The Top Ten Things Getting Me Through My Last Trimester

last trimester

As I try to keep my focus on the to-do list and off the fact that this baby could make its appearance any day now, I thought it would be fun to share the things that have helped me through this last uncomfortable stage of pregnancy.

So, here they are. The top ten, in no particular order.

1. Watermelon

One word. YUM.

Okay, more than one word. What has been the deal with the last few weeks? Its like the appetite of my first trimester all over again! Nothing sounds good. Unhealthy things sound good. Weird things sound good. Then nothing sounds good again. I’m hungry after just eating. But have to choke down food when I’m starting to feel shaky from not eating. It’s crazy!

Enter, watermelon. It always sounds good. Sure, it doesn’t exactly satiate, but it is so stinking tasty.

2. Bedtime Snack

Speaking of food, for the last few months as soon as 9pm rolls around you better believe I’m grabbing a bedtime snack. And not just any bedtime snack. It’s gotta be cereal.

I know, cereal. Bedtime snack of champions.

And not just any cereal. Peanut Butter Captain Crunch. Hey, gotta shoot for 80/20 with the healthy diet, right?

3. Nightly Walks

We’ve been keeping up on our nightly walks for the most part, and for all the reasons I talked about here, I’m still loving them. Plus, they keep my ever growing body moving, which can only be a good thing.

It won’t be long now and I’ll be doing continuous laps around the neighborhood in an attempt to encourage this little one to make his or her entrance into the world. Will that work? I don’t know. (Hint: It didn’t with big brother!)

4. A Goofy Little Three Year Old

My child. How I love him.

He just keeps getting goofier and goofier. I love it. He makes me smile every day.

He has a newfound obsession with Star Wars and walks around humming Darth Vader’s theme. Although, he doesn’t really know it, so it just comes out as very intense humming.

He loves to dance and show me his “moves.”

He is completely convinced that he will be getting a baby brother.

He is my first miracle baby and every day I think I love him more.

5. Afternoon Quiet Time

Yes, yes, I really do love my child. But that 90 minutes of (mostly) peace and quiet in the afternoon is priceless as well. I’ve even managed to sneak in a few naps to combat the end of pregnancy exhaustion! Score!

6. Wild Kratts

Speaking of being exhausted, want to know my super secret trick for getting a few more minutes of shut eye in the morning? Wild Kratts.

You see, sometimes my lovely son likes to wake up with the sun (you know, “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake! Let’s play!”) and I do not. Solution? Invite said child into my cozy bed and turn on an episode of Wild Kratts (Amazon Prime, yes!).

First of all, the Kratt brothers are awesome. I used to watch them on their show “Kratt’s Creatures” when I was a young ‘un. Second of all, K gets to learn all about animals when he watches, which he loves. Third of all, Wild Kratts is like 100 times less annoying than our previous show of choice, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Win-win-win.

7. My Pregnancy Uniform

Being just a hair shy of 6 foot, it has always been hard to find long enough shirts. Add to that a growing belly and slowly but surely I have grown out of almost every maternity shirt I own.

Combine that with our lovely southern heat and I’ve pretty much lived in a maternity tank top and stretchy athletic shorts. It’s like yoga pants version 2.0. Please don’t be jealous of my mad style.

8. My To-Do List

I keep at least four of them at all times. My planner, the one by my bed, two dry erase boards on the fridge, and the random assortment of loose papers scattered on my counter.

You see, if it doesn’t get written down it doesn’t get done. I think you’ll find my picture next to the entry for “pregnancy brain” in the dictionary (well at least wikipedia!). My husband finds this a continual source of teasing delight. Don’t worry, I still love him.

9. Super Easy Meals

Seeing as spending hours in the kitchen preparing food which I may or may not even want to eat (see #1) is not high on my priority list, easy meals have been a necessity. Enter, grilled chicken. I marinate it early in the day, make a few simple veggie or fruit sides, and hubby takes care of the grilling when he gets home. Beautiful!

10. My Awesome Hubby

Speaking of my hubby, he’s great. I’ve had a lot more sickness/pains this go around and he is always willing to step in and help out. Couldn’t do this without him!

 

Well, that’s my top ten! What helped get you through the end of your pregnancy?

What I’m Into (April 2015)

I’ve been reading these fun “What I’m Into” monthly recaps for a while now and I’ve decided to join in! I don’t do a lot of these types of posts, so I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate some.

So, without further ado, what I’m into….

What I’m Watching…

scorpion-comic-con-102239

Well, I should say what I’m not watching anymore! The season finale of Scorpion was last week – so sad! This was the first season of Scorpion and let me say, I was not expecting to get this hooked! I have a couple other shows I enjoy watching with my hubby (Castle, Forever), but this has by far been my favorite (at least since The Mentalist ended).

So many crime shows end up being the same ol’ same ol’ – but not Scorpion. Based off the real life of genius Walter O’Brien, the show follows him and his team of geniuses working for Homeland Security. Both the action/missions aspect and the interpersonal aspect of the show are top notch. I highly recommend starting from the beginning and watching the whole season. If they don’t bring this show back for season two I may cry.

