This extra time at home is affording us even more opportunity to dive into Bible study.
It’s been awesome…but has also meant my needing to stay ahead of the curve with ideas and projects prepped.
Thank goodness I already had ideas jotted about the days of creation and preparing has required me simply to pull together the necessary materials (most of which I had on hand but some I had shopped for prior to pandemic being anywhere on my radar).
Today I bring to you Day 3: Water, Dry Land, & Plants!
Creation Day 3 Supplies Needed:
Small pot (or other container to plant a seed)
Water (we used a spray bottle to help control the watering action)
Creation Day 3 Prep Instructions
Preparation for this one was quick. Mostly a matter of gathering the supplies. I did ensure the pots were washed clean and had portioned out the soil required for the project, but other than that it was a quick supplies round up, tuck into a ziptop bag and storing in the ‘projects prepped’ bin.
Creation Day 3 Project Execution:
We started with reviewing God’s great work on Days 1 & 2: -On Day 1 God said, “Let there be light!” -On Day 2 God created a large expanse, he called it “sky”.
Then we kicked off Day 3, as per usual, with the short reading from our Children’s Bible (Genesis 1: 9-13) and re-iterated the following points: 1. God gathered all the water together 2. He created dry land 3. He planted and grew all the trees, flowers and other plants 4. He looked at all his work and decided: “It is good”
The kids then set to work transferring dirt from the bowls to the pots, carefully setting the seeds and covering them with more soil and finally, watering.
We discussed how God will tend to our seeds and make them grow if we are diligent to provide them the water and light (that God also created).
Then we stepped back from all our creations (Days 1-3) and declared: It Is Good!
Side note: we used pumpkin seeds for this project because they are large enough for the kids to handle without any struggle AND I’m going to piggy-back off this project with a lesson on the life-cycle of a pumpkin (which I’ll share more on later).
Anyone remember “stations” or “centers” from their kindergarten years?
Each station/center offered a different activity and they were spread out around the room. Some activities required a little more hands-on help to accomplish and a “room mom” would be there to help but most of the stations allowed the teacher to float around offering assistance where and when needed.
We would be divided into small groups and assigned a starting station and then we’d work the project or activity there until the buzzer went off signaling time to move to the next station!
I loved kindergarten!
I’ve replicated something similar with my kiddos with one significant difference: these activities are designed to be done at the table.
Our high top table is situated away from any television and doesn’t allow for them to be easily distracted by their ability to get down and run off….or beg for “shows”.
I don’t have an issue with screen time in the general sense and both of my older kids have tablets (that they don’t have full-time access to and we use as a reward) but I also try to steer my kids away from wanting to be couch potatoes all day. Additionally, I’ve found that one of my kiddos tends to have more behavioral issues the more screen time is involved….so we just shoot for keeping them busy in other ways.
As part of our weekend structure, I attempt to plan 1 hour worth of table stations: 4 activities at 15 min each, or 3 activities at 20 min each — depending on the activity and the day and keeping in mind that you will run over an hour by a little bit as kids want to have a minute to finish up what they are doing and then the actual movement to the next station and getting situated to start a new activity.
Now that we are on “COVID-19 lock down”, table stations are becoming part of our every day routine (unless it’s nice enough outside for me to send them outdoors earlier than planned, and for a longer period of time before lunch).
These activities strive to foster age-appropriate learning, creativity and imagination, development of fine motor skills, and whenever possible: independent practice of skills.
The kids mostly think of this time as “activity play time” and they typically look forward to it.
We generally only run into a problem if we’re having a cranky day – in which case there’s not a lot to derail that from what it was destined to be and we resort to whatever works.
As our weeks in lock-down progress, I want to share with you some of the preschool table station activities that are going on at our house (in addition to the Bible study work that we are doing – which is separate from our table station work).
It is my hope that this will give you some ideas of what you can do with your preschool age kiddo OR scaling to whatever age group you have in your home.
Most of these activities are a “prep once” scenario meaning that once you round up the materials they are quick to get set up for use ongoing (but rotating through lots of different things before repeating to keep it fresh, new and interesting for the kids).
I keep several of mine prepped, all materials stored in bags and tucked in my “prepped projects” bin. Other activities are a matter of knowing where to locate them quickly in the house and pulling them together (maybe in a bin or tub of some sort) the night before for a quick next day set-up.
So….without further ado here is our “COVID-19 lock down” Part 1 Table Station Activity Line-up:
Play Doh: This one is simple to keep prepped with all the play doh supplies stored in one container. Our kit includes a variety of doh colors as well as some activity sheets, tools to roll out the doh and shape cutters. Cookie cutters could be used as well, of course. There are so many varieties of play doh accessories out there and I would like to expand our kit at some point (putting that on my 2nd hand store search list now!) but for now this is what we have and breaking out this activity every couple of weeks still keeps their attention.
