need to start with to do that?" She picked up the small and medium eggs and got to work. She got tripped up a few times trying to put the small in the large and then realizing the large wasn't going to fit in the medium. It was interesting to watch her mind work through the process.



Egg Matching & Textures: I made these for Sweet P the year she was turning 2 and thought they might be too easy, but she really had to look at the patterns to find the exact matches since there were 2 purple, 2 blue and 2 browns. She also really liked feeling the patterns on each egg and telling me how it felt.


E is for Easter & Flat Marbles: She used the E to practice patterning by putting a green and a clear marble on every other circle to create a pattern.
 

Memory: I cut these off of a box of Easter egg dye a few years ago and we played Memory together. She's gotten really good at memory games and understanding the concept of taking turns while playing games.

Painting with PomPoms: View the link to see more on our pompom paintings.

Paper Weaving Easter Basket: Sweet P decorated coffee filters, paper and a paper towel with markers, then I traced eggs with an egg cookie cutter onto the finished projects. We both cut them out and she glued them to a paper bag I'd cut into the shape of a basket. Then she tried paper weaving! We've never done it before and it's so neat! I wasn't sure she'd have the patience for it, but she proved me wrong and did all 3 weaves at once.

Coloring & Counting Sheets: These are actually torn out of the free coloring book you get after you visit the mall Easter bunny. Apparently I kept last year's book (since we haven't visited the Easter bunny this year) and I found 2 counting coloring sheets. She counted the carrots and the bunnies and then colored them. Again she asked me to color with her and we colored the bunnies all different colors.

Bunny/Carrot Counting Match Game: I found this game at a garage sale 2 years ago. A preschool teacher sold several of her old games and educational resources and these bunnies and carrots were among the resources. This activity had several parts. Keeping the carrots and beads on the tray I spread the bunnies out on the table so that she could see all their numbers.
1) Sweet P used the orange beads as counters and placed them in the black dots on each carrot as she counted out loud. The beads have a small part at the top and she held those to put them in place to keep them from rolling away (they sat on the flat edge).
2) After she'd counted the dots, she put the beads back in the bowl and she found the bunny that corresponded with the number and laid them on the floor.
3) When all the bunnies had their carrots we came upstairs for an active element. I asked Sweet P to line up the bunnies from 1-10 at one end of the living room. I set the carrots on a table and handed one. She counted the dots and took that number of hops across the room to reach the bunnies. Then she laid the carrot on the corresponding bunny and ran back to the next one. Her favorite part of this was when I helped her take giant hops by lifting her in the air.




Sprout had been busy doing Tot School with the Farmer so he explored the bunnies as well.

Stained Glass Windows: I found this idea in our Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and thought both kids would love it. Sweet P did, but the 3 pieces of tissue paper you see on Sprout's window in the picture are all he wanted to do so I ended up finishing it while he dumped the tissue paper out of the bowl over and over again. I LOVE the way they look in the window.



Sweet P's:

Sprout/Mommy's:

Creative Table: At the start of last week, I put out 2 eggs and a cross (poster board), and a variety of tools to decorate and Sweet P set to work. She loves glitter glue so she was super excited to use it on 3 different projects.


Pompoms and Eggs: Sprout and I played with pompoms and plastic eggs in our sensory bin while Sweet P decorated at the Creative Table.

Stained Glass Puzzle: Sweet P put together this puzzle (its magnetic) while Sprout colored on the dry erase board.

Palm Branches: I saw the idea for making our own palm branches on Instagram and knew we had to make them too. I churned them out at Sunday morning and then we used them on Monday night during our Last Supper party. Sweet P thought these were pretty cool (and I think was a bit bummed I didn't ask her to help me make them) and asked to make some of her own the next day. I got the materials out for her to use while I put Sprout down for a nap and I LOVE that she came up with using a clothespin as the stem of the palm branch all on her own.

