Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tot School Week 16: (March 28th-April 4th)

Alyssa is 28 months old
This probably goes without saying PLEASE do not use the pictures on this blog without prior permission.  Feel free to borrow ideas from this blog, but PLEASE link back to my blog if you found something useful.  The use of small items requires close parent or teacher supervision at ALL times.  Thank you and enjoy your visit!!!!

REALLY LATE posting this week!  This was a CRAZY week for us!  I am sure everyone else is going through the same thing.  I had so much planned for this week and Alyssa was too tired for tot school.  We were on the run and out LATE almost every day this week (library, visiting family, shopping, etc.).  My CF Card was also full so I am missing photos for some activities.  Not to mention Alyssa has been camera shy lately (JUST LIKE HER MAMA).  I am sorry but there might not be a lot of action shots.  This week I TRIED to focus more on the Christian side of Easter, but we did end up doing a few activities related to eggs or rabbits.  Next week ... I will hopefully finish the other planned activities we missed this week.  We will also do activities including rabbit, carrot, chick, and egg themes.   
The Easter Resurrection Story
Books Read
We went to the library twice this week searching for related books and most of the books were already checked out.  Our library also didn't carry the BEST books for this theme.  I definitely need to purchase more books about the REAL Easter story.  We read more bible stories than books this week.        
Here is a list of books we did use:
Usborne Bible Stories: The Easter Story written by Heather Amery 
The Easter Story written by Patricia Pingry (the cover of mine is different)
What is Easter? written by Michelle Medlock Adams
The Tales of Three Trees written by Angela Hunt
Looking For Easter written by Dori Chaconas
Celebrating Easter written by Joel Kupperstein
Resurrection Egg pamphelt that comes with the eggs

Bible Stories and Songs
The bible stories were not read all at once.  I broke them up over several days.  If a story went with a certain resurrection egg, then I would read it that day (that was until we got behind).
100 Bible Stories and Songs
     Read pages 168-187 and listened to the corresponding songs.
     Songs: "Sing Hosanna," "Give," "O How I Love Jesus," I Love
     Him Better Every Day," "I Am the Way," "Into My Heart," Jesus
     Loves Me," and "J-E-S-U-S."
100 Ways to Know God Loves Me written by Stephen Elkins
     Read the story on page 28-29 "He Died For My Sins" and listen to the song "Do Remember."
The Singing Bible, Act 4-Side A "The Lord's Prayer," "Easter Song," and "Just Like Lightening."
A Child's First Bible written by Kenneth N. Taylor
     Read pages 218-237.
The Bible in Pictures for Toddlers written by Ella K. Lindvalle
     Read pages 122-141.
 The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories written by Kelly
     Read pages 427-479.

Bible Verse Memorization
I found this worksheet at Christian Preschool Printables.  We hung it up and Alyssa practiced reading it every day.  She also worked on signing the letter "H."  I traced over the H's and I used it for her verse to memorize that week.  

Sight Word Readers
Hubbard's Cupboard has two sight word readers appropriate to this theme.  I printed them all out for Alyssa to read this week with me.  We focused on the sight words when, does, and where.  We did the same thing that we always do with these.  We used seasonal items to cover the sight words and I wrote them on sentence strips for shared reading.   
Where Was Jesus?  I changed this into a song to the tune of "Are You Sleeping"

Easter Spelling
Alyssa spun a spinner, identified the letter it landed on, and found the letter tile to spell the word Easter.  The activity comes with paper letters, but I figured why use them if I already had tiles that fit the boxes.  The printable was found at Play2Learn.

