Monday, April 12, 2010

Tot School Week 17: (April 5th-11th)

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!!!!

The Easter Story Continued
(The rest of the eggs and additional ideas as promised)
I know ... Easter is over ... I know this is late, but I am still posting it.
To see what we did with specific resurrection eggs last week check out my blog: Tot Play : A Learning Journey Week 16!!

Egg#1 Donkey or Palm Leaves
Cut and Paste
We attempted cutting paper ... together ... again.  Alyssa ended up gluing the palm leaves to the path after I cut them out for her.  We read the verse at the top and discussed that part of the story again.  We used a glue stick this week, because she seems to like them better than she did a long time ago.  She colored the picture later that day.  The path printable was found here.  I can't find the link to the colored palm leaves at this time, but I will link to them later.  The path printable website has plain palm leaves for the children to color.  

Moveable Donkey Paper Craft
We were going to use this for a craft, but ran out of time.  So, it was used more for coloring time.  The moveable donkey was found here.  

Egg#2 Silver Coins
Counting Judas's Coins
Alyssa used letter tiles to spell number words and matched number tiles to the numbers on the bags.  She also counted out the correct numbers of silver coins (mixed ones) for each number.  The paper-based activity was found at Making Learning Fun.  This was originally intended as a coin identify and stamp activity book, but I used it a little differently.  

Sorting Coins
You could only use silver coins as mentioned in the Easter story, but we went ahead and used all of them.  We talked about the characteristics of the coins (color, size, features, etc.).  Alyssa sorted coins into four clear cups.  First, I used fake coins and then quickly changed them to real coins because I had the back of quarter (eagle) and NOT all quarters have eagles on the back now.  I showed her the words dime and quarter on the coins.  I also showed her how to match the coins to see if they were the same size.  We discussed what was on the head and tail side of the coins.
Note: If you do not have enough coins lying around you can find paper coins online if you do a google search. 

Coin Bag Game 
First, Alyssa dumped out her coins and we talked about the characteristics of a dime.  Then, she dropped them in her cup one at a time counting up to thirty (with help of course ... but she seemed to be catching on quickly).  We did the same thing for my coins (quarters).  Each player would roll the die and cover their game board with that amount of coins.  The first one who covers their game board wins.  This could be used as a counting activity for one child instead of a game.  You can also use a spinner, numbered egg carton, or a draw bag with number puzzle pieces with this math game.  There is a bible verse at the top of the bag.  Before beginning this activity, we talked about Judas receiving 30 silver coins for betraying Jesus and showing the soldiers Jesus's location.  She's definitely liking the turn taking part of the game ... "Mommy's turn."  The coin game printable was found here.  I don't really know what it was intended to be used as since I couldn't find any directions. If anyone finds them or knows what this was used for please let me know - I am curious.        
Note: If you did not want to use real coins for this activity, then you could use paper-based coins or paint round items silver.  

Silver Coin Size Sequencing
I gave Alyssa a variety of silver coins (dimes, nickels, quarters, half dollar, and dollar) to place in order based on size from largest to smallest and smallest to largest.  I also asked her to point to the largest and smallest coins.
Notes: For older children, you could do silver coin patterns.  Make sure you wash your child's hands after handling coins.  You could even do a coin experiment first cleaning coins with different items.  We were going to do the experiment, but we'll save it for another day.    

Egg#3 Cup or Bread
Making Braided Bread 
(see Crown of Thorns activity)

Egg# 4 Prayer
Guess What You Hear?
I used the lesson found at Kid's Sunday School Place with a few minor changes.  I hid the objects behind Alyssa's Elmo sofa because I knew if she had the opportunity to peek she would have and this hid the items from her better.  I had her face the door and listen to the object as I made a sound.  Then, she turned around and guessed what the object was.  We used a harmonica, tambourine, frog snapper, cow bell, guitar, duck call toy, and a triangle.  We talked about how God knows who we are and when we are praying.  We also talked about where, when, and how she could pray.  Please take the time to read the description of the activity for more details.     

Prayer Bear
I did this activity a little different than it was intended.  We placed a can between the legs of her teddy bear.  We wrote the names of family members and other things to pray about on colorful popsicle sticks.  Alyssa placed a stick in the can each time we prayed.  We will eventually decorate the can.  This will be an activity that we use often in our house.  A paper version similar to this activity can be found at Bible Kids Fun Zone.

