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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Rocks, Old Colanders, & Acrylic Spray

I LOVE collecting rocks of any shape or color.  I find most of them anywhere I LOVE to walk, especially along lake shores and paths.  It's fun to bring them home, wash them up, and display them in my garden.  I've used a variety of containers but found that repurposing old colanders work best because rain water drains easily from them.  I also found that some rocks lose their luster when dry so I sometimes spray them with a clear gloss acrylic coating that I purchased from a craft store. 

I LOVE this activity because I can hunt for rocks with friends and family of any age.  Some hold special memories and they all look beautiful wherever I put them!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Creation Story - Sunday School Lesson!

The Creation Story - Sunday School Lesson

To teach the "Creation Story" we did many activities.

1.  Students entered the room and colored a picture of the Creation Story.  We also had large rocks set at each child's spot to paint with water.

2.  The students met in a large group and sang a song about Creation.  (song lyrics to come)

3.  We read the Creation Story from a Children's Bible.  Then we gave each child a picture of something God created. The kids each came forward and placed the picture under the correct day;  day 1, day 2, etc...  After each picture was placed, the class said, "It was Good!"

4.  The children ate a snack.  We provided the kids with a couple of cheese cubes and pretzel sticks. We showed the kiddos how to make a sun by pushing the pretzel sticks into the cheese cube.  We explained that God made LIGHT!  The kiddos had a lot of fun with this activity and started to make other things too!

5.  While the children ate the snack we asked them to tell us different things that God made.  We ended up naming a lot of different animals and making animal sounds.

6,  We had the kids make a "CREATION" bucket.  Each kid got a gallon-sized ice-cream bucket that had been covered in scrap book paper and mod podge.  Then they decorated the buckets with stickers.  The stickers represented all the different things that God made.  The kids will use their bucket to carry their Sunday School Creations home each week.

7.  Finally, we said our closing prayer.  Each child thanked God for one thing He created.

This class was taught to 4 yr. olds.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alternative Science Experiments for Weird Animals VBS - Imagination Station

I'm in charge of Imagination Station at VBS this June.  These are the ideas I came up with to fit with the themes of each day.  The theme and the ideas don't belong to me.  Please check out the links to learn how to do each activity!  I also have a Pinterest board labeled "Weird Animals VBS".

Day 1:
Even when you're left out, Jesus Loves You.
"I am with you always, even to the end of the age"

Activity:  Gak

Get Directions at this link:

The recipe for this Gak is makes  larger quantity than the link above.  We used washable paint instead of food coloring.
- Elmer's School Glue
- Borax
- Clear Plastic Cups (2/child)
- Water
-  Food Coloring (optional)
- Ziplock Bags (to take home the GAK)

Connection:  Gak has a really unusual texture.  No matter how it is manipulated, it stays together (bends, forms, stretches, blows bubbles).  No matter if you feel left out or different from others, God is always with you – no matter your circumstance.

We have completed this project.  This is what I recommend:
- use tablecloths.
- provide the gak for preschoolers - they were too hesitant to touch it so the process of making it wasn't worth the work.  K and older LOVED it!
- We used gallon jugs of Elmers glue.  (Must be Elmers).  The recipe I used was 4 oz of glue, 4 oz of warm water, mixed with a few drops of liquid watercolors.  Then mix 1 tsp Borax with 4 oz of warm water.  Dump together and start mixing - USE YOUR HANDS!  I made a measuring cups (marking only 4 oz) with clear plastic cups.  The cups were pretty gross by the end (5 groups of 30 kids) but it didn't matter.  It worked.  That was way better than using measuring cups.
- We made the Gak in disposable dollar store punch bowls.  We threw them away when finished.
- Gave the Gak to kids on the way out the door.  We didn't want it all over the church building.
Super Fun activity.  Big Hit!

Day 2:
Even though you're different, Jesus Loves You.
"For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus"

Activity:  Self- Portrait

Get Directions at this link:

- Mirrors or picture of themselves
-  Elmers Glue
- black cardstock
- colored drawing chalk
- hairspray to set the chalk

Connection:  (I think we should actually face paint for this one instead of drawing self-portraits).  Everyone looks different but we are all created in His image, beautifully.

wet wipes take off face paint really well!

Day 3:
Even when you don't understand, Jesus Loves You.
"Do to others as you would like them to do to you"

We finished this project.  This is what I recommend:
- We used face paint and tattoos.
- The kids each had their own mirror.  We had a bunch at the church (not sure why).  Each mirror said:  "Rogain Works".  Ha! :)
- Use tablecloths for easy clean up.
- Kids painted their own faces and crew leaders painted kids too.
- Have lots of wet wipes handy!
- wet 1/4 of sponge with water and set in a bowl.  The kids can get the facepaint wet on the sponges.
Super Fun activity.  They painted happily for 30 minutes.  Even (most of) the preschoolers loved it!

Activity:  Color Spray T-shirt

Get Directions at this link:

Fun way to color a shirt {Preschool craft}
These pictures are from Kid Activities Blog.  They are not my own.

