Friday, September 30, 2016

Letter D: Songs & Rhymes

1) Down by the Station:
  • Hold up these train pictures from Chirpy Chatterbox while singing the song. Let your child blow a train whistle when you say "puff, puff, toot, toot, off we go!" I found our train whistle at the dollar store.
Down by the station early in the morning (hold up station picture)
See the little puffer trains all in a row (hold up train picture)
Here comes the driver to start up the engine (hold up driver picture)
Puff, Puff, Toot, Toot (blow train whistle)
Off we go!

2) Days of the Week
  • Shake egg shakers (plastic eggs filled with rice and taped shut) while singing this song. 
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week.

There's Sunday and there's Monday,
Tuesday and there's Wednesday,
Thursdays and there's Friday,
And then there's Saturday.

Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week.

Tune: "The Adam's Family"

3) Dinosaur, Dinosaur Action Rhyme:
  • Hold a play dinosaur while doing the actions to this rhyme.
Dinosaur, dinosaur turn around,
Dinosaur, dinosaur stomp the ground,
Dinosaur, dinosaur show your claws
Dinosaur, dinosaur snap your jaws
Dinosaur, dinosaur turn around,
Dinosaur, dinosaur sit back down

4) Five Little Ducks:
  • Option One: Use rubber ducks (I found ours at the Dollar Store) as props for this song. You'll need one large duck and five little ducks. Remove a duck when prompted in the song. 

Five little ducks went out to play,
Over the hill and far away.
When the mother duck called
"Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!"
Four little ducks came waddling back.

(Repeat with four little ducks, three little ducks, two little ducks)

One little duck went out to play, 
Over the hill and far away.
When the mother duck called
"Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!"
Five little ducks came waddling back.

  • Option Two: Print Five Little Ducks from Pickle Bum and use them to sing this song. You can use a magnet board, felt board (glue diaper fasteners onto the back of each duck to stick to a felt board), or glue them to popsicle sticks.
5) Drum Play: Pull out pots, pans and spoons for your children to play with. Pretend they are drums. Sing any song you'd like or tap to a rhythm.

Homemade Dinosaur Fossils

Step One: Make Salt Dough. This is so easy to make. All you need to do is mix 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 cup of water together in a bowl. I mixed it with my hands. If the dough feels too dry add a little more water, and it the dough feels sticky add a bit more flour. We added play dinosaurs, a plastic cup and spoon, and a play rolling pin to their high chairs. My boys loved making footprints in the dough, hiding their dinosaurs in a ball, and filling and emptying their cups with dough.

Step Two: After an extended time of play (my boys played for over an hour!), you can get to the fossil part. Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Use a plastic cup (or something similar) to make a circle in the dough. Put a little flour on the play dinosaur (so it doesn't stick) and make an imprint in the dough.

Step Three: Place your dough imprints on a cookie sheet and back at 200 degrees for about 2 hours. You'll know they're done, because the dough will look dry and cooked all the way through. 

Step Four: Once the dinosaurs are fully cooked and hardened, you can paint the fossils, match the dinosaurs to their correct fossil, use them in a sensory bin, or solely play with them. We decided to paint ours.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

FHE: Joseph Smith Saw Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ

This lesson contains material from the current nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones. Click here to view the original lesson, "Joseph Smith Saw Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ" from For other Family Home Evening lessons, search our Family Home Evening Index


Scripture Story: Show the picture below and briefly tell the story of the First Vision. "This is a picture of Joseph Smith (point to Joseph; invite your child(ren) to say Joseph Smith). He wanted to know which church was true. He read in the Bible (open the Bible) that we can pray to know the truth (invite the children to pretend to read). Joseph went to a grove of trees (point to the trees) to ask Heavenly Father in prayer. While he was praying, he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ."

Scripture: "Open the Pearl of Great Price to Joseph Smith History 1:17 and tell your child(ren) that you are going to read what Heavenly Father said to Joseph Smith. Explain that he pointed to Jesus Christ and said: "This I Beloved Son. Hear Him!" Explain that Jesus told Joseph that He would bring back the true Church of Jesus Christ."

Activity Verse: In place of a song, we did this activity verse today. Explain that you'll retell the story using actions. Invite your child(ren) to say the words and do the actions with you. I like activity verses, because children can easily remember rhymes mixed with actions. Repeat the verse below a few times.