What I’m Reading

Nothing really, isn’t that terrible!?

I’ve been studying Ephesians for my Instagram study and that has been going well.

Other than that, the two most consistent things I’ve been reading are…

wtp

Trying my first chapter book read aloud with my 3 year old son. We chose Winnie-the-Pooh and he is doing a great job with it! Silly ol’ bear!

tyctr

The only other book I routinely crack open is my son’s daily reading lesson. I never would have thought to teach my 3 year old to read – but he decided he was ready and so I’m just along for the ride! He’s on lesson 27 and doing great!

What I’m Listening To

81b+I9MqIzL._SL1500_

The majority of the time when I need something to listen to I want something upbeat that will get me moving and motivated. Therefore, I listen to my Toby Mac Pandora station. Capital Kings play regularly on that station and I LOVE them.

spotlight_PianoGuys

I recently introduced my son to The Piano Guys, so we’ve been enjoying a lot of their music. Namely Cello Wars played over and over.

maxresdefault

 

Did I mention we’ve become a little Star Wars obsessed already? (Shhhh.. I love it!)

 

the-fox

Speaking of songs playing over and over (and over and over). I (ill advisedly?) introduced my son to “What Does the Fox Say?” and now it’s possible I may never get the song out of my head. If we’re not listening to it, he’s running around signing “ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!!”

What I’m Loving

  • Watermelon. Lots of it. 37 weeks pregnant has brought with it a weird appetite, but watermelon always sounds good.
  • My precocious three year old. He has just gotten goofier and goofier and more fun to be around.
  • #naturepalexchange on Instagram. We just signed up for our first Nature Pal Exchange and we are soooo excited!
  • Being outside before it gets too hot down here in the south.

What I’m Instagramming

 fort

Skipping quiet time to build a fort.

garden

Lots of weekend landscape gardening (and way to many trips to Lowe’s!)

tball

The start of K’s first t-ball experience!

splash

Lots of outside fun!

birthday

Not-so-patiently waiting on this baby.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this month! What are you into right now?

 This post is linked up with What I’m Into at Leigh Kramer

 

5 Tips for Including Young Children in the Kitchen {while still staying productive!}

Five Tips For Including Young Children In The Kitchen (and Still Staying Productive!)

It’s 5 o’clock and you know bellies are going to be rumbling soon. It’s time to make dinner. You start pulling food out of the fridge and pans out of the cupboard. It isn’t long before you hear the patter of little feet and a small but willing voice asking, “Can I help?”

The only problem is these little helpers aren’t always the most helpful.Oftentimes, by the end of a long day the last thing you want to do is take twice as long to cook dinner due to the “help” of your little ones….

What are you going to do? 

I’m over at Intentional By Grace today sharing five tips for including those little helpers in the kitchen, while still saying sane and productive! Read more here.

Thank Goodness God’s Not Like Me

Thank Goodness God's Not Like Me - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Bitter words they can’t really even comprehend pour out of my mouth.

“Kids! Please just play nicely! Everyone will have so much more fun if we treat others how we want to be treated.”

“That’s it! Time out! Now. You’re done.”

“You see? I told you this was going to happen if you didn’t listen to me!”

Wow. Toddlers sure could be frustrating and I was exasperated. Why wouldn’t they just listen?! Everything would be so much easier if they could just use a little bit of common sense. I wasn’t trying to make their lives miserable, but they sure seemed to think it was fun to try and make mine.

In case you couldn’t tell, I had a horrible attitude.

Then, a thought came mind.

What if this was how God treated humanity? 

After all, we must seem an awful lot like foolish toddlers to Him.

“Come on humanity, can’t you just be kind to each other? I’ve condensed it all down to two simple rules! Follow them already!”

“Now, see – I told you these horrible things were going to happen if you didn’t listen to me!”

“Alright, you’re done. That is it! I’ve had enough of you and your attitude!”

Needless to say, if God had my short temper I’d have been done for a long time ago. Dealing with humankind must be beyond frustrating, yet still He loves us and responds to our foolishness with grace and mercy.

The challenge is showing that same grace and mercy to the imperfect people around me.

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”
-Psalm 145:8 

Thank goodness for mercy.
And thank goodness God is nothing like me.

Do you struggle with a short temper some days? What do you do to help keep things in perspective?

Two Simple Things That Have Made A Big Difference In Our Family

2 Simple Things That Made a Big Difference For Our Family

When the new year rolled around, like millions of others, my husband and I sat down to discuss what areas we felt needed improvement. Being the imperfect creatures we are, the list ended up being quite long!

We started January with high hopes to make some changes – both personally and for our family. We made a plan to focus on the things we felt were the most important and we set out to put our plan in action. And it worked… until it didn’t. Since then we’ve fallen on and off the New Years resolutions bandwagon more than once.

