Posts Tagged ‘game’

Aren’t we blessed? We’ve been given so much, but sometimes we forget to acknowledge those blessings and the One who gave them. Do you want to help your child feel (and express) more gratitude?

Although I created this activity during the summer months, I thought November would be a perfect time to share with you a fun way to help your little one focus on being thankful for everything he’s been blessed with. This idea can be used anytime of year, and is a great take-along activity for when you need something to keep your child busy and quiet. I’ve also used it in my Bible class for when the children were just arriving.

Set-up is easy. Simply make a list of things your child is/should be thankful for, and search free clip-art for pictures to represent each item on the list. Put them all into a document and print them out.

gratitude game

For our game, I included a variety of material blessings, like houses, vehicles, toys, and books, as well as relational blessings like parents, grandparents, siblings, and pets. Some were very general, like sunshine and rain, while others were specific to my daughter, like her favorites foods (rice, bananas, and ice cream), her dog, and her two brothers and one sister. Some pictures represented physical blessings like a comfortable bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, and food to eat, while other icons stood for spiritual blessings like Christ, His Word (the Bible), and His church. (I used a building to represent the church, but wish I’d shown a group of people instead, for a more accurate representation.) I intentionally made the drawing of Jesus twice as big as all the others, and we talked about how none of the rest of them would mean much without HIM. His sacrifice for us is the greatest blessing we have!

Next, laminate the pages you printed and cut them out, adding a small magnet piece to the back of each.

magnetic pieces for gratitude game

Now, it’s your child’s turn! If you have a white board or some other large magnetic surface, great. But even a cookie sheet works in a pinch, and is nice for when you need this activity to be portable. Plus, it’s the perfect size for your child’s lap!

playing the gratitude game

My daughter was a young four when I made this for her, but it would work well for just about any age of young child. Simply give yours the pieces and allow him to choose which ones he’s thankful for. (Yes, eventually he’ll pick them all.) Each time he adds one to the board, have him tell you what it is and why he’s thankful for it. If you have tailored this to your child’s life, it should be very natural for him to express thanksgiving for each blessing, and it’s a great way to improve his verbal abilities while he has fun and focuses on all God’s done for him. Win, win, win!

One last note…Be sure you don’t use activities like this only at Thanksgiving time. We should be teaching our children that we are blessed all year, and we need to be grateful all year.

Enjoy learning together!

Fall is a great time for apple projects, and this week I’ll be bringing you lots of apple-related ideas, starting with some fun apple math activities today. Depending on the age of your child, these may either be challenging, or used as just-for-fun activities to go along with your apple theme and give your child something constructive to do while you cook dinner. 😉

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.)

Apple Measuring

We started with a fun, non-standard measuring activity where Remi used little apple squares to measure the height of various apple trees. I had her stack them next to each tree to measure, and then use that convenient, big empty space on the right side to write in her answer for each one.

apple measuring, non-standard

(I found the printables for this activity at A Teaching Mommy.)

Apple fingerprint math

Because we seem to have to find a way to introduce paint into everything we do—even math!—we also did this cute fingerprint activity. First, we read the book, Johnny Appleseed. Then, Remi dipped her finger in red (and sometimes green) paint and added enough “apples” to match the number in each box.

apple thumbprint math

My intention was to have her go back, once they were dry, and use a  marker to add little stems and/or leaves…..so they’d actually look like apples, and not just fingerprints…..but as you can see below, that never happened. By the time the prints dried, we were already on to other things!

apple thumbprint math 2

(The printout for this came from Fun Handprint Art.)

Apple roll-n-stamp math

Next, because do-a-dot markers make everything more fun, we got one of ours out and used it for a roll-n-stamp activity.

apple math, roll-n-stamp

I enjoyed watching Remi’s concentration as she carefully counted the pips on the die after each roll.

apple math, roll-n-stamp 2

Then, she stamped that many apples on her tree. (I got this printable from A Teaching Mommy, too.)

Apple pickin’ math

My daughter happens to love the game, Hi Ho! Cherry-O. I know this because she asks to play it ALL the time. And while I know the playing pieces are supposed to be cherries, they look an awful lot like tiny apples, to me…..or at least they do when you’re doing an apple unit! Oh, come on. You can see it if you just squint…..

