Posts Tagged ‘visual discrimination’

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!

We had a great time learning about the promise God made to Noah to never again destroy the whole earth with a flood. Genesis 9 tells us how He set His rainbow in the clouds as a reminder of that promise.

I’ll share here all the fun things we did to go along with this Bible story, including a craft, a game, a snack, a project, and a simple science experiment, as well as activities for nature discovery and visual discrimination. Are you ready?

Game: Rainbow m&m Sort

I got the template for this printout here, and—as is often the case—I adapted it before printing and laminating. Since my daughter is only three, I skipped the die-rolling component for now, and just let her match up the m&m colors to the rainbow template. (You could have your child roll a die to determine which color gets placed if you want to make it a little more challenging. I decided to save that for later.)

I told Remi she could eat the brown ones, since they weren’t needed for the game. In the end, most of what she did was place the candy—whatever color she happened to pick up—onto the rainbow for about two seconds, and then pop it into her mouth when she thought I wasn’t looking! The first time not many m&m’s ended up on the template, but when we pulled this activity out again the next day, she filled up the whole rainbow—and felt a great sense of accomplishment when it was completed!  This game was just plain fun, but was also great practice for visual discrimination (and yes, even self-control!)

Does she really think I don’t know what’s in her mouth?

Craft: A Rainbow in the Clouds

This was a simple craft, but it provided a great opportunity to review the Bible story while we “worked.”

Where did God put His rainbow? What does it mean? Will we ever have a flood again? (Yes, but it won’t destroy the whole world.)

We turned these…..

…into THIS—a beautiful rainbow in the clouds, and a creation for a little one to be very proud of.

We even picked out her dress in honor of this Bible story!

Remi loves using my paper trimmer—with my supervision and help, of course—so I let her help me get the strips of construction paper ready.

Squeezing out all that glue before adding the cotton-ball clouds is a perfect workout for those little hand muscles!

Gluing on the paper strips gave us a chance to talk about the colors of a rainbow, i.e. that every rainbow consists of the same colors, that they are always in the same order, and what that order is. No, I don’t expect her to memorize the correct order right now! (But you may be ready to do that with your child, depending on his age.)

Snack: Rainbow Sherbet

This one was a no-brainer! It was yummy, something we don’t usually keep in the house, and super quick and easy.  And no, we didn’t eat it the same day we worked with the m&m’s…..

Science experiment: Milk Rainbows

I’m a firm believer that there are only two reasons to do science with young children. One is to expose them to evidence of the all-powerful God who created everything in existence, and the other is just to have FUN! Please don’t make the mistake of making science a chore for your little one. Let her experiment, play, and have fun!

And if you’re learning about God’s rainbow promise, why not start by making milk rainbows? I’ve seen activities like this all over the internet (like here and here). We adapted ours this way:

1. I put some milk in a shallow dish. (I chose a white one so the colors would really show up.)

2. I let my girls add a few drops each of red, yellow, and blue food coloring to the milk.

3. We let it spread for a few seconds, then added a drop of liquid dish soap in the middle. Here’s what happened:

(There were lots of oohs and ahhs!)

4. I let Remi turn the dish slightly to swirl the colors around in the milk.

5. My 10-year-old daughter was watching us do this experiment, so I explained to her what was happening: The fat and protein molecules were moving around in reaction to the dish soap we added, and the food coloring allowed us to see the movement of the molecules. If you are doing this only with a young child, you may want to simply tell him that there are things going on all around us that we don’t even notice, but that God can see everything and He knows what’s happening, even when we can’t see it. (Or, just let him enjoy the pretty colors and swirls!) Simple and fun…

I also showed Remi how, if we hold a CD up to the sunlight, we can see the light reflecting off of it in rainbow colors. (She thought that was pretty cool!)  How’s that for a zero cost, zero prep science activity?

Visual Discrimination Activity: Pompom Sort

I gave Remi a divided tray and an assortment of rainbow-colored pompoms in three different sizes and let her sort them into compartments by color. (We used a sorting tray made just for these kinds of activities, but you could use a muffin pan, egg carton, divided craft box, or whatever you have available. Pompoms can usually be found at the dollar store, but you could substitute beads, buttons, etc.)

This was a little too quick and easy for her, but after she got them all sorted, she asked for some tongs so she could do it again with more of a challenge. Doing it this way provided great motor skills practice, too. (These are regular kitchen tongs I got from the dollar store just for Remi to use.)

Next she wanted an empty water bottle to put the pompoms in, which is great “work” for developing hand-eye coordination. **HINT: Follow your child’s lead and let him take the activities you plan in the right direction for him.**

Project: String Rainbow Cereal

This one is a classic. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule somewhere that says that at some point, your child has to string cereal pieces together to make a necklace. (Right?) Besides, it’s great for your little one’s hand-eye coordination, and something that can be done fairly independently.

You only need two ingredients: Fruit Loop-type cereal, and something on which to string it, like a shoelace or a piece of yarn. I used a lace from a sewing card set we own, and tied a big knot in the end to get her started (so the pieces wouldn’t slip off).

Granted, at times there seemed to be more of this going on…..

…..than this:

There were even times that both were happening simultaneously.

In the end, Remi decided she didn’t want it to be a necklace after all. She considered a headband…..

…..but opted instead for something she could swing around and around to get the dog’s attention. (???)  Again, whatever she chose was fine with me. The point was to give her the experience and let her get creative with it.

And now, for my favorite of all the Rainbow-Promise-related activities we enjoyed:

Nature and Movement Activity: Rainbow Walk

This is a great way to get outside with your little one and take a closer look at God’s beautiful creation. It requires no advanced planning or preparation, and all you need is your child and a camera. Just throw on some flip-flops and head outdoors with your little tyke and the goal of finding every color of the rainbow in nature.

This was a great opportunity to review which colors comprise a rainbow, and we didn’t even make it to the end of our block before finding every single one of them. Remi had a great time hunting for the different colors and taking some of her own pictures. I encouraged her to look beyond the flower beds and notice colors all around her. Here’s a sample of what we found for each—in proper rainbow order, of course!

Variations:

If the weather’s bad, you could do this same activity inside your home.

You could skip the camera and simply find the colors, or take a clipboard and some crayons along and have your child draw each object she finds.

Or, you could take a piece of paper in each color outside with you, and have your little one attach something she finds in each color to the proper page.

Get creative if you want to! I’m all for simple, but you could take this fun activity as far as you choose.

I hope you enjoy experiencing these activities with a little one you love, but even more, I encourage you to use them to reinforce a beautiful story of God’s promise to all mankind.

(This lesson makes a great follow-up to our Noah’s ark activities.)

Enjoy learning together!