A Christ-Centered Christmas — Blog Round-Up

Christmas Series

Before our Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions series starts up next week, I thought i’d kick it off with a round-up of some of my favorite Christmas posts I’ve found this year. There are some great thoughts and ideas in these posts so be sure to check them out!

If you’ve written a post about how to make your Christmas more centered on Christ I’d love to add it to this list. Just leave the url in the comments and I’ll add it!


 

When Your Holidays are Having a Hard Time Keeping Up With The Joneses | Lisa-Jo Baker (Surprised By Motherhood)

“By this time last year, I’d gained a little holiday weight already. Several pounds of dissatisfaction had settled onto the hips of my heart. This time of year there are so many rich lies about what you need to fill you up.

The holiday season seems to be a smorgasbord of expectations impossible to live up to.

I’ve seen the pictures. The perfect tree, the perfect mantle, the perfect advent calendar countdown experience for the kids. In the past it has made me look around our house with dissatisfied eyes.

I’ve worried about what I am not giving my kids. And then I’ve worried about giving them too much. I’ve swallowed down the impulse to rush around instituting a rash of new family traditions that seem to make other families so happy and fulfilled. I don’t bake or quilt or have the time or real desire to make an advent calendar from scratch. I am not a photographer or a crafter. But I’ve compared nonetheless. And I’ve come up wanting. And so tired.”

 

 Favorite Advent Resources | Tsh (The Art of Simple)

“I love the Advent season. There’s something special about the anticipation of something, about enjoying the destination towards a grand event. Advent comes from the Latin word that means “arrival”—it’s the anticipation of a notable person, thing, or event.”

 

5 Ways to Help You Be More Content This Holiday Season | Jessica (Life as Mom)

“As you know by now, the holiday season is ramping into gear. Black Friday ads, Christmas gift guides, and all kinds of marketing literally shout at us to Buy! Buy! Buy! It can be a little overwhelming when you don’t have an unlimited budget. And even if you do, it’s distracting from more meaningful pursuits.

I wonder if millionaires get in a frenzy on Christmas. I’m thinking they probably don’t. They don’t need to find the deals; they don’t need to plan ahead; they have assistants they can send shopping, right? Iknow that even millionaires and celebrities aren’t completely happy. Money doesn’t buy happiness.

Whether the bank balance has ten digits or two, we all need the same thing: to be content with what we have.” 

 

How to simplify the holidays without feeling like a Scrooge | Kat (the Art of Simple)

“If I’m honest, I think it all goes back to the fact I never knew my mom. Don’t worry, this isn’t a sob story, just a fact.

I never saw her leave a sink full of dishes or forget the snack she was supposed to bring to my school party. I never saw her stressing out about holiday cards or burn a batch of cookies.

…I never saw her fail at Christmas.

So, when I grew up with a home and family of my own, media perfection was my only example. I thought that in order to be a great mom at the holidays, I had to do All. The. Things.”

 

How to Write Christmas Letters with Free Templates | Annette (Blessed Beyond a Doubt)

“Several years ago we noticed a trend setting in with our oldest child, who was just six at the time. As Christmas approached that year, he quickly began telling us what he wanted for Christmas. There were tons and tons of toys on his list. Then he became obsessed with asking how many gifts he would get that year. He would tell me he got “X” number of gifts last year, so he should get “XX” this year.

Uh…hold the phone! Wait a minute! Did I just hear him correctly?

Did he seriously tell me he should get more gifts this year?

OH NO! That had to stop.”

 

Packing the Best Box(es) Ever | Amanda (ohamanda.com)

“I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and saw a picture of my friend Amy. Amy is the former Team Distribution Manager for Operation Christmas Child. She led my trip to the Dominican Republic along with about 8-9 other trips every year. She’s the woman who goes into these communities, schools and churches and organizes the whole shoebox shebang.

Anyway, here’s her picture:

But the best part is her caption, “It’s National Collection Week for Operation Christmas Child. Two years ago in Zambia, there weren’t enough boxes for all of the children that showed up. I sat outside with them and told them about Jesus while their friends were inside receiving a gift. They never got a box. Would you pack a box this week, and then another?! What a dream to have enough boxes for every child in the world.””

 

 

David and Goliath – Play Through The Bible – Week 10

Play Through The Bible wk10

 

Week ten of Play Through The Bible is the story of the David and Goliath. We used craft time as an opportunity to introduce a few more elements of David’s life, since this children’s bible only mentions David fighting Goliath. We had a lot of fun and hope you do too!

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Ten – David and Goliath


Focus Point

David trusts God.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “David & Goliath” starting on page 118 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “David and Goliath” starting on page 98 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • The first page of this story in the original Rhyme Bible is perfect for pausing and letting your child fill in the blanks.
  • We spend quite a bit of time contrasting how everyone was scared and ran away, but David was brave.

Activity

Pretend to be Goliath and have your child pretend to be the Israelites and run away from you. Then, have your child pretend to be David and be brave and fight with you.

Discussion

Parent: “Who was the big mean guy?”

Child: “Goliath.”

