Friday, March 29, 2013

An Easter Children's Lesson/ Activity

I saw this post on Pinterest and loved what I saw. I did use this for the last Children's Sermon that I had, but I didn't used the same words. So here is kind of what I said and then you will need to click on the link to see the pictures that go along with it. Here's the link and it is WAY COOL!!!

I started by asking questions as I folded my paper
So where are we to share the story of God's love? How about on a boat? (goes with the 2nd picture)
How about at Home or our friends house? (Goes with 3rd picture)
How about when we travel (this goes with picture 4&5 and I flipped the one side out so it did look like an airplane for a minute and then put it back the way it needed to be)
How about anywhere that we walk around (goes with the 6th picture)
Then you need to finish tearing the whole way through.  Now I did skip a few parts because I had 2,3 & 4 year olds.

But I showed the 3 crosses that Jesus and the robbers were crucified on.
Then I talked about the sign that hung above Jesus
The sword that pierced his side
And the dice that were cast for his clothes
Then I showed the tomb and that it is now empty.
I closed by writing out the word "Jesus" with the paper pieces

Such a neat way to share God's story with a single piece of Paper!

Easter Egg Decorating

Haylee with her YELLOW

Garrett checking his eggs

Andrew trying the rubber bands

Robert coloring 1/2 an egg
We had a fun afternoon at Nanny & Papa's decorating Easter Eggs for the Community Easter Egg Hunt. Nanny & Papa were both there helping and guiding the 4 grandchildren. Papa helped put on the plastic shrink sleeves and handed out the eggs. We used rubber bands, clear crayons, Q-tips, and plastic sleeves. Haylee had a thing with Yellow- I think every other egg she did was yellow. We had a fantastic pink color and a very deep blue. Amazingly enough - NO MESSES!!! I think we colored 6 or 8 dozen eggs. Fun Day

Easter Preparations

Okay so I have made my first butter lamb (for my mother-in-law). So here is what we did.
We had cold cream and poured about a pint into a quart jar and added 5 ice cubes and put on the lid- tight. Then we all took turns shaking the cream. We ended up shaking this jar for about 20-30 minutes. As you shake the jar you will get to the point that your thinking maybe this really isn't working and then all of the sudden you have a lump in the middle of the jar along with watered down buttermilk. I usually drain off the buttermilk/water and then put the butter into a bowl. I took a wooden spoon and worked the butter (a lot like kneading bread) to work out the rest of the water.
Then I used the butter lamb kit that my mother-in-law had and pressed the butter into both sides. You need to make sure that you get butter clear into the nose (I didn't the first time and had to fix it. A noseless lamb just won't work) Clip the mold together and freeze for at least an hour. I pulled the lamb out of the freezer and ran it under warm water for a couple seconds - you could feel it let go of the form.  I continued to follow the directions and took off the clips, opened the front and then flipped it onto a plate, but it fell a little harder than I was planning and now our lamb has a flat nose this year.
The Butter Lamb kit
Our flat nosed lamb for this year

We have made butter here in various ways, but actually putting it into the mold and molding it was a new step for us and kind of fun. Thanks Grandma for the butter mold.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Planning on Spring

Okay, I agree if you look out my window (um snow blowing, sleeting, cold wintry weather) you would not be thinking spring, but a cup of hot chocolate.  But here we spent some time looking at the seed catalogs and planning the garden. We have ordered some seeds and have soil in the basement. The table is up and soon we will be ready to start some seeds. We had some seeds left over from last year and are checking their germination times to see if the seeds are still good.  This is something that is kind of fun for the kids to help with. Take a plate and a paper towel. We used a 6" Styrofoam plate. Wet your paper towel and lay it on your plate. Lay your seeds on top and slide into a plastic Ziploc style bag and set in a warm location.  in several days your seeds should have germinated and you will see signs of life. And actually you have created a little greenhouse.

Stay warm and safe!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Different Signs of Spring- Ag Minute

Cornish Cross Broiler ChicksEvery year, I go outside looking for signs of spring. Little flowers poking their heads up through the frozen ground, the sound of birds returning , geese flying overhead in the northward direction, but there is one that I tend to forget about... newborns.
Spring is the time of year when there are a lot of newborns. New born goats, lambs, piglets, chicks, ducklings. This year I have been able to be part of the births of several sets of goats and of a set of twin lambs. I have seen baby piglets recently and I heard that it will soon be chick days at our local farm supplier.  These are no the normal signs of spring that I look for but I have been privileged to be involved this year in a new way. And it does remind me that Spring is just around the corner. 