However, there have been two simple things that we’ve been able to keep up with that have made a huge impact in our family.

photo

#1 Nightly Walks

This goal was originally made for the purpose of starting a healthy habit – and getting this pregnant lady moving each day! However, I never would have guessed what it would do for our family.

Almost every night when my husband gets home from work we head out for a walk around our neighborhood. It takes us about 45 minutes and we usually get back just in time to eat dinner. While this does give us some good exercise, the biggest benefit is a side product of the walk – conversation.

We push the stroller, walk briskly, and talk. We talk about our days, we talk about our plans, we talk through our problems. We brainstorm together, dream together, laugh together, and yes, sometimes have an argument as well.

Conversely, on the nights that we stay home (for whatever reason) we tend to go about the business of the evening and never get into the same depth of conversation.

In order for these nightly walks to happen, we have had to make sure it is a priority. We encourage each other to keep up the habit and I’ve had to make sure K and I are ready to head out when dad gets home. Although sometimes we’ve gone for our walk after dinner, we definitely prefer to go before we eat. Because of this, I have to make sure as much of dinner as is possible is prepared in advance so we can eat as soon as we get home.

The work is worth it though. We’ve grown closer as a couple and even K looks forward to our nightly stroll!

photo

#2 No TV until 8pm

Now, those of you who don’t even have a TV to begin with are way ahead of us in this area, but this has been a big thing for us. It used to be that my husband liked to come home from work and decompress by watching TV. However, the TV would end up staying on all night. It sucked us in and didn’t let go.

So, for Lent this year I suggested changing our TV habits. After some discussion we settled on no TV until 8pm, K’s bedtime.

Now, in the evening we go for our walk and then eat dinner together around the table (or as of late, the picnic table!). Daddy and K have time to hang out for a while before K’s bedtime and I have nothing distracting me from either cleaning up the kitchen or joining in the playtime. If we have anything that needs to be discussed further or any to-do’s that need to get done, they are much more likely to happen with the TV off.

This has been so nice for our family. We interact. We make memories. And I have a better chance of waking up to a clean kitchen. :)

Then, K gets put to bed and the final stage of the evening can happen – relaxing together while we watch our favorite shows. A time that we both thoroughly enjoy even more without having had the TV on all night already.

Lent may be over, but this is one habit that we will be keeping up.

Well, those are the two simple things that have made a big difference for us. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with that long list of things you need to improve on. However, you can’t forget about the little things you have accomplished that make a difference in your life.

Do you have any little changes you’ve made that have made a difference in your family? I’d love to hear them!

Insta-Study: A Simple Bible Study through the Book of Ephesians

insta study

Struggling to be consistent in reading the Word? I sure am! And when I do sit down and read, I often walk away feeling like I didn’t retain a single word! Then, a few weeks ago I read about a method where you read the same book over and over again for a long period of time in order to truly immerse yourself into what you’re reading. I decided to give it a try and the thought of an Instagram based Bible study popped in my brain. I love love love Instagram and think it could be a really fun place to hold a Bible study!

Starting next Monday we will begin reading the book of Ephesians – one chapter a day (Sundays off). I will post a reminder and a reading prompt or idea each day. We can discuss what we’ve read in the comments or you can post your insights to your own Instagram account using the hashtag #instastudyephesians. The plan is to read Ephesians four weeks in a row, trying to focus on different aspects of the book each week.

I’m hoping to find a little Bible study community and accountability over in Instagram land – would anyone like to join me? Hop on over to Instagram and drop me a comment letting me know you’re in! I’d love to have you! Just click HERE! :)

The ULTIMATE Round-Up of Resources for Teaching Toddlers about God

ultimate toddler roundup2
To celebrate the completion of our Play Through The Bible series I have brought together over 75 different resources from across the web that can help you as you strive to raise your little one to follow God. From Bible memory to learning how to sit still in church, this list has you covered!

If you enjoy this round-up, please be sure to pass it along to other toddler parents in need of ideas, tips, and encouragement!


Toddler-Doctrine-750x435

General Tips and Ideas

Toddler Doctrine – Planting Seeds of the Gospel – Amanda from Bless Your Heart and Home shares the truths they are trying to impress upon their 2 year old son. Includes a large list of resources.

7 Ways to Teach Your Toddler About Jesus – Anne shares 7 ways she’s found to teach her little ones about Jesus.

Simple Ways to Bring Jesus into Your Child’s Daily Routine – Becca of Bare Feet on the Dashboard shares some great tips for making Jesus a part of everyday life.

Truth for Tots – A series from Jenni of Live Called that explores the many ways we can teach toddlers and preschoolers about God.

The ABC’s of Bible Study for Children – A series hosted by Dusty of To the Moon and Back bringing together 13 bloggers to share Bible Studies for each letter of the alphabet.

 

Bible-Time-with-Toddlers-jpg-1024x682

Devotions

3 Ways to Hold Devotions With Your Toddler – Kayse Pratt gives three practical tips for how to find time to make devotions with your toddler a part of your daily routine, plus shares their current top book pick to use during that time.