White Board Free Draw: The fun of free-drawing time amps up a level (and holds their attention longer) when it’s done on a white board! A variety of colored markers and eraser allow them to create, erase, create, erase…. This particular board I found on amazon and it came with some magnets that are supposed to be a “replicate the picture” activity…but the pictures are weird, the book has long been lost as have many of the magnets because the activity wasn’t used as designed…well…ever at our house. I hung on to the cute little box with the top that has a white board on one side and chalk board on the other and it makes for perfect re-purposed activities…just like free-drawing (and all the markers, eraser, etc hang tight in the tray space so they’re not disappearing off the side of the table).
Color/Cut/Glue: These are a Pinterest find – or should I say a Pinterest SCORE!! This gal has created so many fun designs, for all different seasons and holidays and my kids love the opportunity to color and then assemble. Added bonus is they get to practice their cutting skills (I take care of the smaller or more difficult pieces), which helps strengthen those little hand muscles! Here’s a link where you can find and print your own: Therapy Source
Fine Motor Skills Bead Activity: This activity accomplishes matching, color identification and fine motor skills work. It’s a perfect trifecta! All of the materials were purchased at the dollar store (except for the wooden skewers, which I thought I had more of at home, but didn’t which is why our activity was limited in how many colors we could include). You will need: muffin tin, wooden skewers (I trimmed mine down to about 6″), colored beads, colored play doh How to set up: open the small containers of play doh and place in the muffin tin. Stick a skewer down into the doh and pour the beads in another muffin tin spot (or use a separate dish for the beads if you are doing 6 colors) How to play the game: kids match the colors of the beads with the color of the play doh and thread the bead on to the appropriate skewer.
A couple helpful hints to tuck in your back pocket about table stations: 1. It’s easiest to have everything prepped before bringing the kids to the table and when they arrive you can explain all the stations before they start (re-iterating instructions as you go, if needed) 2. When setting the timer, set a warning timer that alerts the kids they will be moving stations in a minute or two (that way they can try to finish up what they are working on and have resolution) and then another timer signaling the time to actually move. 3.Encourage your kids to do as much as is reasonable on their own, perhaps with your words of support and encouragement versus actually getting hands on and doing it for them. I’ve found one of my kids will play up that something is hard or can’t be done when the reality is that was an attention seeking tactic because the skill has has been demonstrated (and close to mastered) at other times. 4. Turn on some worship music for background noise
We FINALLY were able to circle back to some at-the-table activities and got Creation Day 2 workin’.
We’ve been taking advantage of every bit of mild temps and spending time outside. And, admittedly, when we have had some opportunity for at-the-table activities I’ve defaulted to some of my “always prepped” options because I haven’t had it in me (and by “it” I mean patience) to work through the teaching parts and hand-hold through completion of the activity as many of them require.
As it turns out, I am a master at lesson planning and prep but the actual teaching…not my strong suit. God Bless all these educators and Sunday school teachers with their over-abundance of patience for managing classrooms of 15, 20, 30+ young kids.
When I recognize I’m already thin on patience I opt for activities they can mostly manage themselves….
Anyway…we managed to crank this one out a few weeks ago but the world has been in a funny place and I haven’t kept up here (or anywhere else) as I might have liked….
So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Creation Day 2 Supplies Needed:
Paint: black and blue
Small jars for water
Egg carton: I like to use these for the paint and glue and toss when we’re done
Tape (not pictured)
Black and Silver Markers (not pictured)
Hole punch (not pictured)
String (not pictured)
Suction cup hook (not pictured)
Creation Day 2 Prep Instructions:
Gather all supplies
Half the plates: I chose to cut the paper plates in half because I don’t think my kids could have handled the “paint black on this side of the line and blue on this side” instructions. Use your judgement and half the plates, either with a line or by cutting.
Tuck all supplies in a bag and put in the “projects prepared” bin
Creation Day 2 Project Execution
The day of the project we started, once again, with a short reading from our Children’s Bible (Genesis 1: 6-8) about what God was up to on Day 2 and re-iterated the following points: -On the second day, God created a great space He called “sky” -In the daytime the Sky is BLUE -In the nighttime the Sky is BLACK
We then painted on half of our paper plates blue, and the other half black.
A little waiting time (which meant coming back to the project the next evening – and re-iterating the above points for repetition sake) allowed us to return to our project and glue the cotton balls in the blue sky to create clouds.
We made sure to write the following on our plates as reminders: “Day 2” “Black = Night” (on the black half) “Blue = Day” (on the blue half).
Then we taped our halves back together, punched a hole, looped our string through and are proudly displaying our work in the dining room window.
Having this displayed keeps God’s great work top of mind for us and even sparks conversation as the kids tell us often what they remember about the first two days of creation.