Joseph knelt among the trees (hold arms up like trees)
And said a special prayer (fold arms)
He saw the Father and the Son (look up, shading eyes with hand)
And listened to Them there. (cup hand around ear)

Finger Puppets OR Coloring Page: I like having something visual to hang on the fridge as a reminder of our family home evening lesson during the week. We decided to do the finger puppets (my barely three year old told us the story using the puppets) and coloring page this week.

Joseph Smith Video: Growing up, I loved watching the Living Scriptures Animated Series videos. They were the only movies we could watch on Sundays, and I loved them! I can recall a ton of stories from the Book of Mormon and Bible from watching them so many times. I found the entire set on KSL for a fraction of the price. Included is The Joseph Smith Story, which we watched for our lesson tonight. Option: If you would rather watch a short Joseph Smith Story on Youtube, click here.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

FHE: Music & Song


Scripture & Introduction: Read D&C 25:12 - Explain that this is Heavenly Father and Jesus talking: "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." This scripture teaches us that Heavenly Father and Jesus love when we sing or listen to good music. Do you like to sing? When we sing good music, it helps us feel happy, excited, reverent and good inside. Songs help us remember Jesus.
Sing Primary Children Songs: Before our family home evening lesson, I wrote each of the songs below on a brown paper sack. Most of the sacks were filled with items we'd use to sing the song (ie: "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission" had missionary badges inside). When we were ready, my boys (ages 3, 1) chose one sack at a time and we sang the song afterward. I made a playlist of the songs below, so we could sing along. You can download the Children's Songbook for free. A lot of the ideas below came from Camille's Primary Ideas. Thank you for sharing such great ideas!
  • I Love to See the Temple (p.95): Have your child hold up a picture of a temple while singing this song. You can print temple pictures and glue them onto a piece of card stock. Place the temple pictures in a sheet protector or laminate. Click the link to view a family home evening lesson on temples.
  • Jesus Want me for a Sunbeam (p.60): Make your own suns or print suns from construction paper. Laminate if desired and tape/glue onto popsicle sticks. Have your child(ren) hold up the suns and when you say, "BEAM" have them jump up with their suns. Click the link to view a family home evening lesson on sun beams.
  • If You're Happy & You Know It (p.266): Prepare a bag of Mr. Potato Head items and let your child draw one item from the bag at a time. Sing the song accordingly: hand - clap your hands, foot - stomp your feet, eyes - blink your eyes, ears - tickle your ears, nose - touch your nose, etc. See how we used these in a family home evening lesson on reverence. 
  • Do as I'm Doing (p. 276): Prepare a bag with toy animals. Have your child draw an animal and sing the song accordingly: elephant - stomp your feet; snake - slither on the ground; frog - jump; bird - flap your arms.
  • I Hope They Call me on a Mission (p.169): Wear missionary badges (clipped on to shirts with clothes pins) while singing this song. We will also clap along to the tune. See how we used these missionary badges in a recent family home evening lesson on missionaries.
  • Follow the Prophet (p.110): Print pictures of the prophet and tape them onto wooden dowels or popsicle sticks. Have children take turns being the leader, while everyone else follows in a line. Click the link to view a recent prophet family home evening lesson.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ (p.77): Shake egg shakers (plastic eggs filled with rice and taped close with electrical tape) while singing this song. My boys love these egg shakers! Click the link to view I Belong to The Church of Jesus Christ family home evening lesson.
  • Give Said the Little Stream (p.236): Gently shake blue pom poms or scarves, like moving water, while singing this song. I found a set of two pom poms for a dollar at the Dollar Store.

Here are a few other ideas:
  • I Am a Child of God (p.2): Wear Crows while singing this song. Find crowns at the dollar store or print crowns. Click here to view a family home evening lesson on this topic.
  • I Am Like a Star Shining Brightly (p. 163): Draw a star or print one (laminate if you'd like) and have your child(ren) hold up the stars as they sing. 
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes (p.275): Use actions while singing this song.
  • Popcorn Popping (p.242): Use actions while singing this song.

Coloring Page: After singing and moving our hearts out, we colored a singing coloring page. I like to have something to hang on the fridge after each lesson to remind us of what we learned for FHE that week. 


Letter C: Letter of The Week (Age 3)

Here's what our week looked like for Letter C: 

Read, Read, Read. I love reading to my kids on a daily basis. My almost three has always loved being read to, but my one is pretty hit and miss. A lot of days, I'll read to both of them while they're eating breakfast. I checked out our Letter C Booklist at the library a week in advance. The picture above were our very favorite books, but you view more great Letter C books by clicking on the booklist link.