Bible Time Suggestions for Toddlers and Preschoolers – MaryEllen from Imperfect Homemaker shares the three things she does during Bible time with her four children ages four and under.

How We Do Family Devotions with a Toddler – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares how her family does devotions all together in a way that fully includes their two year old son.

Four Ideas for Teaching Scripture to Your Baby or Toddler – Jenn from The Purposeful Mom shares four ways she’s found to teach scripture to the littlest ones who might not be ready for a structured devotions time.

 

How-to-Teach-Toddlers-to-Memorize-Scripture

Memorizing Scripture

How to Implement Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize – Dollie from Teachers of Good Things shares what she’s found to be the most effective way to teach little ones to memorize scripture.

Bible Memory Beginnings for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Shirley from Satisfaction Through Christ shares a little bit of her story of beginning Bible memory with her son and gives some great tips for how she went about it. Includes free printables!

Printable ABC Memory Verses for Preschoolers – Free scripture printable for each letter of the alphabet from Mary Ellen of Imperfect Homemaker

How to Teach a Toddler to Memorize Scripture – Penny Lane from Sisters Raising Sisters shows that toddlers really can memorize scripture and gives four fun ways to help them learn to do it.

5 Bible Verses Toddlers Can (and Should) Memorize – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares her top five Bible verses they have their children memorize.

 

Gods-Little-Explorers-Cover

Christian Preschool Programs

ABC Jesus Loves Me – A Bible based preschool curriculum that has lesson plans beginning at age two and is free for family use.

God’s Little Explorers – This hands on and active preschool curriculum from Motherhood on a Dime has both free and paid versions.

Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers – Created for ages 2 & 3, Leigh Ann’s preschool curriculum is centered around the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

Montessori Bible Lessons Archives – While not a complete preschool curriculum, The Christian Montessori Network has a large collection of Bible based Montessori style preschool lessons.

 

teachprayer

Prayer

How to Teach Toddlers and Preschoolers to Pray – Dollie from Teachers of Good Things shares three simple tips to teach your toddler or preschooler how to pray.

Meaningful Prayers for Kids – Kate from House Mix shares some simple but beautiful prayers she’s found that she says with her two year old.

What To Do When My Child Does Not Want to Pray (Continued) – Ten different types of prayers you can do with your child to encourage them to pray, from Jessica of Our Family For His Glory.

 

The-Story-of-Creation-in-a-Quiet-Book-no-sew-for-toddlers

Bible Themed Quiet Books

The Story of Creation in a Quiet Book (no sew) – Nicolette from Powerful Mothering explains how to make a Creation themed quiet book.

Adorable Quiet Books! – If you’re not the DIY type, Alesha from Full Time Mama shares about the quiet books in her mom’s Etsy Shop!

Baby Jesus Book – If you are looking for something super simple, check out this printable touch and feel book from Bible Songs and More.

 

FREE-Smartphone-Bible-App-for-Kids

Apps

Best Bible Apps for Kids – Kim from Not Consumed shares eight of her favorite Bible apps.

Our Fave Bible Apps for Kids – Lauren from Tutus and Tea Parties shares her favorite free Bible apps for toddlers.

FREE Holy Bible iPhone and Android App for KIDS! – An awesome Bible app created by YouVersion shared by Heidi from thefrugalgirls.com. (K loves this one!)

9 Best Bible Apps for Kids – After trying out a bunch of different kids Bible apps, Rachel from rachelwojo.com shares her top 9.

 

scripture-songs

Music

Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em in Your Heart – One of our absolute favorites! A classic that I used to listen to when I was a kid!

Teaching Young Children Bible Verses through Scripture Songs – Jenni from Live Called shares four great scripture song resources as part of her Truth for Tots series.

Preschool Bible Songs – A long list of classic preschool Bible songs from ABC Jesus Loves Me.

 

The-9-Best-Bibles-for-Babies-Toddlers-Preschoolers-500x500

Bibles/Books

The Best Bibles for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers – Jenae from I Can Teach My Child gives the run down on the best story Bibles for three different age ranges.

Best Biblical Themed Books for Kids – Heather from the Christian Montessori Network shares her top children’s Bibles.

Toddler Bibles Reviewed – Some criteria for evaluating toddler Bibles and thorough reviews for 7 selections from Raising Godly Children.

A New Family Favorite – A review of Treasury of Bible Stories from Tricia Goyer.

Christian Picture Books – A round-up of eleven Christian picture books to read with your little one from Le Chaim (on the right).

 

7-Ways-to-Help-Little-Ones-Behave-in-Church

Little Ones in Church

How to Keep Your Children Quiet in Church – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares the why and the how she keeps her little boys in the church service.

No Fuss Parenting – Teach Kids to Sit Still – Tricia from thedomesticfringe.com shares the method she used to teach her kids to sit still – a valuable skill for going to church!