So if you get a chance, this is a great time to visit a farm and maybe see some little ones about. It is also a great time to stop in to your local farm/ranch supply store and see if they will be having baby chicks. The kids love it, if nothing else to stop and see and maybe pet those little yellow fluffy bodies. (remember to wash your hands after petting animals!)

If you want to see more baby chicks of a variety of breeds, check out this link:

So go see what signs of Spring you can see!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pop Bottle Piggy Bank

Tonight as Cub Scouts we discussed how to use your money. To save, spend, donate and invest. Well after discussing with the parent providing that part of the activity, we thought that a divided bank would be really neat for the boys, but they were a little pricey to just give away. So I came up with this divided bank from a 2 liter pop bottle.

Take a 2 liter and wash it out. Then mark 2 1/2" down the side. You will cut with a craft knife about 1/2 way around and the width of the thickness of cardboard that you are using, at those 3 2 1/2" marks.  Between those marks going with the length of the bottle, you will cut small splits where the coins will be dropped in. You will need 4 of those slits. You will also need to drill a small hole in the bottle of the bottle for the tail

supplies needed
You also need:
 2 googly eyes (we used the peel and stick eyes);
 a small circle of adhesive pink fun foam (cut to the size of the bottle cap)
a black marker
1 piece of pink construction paper (cut into triangles)
3 circle discs, cut slightly bigger than the diameter of the bottle
1 pink pipe cleaner, cut in half
hot glue gun

You add the eyes to the neck of the bottle making sure that they are toward the top of the bottle where the coins would be dropped in. The take the marker and add the nostrils to the pink nose. Peel the paper backing and place on bottle cap. Take the pipe cleaner 1/2 and wrap around your finger to make it curly. The place the end of the pipe cleaner into the drilled hole in the bottom of the bottle.
Take your construction paper triangles, fold a tab across one side, and using a glue gun place the ears slightly above the eyes on the neck part of the bottle. The add the cardboard discs to the large slits in the side of the bottle.

You now have a piggy bank that is divided to divide your money or to sort your money. Just a simple activity to help reinforce money management to children.

Dr. Seuss Weekend

I was SO thrilled that Dr. Seuss's birthday was on a weekend and that the boys would actually be home!!! YEAH!! So I started thinking and planning- nothing too time consuming, but a little fun and then add a couple of books! Well we started Friday night by watching the Lorax and we talked about UNLESS. What type of things wouldn't get done unless they helped or did their part. I also made red jello and whipped cream Seuss hat desserts for during the movie.

Saturday morning before soccer, we had green eggs and ham (of course). This year I made green scrambled eggs and I colored the butter for their toast too. Garrett wasn't real thrilled with green butter on his toast, where Robert was like "oh it's part of the fun - it's just food coloring!"  Following several soccer games, we came home and had lunch. "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish" came to mind, and so I baked chicken nuggets and then cut little triangels out of both sides, I added an eye and a smile and they looked a little bit like fish.

Our chicken turned fish
The whole school of fish
Following lunch they wanted to play "Cat in the Hat Catapults", which we have to make a rythming word for the word that mom gives in order to launch the catapult. That lasted a little while ( we started that game a year or so ago). Then they wanted a new game for this year - so we played "Ring the Gack" - I took some light weight cardboard and cut discs, which they each colored and designed. Then they had to stand at one end of the table and throw the rings to land on a set of antlers form one of Gary's whitetail deer.  They thought this was great.

Rack the Gack game
For snack, I made up some vanilla pudding, divided it into 3 bowls and added food coloring to each bowl. I then piped the pudding into bowls, reminding you of the cover of "Oh the Places You Will Go" .
Oh the Places You Will Go Pudding
And then we HAD to make oobleck (requested from BOTH boys). It was an afternooon spent being silly and doing crazy things while reading several books too.

Working our version of Oobleck

I think I am going to miss Dr. Seuss Day when they get older. Maybe they will still let their mom serve Green Eggs and Ham at least!

Sand Spelling Words

Winter is still here in PA, but I have a boy that LOVES dirt and sand. I was trying to think of ways to make spelling word practice fun for Garrett. So the other night I grabbed a cookie sheet, a small bag of sand that I had left over from another project and his spelling words. We put the sand on the tray and he spread it out evenly then when I gave him a spelling word , he used his finger and then an unsharpened pencil to write and then spelled it out loud. That makes it practice times 2!
It was so simple and when he was done with his spelling words, he was allowed to play in the sand with his tractors for a while- which for him equaled a bonus!

Just a simple spelling word fun idea