To use them, I downloaded a lapbook pack from Homeschool Share which included the printable below, but I used it a little differently. I believe it was intended to be a mini book, and the instructions were printed at the top of each page for drawing in a certain number of apples. However, it only went up to the number six, and even though this was just for fun, I wanted it to be more challenging, So, I wrote in different numerals (up to 15, so I’d have enough “apples”) in red crayon in a random order on each page, and Remi had to “pick” that many cherries apples 😉 from her game-piece stash and add them to the tree.

apple picking math

Want more apple activities? Here are some that would be fun for younger children (toddler & preschool age):

Apple pickin’ match is a fun one Remi did previously. We love cut-and-paste activities!

Counting with a Playdoh mat also exercises little hands to prepare for writing.

You could come up with lots of apple-counting activities using these apple pony bead sorting mats.

And when you work up an appetite doing all that math, be sure to check out this post on Cheerful Learning for lots of fun apple-themed snacks!

Update: Also check out my posts on Apple Science, story time with Ten Apples Up on Top, and an Apple Bible Lesson, and find even more apple-related activities in our Apple Wrap-up.

Enjoy learning together,

In Genesis 11:1-9 we find the story of The Tower of Babel. It’s a story about a group of people who tried to rebel against God’s plan for them. It’s a story of how God thwarted their efforts. And it’s a great reminder for young and old alike that we need to do things God’s way, whether we understand them or not!

Remi and I had a great time learning about The Tower of Babel through fun activities and snacks. Here’s what we did; I hope you enjoy this story, too!

Bible:

Of course, the very first thing we always do is read the Bible story. It’s important to teach your little one WHY it was wrong for the people to build the tower. Way back in Genesis 1, God had said (in verse 28) to “fill the earth.” We talked about the house we recently built, and how silly it would be to have all this space but spend all our time crammed together in one room. In the same way, God had created a great big world as a home for the people he made, and He wanted them to spread out! But, they refused, and chose to do things their own way, until God took over and did it for them. (v. 8 “So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth…..”)

Movement:

As a movement activity, we played a game I made up called “Stop and Scatter.” When I called “STOP!” Remi had to freeze in one place to show how the people disobeyed God by refusing to fill the earth. When I called out “SCATTER!” she moved all around the house from one place to another to show how the people should have obeyed God . She loved this and it provided a great opportunity to contrast obedience and disobedience. (Plus, I love games that require no supplies and no advance preparation!)

"Scattering" like God said to do...

“Scattering” like God said to do…

(And no, the princess dress had nothing to do with the Bible story OR the activity. She just tends to wear them around the house and on this day her sister had made her a crown to go along with the dress.)

Math/Science:

We did a couple of fun, easy activities to reinforce the story. First, I cut some strips of construction paper in various lengths and had Remi arrange the pieces in order, from longest (on the bottom) to shortest (on the top), which created a tower shape. I printed the words of Genesis 11:4 on the bottom of a piece of paper and she glued the strips onto this background. (I got the idea here.) This was a good visual discrimination activity, as well, and squeezing glue from a bottle is great for those little hand muscles. (If your child is very young, glue sticks are a safe and easy alternative.)

Next, I did the obvious. I pulled out our big tub of wooden blocks and let her go to town building her own tower. Of course, she didn’t get to finish it, just like the people in the land of Shinar weren’t allowed to finish theirs! Remember to review the Bible story with every activity you do together. Building time is a great time for your little one to tell the story back to you!

Just for fun:

I told Remi I really needed her help. I then gave her several requests and instructions, but all were in a foreign language. (I spoke Dutch to her, but you could use any foreign language you know. And don’t worry if you aren’t bilingual. You can always speak Pig Latin!) This illustrated for her how it would have been impossible for the people to work together successfully once God confused their language.

Snack time:

For our snack we made Tower of Babel Nachos! We started with some bricks (tortilla chips) and mortar (grated cheese):

Bricks and mortar for our tower

Bricks and mortar for our tower

We used our building materials to carefully construct a big tower of yummy nachos to share with the rest of the family.

Tower of Babel Nachos

Tower of Babel Nachos

This Bible story is great for reinforcing importance concepts like obeying, trusting God’s plan, and following His instructions. Talk about these concepts with your child as you enjoy the various activities together, and please let me know how they go if you try any of my ideas with your little ones.

Enjoy learning together!