Seven Ways to Help Little Ones Behave in Church – Brittany from Equipping Godly Women gives seven things she does to teach her kids to behave in church.

My Church Bag Ideas – Ideas for quiet activities to have in a church bag for a 2 and 4 year old from Six Sister’s Stuff.

Quiet Bags – Hillary from Pulling Curls shares 5 tips for packing a special church bag for your kids.

 

Noahs-Ark-Game-from-Lets-Get-Together-1024x673

Games

Noah’s Ark Game – A printable Noah’s Ark dice game from Let’s Get Together.

God Made the Farm Animals – A File Folder Game from Bible Fun For Kids.

Play Games – Tons of great Bible games for home or Sunday School from Jesus Without Language.

The Obedience Game – Jodi from Meaningful Mama takes an important lesson in character and turns it into a fun game kids will be begging to play!

Games for Ages Birth through 2 – There are tons of great resources for games in the archives of Children’s Ministry Magazine.

 

happy-hearts-method-of-parenting_edited-1

Character Development/Parenting

Happy Hearts Method of Discipline for Toddlers – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares a parenting strategy that has worked wonders for her toddler. (We do something very similar with K too!)

Character Development Archives – Jodi from Meaningful Mama has TONS of resources for character development for kids of all ages.

Toddler Tantrums are a Gift – In this insightful post, Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace explains how she came to learn that tantrums can really be a blessing in disguise.

Intentionally Parenting Your Toddler – Lisa shares a three part series about parenting toddlers on her blog, The Pennington Post.

What God Really Wants for Moms with Young Children – Some really insightful advice about where to keep your focus during the trying years of raising littles, from The Better Mom.

 

7-Nativity-Learn-Play-Activities-www.christianmontessorinetwork.com_1

Holidays

Teaching Toddlers the Story of Jesus’ Birth – Jennifer, mom of triplets, shares how she taught her toddlers the Christmas Story.

Celebrate Advent with your family using the Jesus Storybook Bible – Adriel Booker shares how her family used the Jesus Storybook Bible to observe the advent season. Includes a free printable reading guide!

7 Nativity Learn and Play Activities – Another great resource from The Christian Montessori Network.

Sensory Nativity Story Box – A really fun idea for sharing the Nativity Story with little ones from The Fairy and the Frog.

Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones – A review of the Christmas book Song of the Stars and activities to go along from The Homeschool Village.

Resurrection Eggs for Toddlers – Super cute Resurrection Eggs just for toddlers from Meredith of Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.

Easter Salvation Storybook Craft – A fun craft for toddlers and preschoolers that goes through the Easter story from Rebecca of Family Abounds.

Flannel-Board Fun! – Heather from Cultivated Lives shares a fun Easter flannel board she made for her boys.

Free Easter Preschool Printable – A 7 page mini pack from Brooke of The Intentional Momma.

 

DSC03884

Free Printables

A is for Adam and Eve – Brooke from To the Moon and Back has many great printable packets, including this one for Adam and Eve.

Top 10 Free Printable Bible Verses Coloring Pages for Your Toddler – from the Mom Junction.

Toddler Bible Time – A free printable scripture booklet from Emily of Live a Charmed Life, perfect for toddler devotions.

Bible Verses from 1 to 10 – Scripture memory cards based off the songs from the Songs for Saplings 123 album from Amy of Wildflower Ramblings. Amy also has more free printables which she links to in this post.

ABC Printable Scripture Cards – Super cute cards with scripture for every letter of the alphabet from Jenae of I Can Teach My Child.

Bible Kids Fun Zone – Tons of free crafts and printables for preschoolers.

 

bible-story-stones-1024x680

Bible Crafts and Activities

Crafting the Word of God – Crafts for pretty much every Bible story you could ever want! We have used quite a few of them in our Play Through The Bible Series.

Bible Alphabet Crafts – A Bible craft to go along with every letter in the alphabet from Catholic Icing.

Fruit of the Spirit Toddler/Preschool Lessons – Marla from Better Than I Could Have Imagined shares some fun Fruit of the Spirit activities she did with her little girls.

One Year Old Preschool: Creation – Leah from Simple. Home. Blessings. shares the creation activities she did with her one year old daughter.

Lamb of God Sheep Craft – Tara from Feels Like Home shares an adorable sheep craft that can lead to all manner of Biblical discussions with your young child.

Parable of the Sower Small World Play – A super fun small world from Wugs and Dooey that multiple ages are sure to enjoy!

Biblical Lunches Archives – Amy from Creative Kids Snacks has tons of amazing lunches and snacks with a biblical theme.

Moses and the 10 Commandments Booklet and Activity –  Tara from Feels Like Home has a free printable 10 Commandments Booklet for kids to create their own little book of the 10 Commandments.

Creating Your Own DIY Godly Play Materials – Interested in the Montessori based curriculum Godly Play? Megan shares a bunch of great ideas for DIYing your own materials. Want to learn more about Godly Play? Check out the links at the top of the post for the rest of the Godly Play series.

