Monthly Archives: October 2008

Very Very V

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting another installment of the letter U, I’m sorry. I slacked. I did. U was a hard one. I could only think of “uncle” and “unicorn”. I mean, uncle? So, we just skipped ahead to letter V. And V? I like!

I chose John 15:5, “I am the vine. You are the branches.” This is one of the seven “I AM” sayings of Jesus. We’ve already done two of these verses previously (“I am the light” for I and “I am the good Shepherd” for S). I love these sayings because they are such great word pictures. (I’m thinking when we’re done with the ABC verses, we might do a “unit” on these I AM sayings.)

We started off doing starfall.com (which had a vacuum in it! what a perfect V word…I feel a vacuuming activity coming on!). Then we went to our bedroom window and looked outside. We have vines growing all over our house and you can see tons of it from our window. We looked at the vine, the branches, the leaves and talked about what would happen if the leaves came off. Lydia was enthralled. After explaining that we need to be connected to Jesus, I said, “Maybe we can go pick a vine tomorrow.” She said, “No. The leaves would die!” (Or something like that…she was getting the idea!)

Anyway, back to our craft…

Yesterday while I was buying all the YUMMY craft supplies for our BUCKET O’CRAFTS giveaway*, Lydia and I bought some glitter. I’ve been wanting to do glitter with her because I knew she’d love it, but didn’t have any laying around. I bought several different colors and we made a beautiful glittery green vine!

I did the curly vine, let Lydia dump the glitter (which honestly didn’t work too well). Then I cut out those amazing leaves and let her glue them on.

She loves the vine and wants to do MORE. GLITTER. So, get ready for some more glitter crafts, I’m sure.

We also printed off a V handwriting sheet from Christian Preschool Printables and lo and behold–it’s got our verse on it, too. Lydia is getting pretty good at tracing the letters. I’m…yup, impressed!

Not only was this one cute, it’s just a perfect tie in for the verse, the letter and for life! I’ve got another good vine craft up my sleeve. Tonight we’re going to a Harvest Party-thingie at my mom’s church (wait till you see what my kids are dressed up as!) but I’ll be sharing our vine with you soon!

*we’ll announce the winner today or tomorrow, I promise!

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Filed under abc, letter of the day, verse

Show and Tell

Lydia and I have been doing our “abc verses” for several months now. And with each new letter, it was easy to review the letter before. Well, for about ten letters or so. Any more and Lydia would get a little bored with reciting and honestly, I couldn’t remember all of them!

We usually display the letter and verse of the week in an inconspicuous spot in the living room. But what to do with all the other verses? I wanted them out where we could review them. But good grief, where do you hang 26 pieces of construction paper? So, I decided to bite the keep-her-room-cute bullet and display all of them  in her room. And of course, we made a craft project out of it!

I grabbed a few clothespins (which I usually have for keeping frozen veggie bags closed), the few paints I own and paintbrushes cut up sponges.

We ripped open a Trader Joe’s bag for a dropcloth and begain to paint. Well, sponge paint.

Lydia was beyond excited about this. She could have done it for hours. We only painted one side of the clothespins. We didn’t even make them super cute. It was just about the experience! Although, I did bust out a few rainbow clothespins and even a wordless book clothespin.

However, her favorite part was washing her hands in the bowl of water I used to rinse the sponges out.

Once the clothespins were dry this morning (Lydia insisted they were dry last night but I made her wait), we attached a few ribbons to the back of her door and clipped up our masterpieces.

I have to admit, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing you’ve ever seen. But, looking at all those papers reminded me of all the time we’ve spent together talking about God’s Word. It reminded me of the things I really want to instill into my kids’ hearts.

As we hung up the verses, we reviewed each one. And I was impressed (yes, impressed!) with how many she really really knew. There were a few she couldn’t say but mostly she could say them all by herself! God’s Word is growing in her heart!

YAY, ME! Yay, Lydia!