Parent: “What did everyone do when they saw him?”

Child: “Ran away!”

Parent: “But who wasn’t afraid of Goliath?”

Child: “David.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Samuel Coloring Page

http://cdn2.momjunction.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/david-throwing-the-stones.jpg

Day Two – David the Shepherd

DSC_3271Materials needed:

  • Green piece of construction paper
  • Sheep printout (we used this one)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cotton balls

For this first craft we talked about how David was a shepherd and not a warrior. We used the pictures on pages 120-123 of David with sheep as a reference.

 

DSC_3277 If you want, cut the sheep out and glue it to the green paper. I did that to get rid of the extra words and stuff on the printout.

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Put some glue on body of the sheep.

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Then put the cotton balls on the sheep.

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Day Three – Five Stones in a Stream

 

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Materials needed:

  • Green construction paper
  • Five stones cut out of gray construction paper
  • Blue construction paper cut into a wavy strip
  • Glue stick

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Put some glue on the back of the blue paper.

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Place in the center of the green paper.

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Glue the stones to the “river.” We’ve been doing a lot of counting lately so we took some time to count the stones and make sure there was five.

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Day Four – Giant Goliath

 

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Materials needed:

  • Googly eyes and glue (optional)
  • Markers
  • Large roll of butcher paper (not pictured)

The idea for this craft came from Heather Haupt of Cultivated Lives. You can check out her post here, which is more detailed than what we did.

 

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Roll out some paper and trace the outline of a giant person. As you can see I have mad drawing skills! If K was a little older I would have had him give it a go instead.

DSC_3302If you want, add some eyes. We just recently purchased some fun googly eyes and K was really wanting to use them.

DSC_3304Go to town coloring! If you have more artistic ability than this mama, your Goliath might look less like a business man and more like a warrior.

DSC_3307After we were done coloring, we hung Goliath up on the wall.

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The giant on our wall has been a great continual conversation starter.

Day Five – King David

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Materials needed:

  • 1-2 sheets of yellow paper
  • Scissors
  • Dot markers

Another aspect of the story that wasn’t covered was David’s ascension to kingship. So, we talked about how David eventually became the king and made a fun crown.

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First, cut out your paper into a crown shape. I freehanded a simple shape, but if you don’t want to, you could use a template like one of the ones found here.

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Use the dot markers to decorate the crown. If you have sequins or glitter glue or the like you could use that as well.

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Tape the two piece together and then measure around your child’s head and tape again to get the right fit.

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A crown fit for royalty!

Extra Resources

We enjoyed the song Only a Boy Named David

 


It’s Thanksgiving next week so we’ll be taking a week off of Play Through The Bible!

I hope you enjoyed week seven of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links may be included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

COMING SOON: A Christ-Centered Christmas

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Ahhhh.. Christmas. It’s one of the best times of the year. Even before our son was born, I planned the ways we would celebrate this beautiful time. I knew I wanted Christmas to mean something. To be special. And not because of the elaborate parties or expensive gifts, but because it was focused on celebrating the birth of the Savior of the World. So, I spend hours combing the internet for ideas. I did Google searches, hopped from blog to blog, and sifted through the Elf on the Shelf pins on Pinterest. It took time, but I found a lot of good ideas. As Christmas was approaching once again this year, I was thinking back to all that research I had done. I thought: “What if there was a way to make that process easier?” And an idea was born. I reached out to other bloggers and a new series was developed, one I hope to cultivate for years to come.

I am very excited to announce that coming in December will be a series completely devoted to gathering together ways to keep Christ at the center of Christmas. Yes, some of these traditions and ideas you will not be able to incorporate into this year’s celebrations, but I think that’s a good thing. Take some time to reflect on them and on your current ways of celebrating the season. Take time to think through what will work best and be the most meaningful for your family. Take time to make the traditions yours. And don’t go trying to start them all at once. I’ve found that trying out one or two at a time is perfect. Keep it simple and find your own rhythm for celebrating the season.

The series will begin December 1st, so if you don’t want to miss a post, please take a moment and enter your e-mail address below or in the sidebar to be sent weekly updates.

Christmas Series

Samuel – Play Through The Bible – Week 9

 

Play Through The Bible wk9

Week nine of Play Through The Bible is the story of the call of Samuel.

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Nine – The Call of Samuel


Focus Point

Samuel listened to God.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Samuel Listens” starting on page 110 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “Samuel Listens” starting on page 88 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • On the first page of the story in The Rhyme Bible talk about how Hannah prayed for a son. Talk about the things that you can pray for.
  • Go back over the part where Samuel kept going to Eli and act it out.

Activity

Grab a couple of people figurines and some cloths. Fold the cloths into little beds and use the people to act out the story between Eli and Samuel. Talk about how Samuel was listening to Eli and to God.

Discussion

Parent: “Where did Samuel go when he heard his name called?”

Child: “To Eli.”

Parent: “What did Eli say?”

Child: “It wasn’t me – go to bed!”

Parent: “Who was really calling Samuel?”

Child: “God!”