How to Make Bible Story Stones – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares how she made some fun Bible Story Stones with her boys.

 

811788d122d9dfa71da745024d4faacb

Pinterest Boards

This is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to resources for teaching your toddler about God. New posts are being shared every day. Here’s a list of Pinterest boards to follow to keep the ideas flowing!

https://www.pinterest.com/slavila/bible-crafts/

https://www.pinterest.com/mamachew315/bible/

https://www.pinterest.com/tutusteaparties/scripture-for-kids/

https://www.pinterest.com/glindadennis/bible-story-crafts/

https://www.pinterest.com/kgibbs522/little-kids-haven/

https://www.pinterest.com/kindkids/religious-education/

https://www.pinterest.com/aroebuck/bible-activities-for-2-3-yr-olds/

https://www.pinterest.com/ji1lybean1/sunday-school-for-toddler/

https://www.pinterest.com/terrycaputo/preschool-bible-crafts/

https://www.pinterest.com/sammyjo33/toddler-bible-study/

https://www.pinterest.com/meganspires/growing-godly-kids/ 


 

I hope you enjoyed this giant list of resources and were able to find some great ideas and encouragement!

Am I missing a resource you love? Please add it in the comments so I can check it out!

And, again, if this list blessed you in any way please consider sharing it with others!


 

This post is linked up with…
Tuesday Talk, Titus 2sDay, Titus 2 Tuesday, Good Tips Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, Tuesday Link-Up, Works for Me Wednesday, A Little R&R Wednesdays, Ladies Collective Link-Up, Intentional Parenting

 

Affiliate links may be included. Thank you for supporting Simple Life. Messy Life with your purchases.

 

Holy Week – Play Through The Bible – Week 25

 

Play Through The Bible wk 25

Week 25 of Play Through The Bible is our final week! I cannot believe we’ve made it all the way through! For this last week, I decided to combine all the Holy Week stories into one unit. It made it a lot easier for us to get the whole story that way.

Sorry this post ended up being late! I tried to blame it on the busy week we’ve had – warm spring days outside, freezer meal prep for when the baby comes, last visits with grandparents before they leave, fun weekend at an air show, etc. However, if I’m honest with myself I knew that wasn’t really the case.

I was avoiding this week.

Even though we’ve talked about the gospel story before, the significance of it was weighing on me. The emotion, the heaviness of it all. I wanted to make it meaningful. So I kept putting it off. Finally, I realized that I just needed to do what I always do – keep it simple.

We did a simple craft for each part of the story and it ended up going great. I hope you enjoy it 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 Twenty Five – Holy Week


Focus Point

Jesus loved us so much that he died for us and then he rose from the grave!

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Jesus is Coming” starting on page 234, “Jesus is Alive!” starting on page 244, and “Good-Bye” starting on page 250 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers and “The Day Jesus Died” starting on page 316, “Jesus Is Alive!” starting on page 326, and “Good News!” starting on page 336 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook.
  • We sat down and read each of the stories in a row and then went back through them and talked about what happened. It is a lot for a three year old to grasp, but he tried really hard!
  • Lately K has been very interested in trying to be good. Every night he asks me “was I good today?” While I am grateful for his effort, I have had to remember to remind him that there is only One who is good all the time. We have talked about how everyone (even mommy and daddy!) do bad things, but only God does only good things. This was the beginning of our gospel talk because it is the foundation of understanding why Jesus had to do what he did. He is trying really hard to wrap his mind around God being so good that people who do bad things can’t be with him, so Jesus came to be good for us. It is a conversation we will continue for all his growing up years.

Activity

Put on some praise music (try this fun song!) and wave your palm branches around (that you make in Day 1’s craft).

palm

Discussion

Parent: “What happened to Jesus?”

Child: “He died on the cross.”

Parent: “Then where did they put him?”

Child: “In a tomb.”

Parent: “What happened when they looked in the tomb?”

Child: “He wasn’t there.”

Parent: “Where was he?”

Child: “He was alive!”

Daily Craft

Day One – Palm Branches

 

DSC_4121

Materials Needed:

  • Green construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Craft sticks (we ended up not using them, but using more paper instead)

DSC_4125

First, cut out your leaf shapes. Fold the paper in half long-ways and cut it out similar to how you would cut out a heart.

DSC_4126

Leaving the leaf folded in half, make cuts down the side almost to the middle.

DSC_4127

Tightly roll a piece of green paper and glue it closed.

DSC_4128

Glue the rolled up paper onto the middle of your leaf.

DSC_4129

Make another if you’d like. Perfect for waving around! Hosanna!

 

Day Two – Coloring Page

http://whatsinthebible.com/eight-best-easter-coloring-pages/ 

Day Three – Cross Painting

DSC_4124

 

Materials needed:

  • Paint
  • Painters or masking tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Paper (not pictured, we used a large piece of lightweight cardboard)

DSC_4132

Use the tape to outline a cross onto your paper.

