A lot has been going on around here in the last couple of weeks! So I have at least four or five topics about which I want/need to write in the next few days. Unfortunately, my to-do list right now is quite long, but I'm determined to share (sooner rather than later!) about many exciting developments in our home and school life.
For starters, here is the outline of the Easter unit we started on Monday. I was thrilled to find the inspiration to put this together...and have been even more jazzed that (thanks to an innovation I can't wait to describe in another post!) we've been able to easily include all these activities into our days. I've included some description and links in case you'd like to try some of the ideas with your children.
The foundation of the unit is our set of Resurrection Eggs, a hands-on activity developed by FamilyLife ministries. Each day we sing part of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" (complete with hand motions), open an egg, read a corresponding Scripture passage (Rachel and Abbie have been taking turns reading the passages from their NIrV Adventures Bibles; they are thrilled that they can read the Bible for themselves!), and discuss how the object in the egg relates to the Easter narrative. Then I read one or two Easter-themed picture books from our home library, and we move on to an activity. It's taken us 30 to 45 minutes each day so far, and it's been a great way to engage the girls - even my toddler-age daycare charges - in the story of Jesus' death and resurrection.
MONDAY, MARCH 30
Egg 1 (little plastic donkey) with Matthew 21:1-9
ALL: Donkey Paper Craft
TUESDAY, MARCH 31
Egg 2 (three silver coins) with Matthew 26:14-16, 46-50; 27:1-5
OLDERS: Build-a-Verse activity using Romans 8:28
YOUNGERS: sort quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies (10 each) and count them using one-to-one correspondence
For the Build-a-Verse activity, I wrote each word of the target verse on a small slip of paper and put each paper in a plastic Easter egg. The girls opened the eggs and put the words in the correct order to make the verse. Then they copied the verse onto some lined paper and drew and colored a picture to illustrate its meaning. This time I used Romans 8:28 because, though it's not specifically an "Easter verse," the girls had recently memorized it. This was the first time we did this type of activity (made possible by this wonderful innovation I'll write about at another time!) so I wanted to start with a passage that was very familiar to them.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1
Egg 3 (Passover cup) with Matthew 26:17-19, 26-28 and Exodus 12:12
ALL: Lamb Paper Craft
THURSDAY, APRIL 2
Egg 4 (praying hands) with Mark 14:32-42
OLDERS: Paint Your Own Masterpiece butterfly
YOUNGERS: color or paint a butterfly picture, or Easter Scissors Skill Practice using a butterfly picture
I wanted to do something more creative than just coloring a picture of the Garden of Gethsemane or praying hands. I thought about doing a garden-type activity, but realized that early April in Wisconsin isn't quite conducive to that! So, when I saw the butterfly canvas at my local school supply store, I thought it would be a good way to illustrate how faith in Christ transforms a person (2 Corinthians 5:17) in the same way that God changes a lowly caterpillar into a majestic butterfly.
FRIDAY, APRIL 3
Egg 5 (leather whip) with John 19:1-15
OLDERS: Jelly Bean Poem
YOUNGERS: sort jelly beans by color
Rachel and Abbie will each copy this Jelly Bean Poem one time, draw an Easter-related picture, and make up a baggie of jelly beans to correspond with the lines of the poem. We will give a poem and bag to the parents of my daycare kids on their last day before their four-day holiday break.
SATURDAY, APRIL 4 (no toddlers)
We will be spending the entire day at The Big Event for Little Kids (probably yet another thing I'll want to post about later!) so we won't do any Easter activities.
SUNDAY, APRIL 5 (no toddlers)
Sunday school (Palm Sunday theme)
MONDAY, APRIL 6
Egg 6 (crown of thorns) with Matthew 27:29-31
OLDERS: Build-a-Verse activity using an Easter-themed verse
YOUNGERS: Easter Scissors Skill Practice on a picture of an egg or cross
Family Easter Dinner at church
TUESDAY, APRIL 7
Egg 7 (nails in the shape of a cross) with John 19:16-22
OLDERS: make a cross using perler beads
YOUNGERS: glue buttons to a cross shape
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8
Egg 8 (dice for gambling) with John 19:23-25
OLDERS: dice math activity
YOUNGERS: roll a big die and count out the correct number of or jelly beans
In the dice math activity, a child will roll two dice and use the results to make an addition problem. She'll write it out and solve, then do at least four more. Next, she'll do the same thing but make at least five subtraction problems to solve.
THURSDAY, APRIL 9
Egg 9 (soldier's spear) with John 19:31-37
ALL: Wildlife Sanctuary field trip (take a self-guided tour starting at about 9:30; program at 10:30-11:15)
Easter baskets for the toddlers to take home
I saw an opportunity to go to our local Wildlife Sanctuary on a homeschool field trip. Though not directly related to Easter, a field trip seemed like a good way to launch into the toddlers' long weekend. Hopefully, the weather will be warm and spring-like, which will give us an opportunity while we're out to talk about how spring is related to Easter (i.e., the idea of new life).
FRIDAY, APRIL 10 (no toddlers)
Egg 10 (linen wrapping) with Matthew 27:57-61
DVD: Worthy is the Lamb
Good Friday church service
SATURDAY, APRIL 11 (no toddlers)
Egg 11 (stone at the tomb) with Matthew 28:1-3
Color Easter eggs
Make Resurrection Cookies
SUNDAY, APRIL 12 (no toddlers)
Egg 12 (empty tomb) with Matthew 28:1-9
Eat Resurrection Cookies
Easter church service
Easter egg hunt
DVD: He Is Risen
Traditional Easter dinner at home