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Filed under activity, why

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Twirly helicopter up close

One of the reasons I am excited about homeschooling the boys is that I will get to see the joy in their faces as they learn or try something new…  The joy on EJ’s face when he realized H was for helicopter, and more importantly, his momma knew how to make helicopters… ah, this is one of the faces I hope I can remember in the middle of a tantrum.

Remember those twirly-helicopter-things from when you were a child?  I thought I did, too – until the ones I cut didn’t fly.  They just kind of flopped.  So I tried folding up the bottom – still flopping – then I added a paper clip to the bottom as well.  That worked beautifully (I also tried not folding the bottom up and just using the paper clip, but they didn’t do as well as both folding and paper-clipping)!  When I finally looked this activity up online, I saw that many other sites recommend some extra cuts and some extra folds on the bottom half of the helicopter – I didn’t want to mess with all that “extra” work, and my simple version worked very well!

I cut up, folded, and paper-clipped a nice little pile of them to try to save me from having to bend over to pick one up every. single. time.

pile o' helicopters

Then, using extreme caution, I stood EJ up on a chair in the kitchen and let him at it.  Really, I was quite careful – I was next to him the entire time…. I thought he might have more fun if the helicopters flew from higher up.  And he did – have tons of fun, I mean. 

Flying helicopters

I think in this picture he was making helicopter sounds or something similar. 

Flying helicopters

OK, so I was standing right next to him the whole time, except when I was laying on the floor. 

Flying helicopters

 We had so much fun playing with these helicopters.  We even had helicopter races!  I think this would be a really fun activity for older children, too – perhaps to experiment with the shape of the helicopters, as well as the amount of weight more paper clips would add to them.  We’ll file this one away to come back to in several more years. 

 

If you didn’t get a chance to enter on Monday, check out our Bloggy Giveaway! 

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Filed under activity, letter of the day

H is for Homeschooling?

Not much is happening right now with our study of the letter H – I keep thinking I wish I had found the game Hungry Hungry Hippo out there somewhere before I started this week!

Thoughts about education have been running through my head, though.  I’m the mom of two very young little boys, and I know I have a ways to go before final decisions are made about their education, but I am already thinking about homeschooling the boys.  And I’m so excited about it!  Since I just noticed that WordPress has added a polling option for posts, I’d like to run a little poll…  Are you thinking about homeschooling your children?

Now, I also don’t know the “demographics” of the people out there who might be stopping by our little blog – I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about how old your child/ren is/are… and if your answer is anything that would fall into the “Other” catagory (that apparently I left off the poll – sorry!), please leave a comment with your thoughts as well! 

This will be fun for me to learn who out there is thinking along the same paths as I am, and if I can bring some information to the table for discussion and for thought, that might be fun, too!

 

 

If you didn’t get a chance to enter yesterday, check out our addition to the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

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Filed under poll

Bloggy Giveaway!

Welcome to Impress Your Kids! We are Amanda and Leigh, two sahms who just want their kids to think we are the coolest thing since TIVO. Actually, we’re just two moms who want to impress God’s Word on their kids. We try to do so by using crafts, stories, activities and anything else we can think of. And because we’re addicted to the internet, we blog about it.

This is really a blog to keep us accountable to teaching our kids and to help each other be more creative. So, if you need some creative, crafty ideas, stick around and see what we’ve got going on!

NOW. ONTO THE FREE STUFF!!

We’re giving away two of our favorite things—

First, is The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. This is THE best Bible story book to help you plant God’s Word in  your kiddo’s heart. Most kids’ Bibles are watered down cartoon versions of Bible Stories. NOT this book. Each story, humorously told and beautifully illustrated “whispers” Jesus’ name. (For more info, I wrote a big review of it here.) Believe me, you will LOVE this book.

The second part of our giveaway is a BUCKET O’ CRAFTS (ok, it might not be a bucket…). That’s right, a big pile of the finest construction paper, pipe cleaners, pom poms and lots of other stuff you’ll need to have a crafty time with your kids (and hey, even do some of the crafts you see here on Impress Your Kids).