DSC_4133

DSC_4137

Paint all over your “canvas.”

DSC_4150

Let the paint dry and then remove the tape!

Day Four – Empty Grave

DSC_4118

 

Materials needed:

  • Paper plate, cut in half
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Angel printout (got it here)

The inspiration for this craft was found here.

 

DSC_4135

Cut an opening in one of the paper plate halves and cut out the angel.

DSC_4138

Color the paper plates gray.

DSC_4139

Color the angel.

DSC_4142

Glue the angel to the paper plate without the hole.

DSC_4143

Glue the two paper plates together.

DSC_4145

As an optional little touch, we added a “He is risen!” sign. Of course, the tomb didn’t want to stand up after that, but ah well!

Day Five – Jesus Goes To Heaven

DSC_4123

 

Materials needed:

  • Jesus printout (here)
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue
  • Blue marker

This craft came from ABC Jesus Loves Me.

DSC_4146

Color the sky on your printout blue.

DSC_4147

Glue on the cotton balls for the clouds.

DSC_4149

All done! (He colored Jesus too)

Extra Resources

We didn’t use anything else this week!

 

 


I hope you enjoyed week twenty 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! 

This Post is linked up with…
Mom2Mom Monday, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Mondays Musings, Inspire Me Mondays, Titus 2sDay,

 

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

The Prodigal Son – Story and Activity to go with The Jesus Storybook Bible

10369867_515102239792_8911958199995716624_n

Today we are joining up with the Jesus Storybook Bible Blog Hop one last time to bring you an activity to go along with the story of the Prodigal Son, found in The Jesus Storybook Bible as “Running Away” on page 272.

The story of the Prodigal Son is such a great one! Reading this story was very timely for us as we have been having a lot of “talks” lately about making right choices and doing good things. It is so important to also have reminders that there is nothing you can do that will make God (or mom and dad!) stop loving you. It’s not the good things we do that make God love us, but just the fact that we are His children.

We had a ton of fun with our activity to go along with the story! It really helped K cement the story in his mind as he went through each part. I hope you give it a try!

The Prodigal Son Activity Stations

For today’s activity I decided to make stations for K to experience each section of the story. He helped me get everything ready as well, so he was fully involved in the activity!

At every station we talked through that part of the story again and I asked K a lot of questions to see if he could remember what happened.

DSC_4034

Our first station was for the part of the story where the son took the money from his dad and ran away to spend it. I set up a play cash register, some food (a banana), a fancy glass, and some fancy clothes. The first thing K did was get the money from me (pretending to be the dad).

DSC_4035

DSC_4036

As he “spent” his money I had him put on the fancy clothes, and pretend to take a drink from the fancy glass. We talked about how the son didn’t want to listen to his dad anymore, he wanted to spend him money on whatever he wanted. Then I asked K what happened to the son’s money. We talked about how it all ran out because he didn’t listen to his dad. So we put away the money and the glass and we took off the fancy clothes and headed to the next station.

eating with the pigs

The next station was a big bowl with some cereal in it to be the “pig food.” I thought about putting something truly yucky in the bowl like dog food, but decided to just keep it fun and use our imaginations. We didn’t have any pig toys or stuffed animals so K grabbed some of his other stuffed animals and just pretended they were pigs!

DSC_4046

He thought it was so silly to be eating with the pigs! I kept trying to tell him to make a yucky face like he was eating pig food, but he could barely stop giggling! This face was the best we got!

After eating “pig food” we talked about how the son realized he didn’t need to eat pig food, he could just go back home. We talked about how the son was afraid that his dad would be mad and wouldn’t love him anymore. What would happen?DSC_4047

Then, K ran to the next station where I was waiting as the dad to give him big hugs and kisses. I told him how much I loved him and that I would love him always and forever!

DSC_4051

It’s really hard to take a picture of yourself giving hugs! My little snuggle bug absolutely loved this part though!

DSC_4058

For the last station we had a party to celebrate the return of the son! We had a special treat (chocolate chips) because you always have treats at parties. I had hung some streamers and turned on some music, so we ended the activity with a….

party

DANCE PARTY!!

 


I hope you enjoyed our activity for the story of the Prodigal Son – I know we did! If you are looking for more hands-on activities to go along with the Jesus Storybook Bible, be sure to check out the whole series here. If you are looking for activities and crafts specifically geared towards a younger age, be sure to check out our Play Through The Bible series. 

Did you hear about the Jesus Storybook Bible Collector’s Edition Package giveaway?! There’s still time to enter! See all the details here, or enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Affiliate links may be included. Thank you for supporting Simple Life. Messy Life. with your purchases.
This post is linked up with…
Mom 2 Mom MondayThe Art of Homemaking Mondays, Monday Musings, Tuesday Talk, Titus 2sday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Women Helping Women, Tuesdays with a Twist, Good Tip Tuesdays, Works for me Wednesday, A Little R&R Wednesdays, Shine Blog Hop, Hearts For Home, Grace at Home,

 

Zacchaeus – Play Through The Bible – Week 24

Play Through The Bible wk24

Week 24 of Play Through The Bible is the story of Zacchaeus meeting Jesus. K really liked this story. Something about a little guy climbing a tree really sparked his interest! I really enjoyed this week as well, there was so much to talk about and do. I hope you and your little one enjoys this week as much as we did!