I found my set at Hobby Lobby and used a 40% off coupon to purchase them.  This was my first time using these eggs and I wouldn't have it any other way.  The first time I ever saw these mentioned on a blog was Carisa's 1+1+1=1 blog.  You'll find the printables she made that we used here.  I wanted to open one egg every day opening the last one on Easter Day, but that didn't work.  We started and then our week got extremely busy.  So, we ended up doing them all at once.  We used them several times throughout the week.  Next year ... we will open one egg each day leading up to Easter Day.  I also had the plan to do at least one craft or activity a day related to the egg we opened.  But ... like I said things were crazy around here.    
First, we discussed what a "dozen" meant.
Next, I placed all of the resurrection eggs in a basket and mixed them up.  I asked Alyssa to put them in numerical order for me.
Then, I told her that they were very special eggs because they told the Easter story and how Jesus was resurrected (came back to life).
I read the corresponding bible verse (see other websites for shorter verses) and told a short story about each egg item.  Then, Alyssa opened up the egg.  We talked about what was inside the egg and I asked her questions to see what she could remember.  
After discussing each item I decided to lay the Resurrection cards fro 1+1+1=1 out in order on the floor.  I placed all of the eggs with the words on them in a pile.  Alyssa attempted to read the word and match it to the picture.  If there was a new word that she didn't know then she asked me for help reading it and she matched it.  Then, I gave her a basket with the story items.  She matched the story items to the written egg words.  There is a picture below that shows her getting ready to pray.
Here are a few other helpful websites about resurrection eggs:
Rainbow Castle
Love To Learn Place
Eclectic Homeschool Online
Annie's Homepage
Helium Easter Craft Ideas: Easter Eggs

Crafts and Resurrection Egg Activities
Egg#1: Donkey or Palm Leaves
Paper Bag Donkey
Alyssa colored the donkey pieces and glued them onto the bag.  Then, we used the puppet as a prop to retell part of the Resurrection story.  This activity was found at DLTK.

Donkey Pattern Blocks
Alyssa used pattern blocks to cover the black and white template of a donkey from the Prekinders website.  

Hosanna Song 
(Tune: "A Tisket A Tasket")

Here Comes Jesus
(Tune: "Three Blind Mice")

Palm Leaf Collage
This was supposed to be different types and shades of green paper.  But, we ONLY used green construction paper, because that is all we had on hand.  First, she tore pieces of paper up and then she used a glue stick to glue it on the palm leaf template.  This activity was found at DLTK.  She glued it on black construction paper when she was finished.  We forgot to cut strips along the edges.

You can find another palm leaf activity here, but Alyssa did not do it because it was too hard.  I posted a picture of the one I made and used as a prop during a retell.  

Egg #2 Silver Coins (See next week! I am a little behind.)

Egg#3 Cup or Bread
Bread and Juice Communion Snack
Alyssa ate bread and drank a cup of red juice for a snack.  We talked about what communion meant according to Mark 14:22-24 and what happened at the Last Supper.  This activity came from Little Hands to Heaven: A Preschool Program for Ages 2-5 by Carrie Austin. We read the bible stories related to the Last Supper and we also talked about how to pray to God.

Egg#4 Pray (See next week)


Egg#6 Crown (see next week?)

Egg#7 Cross

Counting Crosses
I placed a certain number of crosses 1-10 on the table and asked Alyssa to tell me how many were there without actually counting them (by sight - just looking at them).  She did really good with amounts 1-6, but she wanted to count touching each one for numbers over 6 (which was fine by me).

Playdoh Crosses
She rolled the Playdoh flat and used cookie cutters to cut out a cross for each color (three different sizes).  Then, I had her place them in order from largest to smallest and smallest to largest. 

Fine Motor
Lacing a Cross Necklace
Alyssa laced the crosses unto a string in a rainbow pattern.  She only did the pattern twice and then decided she was done.  She did wear the necklace for a little while.  She was very tired that day and in dire need of a nap so we didn't do much tot school.

Sorting Crosses
Alyssa sorted colorful lacing crosses that I bought from Oriental Trading into six compartments of a flower tray or on white plates.  The tray was found in Target's dollar area. 

Egg#8 Dice (See next week)


Egg#10 Cloth (See next week?)

Egg #11 Stone (See next week?)