Read Letter C Book. We also love to read these Little Letter Books from The Measured Mom. There are only eight or so pictures in each booklet. I pointed out the uppercase and lowercase C's (since we are focusing on both this year) and we talked about the pictures. 

Letter C Songs & Rhymes. This year, I'm putting together an interactive set of songs & rhymes for each letter of the alphabet. I know this series is focused on my almost three, but my one year old had so much fun doing the Letter C Songs & Rhymes with us this week. 

Writing Practice. Every child is different, but my almost three loves writing letters! We practiced writing the Letter C's with "C's of All Sizes" from The Measured Mom. I decided to laminate these, so we can use them over and over again. Because my almost three loves writing so much, we practiced more with our ABC Write & Wipe.  

Craft #1: White Clouds & Blue Skies from Preschool Alphabet. Each week we do three crafts. I will save one of the crafts for each letter and compile them into a "craft alphabet book" to have at the end of the series. For this craft, I drew clouds and Letter C's with a white crayon on a piece of white card stock. My almost three painted the entire paper with blue water (water mixed with blue liquid watercolor) to reveal the clouds and letter C. 

Craft #2: Coin Piggy Bank from Frogs & Tails & Puppy Dog Tails: This was so much fun to make. My almost three loves peppa pig, so I just had to buy peppa pig stickers to stick on our piggy bank (empty baby puffs container). It's hard to see them, but we also used home made Letter C stickers, letter C's written and cut from contact paper, as a review of our letter this week. When my almost three finished decorating, we talked about coins as he placed them inside his new piggy bank.

Craft #3: Cotton Ball Stamping. My almost three dipped and stamped cotton balls on a piece of paper (the cotton balls are held by a clothespin for an easier grip). I wanted this to be an open ended project, so I have no instruction other than to stamp the cotton balls. My almost three decided it would be the most fun to hurry and stamp the C and be finished. My one loved joining in on the fun as well.

Color Review - Where's the coin? I drew Letter C's (in all different colors) on white squares of paper. I placed them on the ground and hid a coin under one of them. My almost three would ask, "Is the coin under the (color) C?" Then he'd remove the card. If the coin wasn't there, he'd try a new card. If it was, I gave him a little candy. 

Math - Cloud Shapes: My almost three really loved this activity. I drew shapes on the non-sticky side of contact paper and taped the contact paper onto the window (sticky side up). My almost three drew one cloud (cotton ball) from the bag and I would ask, "What's that clouds favorite shape?" And my three would respond something along the lines, "My favorite shape is a circle," and place it on the circle. My one couldn't help but join in on the fun. 

Math - Counting Stars & Toy Cars from The Measured Mom. My almost three counted the number of stars in the lines (with help as needed) and parked the car with the matching number. Find other ideas to do with toy cars by clicking here.

Sensory Bin - Cars & Cloud Dough. My almost three and one both loved playing with cloud dough! My almost three watched 101 Dalmations yesterday and was fascinated when Cruella drove her car off the cliff at the end of the movie. So, that's mostly what was discussed while my almost three drove "Cruella's Car" through mounds of cloud dough reenacting the scene. It's starting to get cold outside, so I put our bin in the tub to contain the mess. It swept up quite nicely afterward. Click here to learn how to make regular cloud dough and fizzing cloud dough.

Letter Cc Activity #1 - Cc is for Cats from This Reading Mama. My almost three covered the Big C's with a blue power magnet and the little c's with a yellow power magnet. The worksheet is on a magnetic cookie sheet, so that magnets stick. He loved this so much, he requested to do it again when he was finished. 

Letter Cc Activity #2 - Letter C Hunt from The Measured Mom: A lot of times, activities don't go exactly how they're explained or planned. And I'm learning with my perfectionist personality to not worry about it. The goal of this worksheet is to find and stamp all of the big and little letter C's. My almost three said, "Letter D is my favorite! I'll stamp that one!" And then he stamped all over the cat at the bottom of the page. Needless to say, this page turned out pretty messy by the end. But, we did stamp all the Letter C's, which was the main point of this activity anyway. :)

Beginning Sounds Activity: Beginning Sound Coloring Page from The Measured Mom. One of my goals is for my almost three to start understanding beginning sounds. I pointed to the pictures one at a time and had my almost three identify the picture. "/C/ /C/ /C/ Candy. Does that start with the Letter C?" My almost three colored in the objects that start with the Letter C.