Daily Craft

Day One – Samuel Coloring Page

http://teachkidsaboutchrist.com/old-testament/god-calls-samuel-coloring-page

Day Two – Prayer Bucket

 

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Materials needed:

  • Container from the recycling (I used a peanut butter container)
  • Craft sticks
  • Markers
  • Stickers

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Use the stickers to decorate the container.

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Then have your child list the things he or she wants to pray for and then write them down on the craft sticks. Then, when you have your time to pray together choose one of the sticks and pray about what is written down.

 

Day Three – Samuel Listens

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Materials needed:

  • Any color construction paper (we used blue)
  • Picture of your child
  • Large ears printout (inspired by the craft from here)
  • Markers
  • Glue stick (not pictured)
  • Scissors (not pictured)

 

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Cut out the picture of your child and put some glue on the back.

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Glue the picture right into the middle of your paper.

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Cut out the ears and use the markers to color the ears.

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Glue the ears and place on either side of the head. We also wrote “I can listen” on the bottom of the paper.

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Day Four – Samuel Gets Called

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Materials needed:

  • Samuel coloring page (we used this one)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush

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We’ve been enjoying painting lately, so we just decided to print out another Samuel coloring sheet and paint it! We also decided to take a break and only do four craft days this week.

 

Extra Resources

We didn’t find any this week. Do you have any fun Samuel related resources? I’d love to hear about them!

 


 

I hope you enjoyed week seven of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links may be included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Joshua and the Wall – Play Through The Bible – Week 8

Play Through The Bible wk8

Week eight of Play Through The Bible is the story of Joshua and the wall of Jericho.

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Eight – Joshua and the Wall


Focus Point

Joshua obeyed God and the wall fell down.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “The Walls Fall Down” starting on page 102 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “The Wall Falls” starting on page 70 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • In the toddler Rhyme Bible Joshua isn’t mentioned by name, so if you are only reading out of that version you might want to pick one of the guys on the first page and name him Joshua.
  • Go over what Joshua and the Israelites had to do to get the wall to fall. Talk about how they obeyed God and it worked!

Activity

First, set up a wall with whatever materials you have on hand. We used couch cushions, but you could use blocks, pillows, plastic cups, etc.  Once you’ve got your walls up, re-enact the story.

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First, we walked around quietly six times…

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Then, on the seventh time we pretended to play a trumpet. (Ah Tinker-Toys.. so versatile!)

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Next is the fun part! We shouted as loud as we could…

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and knocked the walls down!

 

Discussion

Parent: “What did Joshua have to do for the walls to fall down?”

Child: “Walk around the wall.”

Parent: “Did they walk loud or quiet at first?”

Child: “Quiet.”

Parent: “And then what did they do?”

Child: “Blew the trumpet and shouted!”

Parent: “Yep! And then the wall came down!”

Daily Craft

Day One – Joshua Coloring Page

http://www.biblewise.com/kids/fun/coloring/fall-of-jericho.php

Day Two – The Walls of Jericho

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Materials needed:

  • Gray or brown construction paper
  • White construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

 

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First, cut the gray paper into strips.

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Then you need to cut the strips into squares… or you can have your amazing assistant do it.

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You’ll have a nice pile of squares and rectangles. You won’t need all of them though.

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Then, all you need to do is glue the squares onto your paper like a wall. We used the picture from the story as an example. I let K go to town, so his wall wasn’t an exact replica – but he really enjoyed building his wall.

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Day Three – Shape Trumpet

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Materials needed:

  • Any color construction paper (K chose red)
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

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Cut a triangle, oval, and rectangle out of the yellow paper. This is a good time to sneak in a little talk about shapes!

DSC_3223

 

Glue the rectangle onto the center of the page.
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Glue the oval onto the end of the rectangle.

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Glue the triangle onto the other end.

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And you’re done!

Day Four – Trumpet #2

DSC_3206

Materials needed:

  • Paper towel tube
  • Markers
  • 2 liter bottle (optional)
  • Hot glue gun (optional)
  • Scissors (optional)

DSC_3229Use the markers to decorate the tube.

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If you want, you can stop there, as it makes a pretty nice (and simple!) trumpet as is!

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If you want to keep going, cut off the top of the 2 liter and use the hot glue gun to attach it to the tube.

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Do-do-dooooo!

 

Day Five: The Walls Can Fall Down

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Materials needed:

  • 2 cereal boxes
  • Markers
  • Scissors

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To prepare the craft, first break apart the boxes and cut the top and bottom flaps off. Then cut each panel in half. After I did that, I drew a quick brick pattern on the pieces.

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Next, use the markers to decorate your walls a bit.

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That’s all – grab some “Israelites” and act out the story!

 

Extra Resources

– K really loved listening to this song – Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho

– We had fun watching this Veggie Tales clip – Joshua and the Jericho Wall

 

 


 

I hope you enjoyed week seven of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links may be included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Moses – Play Through The Bible – Week 7

 

Play Through The Bible7

Week seven is about Moses and the story of the Exodus. There’s a lot happening in this story, but I tried to break it down to toddler level through the activity and craft and it ended up going over really well. There is so much rich theology in the story of the Exodus, but first you’ve got to lay the groundwork – and that’s exactly what we start doing here.