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 Twenty Four – Zacchaeus


Focus Point

Zacchaeus met Jesus and it changed his heart.

Story Time Tips

  • We read “Little Zacchaeus” starting on page 224 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers and “Little Zacchaeus” starting on page 308 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook.
  • After reading both stories, I told the story again from memory, adding a few details. We talked about what Zacchaeus’ job was – tax collector  – and reenforced that he lied and stole money from people. We talked about how no one liked Zacchaeus and I asked K if he thought Jesus would like him. Most importantly, we talked about Zacchaeus’ heart. We talked about how when Zacchaeus met Jesus, Jesus changed his heart. He didn’t want to do bad things after meeting Jesus and he gave all the people their money back. We’ve talked a lot about our hearts ever since The Parable of the Sower, and K really seems to be starting to understand.

Activity

If you have a small tree nearby, be like Zacchaeus and climb it! If you don’t have a good tree, find something you could use to pretend to climb a tree (a playground, bunk-bed, counter top, etc).

Discussion

Parent: “What was Zacchaeus’ job?”

Child: “Taking money.”

Parent: “Yes, but he lied and stole lots of money didn’t he? Did people like him?”

Child: “No!”

Parent: “Why did Zacchaeus climb a tree?”

Child: “So he could see Jesus.”

Parent: “Yes, and what did Jesus say to him?”

Child: “Come down from that tree!”

Parent: “And then where did they go?”

Child: “To Zacchaeus’ house.”

Parent: “What happened to Zacchaeus’ heart after he met Jesus?”

Child: “He wanted to do good things.”

Parent: “Right, and what did he do with his money?”

Child: “He gave it back to people!”

Parent: “That’s right. Jesus loved Zacchaeus even though he was doing bad things and that made him want to do good things for Jesus.”

Daily Craft

Day One – Zacchaeus Small World

DSC_4015

 

Materials Needed:

  • Peg people or figurines – Jesus and disciples, extra for the crowd
  • Figurine for Zacchaeus
  • Small cardboard box
  • Small branches from a bush or tree
  • Small cup
  • Play-doh

For this small world, I used a recycled box (ours is actually a piece of packing material that we have used for a lot of different things!) with an opening cut into the side as Zacchaeus’ house. I scattered around disciples and people to be the crowd, putting Jesus over by the tree. For the tree I clipped a few branches from a bush and made them stand up by sticking them into a small cup filled with Play-doh. I stuck Zacchaeus in the tree and everything was ready for pretend play!

DSC_4016

Day Two – Coloring Page

http://www.sermons4kids.com/zacchaeus_jesus_colorpg.htm 

Day Three – Z in a Tree

 

DSC_4013

Materials needed:

  • Printable Zacchaeus (got ours here)
  • Paper towel tube (I cut this one down a little)
  • Green construction paper cut into tree top shape
  • Red dot marker (optional)

 

DSC_4019

Use the dot marker to add some fruit (or flowers) to your tree, optional.

DSC_4020

Glue Zacchaeus onto the tree top.

DSC_4022

Cut a slit on each side of the paper towel tube and insert the tree top. All finished!

Day Four – The Tax Collector’s Coins

 

DSC_4011

Materials needed:

  • Circles cut out of cardboard (we made six)
  • Aluminum foil, cut into six small pieces
  • Permanent marker

 

DSC_4024

For this simple craft all you have to do is wrap the aluminum foil around the cardboard circles. K would start the wrapping process and then I would finish to make sure it was all wrapped tight.

DSC_4025

We used the permanent marker to write numbers on our coins.

Day Five – Zacchaeus Meets Jesus Handprint Craft

 

DSC_4014

Materials needed:

  • Green and brown paint
  • Blue piece of construction paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Jesus and Zacchaeus clip art (here and here)

The inspiration for this craft came from here.

 

DSC_4026

First, using the brown paint, cover your child’s arm from wrist to elbow.

DSC_4027

Press the brown arm down onto the paper, wipe up a bit, and then paint both of your child’s hands with the green paint.

DSC_4028

Press green handprints at the top of the brown arm to make the leaves of the tree.

DSC_4029

Glue Zacchaeus up into the top of the tree.

DSC_4030

Glue Jesus down on the ground.

DSC_4033

We used our extra green paint to make some grass and we were finished!

Extra Resources

You can’t miss this classic song!

Zacchaeus Was A Wee Little Man

 


I hope you enjoyed week twenty 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 may be included. Thank you for using your purchases to help support Simple Life. Messy Life.