I Can Pray Bracelet
Alyssa used alphabet beads to build the words "I can pray."  Then, she put the words in order and laced them onto a pipecleaner to wear.  But, she didn't wear it for long.  A paper version similar to this activity can be found here.  You can see below that she put the letter C on backwards.
Notes: Fold the ends of the pipecleaner, because they are sharp.

I found this book at dltk, assembled it, and read it to Alyssa.  

Egg#5 Whip (SKIPPED) or Nail
Fine Motor Work
Hammering a Cross Shape
I was hesitant to even post this part here, but I am doing it anyways.  I drew small black and red circles in a cross shape on styrofoam.  I used red circles and golf tees to represent where the nails were on the cross.  Alyssa worked on hammering to build her fine motor skills.  As far as she knew ... she was just building a cross with golf tees.  I told parts of the resurrection story (without getting too graphic) as she worked.  She was able to tell me where the bad soldiers placed nails on Jesus and that it hurt him (signing the word hurt).

Sponge Water Transfer
The vinegar soaked sponge offered to Jesus was mentioned in Luke 24:48.  We were going to squeeze vinegar from one dish to another, but after I tried it myself (not realizing how many cuts I had on my hand) ... I decided NOT to have Alyssa do it.  We used water instead and I told her that part of the resurrection story as she worked.  She did this activity over and over again.  It has been awhile since we did this type of activity.  She smelled the vinegar and said P U hippopotamus ... anything that smells is a hippopotamus to her ... even though she's actually talking about the smelly rhino she saw at the zoo.  We eventually started yelling SQUEEZE really loud in hopes of getting more water out of the sponge.  We also talked about the word "absorb" and what it means again.     

Egg #6 Crown
Making Crowns
We were going to make and decorate a crown, but instead we did the activity below.
Crown of Thorns
This activity was found at Childfun and I was so EXCITED when I found it.  I spent a long time online searching for something different to do as an activity for this resurrection egg.  I think that this activity definitely qualifies.  I will be doing this for sure BEFORE Easter Sunday next year and we will probably add it to our list of traditions.  Alyssa and I folded, rolled, and braided dough (breadsticks) together.  After the bread rose, we placed sharp toothpicks in it.  We baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for I think 20-30 minutes.  Every time Alyssa did a good deed, prayed, or was well behaved she was able to remove a thorn from the crown.  We discussed why she was removing the thorns.  She placed the removed toothpicks in a spice container.  You could use a Parmesean cheese container (something with a small hole to help work on eye hand coordination and fine motor skills).  
Notes: I also used the Crown of Thorns for potty training since we are also trying to potty train and she seemed interested in the crown.  Alyssa was able to count and exchange her thorns for something on her chart.    
1 thorn=1 Sticker
3=3 Mini M and M's or a lollipop
5=5 Minutes REAL Guitar Play
10=10 Minutes Click Start Game

Thorn Crown Snack
She made a crown with peanut butter and pretzel sticks on toast for a snack.

Egg# 7 Crosses AGAIN
Painter's Tape Cross
Alyssa and I used painter's tape to create three crosses on Wonder Color paper.  Alyssa used the fingerpaints to color over the crosses.  I removed the tape from her paper and asked her what shape she saw and what color it was (white).  She NEVER puts things in her mouth, but she almost tasted the fingerpaint gel this week.  I am not sure what she was thinking.  

Count and Sort Crosses
Last week I used these crosses for counting, sorting, and lacing activities.  I found them at Oriental Trading and I just saw them at Hobby Lobby.  They are awesome!!  Well, instead of the egg count and sort activity I was supposed to do this one.  Alyssa sorted the crosses by color using bug tweezers or tongs.  She kept asking me where the rest of the green ones were before finishing the activity.  I asked her if there were any more in her cross container and she said, "No."  So, then I told her there must not be any more green ones.  She then went ahead and placed the number 1 on top of the crosses (she used the tweezers too).  She recognized the amounts for 1 green and 4 blue crosses, but needed to count the crosses for the 9 purple ones.  This activity was inspired by My Montessori Journey (Fall Count and Sort).  Every since I saw this activity on her blog ... I have been trying to find new ways to use each each theme I do.  

Cross Snack
First, Alyssa placed the bread in the toaster.  She spread peanut butter on the toast after it cooled down a bit.  Then, she used a toothpick to draw a cross outline in her peanut butter.  She placed raisins on the cross outline.  I saw a similar activity while searching the internet, but can't remember where I found it.  I believe the person used mini chocolate chips instead of raisins.    