Something fun that I found happening this week was that whenever I would ask K a question about the lesson, he would run for his Bible to find the answer. I hope this is a habit we can keep going for his whole life!

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Seven – Moses and the Exodus


Focus Point

God sent Moses to set His people free.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Out of Egypt” starting on page 92 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “God Helps Us” starting on page 60 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • This story has a lot going on! We spent a lot of time going back through the pages to talk about what was happening. We mainly used the original Rhyme Bible because the toddler version didn’t give very much detail. If your child isn’t quite ready to go through all the details, though, definitely focus on the simpler version.
  • On the first page I emphasized that Moses lived with the king, but then he got in big trouble and he ran away. Then I had K run away like Moses. He loved that and does it every time we read the story now.
  • The page with the burning bush was a little confusing for K. First, we had to talk a little bit about how God talks to people in different ways and here God used fire to talk to Moses (he wondered if we were going to set a tree on fire – haha). Even though it was confusing, he really liked the idea of a burning bush. This is also the first time he was being introduced to the concept of God’s people. I didn’t delve into it too much, but we did talk about how God’s people were slaves and had to work really hard for mean Pharaoh.
  • On the page with Pharaoh we talked more about God’s people working for mean Pharaoh. We also pointed out who was Pharaoh and who was Moses. I asked “when Moses said let the people go what did Pharaoh say?” It didn’t take him long to remember to shout “no!” and he had fun with that.
  • We didn’t focus on the plagues too much, since there is already so much information. I just said that God sent frogs and bugs and stuff to get Pharaoah to let the people go. We talked about it a little more when he did the plague craft.
  • On the last page I tried to explain what it meant for them to go through the sea. Also a tricky concept! The activity definitely helped a little bit.

Activity

Using two blue blankets or sheets, drape them over chairs to create a walkway between. If you want you can cut out a few construction paper fish and tape them on the blankets. I found a robe and a wooden dowel rod to use as a Moses costume and we were set! This pretend play for crossing the sea is a great time to further explain that concept.

redsea

Discussion

Parent: “Who talked to Moses from the burning bush?”

Child: “God.”

Parent: “Yeah, thats right. He told Moses to go set his people free from mean Pharaoh. Did Moses do it?”

Child: “Yes!”

Parent: “What did Pharaoh say when Moses said to let the people go?”

Child: “No!”

Parent: “Yep, but he changed his mind did he? What did Moses and the people go through when they left?”

Child: “The sea.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Moses Coloring Page

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3tMT5wHHkCE/T4iK27NuRmI/AAAAAAAACLA/n9EbSyPHKTU/s1600/Moses%2Band%2Bthe%2Bburning%2Bbush.jpeg

Day Two – Burning Bush #1

 

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Materials needed:

  • Burning bush printout (ours was from here)
  • Orange and red construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

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First, take your orange and red paper and cut into strips. From there, it needs to be cut into smaller squares. This is a great cut for a beginning scissor user because the wonky looking shapes just add to the fiery look!

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I chose to cut out the bush and paste it onto another piece of paper since it was printed a bit off center. This is optional!

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Cover the bush in glue. A glue stick would work here too.

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Place the cut up pieces of red and orange paper onto the glue.

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All done and very fiery looking!

Day Three – Burning Bush #2

 

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Materials needed:

  • Red paint
  • Play doh/clay/salt dough
  • Small sticks
  • Paint brush (not pictured)

Since K loved the concept of the burning bush so much, we decided to do two burning bush crafts!

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Using the red paint, paint some fire onto those sticks.

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We placed the sticks on a piece of wax paper to dry. If you wanted to hurry this process you could put them in a warm oven for a bit (but then I might use parchment paper instead).

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After your sticks are dry, poke them into the play doh to make a bush.

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You’ve gotta stick quite a few in there to get it looking “bush-like.”

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One of the best parts about little kids is their great imagination. K had no problem using this little race car driver as a Moses while playing with his burning bush.

Day Four – Frogs, Locusts, and Flies OH MY!

 

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Materials needed:

  • Pharaoh printout (we got ours here)
  • Frog, locust, and flies clip art (download the printable here – Moses Crafts Printable)
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

DSC_3120If your child wants, first color the Pharaoh page. K is hit or miss with coloring, so he didn’t want to. Then, you need to cut out the bugs and frogs (can be done beforehand). All there is to it after that is just gluing the bugs and frogs onto Pharaoh. We focused just on the plagues mentioned in the story and used this craft to talk a little more about how God sent them to get Pharaoh to let the people go.

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Day Five: Crossing the Red Sea

 

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Materials needed:

  • Moses clip art (can be found on day 4’s printable – Moses Crafts Printable)
  • 2 sheets of blue construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors

When I saw this craft on Growing Kids Ministry, I knew that we were going to have to use it for our Moses week. Below is how we did it, but you can find the original craft here.

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First, cut the blue piece of paper in half long-ways.