Letter C Science - Rain Clouds: Before this experiment, we talked about how rain comes from clouds. Clouds collect water and when there is too much, the water leaks through, forming rain. My almost three dropped "blue water" into our "cloud" and sure enough, when there was too much water it started to "rain". I have to admit, the most fun part of this activity was playing with water and shaving cream afterward. Click here for a tutorial.

Alphabet Review - License Plate Letter Match from Preschool Alphabet: Each week I like to review the entire alphabet, so my almost three can see the big picture. We pretended my almost three was a police officer and needed to find all the missing letters and numbers. We went on a walk outside and my almost three looked at license plates and put an office sticker on the matching letters and numbers on our alphabet car printable

Name Review - Push Pin/Fine Motor Name Review: I wrote my almost three's name on a piece of white card stock and placed the paper on the carpet. My almost three used a pushpin to poke holes in the letters of his name. This was a fun project to hang on the window as light would come through the holes.

And that's it!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Letter C: Songs & Rhymes

1) C is for Caterpillar from The Measured Mom.

  • Print caterpillar and butterfly clipart from Preschool Mom. Glue the caterpillar onto one side of a popsicle stick and the butterfly onto the other side of the popsicle stick. Have your child hold the caterpillar to start and flip to the butterfly at the end of the song.
The fuzzy little caterpillar
Curled upon a leaf.
Spun her little chrysalis
And then she fell asleep.
While she was sleeping, 
She dreamed that she could fly.
And later when she woke up
She was a butterfly!

Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider

2) C is for Clouds from the Measured Mom.

  • Hold & Shake Cloud Shaker Plates. Both of my boys (ages: almost three and one) loved these cloud shakers! You can make them by hot gluing two paper plates together, with dried beans inside. I drew a cloud on a piece of blue paper and used a velcro dot to stick it to the plate. I chose velcro dots, so I can reuse the shaker plates in the future. 

Clouds are floating
Clouds are floating
Up so high, up so high,
Floating up above us,
floating up above us,
In the sky, in the sky

Tune: Are you Sleeping?

3) Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?
  • I bought a set of oreo matchin' middles to use for this song. They are expensive new on amazon ($40), so I looked around a bit and was so excited to find a gently used set on ebay ($7). My almost three drew a cookie, identified the shape inside and we sang the song. Then, my one drew a cookie, I told him the shape inside and we sang the song. We did this over and over until my boys were tired of singing and only wanted to play with the oreos. If you don't want to buy anything, you can print a set of cookies and do the same activity.
(Name) stole the cookies from the cookie jar.
Who me?
Yes, you?
Couldn't be! 
Then, who? 

(have child choose a new name and repeat song)

4) We are Little Orange Crabs by Heather McPhail.
  • Use actions while singing this song. My almost three wanting to sing this song over and over with a different color of crab each time. 
We are little orange crabs by the sea,
(pretend to pinch with your hands)
Playing on the sand we're happy as can be.
(point to cheeks).
Watch us crawling this way and that way, too,
(use fingers to pretend crawl on the floor)
And then go swimming in the sea so blue.
 (pretend to swim).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Goldilocks & The Three Bears Activities

Below are some activities to do along with Goldilock's & The Three Bears:

  • Read your favorite version of Goldilock's & The Three Bears: We love the one below written by Caralyn Buehner & Mark Buehner. I checked this book out from our local library.

  • Play Where's Goldilocks? from Preschool Alphabet: Print a picture of Goldilocks from the book above or from a google search. Print on card stock and tape onto a popsicle stick. Take turns hiding and finding Goldilocks. My almost three especially loved this game!

  • Size Sort Bears: Print the sizing chart (from Preschool Alphabet) below and use these counting bears to size sort small, medium and large. View other ways to play with counting bears by clicking here.
  • Three Bears Dress Up Puzzle: My almost three loves our three bears puzzle. This puzzle is good for fine motor skills and sizing practice. See how we use these in our quiet play (link to come).
  • Goldilock's & The Three Bears Flannel Board: Retell the story of Goldilock's & The Three Bears with flannel board figures. This flannel board comes in a set of four stories that you can buy for around $22. The pieces come pre-cut.