Monday, January 24, 2011

Play and Learn with Mama - Week 1: Psalm 23

   If you would like to know more about how I structure morning play and learn times at our home, please click here.

   This week our launch pad book was Psalm 23, illustrated by Barry Moser.

We read the book everyday and loved looking at the gorgeous illustrations and chatting about things like what it must be like to be sheep, why sheep need shepherds, how Jesus is like a shepherd to us, how the sheep in this book are different from the ones we usually see in our country, and so on. 


Mama-made dot-to-dots, and she had to draw in 'woolly coats' for the two sheep in the center.


We counted how many sheep in each fold by placing a Touch 'n Count cube (please see bottom of post for ordering information)  on each one. We then stacked the cubes to see which one was tallest (i.e. the most sheep!). I was hoping to do a simple graph, too, but Sweetpea lost interest.


I drew these pictures on long strips of butcher paper and taped it to the wall for Sweetpea to practice cutting. This was a hit!

Birds and their beaks

We discussed the three types of birds we saw in the book: doves, vultures and pelicans, and how their beaks are adapted to their diets. We watched short video clips online at Ocean Footage and Nature Footage and both children were fascinated and we had long conversations about pelicans and vultures all day long!

I made this simple worksheet for Sweetpea to connect each bird to it's food.

Then she traced the irregular shapes of bird beaks on a page from a cute little book called Pattern Play.

'Sheep' Art

I wanted to do something different than just gluing cotton balls to a sheep's body, so we had a go at painting with shaving cream...because it looks like sheep wool, of course!! Well, it does until you add the colour...This was the highlight of my children's week!

Oh yea, Mama!

It was inevitable, and we had a lovely shower afterwards which was almost just as much fun!!

Little Bo Peep...

I first showed her pictures of shepherds from a few children's Bibles, then helped her dress like one. I had used masking tape to make two corrals on the carpet, and drew sheepy faces on some white balloons. Their feet with cut from black cardboard to make them a little more stable. The idea for the paddle 'staff' is from here. She had to gently herd her sheep from one corral to the next using her 'staff'.

Thank goodness for such a good assistant shepherd to help keep renegade sheep at bay!

NOTE: Many of the toys and learning equipment that I use during our morning playtimes come from the various toy ranges I sell. In today's post, the Touch 'n Count Cubes is such a product. These sell at R45 per 100 (10 of each colour) - price excludes postage. I gladly accept orders for anywhere in South Africa. Please 
email me if you'd like to place an order.


  1. I love your children's expressions with the shaving foam - total delight at how much fun their hands are JUST about to have. What a well rounded experience this was for them, you covered it all: dot to dot, cutting, . . .
    You've got great ideas, Grietjie. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Isabel!! Delighted to see you've figured out the whole comments thing!! Welcome! Oooohhh they just had SO much fun with that shaving foam. There is still plenty left in the tin, so we'll probably have another go soon. Glad you enjoyed the other activities, too. You have been a tremendous inspiration with regard to early childhood to me in the past year, so keep a look out for some Isabel-flavoured ideas in upcoming weeks!! Lots of love.


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