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Next, cut strips in both halves of the blue paper up until about an inch away from the edge.

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Put some glue on the back of the blue paper where you didn’t cut.

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Stick it down on lined up with the edge of the brown paper, with the strips facing in.

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Then, bend the strips up.

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Cut out Moses and bend up the paper underneath him. Then, glue Moses onto the edge of your “red sea.”

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Mr. Racecar driver makes another appearance! This time as an Israelite crossing the sea.

 

 

Extra Resources

– I wanted to have K watch The Prince of Egypt, but couldn’t get my hands on a copy. We will have to check the local library and watch it soon!

– K really enjoyed the song “Pharaoh Pharaoh

 

 


 

I hope you enjoyed week seven of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links may be included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Baby Moses – Play Through The Bible – Week 6

Play Through The Bible6

 

Week six of Play Through The Bible focuses on the story of baby Moses. It is a fun story that is always popular with the little ones.

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Six – Baby Moses

Focus Point

Moses’ mother saved him from Pharaoh by putting him in a basket in the river.

Story Time Tips

  • We focused mainly on the story “The Princess and the Baby” starting on page 84 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook.
  • Take a minute to talk about Pharaoh on the first page of the story and how he is the mean guy/bad guy. I did mention that he was the mean guy because he said all the baby boys had to be thrown in the river, but I didn’t dwell on it because I could sense it was a little much for my sensitive hearted 2 1/2 year old.
  • Pretend to be a baby like Moses.

Activity

Wrap your child up in a blanket and put them in a laundry basket to pretend to be baby Moses. Push them for a ride down the “Nile.” If you have it, you could even put a blue blanket under the basket for the water.

Discussion

Parent: “Where did Pharaoh say the baby boys had to go?”

Child: “The river.”

Parent: “Yeah, he was a mean guy! Where did Moses’ mom put him?”

Child: “In a basket.”

Parent: “Yep, she put him in a basket in the river so he’d be safe. Who found him?”

Child: “The princess.”

Parent: “Yep, that’s right. Moses grew up in the palace.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Baby Moses Coloring Page

http://www.toddler-activities-at-home.com/support-files/baby-moses.pdf

Day Two – Floating Down The River

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Materials needed:

  • Brown piece of construction paper
  • Skinny strip of blue construction paper
  • Thicker strip of blue construction paper, cut wavy
  • Short, skinny strip of blue construction paper
  • Brown oval
  • Glue stick
  • Crayons

DSC_3032Start by making a little baby Moses figure on the oval. I drew a circle with a simple face and K colored in the rest to look like a blanket.

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Put some glue on the back of the wavy blue paper.

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Put in down the middle of the brown piece of paper. This will be your “river.”

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Next, glue the skinny piece of blue paper down the middle of the river. Only glue it on one side.

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Put some glue on the tips of the little strip of blue paper.

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Put the blue strip on the back of the brown oval.

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Slide the oval onto the skinny strip of paper and then glue the other side down.

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Now baby Moses can slide up and down the river! Just learn from our mistake and let it dry first! :)

Day Three – Baby Moses

DSC_3029

Materials needed:

  • Tissue (alternately, a small piece of cloth)
  • Large craft stick
  • Markers
  • Scissors (not pictured)

DSC_3047First, cut off about a third of the craft stick.

DSC_3048Add a face and color the “clothes.”

DSC_3053Then, color your tissue “blanket.” K decided to practice his lines.

DSC_3056Wrap baby Moses in his blanket. Funny face optional. :)

Day Four – The Basket

DSC_3030

Materials needed:

  • Paper sack
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Glue Stick

DSC_3057Cut a rectangle out of the paper sack. Our was probably approximately 6×4 inches.

DSC_3059Mark approximately one inch squares in the corners of the paper and cut them out.

DSC_3064Color one or both sides of the paper.

DSC_3065Fold up the sides.

DSC_3067Grab those little squares you cut out earlier.

DSC_3068Fold those squares in half and coat the inside with the glue stick.

DSC_3069Use the squares to hold the corners together.

DSC_3071

Put baby Moses in his basket.

DSC_3072All nestled in!

Day Five: The River

DSC_3031

Materials needed:

  • Cereal box
  • 2-3 sheets of blue construction paper
  • Blue marker
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Elmer’s glue (not pictured)

DSC_3073Cut out the sides of the cereal box.

DSC_3074

Bend up the sides of the cardboard about an inch.

DSC_3076

Glue the two pieces together.

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Use the blue marker to color in the brown cardboard a bit. We didn’t find this made that much of a difference though, so you could skip it if you want.

babymo

Next is the fun part. Take the blue paper and tear it into smaller pieces. Using a fierce face is most definitely a requirement for this task!

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Now doesn’t that look like fun?!

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Next, drizzle some glue inside your boxes. I was going to use a glue stick, but decided Elmer’s glue would be easier.

babymo2

Take your torn and crumpled pieces of blue paper and place it in the glue.

DSC_3094

Grab your Moses and basket and play pretend!

Extra Resources

This song is definitely a little old school – but my son still loved it!

