Friday, February 22, 2013

The Holy Ghost Helps Me: The Holy Ghost Comforter

The Holy Ghost Comforter

Materials Used:

  • "The Holy Ghost Helps Me" images printed on cardstock (click here to download)
  • construction paper cut into 2 1/4 inch squares
  • glue sticks
  • hole punch
  • yarn
  • chenille stem
  • wire cutter
  • laminator

For our Active Faith to accompany this LDS Primary lesson, The Holy Ghost Helps Me as taught to 3 year olds, I searched online for inspiration.  I found several references to using a blanket as a visual aid for how the Holy Ghost is our Comforter, giving us a warm and safe feeling.  Since "The Holy Ghost Gives Us Comfort and Help" is one of the main points of this lesson, I wanted to focus on that idea for our Active Faith.

As I covered the three main points of this lesson, I used this "The Holy Ghost Helps Me"  visual aid.  For the "Be comforted" piece I specifically chose a picture of a quilt square comforter.  

For our activity I handed each child a cardstock sheet that had "The Holy Ghost Helps Me" visual aid on one side, and a grid on the other.

I had previously cut 2.25" square pieces of construction paper in multiple colors, as well as several squares each containing the First Vision and CTR shield images.  These squares were our quilt squares, which the children chose and attached to their comforter using glue sticks.  

Once the quilt squares were filled, I ran each sheet through my laminator .  This is a bit of an extra step, as the finished product would be very similar if this step were skipped.  I chose to laminate these so that our comforters would endure multiple uses, perhaps as part of a quiet time kit.  I already had the laminating supplies so it was at no extra cost, either.

Once laminated I punched holes around the outside, using the quilt squares as markers.  I had previously cut yarn to the length needed to lace it around the outside of the quilt.  I tied one end in a knot to the comforter, and attached a lacing needle to the free end.  The "needle" is a short length of chenille stem, to which the yarn is knotted, and then the stem is bent in half and twisted.  The needle makes it easier for 3YO hands to lace the yarn without the end of the yarn coming undone.

Behold 3YO Purple's finished product.

Side 1
Side 2

V Is for Valentine: Candy Heart Graphing

Part of our Mom School series

Candy Heart Graphing

Materials Used:

I saw this activity all over Pinterest in various forms.  I followed the format posted here.  For my own spin on it I created this page that anyone can print, making it a ready-made activity - just add the candy.

Link to our other V Is for Valentine activities

Friday, February 15, 2013

V Is for Valentine: Valentine Heart Biscuits

Part of our Mom School series

Valentine Heart Biscuits

Materials Used:

  • can of crescent roll dough
  • heart-shaped cookie cutters
For a food experience to go along with our Valentine theme, instead of the obvious sugar-loaded path, I tried to blaze my own.  As Pink's kindergarten teacher might say, we used the "cheater pants" method and bought a can of crescent roll dough.   3YO Purple and I carefully unrolled the dough onto a flat surface.  We then used cookie cutters to create Valentine shapes, namely hearts.

We found that it worked best if Purple pressed the cookie cutter to cut the shape, and then I held the cutter in place while Purple pulled off the extra dough from outside the cutter. We even re-rolled and cut some of the dough, and then rolled other bits of the dough into balls.

I baked the hearts and other bits according to the instructions on the can, 12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

These were a fun addition to our pasta and marinara dinner.  The re-rolled and dough ball bits tasted just as good as the pretty hearts.

V Is for Valentine: Valentine Color by Number, Letter and Shape

Part of our Mom School series

Valentine Color by Number, Letter and Shape

Materials Used:

This activity is fun for 3YO Purple because she becomes comfortable and confident in recognizing the numbers, letter and shapes, AND she has the privilege of using the dot markers, which are usually stowed up high out of reach.  The prep for this activity is quick, especially if you do not mark the numbers, letters and shapes so densely on the paper.  I failed to account for how big the dot markers mark, so my vision of the finished product was different than reality.  

Purple didn't care.  And for some reason I thought we were studying number 6 instead of 2.  Again, not of consequence to Purple and her fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

V Is for Valentine: Scissor Practice

Part of our 
Mom School series

Scissor Practice

Materials Used:

  • children's scissors
  • construction paper
  • black marker
3YO Purple has limited scissor skills, so this was an activity to give her more experience, as well as to explore symmetry.  I folded a quarter page of the construction paper in half, traced half of a V, and then a heart, and then the letter E (the first letter of Purple's actual name).  I handed the paper to Purple to cut along the lines.

I made the mistake of starting out with the heart shape; the curves were too much for Purple and she became frustrated, so I finished the shape off myself.  I quickly shifted to the V and E shapes, which are straight lines.  

The middle line of the E was dissected, but otherwise Purple persisted in cutting out the shapes.  She was excited to then open up the folded shapes to discover their true identity.  When she unfolded the E she traced the shape with her finger, and then proudly announced that it was a W.  And she was right!  It is a W when turned on its side.  And upside down it is an M.

Some unexpected observation or learning always seems to come of these activities, adding to the fun.

Monday, February 11, 2013

V Is for Valentine: Valentine Hearts Bath

Part of our Mom School series

Valentine Hearts Bath

Materials Used:
  • foam hearts (I purchased these at Target's Dollar Spot and Dollar Tree)
  • cherry Jell-O
  • shaving cream
  • decorating bottles
To create our Valentine Hearts bath, I filled the tub with bubbles and added cherry Jell-O for the rich red color and the cherry scent.  Plus the Jell-O was in our pantry where it has been languishing for several months, with no plans in sight to be eaten.

I dipped the foam hearts into the bath water to moisten, and then stuck them to the tub walls.  To make this an interactive bath, I filled decorating bottles with shaving cream, much as I did for our Gingerbread Bath.  

The girls gladly tried their hand at decorating the hearts.

And then they noticed that red + white = pink.  Soon all the shaving cream was merged with the red water to create a opaque pink pool.

Which the girls reveled in.  Much fun!

Blue didn't want to leave the bath so she saved some water in the emptied bottles, and then played like a mad scientist, pouring it back and forth between the bottles.

V Is for Valentine

Part of our Mom School series

This week's activities:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Jesus Christ Is the Son of Heavenly Father

For our Active Faith to accompany this LDS Primary lesson, Jesus Christ Is the Son of Heavenly Father as taught to 3 year olds, I pondered on a method to make this message meaningful to these young children.  After a few days the idea came to me to make this book that draws a parallel to Jesus' earthly life and heavenly parentage, and that of each child's.  Since it is the beginning of the year and I have been out with illness for the past two weeks, I thought it would help the children get to know me by making an example book using my own pictures.

Materials Used:

  • photo album (I purchased these 4X6 photo albums from the dollar store)
  • printed pages (click here to print the pages)

Here is my book:

For the children's personalized pages in their books, I chose coloring page type visuals.  Before handing out their books, I gave each child the four different pages to be colored.  Once a child finished coloring their pages, I inserted their pages into their book and presented them with their completed book.

Here is the version of the book that each child received:

On the "I am a child now" page the child draws a picture of what they look like currently.

The boys received this page.

The girls received this page.

We had fun as a class "reading" our books together, finding the matching pages and helping each other to find the right page.  I challenged the children to share and "read" their books to their families.