Pattern Blocks: I chose 2 pattern block templates (the bunny and a flower). This was actually out for 2 weeks before she finally chose to do it. Normally we try to do all 4 trays, but many of the activities took longer than we had so the pattern blocks were left undone. For some reason it was her first choice on our 2nd day of BBP this week.

Letter Recognition/Sounds/Spelling: Most of these words are way too hard for Sweet P to know how to spell, but this was more of a letter recognition and putting letters in order to make words. I said the words aloud and she worked to figure out what letters she needed based on the sound. After she finished Resurrection she counted the letters and I said, "Wow! that's a 13 letter word!" She was pretty excited that she'd put all the letters on such a long word. When she'd finished all the words I called out letters to put back into the container (3 A's, 7 S's, T's, etc.). I used Bananagram tiles, but Scrabble or other letters would work too.



Disciples Matching: While looking for disciple cards for our Last Supper party, I came across these and printed out two copies to create a matching game. I love that several of them have identifying characteristics (Peter, Andrew, James and John all have a fish, Judas has a money bag, etc.). After she'd matched them all, I called out names for her to find and she had to listen to the sound of the name to find each disciple (the names are written across each disciple).

Double Digits: Sweet P has a really hard time with double digit numbers so we practiced 11 & 12 this week. 12 was used throughout the week (12 disciples) and I threw in 11 so that she could practice them together. This activity was really simple, she just glued 11 items in the 11 box and 12 items in the 12 box counting them out loud as she worked. I also had the 11 and 12 from our calendar and had her trace the numbers with her finger.

Water Color Cross: Using homemade water colors (Happy Hooligans), she painted a sheet of paper and I cut it into a cross once it has dried.


Sprout was happy to vacuum while Sweet P painted. After I vacuumed the living room he was adamant about having a turn for himself. He didn't just want to push it around though, he wanted it ON! So my living room got quite the cleaning on Monday and he actually does a pretty good job!

Jesus' tomb: On Friday we built a tomb out of gray homemade play dough. Using a magnetic Jesus figure we have, I placed him on a cross made of sticks. Sweet P took Him off the cross, wrapped Him in a white tissue, placed Him in the tomb and rolled a large rock in front of the tomb. I told her we couldn't look until Easter Sunday and I'll take the magnet out tonight, but leave the tissue where it is. Sweet P was very serious about this activity. 


Easter Sensory Bin: Filled with plastic eggs of various sizes, jumping bunnies, an ice cream scoop and cups for scooping.


Added a mirror and Sprout loved the way the eggs looked when stacked:

The books we use: Our favorite is the Bible for Me: Easter (we bought it as Ross several years ago) because it tells the Easter story in a simplistic, but detailed way.

Painting Easter Eggs: I can't remember the brand of these, but they are the dye in a q-tip that you snap and draw with. They are my favorite because she can draw and make designs and I don't have to spend an hour prepping dye!

Easter Egg Lunch: We had our friends S & C over on Wednesday for an Easter Egg lunch. I packed plastic Easter eggs with carrots, strawberries, chickpeas, a homemade granola bar, a mandarin orange and cheese. The girls got a kick out of opening the eggs to see what was inside and then dumped them out onto their plate.


Holy Thursday: In remembrance of Holy Thursday, we washed one another's feet. Sweet P washed my feet, I washed hers, Sprout washed the Farmer's and the Farmer washed Sprouts. The Farmer explained that in Jesus' time everyone wore sandals so their feet were really dirty and we even tried rubbing our hair on each other's (clean) feet like the woman who poured perfume on Jesus' feet.

Last Supper party: On Mardi Gras we started having family parties as our family devotional time. This week we had a Last Supper party with the 12 disciple printables, our stuffed Jesus and very simple foods including bread dipped in oil/balsamic vinegar, dates, edamame, apples, almond butter, cheese, olives, grapes and carrots. These parties are a very special time for our family and Sweet P loves it. They are simple to throw together and the small change in the table bring so much joy to our home.
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