Baby in a Basket


 

I hope you enjoyed week six of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Joseph – Play Through The Bible – Week 5

 

Play Through The Bible5

Week five of Play Through The Bible is all about Joseph. The story of Joseph is one of my favorites, so many great lessons to glean from his life! However, the story is a long one and a little bit difficult for a toddler to follow. In the original Rhyme Bible the story is broken down into three smaller stories. Although K likes to listen to those stories, I can tell that he isn’t quite able to comprehend concepts like being a slave, or interpreting dreams. The Rhyme Bible for Toddlers manages to simplify the story down to just a few pages, which is much easier for a 2 year old to grasp. However, it does leave out a lot of the story. We found a compromise in reading the simpler story, but introducing a few more concepts through craft time. Hopefully it works out as well for you as it did for us!

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the plans in one place, go here.

 


Week Five – Joseph

Focus Point

Joseph’s brothers are mean and send him away. Joseph still loves them.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Joseph Forgives” starting on page 40 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • Take the story slow, pausing on each page to elaborate. For example, on the first page, we talked about Joseph’s coat and I had K point it out. On the second page we talked again about how Joseph’s brothers were very mean.
  • On the second to last page, have your child guess if Joseph is going to be nice or mean to his brothers.

Activity

Find something to use as Joseph’s special coat (we used a robe) and pretend play the story. Have your child put on the coat and say “you are Joseph now! Here’s your special coat!” Then, you get to pretend to be a brother and take away the coat. This led to us playing a fun game of chase as I tried to get the coat off of K. After you get the coat, send him away to work as a slave. Then, follow on your knees, asking for food, saying “Oh! You are my brother! Will you forgive me?” End with lots of love and hugs.

joseph1

Discussion

Parent: “Were Joseph’s brothers mean or nice?”

Child: “Mean.”

Parent: “Yes, they took his coat and sent him away. What did Joseph do in Egypt?”

Child: “Worked hard.”

Parent: “When Joseph’s brothers came to get some food, was he mean or nice to them?”

Child: “Nice!”

Parent: “Yes, Joseph forgave his brothers.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Joseph Coloring Page

http://www.biblekids.eu/anticotestamento/joseph/joseph_coloring/joseph_patriarch_coloring_page_16.jpg

Day Two – Joseph’s Coat

 

DSC_2971

Materials needed:

  • Variety of colored construction paper
  • Contact paper (alternately, regular paper and a glue stick)

DSC_2986

 

First, roll out your contact paper and draw an outline for your coat.

DSC_2987

Then, cut it out.

DSC_2988

Next, stack your colored paper together and cut off a strip. Then, cut the paper into small squares. This would be an easy cut for a beginning scissor user.

DSC_2989

Peel off the backing on your coat. I used a little tape to stick it down to the table better.

joseph2

All that’s left is to stick your different colored squares onto your coat!

DSC_2998

Day Three – Journey To Slavery

DSC_2972

 

Materials needed:

For the rest of this week’s crafts you will need the printable packet I put together. You can download it here – Joseph crafts.

  • Map printout
  • Small Joseph with coat, printed and cut out
  • Small Joseph in Egypt, printed and cut out
  • Glue stick (not pictured)
  • Marker (not pictured)

joseph3

Even though he doesn’t quite understand them, K loves maps. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to show on a map where Joseph went when his brother’s send him away. First, we talked about Joseph getting his coat and I circled were he was when that happened. Then, we talked about how his brothers sent him away to work in Egypt and I circled that too and drew a line between the two.

DSC_3001

Next, glue the Joseph in his coat onto his correct location.

DSC_3002

And put the Egyptian Joseph over in Egypt.

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Then, we talked once more about Joseph’s trip to Egypt. It’s a super simple project, but if you have a little one who loves maps, it’s sure to be a hit!

Day Four – Joseph Collects Grain

DSC_2981

Materials needed:

  • Medium sized Egyptian Joseph printed and cut out (from the Joseph crafts printable)
  • White construction paper
  • Brown construction paper cut into a rectangle with a rounded top
  • Oats (or another grain)
  • Glue stick

The story in The Rhyme Bible for Toddlers doesn’t go into what Joseph did in Egypt, so I used a simple craft to introduce the concept to K. Before we started we talked a little about how when Joseph was working in Egypt his job was to collect the food and save it so that people would have food when they were hungry. After we talked about it, we started the craft. joseph5

First, put some glue on the back of Joseph.

DSC_3005Then put him over on one side of the paper.

DSC_3006Glue the back of the brown paper and put it on the other side of the paper.

DSC_3008

Cover the whole piece of brown paper in glue.

DSC_3009

Put the oats on the glue.

DSC_3011

Press them in there really good! That’s it!

Day Five: Joseph Loves His Brothers

DSC_2984

Materials needed:

  • Large Egyptian Joseph page, printed (from the Joseph crafts printable)
  • Red construction paper
  • Glue stick
  • Markers

DSC_3013

Cut a heart out of the red paper.

j6 Decorate the heart however you want. We wrote the world “love” on it and then K used markers. Put glue on the back and stick it onto your Joseph printout.

