Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Using what we have 3: MAGAZINE PICTURES - Animal Matching Cards

Note: I have tried for several days to upload the photos for this post correctly, but with no success. Here's hoping none of my readers end up with a cramp in the neck after reading this!!)

Travel magazines usually contain breathtaking nature photography. I cut these out and laminated them to make sturdy, beautiful animal identification cards. I have over a 100 cards of different sizes, but here is a little sample:

For the most part, my children just love 'free playing' with these. They stare at them and talk about them and make up little stories, and ArrowBoy especially likes imitating the sounds. But they can also be used in more structured ways.

The possibilities for using these are ENDLESS...
Here are a few very basic ideas:

Match the plastic animal to the picture card. (A variation for my older child is to put the chosen animals in a cloth bag and she has to then 'feel' for the one on the particular picture card!)

Match the picture to a magnetic animal from our Melissa and Doug set.

Use alphabet flash cards to match the animal on your picture card to the beginning sounds.

  • Sort by continent on which the animals are found
  • Are they wild / farm animals, or pets
  • Mammals / birds / reptiles
  • Place in alphabetical order (for older children)
Or... play 'I Spy' to practice hearing beginning sounds.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

This is how we celebrate - Pentecost 2011

What a very special day we had as we celebrated the Birthday of the Church today!!

All week long we have been reading the story about Pentecost during family devotions. I had made a felt banner which we put up the day after Ascension Day, and we have been counting down the ten days that the disciples waited in Jerusalem after Jesus had gone to heaven. This morning we opened the last flap, to reveal a picture of people from different nationalities receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday!

And what would a birthday be without a party??

We made Tongues of Fire party hats...

and decorated yummy flame-yellow cupcakes with pretty, bright candles...

And in the living room we hung a circle of descending doves and flames to remind us of God's Holy Spirit being poured out. (You can find a tutorial for making the three-dimensional felt doves here. I made the flames out of felt too, attached it to ribbons of increasing length, and hung it all from an extra large, old embroidery hoop.).

Our guests were some lovely young people from our church who is in the middle of a Year of Spiritual Equipping through our church's Kingdom Pioneers program. This year we are blessed to have four students who are all from different nations: Malawi, Eritrea, Switzerland and South Africa.(Add to that my Australian husband...and we then had 5 different nations represented in our living room this morning!!) So they came over after church to celebrate with us...and we had such a good time that I completely forgot to take pictures!! We worshiped God together, then my husband read us the story of Pentecost from the Bible, and then each of us had a turn to say the Lord's Prayer in our own language - super special! May you and yours be blessed this week...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Using what we have 2: MAGAZINE PICTURES - Flower Girl greeting cards

I've been collecting scraps from magazine pictures with interesting designs on them and keeping them in a plastic sleeve. So when I saw this cute idea on Giddy Giddy, I pulled out the scraps and a glue stick and Sweetpea and I spent a rainy afternoon crafting these pretties!

I used a sharp craft knife to cut out the areas where the girls' clothes would be, and Sweetpea had SO much fun choosing the 'outfits'. She opted for flowers every time, so we have a sweet little collection of Flower Girls just waiting to bring cheer to the happy recipients of these cards.

(We have a little friend whose birthday is coming up soon, and Sweetpea wanted to draw in the face on her friend's card herself - isn't it so sweet??)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Using what we have 1: MAGAZINE PICTURES - flowers flip-book

My mother recently cleared out her magazine stash and gave me a whole box full of gardening magazines. I definitely do NOT have green fingers, but I LOVE pretty flowers, and so do my children! We like to identify trees and flowers during our walks in the neighbourhood, and Grandma's garden is the perfect place to discover new plants and enjoy the ones we already now.

I thought it would be fun to have a flip-book with pictures of flowers we may encounter on our walks, or even on trips to the botanical gardens. So many possibilities for a morning walk treasure hunt, too!! So I tore into that stack of garden magazines with my scissors and heated up the old laminator, and...TA-DAA!

I love the cheery, bright  pictures of indigenous plants like these arum lilies! The flip book also has beautiful pictures of a variety of proteas, from Kings to pincushions.

One could also use these to make three part cards for Montessori activities.

I love that I did not need to spend any money on this project: the magazines came free with compliments of my mum, the green cardboard was left over from a craft we did a few months ago, and my hubby had gifted me with a pack of laminating pouches at the beginning of the year. I still have a bag full of key rings in the garage that was left over from the key rings I made as favours for our wedding guests almost five years ago (!!), so even that was on hand.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Godly Play: Ascension Day 2011

I first saw this idea on Oriental Trading Company where they sell it as a craft for children to make. I've prepared this as a Godly Play prop for telling the story of Jesus' ascension.

This is so quick and basic to make:

Print and cut out one of the many free colouring pictures of Jesus ascending to heaven. (I reduced the size of mine to fit the opening of the paper cup, and glued it onto a piece of card to make it a little sturdier)

Glue some cotton wool to a blue paper cup (you can also cut out white clouds from craft foam).

Make a little hole just above Jesus' head and thread a piece of embroidery floss through it, then through a small slit in the bottom of the paper cup, and sandwich it between two white cardboard clouds.

Write an appropriate Scripture on the cloud - I used Matthew 28:20:

I will set this up as follows: Make a 'mountain' by turning a mixing bowl / shoe box / laundry basket upside down and covering it with a green cloth / sheet /towel. Place peg doll disciples in a semi-circle on the mountain. Position Jesus among them and as you tell the story of how Jesus was taken up in the cloud, pull the cloud so Jesus disappears into the paper cup 'sky'.

(This is not a great photo, but it was a little tricky holding onto the cup and trying to take a photo!!)

We will end this with singing two songs my children know about Jesus returning for us one day (For my local readers: Hy kom weer op die wolke - Oom Karolus en Lente; As Jesus kom op die wolke - Jan de Wet en die Loflaaities.) I also have the full-size colouring page ready which I used for our Jesus figure. You can get it here.


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