Egg#12 Empty Tomb

Marshmallow Resurrection Rolls
YUMMY!!!  We tried these for the first time.  It was so much fun making them with Alyssa, but the BEST part was eating them.  I never did get an after picture because we ate them as soon as they came out of the oven.  This will definitely become a family tradition.  First, we read Matthew 27:57-61.  Alyssa dipped her marshmallow in the butter, cinnamon, and sugar (spices and oils used to anoint Jesus's body).  Then, she placed the marshmallow (Jesus) in a crescent roll (cloth).  I put them in the oven (represents the tomb) with a teddy bear guard.  We didn't seal the oven with tape as mentioned in several recipes.  We read Matthew 27: 62-66.  Daddy was actually home to participate.  We all had loads of fun doing this.  Most of the rolls were empty inside ... I probably could have cooked them a little longer, because there were a few that didn't melt all the way.  We set the oven for 350 degrees and cooked for 10-13 minutes.  We read Matthew 28:1-10 after opening up the crescent roll (cloth) and we told her that Jesus is no longer there ... He is Risen!
Notes: Cover pan with aluminum and try to seal the rolls tightly.  The recipe I used was found here, however ... the recipe is all over the internet just do a google search for Resurrection Rolls.  There is also another recipe out there called Resurrection cookies.  They are VERY different, but we will do them next year in addition to the rolls.       

Snacks or Cooking
Jelly Bean Prayer
The first thing Alyssa did was count out jelly beans to layer in a plastic cross as I read aloud the jelly bean prayer.  She identified the colors and I told her how many to count out.
Next, she sorted the jelly beans by color and counted out four of each color for her jelly bean prayer bags.  She made bags to give away to family members and friends on Saturday night. The jelly bean prayer was found here.  If you do a google search you can find other bag toppers, but I decided to use the ones from this website because it worked well with the smaller bags.

These cupcakes were layered with three different cake flavors.  I put about a Tablespoon of each flavor in each lined muffin tin sections.  The brown chocolate cake represented the sins that we have made.  Alyssa and I talked about what the word sin meant.  The red velvet cake represented Jesus's blood and how he died on the cross for us and for our sins.  The white cake represents a clean, pure heart and God's forgiveness.  We originally intended to use the box cakes in a cross shaped pan and to decorate the cake with things that represent the Easter story.  But, I was in a hurry and put it TOO MUCH batter so it was a flop.  The cupcakes turned out better.  Alyssa helped spoon the batter in layers into the muffin pan sections.  Ugg ... I forgot to take a picture. Things were so busy that night.  We used milk chocolate frosting.   

Other Arts and Crafts
Stamp Painting
Alyssa used foam stamps and paint to create an Easter and/or Spring scene.  The foam stamps were found at Oriental Trading Company.

Other Songs
Tune "Do You Know the Muffin Man"

Tune: "London Bridge" Words by A. Hubbard

Tune: "1, 2 I Love You" from biblekidsfunzone.com
found at Hubbard's Cupboard

Tune: "Jesus Loves Me" Words by M. Hubbard

Sign Language
Alyssa learned the signs for Jesus and the letter "H."  She continued to work on the alphabet signs.

Resurrection Memory Game

Rabbits, Chicks, Carrots, and Eggs
(More Next Week)

Scrambled Eggs: Number Words and Name
I usually have this activity in baby wipe containers using printables from Making Learning Fun and objects to count.  But, they didn't have one for Easter.  
First, I placed the letter tiles to spell number words (one, two, three, etc.) inside plastic eggs.  Next, I asked Alyssa to tell me what number word could we spell with the tiles.  In some cases she was able to tell me without actually spelling them.  She did have trouble spelling them without the letter template that I usually provide.  
So ... I decided to give her egg printouts with number words written on them (scroll down two pages).  I put them in the center of the table.  I also placed number tiles inside the egg so that she would see the numeral with the number word.  First, she had to find and match the number word on an egg printout to the numeral inside a plastic egg.  Then, she used the letter tiles provided to spell the number word.  
I threw in a special scrambled egg with the letters for her name.  She dumped them out and said, "Alyssa - A, L, Y, S, S, A while spelling her name with the letter tiles. 

Count and Sort Eggs
Alyssa sorted mini eggs into three oval or egg-shaped containers (leftover from last year's egg dying).  She used bug tweezers to sort the eggs.  She recognized the amount for two and five by sight, but she needed to count the egg container that held eight eggs.  She placed the numbers on top of the eggs.  I created this count and sort activity after viewing a fall count and sort activity at My Montessori Journey (scroll down).  Now ... I try to think of one each theme or month.