DSC_3019

Make sure to use this craft as another opportunity to talk about how Joseph loved and forgave his brothers even though they were mean to him.

Extra Resources

We didn’t find any other Joseph materials to use this week. Do you know of any? I’d love to add them to this section!


 

I hope you enjoyed week five of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Abraham and Sarah – Play Through The Bible – Week 4

 

Play Through The Bible wk4

For week four of Play Through The Bible we are diving into the story of Abraham and Sarah. There’s a lot that goes on in Abraham’s life as God chooses him to be the first of His chosen people. The stories we read kept the focus on God keeping his promise by giving Abraham and Sarah a son and I thought that was a great first place to start!

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For all the previous plans, go here.


Week Four – Abraham and Sarah

 

Focus Point

God keeps his promise.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Abraham’s Prayer” starting on page 40 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “The Promise” starting on page 30 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • Take some time to practice saying “Abraham.” It’s one of the trickiest names we’ve had so far!
  • Focus on how Abraham and Sarah wanted a son more than anything.
  • The toddler version of the story is great for its simplicity, however it doesn’t include the illustration of the stars. Even though the correlation between the stars and Abraham’s descendants is a difficult concept for a toddler to grasp, I still think it is a really cool part of the story, so we decided to include it by reading the story in the original Rhyme Bible too. We talked about how Abraham was going to have as many people in his family as stars in the sky. Even though K still didn’t quite grasp it by the end of the week, he was close. He will be ready for a deeper understanding next time we study Abraham, especially now that he’s already familiar with it.

Activity

Go outside at night after dark and take some time to look at the stars. This could be as simple as a few minutes outside before bedtime or be turned into a longer event by laying a blanket out on the ground and having some snacks. Try and count the stars together. Talk about how God told Abraham there would be as many people in his family as stars in the sky.

If you live in an area that doesn’t have a very good view of the night sky or the weather is bad the week you are doing these lessons, you could also do a Google search for images of a starry night sky and look at those while you discuss.

Discussion

Parent: “What did Abraham and Sarah want?”

Child: “A baby boy.”

Parent: “Did God say they’d get one?”

Child: “Yes.”

Parent: “Did God keep his promise?”

Child: “Yes!”

Parent: “Yes, he did. God always keeps his promises.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Abraham and Sarah Coloring Page

http://www.bible-printables.com/Coloring-Pages/Old-Testament/10-OT-006-abraham.htm

Day Two – Abraham’s Tent

DSC_2894Materials needed:

  • Paper sack
  • Markers
  • Scissors

tent

First, take your scissors and cut the bottom of the bag off at the crease. Set it up and trace a doorway on the side. Then, cut the doorway out.

tent2Grab your markers and decorate your tent a bit.

tent3We grabbed a few people and sheep for some pretend play. Farmer Abraham? Works for this 2 year old!

Day Three – Stars in the Night Sky

DSC_2896Materials needed:

starrysky

Use the paint to make starry dots on the black paper “sky.”

Day Four – Family Stars

DSC_2897Materials needed:

DSC_2922

Use the scissors to cut the yellow paper into as many stars as you want. If you don’t want to free-hand the stars, just search for star templates like this one.

DSC_2924Write names of family members on your stars. I cut out eight stars, so we just wrote down the first eight K could think of.

DSC_2927Pull out a length of tape.

PicMonkey CollagePlace the stars along the tape.

DSC_2935Now you have a lovely star garland. You can hang it up somewhere or….

stars and tent…K’s idea was to put it on top of his tent. Fun!

Day Five: Baby Isaac

DSC_2945Materials needed:

  • Salt dough (check out the super easy recipe here)
  • Markers

DSC_2943First, you need to mix up your salt dough. All it is is salt, flour, and water. Check out the recipe linked to above or do a Google search – there’s tons of recipes out there. It’s really easy to do and only took us a few minutes. If you’d rather not mix up your own salt dough, you can always use store bought play-doh. However, it might not dry as well.

DSC_2946Once your dough is ready, you might need to take just a minute to squish it.

DSC_2951Roll a small amount of the dough into a ball for the head (we made two, just in case!).

isaacThen, squish another piece of dough into a flat blanket shape and wrap it around the base of the head.

DSC_2958Place your figures on a baking tray and place in the oven to dry. Different recipes call for different temps and times. We put ours in at 200 degrees and I left it in for most of the afternoon, checking occasionally to see if it had hardened up. If you can’t or don’t want to babysit it in the oven, you can also just leave it out to dry at room temp, although it may take a few days.

isaac2Once your baby Isaac is dry, use the markers to color it in. I added a simple face and some hair and K colored in the blanket.

isaac3Add Isaac to your tent with Abraham and Sarah. Thankfully K didn’t seem to mind that the baby was the same size as Abraham!

Extra Resources

K absolutely loved this catchy version of Father Abraham!

Father Abraham by Yancy


 

I hope you enjoyed week four of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.

