Archive | April 2010

Alphabet Wall: Making…r is for rainbow

On Friday at breakfast, I was wearing a t-shirt that had a picture of Noah’s Ark on it.
(Yeah, I’m a thrifty mommy that wears old church camp t-shirts at home…I don’t care what kind of fashion statement that makes about me, so there!)

Midway through munching on her Cheerios, DD turned to me and pointed out that the rainbow colours are in the wrong order. “Mommy, green should be after yellow”, she said.

Hm. Rightly so.  🙂
The other day, I also found her trying to mix red and yellow to get orange, using markers, which doesn’t produce as good an effect. So I thought for alphabet wall craft this week, we’d paint a rainbow and explore colour mixing as part of the process.  🙂

You will need the following materials: three paintbrushes, red, yellow and blue paint, artblock sheet, marker.

1. With the marker, draw a block small letter r on the artblock sheet.

2. Get ready your paints. This is how you should lay it out.

3. Using the first brush, paint a stroke of red paint across the top.
4. Next, pick up the second brush, paint a stroke of yellow paint, leaving a gap between the red and yellow.
5. Third, pick up the third brush and paint a stroke of blue paint, again, leaving a gap between the blue and yellow.

6. Now, pick up the first brush, mix the red and yellow in a separate section of your palette to get orange, and paint the gap between the red and yellow.
7. Fourthly, pick up the second brush, mix the yellow and blue to get green, and paint the gap between the yellow and blue.
8. Following that, pick up the third brush, mix the blue with red, and paint indigo below the blue line.
9. Lastly, mix a little more red in to get violet and paint below the indigo line.

Write the letters       w in multiple marker colours, of course! 😉

(Yes…for you observant readers, I did unfortunately mix up indigo and violet.  I kicked myself after finding this out, because I should have stuck to my original thought logic which had the colour mixing order right. But then I tried to be extra clever, googled the RGB definitions and then ended up reversing the order by mistake!  Gah. I can’t stand it…

DD is none the wiser at the moment, but I am, after double checking, and so at some point I am going to need to correct it…)

Anyway…Ta dah! A wonderful way to learn mixing colours and to paint a rainbow without having to make multiple trips to wash paintbrushes in the sink. 😉

Related Bible story: Noah and the great flood (Genesis 6:5 – 9:17)

Note to parents:
I guess for a three- year old to be required to retain such a degree of control with the paintbrush strokes on this activity probably translates to a lot of pent-up energy in the process!  

Although she enjoyed it, DD wanted to really paint freestyle after finishing the rainbow. So, if your mommy mess-o-meter can take it, below is an alternative activity you could consider, that will allow a little more freedom of expression. 🙂

Rainbow handprints

The white stats

5 months ago I wrote about DS’s troublesome milk feeds.
3 times a day; breakfast, mid afternoon and after-dinner, we brace ourselves for this obstacle event that inspires little enthusiasm on either side of the high chair.

2 months ago, I decided I would die on this hill only twice a day.
In the morning…I will semi-die.  😛

I started cooking 5 oz of milk with 2 heaped tablespoons of oatmeal for his breakfast. 4 oz gets poured in at the start, 1 oz gets mixed in as the oatmeal thickens when it cools.

I don’t know how long he will be happy to have this disguised milk oatmeal for breakfast 7 days a week, 30 days a month, 365 days a year, before he starts protesting.
But I’ll make the most of it for as long as this happy situation lasts!

I just need it to last another 4 months till he’s 2, and then I’ve stated to DH that I don’t care afterward if he drinks milk or not.
Wow…thinking about it, if we reach that target, that would mean 13 months of feeding him milk by the spoon!!

It’s quite an unusual conversation starter, when we are in public and start preparing his milk feed. Curious onlookers sometimes ask if he’s having a second lunch or dinner!
To which we reply, no it’s milk, and then we carry on to have an animated conversation replete with the numbers and statistics of his milk feed record.

So coming back to that magic age of 2 years old, yeah…I think, I think, I could live with him not drinking milk after that.
Or actually…
Aaah, I don’t know for sure.

Maybe, just maybe…he’ll start liking milk? And we’ll start a different kind of numbers record keeping? One could hope…  😛

Fun with scissors: Learning through play

In the mornings while I am getting ready for work, DD usually requests permission to use her scissors and markers. So I hand her a notebook and some scrap paper, and she busies herself with drawing in the notebook or cutting the paper.

Usually the scissor cuttings are fairly random, like this.

But occasionally, she surprises me, with gems like this one!  😀

Parental note: When she surprises me with the letter L, like the one above, it is not a parent-directed activity and I don’t think DD even realises that she is, in effect learning through play.

Presently my aim is just for her to get comfortable using a pair of scissors and, with a little guidance, but mostly figure out for herself, the best way for her to hold a pair of scissors and manoeuvre it around the shapes she decides she wants to cut.