Sound good? So to win the book AND the bucket o’ crafts all you need to do is leave a comment. It can be any comment (but comments that sound like you read our post and/or browsed our blog are especially appreciated!). If you subscribe to our feed, leave another comment and you’ll get a second entry. If you grab our little Impress Your Kids button (it’s the green one on the top of our sidebar) and post it somewhere on your blog you can get a third entry!

Make sure you leave a valid email address and that you live in the US or Canada, too. We’ll announce our winner on Friday! Thanks to Bloggy Giveaways for hosting all these fun giveaways!

(ps–we’ve got giveaways going on on our own blogs, too. Click on our names below to check them out!)

&

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Filed under blogginess, Uncategorized

A giraffe gaff…

As I mentioned last time, I had all kinds of grand giraffe plans in my head.  The one I tried to implement yesterday involved a tall, regal giraffe made out of pantyhose, and EJ would color spots on him with markers, and he would be called “George, the Gentle, Giant Giraffe,” and he would forever serve as a gentle reminder to EJ about… well, gentleness.

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I meant well – I really did.  I even took step-by-step pictures of the process, even after I could tell that it was going to be a flop, just in case it turned out well and I could post a little tutorial.  Ah, well…

Since I had cleaned out my sock drawer to find an actual pair of pantyhose, I also knew I had some spare socks that I could use, so I whipped up a sock puppet giraffe.  I cannot believe I have never done sock puppets with EJ before!  He was enthralled!

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I popped another spare sock on my hand and let EJ go to town with some googly eyes and some Sharpie markers.  Yup, you heard me – I let a toddler go at me with Sharpies.  Amazingly, not a dot got on me!  The sock, on the other hand…

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EJ took his responsibility of decorating this guy very seriously.  Even the inside of the puppet’s mouth was colored.  Then I cut some slits in the top of the sock and pushed a pipe cleaner through (for ears, or antlers, or whatever those little nubs are on the top of a giraffe’s head).

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We then played with those sock puppets for a full hour.  They had names, they played every type of ball known to man, they ate 34 different things in a row, and they touched everything in the house…

But most important, they were gentle with each other.

 

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Filed under activity

Unbelievable. U.

U had me stumped. I literally read my concordance on this one. Let’s see…unruly, undisciplined, unclean and unleavened. Not exactly the kind of verses I was hoping for.

I finally asked my twitterflies and got some great responses (my fave? Deuteronomy 9:6) And finally landed on Proverbs 16:22,

“Understanding is like a fountain of life to those who have it…”

I like the word picture of a fountain. I want Lydia to seek after Understanding (read: wisdom). I want it to be a fountain she continually draws from.

But as we read it together, I saw complete blankness on Lydia’s face. So I tried to explain it, “Well, you know what a fountain is right? Well, uhm, there’s lots of water, just like God gives us lots of understanding to you know, uhm…understand things. And be obedient to him. Uhm. Like a fountain. OK?” Oh well. I’m trusting God’s Word is being planted in her heart anyway…

For our little craft today, we did umbrellas. I blatantly stole this off another website…and unfortunately didn’t bookmark it so I have no idea where it came from. And honestly, now that I did it, I’m wondering why in the world I followed the instructions so specifically…

Supplies needed:
muffin liners (check!)
pipe cleaners (check!)
blue sugar (check!…huh?)

Directions:
1. Rub glue stick all over paper.
2. Sprinkle blue sugar all over glue for rain. Pour off excess.

3. Fold muffin liners in half for umbrellas.

4. Glue to paper.
5. Cut pipe cleaners into small pieces. Shape like umbrella handle.
6. Glue to bottom of muffin liner.

Cute right?

But now I have a paper hanging in my living room with BLUE SUGAR falling onto the floor. What in the world? Every bug for miles around is going to come check out our U verse this week! Sheesh. Remind me not to pack that one away for her baby book!

When we finally decided to trace the big and little U, Lydia stepped into meltdown mode. She suddenly didn’t want to participate. She dropped her head. Grabbed the crayons. Refused to color. When I finally took away the paper and crayons, she cried for 20 minutes. UNBELIEVABLE.

Understanding? Fountain of Life? We needed it today. Big time.

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Filed under abc, letter of the day