Noah – Play Through The Bible – Week Three

Play Through The Bible wk3

Week three of Play Through The Bible is all about Noah. Although Noah and the flood is a common story used for children’s toys, books, and activities it can still be overwhelming to think of breaking down such a complex story for little ears. We decided to focus on one very important part of the story – that Noah obeyed God – remembering that further themes can be delved into in the future.

If you haven’t read the introduction to this series yet I recommend going here. For week one’s plans you can go here. For week two’s plans you can go here.

 


Week Three – Noah

 

Focus Point

Noah obeyed God.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Safe in the Boat” starting on page 28 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook and “The Floating Zoo” starting on page 18 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers.
  • When you finish reading through the story, go back to the beginning of the story and talk about how God was sad (make a sad face) because no one was obeying him and everyone was being mean and bad. Flip back a few pages and ask “did Adam and Eve obey God?” Talk about how Noah did obey God.
  • Keep the main focus on Noah obeying God, even though no one else was. However, you can also point out that because Noah obeyed God, he kept Noah safe in the boat.

Activity

Gather up some stuffed animals and a laundry basket. Tell your child he or she gets to pretend to be Noah and put all the animals in the laundry basket “boat.” Then, he or she can climb in and sail the boat through the storm (we put a blue blanket under our “boat” and I shook it for “waves”). Finally, take all the animals out when the storm has past and the flood is over. This a great activity for reinforcing Noah’s name and what he did by calling your child “Noah” and asking if he is obeying God.

pretending

Discussion

Parent: “Did Noah obey God?”

Child: “Yes”

Parent: “What happened when Noah obeyed God?”

Child: “God kept him safe in the boat.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Noah Coloring Page

http://www.coloring.ws/noah.htm

Day Two – Build an Ark

DSC_2791

Materials needed:

  • Recycled container (that won’t leak)
  • Stickers
  • Toy animals and people (optional, not pictured)

 

DSC_2818

I gave K the option of what container to use and he chose the big one (I think it originally had spinach in it). Any kind of water proof container will work. I later came across a rotisserie chicken container that would have been perfect!

Use stickers to decorate the boat. You could also use permanent markers, but stickers were good enough for K.

DSC_2822

Grab some small toy animals (any kind will work!) and a few people to be Noah and his family. Load them into your ark.

floating boat

You could just pretend to float the boat with what you’ve got so far, but if you’ve got the time add some real water for more fun! Grab a tub (we emptied out our tinker-toys to use this one) and fill it with some water. This activity kept K engaged for a long time. He is a big fan of the water and thought it was pretty awesome that his boat actually floated! If you don’t have a good container another option would be to bring your ark into the tub for bath time.

Day Three – Animals on Board

DSC_2792

Materials needed:

 

DSC_2829

Put some glue on the half circle and place it at the bottom of the blue paper.

DSC_2830

Then, glue the rectangle and place on top of the half-circle.

DSC_2831

Use the animal stamps to make animals on and around the ark.

DSC_2834

And/or you could use animal stickers. If you don’t have animal stamps or animal stickers you could cut pictures of animals out of a magazine (or print off pictures from the internet) and glue them onto your ark.

Day Four – The Floating Boat

DSC_2797

Materials needed:

 

DSC_2836

First, take the skinny piece of blue paper and trace some waves on it. It’s a crazy storm, so don’t worry about them looking perfect!

DSC_2837

Once you’ve traced your waves, cut them out.

DSC_2839

Next, fold your other blue piece of paper in half (hamburger way) and draw a line two thirds of the way towards the bottom. The line should start in the center and almost reach the outside of the paper.

DSC_2841

Cut along the line. This is a great, easy cut for a beginning scissor user.

DSC_2842

 

Open up the big blue paper and put some glue on the back of the waves.

DSC_2843

Glue the waves just below the line you cut.

DSC_2847

Next, color those white clouds gray so they look more like storm clouds.

DSC_2849

Glue the clouds to the top of your page.

DSC_2852

Use the blue marker to add some rain.

boat1

Next, you are going to need to assemble your ark puppet. First, glue the top of the ark to the bottom.

boat2

Then, glue the ark to the craft stick.

ark puppet

Put the puppet through the slit on your paper and you’ve got a stormy background for your ark to float in.

Day Five: Rainbow

DSC_2800

Materials needed:

  • White piece of paper with a rainbow outline drawn on it (or you could print one out here)
  • Markers or crayons in the color of a rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)

 

rainbow

After yesterday’s detailed craft, I decided to go for a simple one on day five. All we did was color a rainbow, talking about how God made a promise to Noah. Since K is getting a little better at coloring, I decided to give him the challenge of putting the right colors in-between the lines. I made it a little easier on him (shown in the top right picture) by marking which color went where. We worked on it together and he did a pretty good job!

rainbow2

After he was done coloring I cut the rainbow out for him and he was pretty proud of his work!

Extra Resources

I found two songs via youtube about Noah that K loved.

Mr. Noah Built an Ark

Arky-Arky (Rise and Shine) 

We also enjoyed the book On Noah’s Ark by Jan Brett


 

I hope you enjoyed week three of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram! 

 

Affiliate links included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.