- White cotton t-shirt (Can the kids each bring their own?)
-  permanent markers
-  spray bottles
-  rubbing alcohol

Connection:  Permanent markers are supposed to be forever.  The alcohol makes the colors run together.  That doesn’t make a lot of sense.  But, the colors are beautiful.  (Jesus’ love for us).  Also, our actions impact others.  (colors running into other colors)

Here are a couple of links to order t-shirts online:

$1.94/shirt:)   Sizes XS-XL


$1.89/shirt....same sizes


$1.89/shirt.....Hanes 5 pack at Walmart

We have completed this project. This is what I recommend:
- Use the fat, new sharpies.  The color seemed to be much brighter and spread much more.  
-  Do this activity outside, especially if you have a large group.
-  If doing this activity with pre-schoolers use spray bottles that have a trigger.  They are easier to operate.

Day 4:
Even though you do wrong, Jesus loves you.
"  God loves us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins."

Activity:  Ice-Cream in a Bag

Get Directions at this link:

Tips for Making Ice Cream in a Bag
This image is a product of Coffee Cups and Crayons.  It is not my own.

- half and half
- sugar
- vanilla
- quart size ziplock bags
- gallon size ziplock bags
- ice
- ice-cream/rock salt

We have completed this project.  This is what I would recommend:
- Give yourself a lot of time for this activity.  I completed it in about 6 minutes at home.  When we did it with groups of 30 it took closer to 25 minutes.  
-  Make sure you do this activity outside.  We had to do it inside because of rain and it was too messy.  I wouldn't do it again.
-  This was an absolute favorite among the kiddos.
- Consider having the kids pair up.  It was a lot of shaking.  We used pairs for one of the groups and it was much better.
-  Make sure you use name brand bags.  You need really high quality otherwise the salt permeates through the plastic making a VERY DISGUSTING SALTY flavored ice-cream.
-  Have gloves available for the kiddos.  The ice-cream gets super cold!

Connection:  The rock/ice-cream salt represents our sins – it doesn’t taste good and it can’t be eaten.  Through Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross (shaking the bag) we are redeemed by Christ.  God always forgives and makes us new through Him.  (product is yummy ice-cream)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Good Friday Craft

We made this picture in Sunday School for our Good Friday lesson.  It turned out beautiful and it was super easy to make.

This is what we did: 

  1. I folded a piece of black paper in half.  I drew the outline of a hill and a cross and a half.
  2. The kids cut out the hill (Mt. Calvary) and the cross.
  3. The kids used water color paints to make the background on white cardstock paper.
  4. The kids glued the outline of Mt. Calvary onto the paper.  Some of the kids used vibrant paints and others chose more subdued colors.  Both looked very beautiful.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Triumphal Entry - Palm Sunday Lesson Plan with Craft

We celebrated Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem today at Sunday School.  The lesson was a huge success.  The kids learned a lot, had a ton of fun, and hopefully experienced the LOVE of our Risen Savior!!

This is what we did:

1.  We started the lesson with the students entering the room and coloring a picture of Jesus's Triumphal Entry.  While the students colored, a teacher traced the "Palm" of each child's hand and cut out several copies for each child  (about a dozen per kid!)

This is a link to many coloring pages of the Triumphal Entry:  Coloring Pages

2.  I read a book to the kids:  The Donkey That No One Could Ride

3.  The kids made a palm branch craft:  

*  We used donated stir sticks from Sherwin Williams. I tied raffia (purchased at Walmart) and contrasting green and blue jumbo yarn on the notch at the end of each stir stick to add decoration.

*  The kids glued their "palms" onto the stir stick.  I put glue on paper plates and gave each child a q-tip to use as a glue applicator.  

3.  I read the bible story of the triumphal entry and the students acted it.  They kids made a parade behind "Jesus" and the "Transformed Donkey".  My parents made the donkey in the picture below.  (Tutorial to Come!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Dinosaur Craft

Little Guy and Best Buddy requested a dinosaur project!  It was super simple and turned out really cute.  I LOVE the imaginary play that took place after we finished.

This is what we did:  

  1. I drew the outline of a dinosaur's body onto a piece of cardboard and cut it out.
  2. The boys painted the outline with washable tempera paint.
  3. I traced an outline of the top of the body so that I could draw spikes (triangles) and I cut it out.
  4. The boys sprinkled glitter on the dinosaurs while the paint was still wet.
  5. The boys glued the spikes onto the dinosaur.
  6. The boys glued a googly eye onto the dinosaur.
  7. They painted two clothespins each the same color as the dinosaur to use as legs.
  8. Attach the clothespins to the legs and let it dry.
  9. Play!
This project took about a half hour from start to finish.  If the materials had been pre-drawn and cut it would've taken less time.  The boys worked on this project while I made chocolate chip cookies!  Have fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An Easter Project

I LOVE flowers, especially in Spring, so when March rolls along I look forward to Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent.  It is then that I dig out my amaryllis bulb, pot it in fresh soil, give it water, and place it in the sun.  I continue to water it throughout Lent and wait for Easter's arrival, the time it typically takes for my bulb to sprout and bloom.  It is so easy that kids can do it!  After planting, they WAIT, and watch "new life in Spring."

If you plan ahead, you can purchase amaryllis bulbs during Christmas time.  They are available at several stores and I have found them for as little as $5.00 each.  Otherwise you can find them at Bachman's but expect to pay more.