Sorting Chicks
Alyssa was given a basket full of chicks and three Easter baskets.  The chicks and baskets were found at Big Lots, but if you can't find them there I saw them at Hobby Lobby too (more expensive).  She sorted the chicks with tweezers (bug kit) by size (small, medium, and large).  She didn't let me explain the directions ... she automatically started sorted.  I did rearrange the baskets so that she sorted from largest to smallest.  She kissed the chicks and told them goodnight as she placed them in the basket.  So cute!  She even rocked the little ones to sleep. This was actually supposed to be used next week, but Alyssa spotted them on the shelf and brought them to her table.  So, we did the activity she wanted to do.    

Egg Carton Counting
I bought Easter egg picks from the Dollar Tree when they first came out in the store, but I wasn't sure how I would use them.  Then, I finally figured something out.  I cut the end off so that I only had ten egg containers.  Then, I used a sharp object to punch a small hole in each one.  I colored reinforcers to brighten up the activity and to give Alyssa an area to aim at.  I used the strips from Childcareland to write number words on them.  I folded them in half and stapled them on to the flag (well ... they still slid down, but that worked out better anyway).  I gave Alyssa the Easter egg picks (large ones).  I had her first look at the number written on the egg carton.  Then, I asked her to find the matching number word flag.  She pushed them through the hole in numerical order.  This activity works fine motor skills, number word recognition, number recognition, numerical order, and reviews colors.  This activity was a bigger hit with her than I thought it would be.      

Egg Counting Cards
Well, this is kind of like a Montessori activity.  Alyssa place the number puzzle pieces in numerical order.  Then, I modeled how I wanted her to do the activity.  This is one.  This is one egg and so forth.  I placed the objects down in pairs as I have seen on many Montessori pages before.  I also wanted to get some fine motor work in so I gave her bunny tongs to pull out the eggs.  She tonged out the eggs and counted correctly.  We are still working on the placement of items in this type of activity.  Oh ... and she gave up on using the tongs and started using her hands instead towards the end of the activity.  
Notes: Try to find items that don't roll unless you have velcro on them to keep them from rolling all over the place.  My daughter kept sighing when they started to roll.  She wanted things neat and in order.  I may even eventually start using velcro to help her see the correct placement of the items.     

10 Little Rabbits
We used finger puppets found at HEB, but they are also available at Oriental Trading.  I bought two packages so that I could get enough bunnies.  First, I sang the song to the tune "Ten Little Indians" and then Alyssa sang them song with the puppets.  We used the bunnies to create an ABC pattern and we discussed the pattern (blue, dark pink, light pink) - the last dark pink rabbit was not included in this part of the activity.  Alyssa also placed number puzzle pieces in numerical order underneath the bunnies and told me how many bunnies we had on the table. 

Just for Fun
Painting and Dying Eggs
Daddy missed dying eggs last year and was going to have to work again.  So, we did it a day early so he could participate.

Our Egg Hunt

Posing and Hunting for Eggs at Nannie's House

2008 and 2009: A Look Back

No Theme
Fine Motor
Lacing Sweet Treat Beads
She laced the beads unto a straw and a string.

Rhyming Basket
Alyssa pulled out her rhyming basket.  I placed one item on the floor and asked her which item in the basket rhymed with it.  She put it underneath the item.  She matched all of the items except for one.  I need to change out the items just in case she's just memorizing the rhyming pairs.

For more tot school ideas visit Carisa's 1+1+1=1 blog or for more preschool ideas visit Jolanthe's Preschool Corner.  I am sure I probably forgot to post something, so if I did I will post it next week.  Thanks for visiting my blog!!!


  1. I keep hearing about the Resurrection eggs - I'll have to get them for next year. They look fantastic! Those lacing crosses look awesome too. Perfect for sorting, counting, and lacing!!

  2. You blog is fantastic!
    You have an award waiting at mine, please visit:
    My best,

  3. I'm in awe, as usual. What a smart little girl, and what a dedicated mama. GREAT week!

  4. Absolutely amazing activities! Thank you for sharing--I can use these ideas next Easter!