To that end, scrap paper and old magazines are great resources for preschooler practice on building initial scissor skills.  🙂

Alphabet Wall: Making…p is for parchment

In the past week, while reading our picture Bible together with the kids, DD stopped to point to the scrolls held by the people in the pictures and ask what that is.
So I thought we’d have some fun making our own instant parchment scroll to write on.  😉

You will need the following materials: cup, tea bag or small amount of loose tea leaves (any kind), a sheet of white paper, shallow rectangular dish or tray, hairdryer.

1. Make yourself a nice cup of your favourite tea. Enjoy with a muffin…  Very very nice! 😛  (sorry, munched it all up before I thought about taking a picture)

2. After you have enjoyed the first cup, make a second cup using the same tea bag/leaves. Leave to cool.

3. When the tea has cooled, place the sheet of white paper into your tray or dish and pour the tea to cover the entire surface of the paper.

Let it sit for 30 minutes.
4. Remove the sheet of paper from the solution, and blow dry with a hairdryer.

Now you can write anything you like on your “parchment” and roll it up into a scroll, just like people did in the olden days. 😉

And that’s two simple but really great ideas for alphabet craft this week…Have fun! 🙂

Alphabet Wall: Making…p is for plant

A phone message from one of our friends at Sunday School requesting parents to bring a photo for a craft project the kids will be making for the month’s theme of “God made me” reminded me of this simple science experiment from my primary school days.  🙂

Red or green beans on cotton wool presents a wonderful way of allowing a child to observe the growth from seed to sprout as they water the plant and watch its progress day by day.

Very short list of materials for this week’s craft: Two or three small green or red beans, a small shallow dish, cotton wool, water.

1. Place the cotton wool into the bottle cap and the beans on top of the cotton wool. Add some water.

2. Explain to your child that this will grow into a plant. Place this in a sunny spot, like near a window.
3. And…WAIT…
4. In a day’s time, you should be able to see a tiny white shoot making its way out. Keep watering your little plant, and in a few more days, you’ll see that the little bean has taken root and and grown a healthy green shoot, maybe with a leaf or two!

Our little bean sprouts four days after

For the Alphabet Wall craft, you could ask your child to draw a picture of the plant they helped to water and grow, and write the letter p on their completed work.

Aside from teaching our children how a plant germinates from just a tiny seed, I think it’s also a wonderful object lesson for us all in appreciating the power of God in Genesis  in creating ALL the vegetation and plants that covered the earth in a single day, when we have to wait a couple of days just to see one single green shoot! 😀

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Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.  Genesis 1: 11-13

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10am Additional note:  After breakfast this morning we went to check on our little five-day-old plants. DS was so excited he kept going back again and again to check on it. I think I should start looking for a little pot to put them in.  🙂  

An analysis of Exodus 16 and Numbers 11

Yesterday night, when I checked the blog comments, I found this response posted by my brother! 

I thought it was so well-written, it deserved a post in itself, so that this can be shared with other readers who might also have been interested in the follow-up question I posed relating to our latest alphabet wall craft for the letter q

I proudly invite you now to enjoy the analysis and comparison of the Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 passages, by a soon-to-graduate doctoral candidate. 🙂

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The passages from Exodus 16 and Numbers 11 are of a different timing.

Firstly, in Exodus 16, the time is recorded to be “on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt” (Ex 16:1). In Numbers 10, they left the Desert of Sinai “on the twentieth day of the second month of the second year (after they came out of Egypt)” (v 11, 12).

Secondly, the first event happened in the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai unlike the event in Numbers 11, when they had already left the Desert of Sinai (Num 10:11-13).

Also, the difference between Exodus 16 and Numbers 11. The event in Exodus 16 was a blessing from God but in Numbers 11, God’s anger burnt against his people. At first, the Israelites were curious about the manna (Ex 16:15) but after eating it for a year, they were getting tired of it (Num 11:5). And this was only the second of forty years that they would have to eat manna (Ex 16:35).

In the first event, God told them that they would have meat at twilight and bread in the morning (Ex 16:12) but in Numbers 11:18-20, after much grumbling, God told them they would have meat until it came out of their nostrils and loathe it. For two days and a night they gathered meat; their greed got the better of them, as they gathered more than they needed. They probably ate it, and ate a lot (Psalm 78:29) but their lust for meat overwhelmed and as a result of that “while (the meat) was still in their mouths, God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel” (Psalm 78:30-31, Num 11:33).

So, different time frame and very different outcomes. In the first event, Moses was angry (Ex 16:20). In the latter, God was angry (Num 11:33). The only similarity – Israel’s grumbling.

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Featured on the Crafty Crow!

Our picture collage craft that we did back in May 2009 got featured recently on the Crafty Crow! 😀

Click here for the full instructions and steps for the picture collage craft.

And click here to check out The Crafty Crow website for more art and craft ideas.  For the month of April, the focus is on craft using recycled materials.  🙂