Egg#8 Die  

Egg#9 Spear (SKIPPED for obvious reasons)

Egg#10 White Cloth
Baby Swaddling
Alyssa practiced wrapping a doll in a white cloth (like they did to Jesus' body after dying on the cross).  
Egg# 11 Stone
Write the verse "He is not here, He is risen." on stones - write one word per stone.  Alyssa placed the words in order on her own as she recited the verse.  Then, she did it as I read the verse aloud.  She also matched the stones to the words on the bible memorization printable from last week.  I made a new set of stones with the following changes "He is not here; he has risen!  The original set was made to go with the printable and I fixed the punctuation to match it.  Alyssa did this over and over again - I couldn't believe it!  As you can tell I changed the activity a bit towards the end to make it more fun.  I gave her a cup to drop the stones in and she enjoyed pouring them all out on the table.  Each time she placed a stone in the cup she recited that part of the verse and she put them in the cup in order.  The stones were found at the Dollar Tree.      

Egg#12 Empty Tomb
A Special Gift for Alyssa
Daddy was working with grandpa and came across some rocks (he knew what theme we are working on) so he brought it home.  He was so excited he told Alyssa he had a gift for her.  He told her a short version of the resurrection story and used the rocks to retell the tomb.  I didn't get a pic since he surprised us both with his findings ... so no action shot, but here is a picture of the rocks set up.  Alyssa was able to roll the rock away and see that Jesus was not there ... the tomb was empty.  Jesus is ALIVE!  Yah - THANK YOU DADDY!  The night before I was telling him how I was going to use a donut and a donut hole to retell that part of the story.  But, the donuts sat too long and made it to the garbage.  And ... this is what he comes home with the next day.  AMAZING!!!  

We had more activities planned for several of the eggs, but I think that's good for this year.  It is time for us to move on.  We'll just post the ideas next March or April.    

Easter Spelling
I found this set at Hobby Lobby on sale.  I hid the letters in the living room.  Alyssa rolled a die with the letters E-A-S-T-E and R or she flicked the spinner.  I also used the spinner last week for a different activity.  The spinner was found at Play 2 Learn Printables under the Easter theme.

Lacing Easter Letters
Alyssa laced the letters in the word Easter on a string.

Jelly Bean Prayer Bracelet
Alyssa wanted to make a second bracelet after making her prayer bracelet so ... I put this activity together at the last minute (hence the reason for the use of a brown pony bead instead of a black one).  I didn't have any black beads so I just changed the color word in the poem for this activity as I read aloud the poem to her.  The poem was the same one used last week.

Reading Easter Sight Word Booklets
This reader (When is Easter?) was also used last week, but this time I caught her reading it on her own so I snapped a pic.  It was found at Hubbard's Cupboard.    

Other Activities
Guitar Playing
Alyssa enjoyed playing her new guitar and singing nursery rhymes in her spare time.  She also played a couple of her favorite songs from the radio.    

Coloring Egg Sequencing
This printable was found at  Alyssa used the pictures to sequence the order of dying eggs.  I should have done this activity last week after dying eggs.  

For more tot school ideas visit Carisa's 1+1+1=1 blog or for preschool ideas visit Jolanthe's Preschool Corner blog.  

I hope you found some great ideas to use NEXT Easter!  


  1. I absolutely LOVE these activities! I didn't have a lot of time before Easter to think out Resurrection-related activities for my tot, so she ended up mostly with rabbit and egg stuff. I'm definitely going to refer back to this for next Easter! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I love the crown of thorns bread & painter's tape cross. Well, I love it all...but those 2 activities really stood out to me.

    The hammered cross is a very good idea. I think I understand why you were hesitant to post it, but honestly, it will help the story (as she knows it) to remain in her mind! What a neat idea!

  3. So many awesome activities! You are definitely one of my new favorite blogs to visit!! I love all the coin and cross activities! And the crown of thorns bread is AWESOME!

  4. You have great activities!!! So fun:)

  5. OMG! I whish I was on pre-kindergarden again and get to play all this games while learning! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  6. Wow! You have a ton of wonderful ideas here! I vote Easter all year round! ;) I'm pinning this too--thanks so much for sharing it at Teach Me Tuesday!!

  7. PS. I'm in Texas too! We're on the north side of Houston, and I totally love it!!