Category Archives: books

Best Easter Books for Kids

best-easter-books-for-kids

photo by photoholic1

Today Lydia and I read all the books on her bookshelf that had to do with Jesus’ death and resurrection (aka “easter”). I know at 3 years old she can’t understand it. She doesn’t even know what death is. She’s never experienced it or known someone who died. But today, as I held her in my arms and read 5 or 6 versions of the greatest story ever told, I got tears in my eyes. I know that the truth of Jesus’ love for us will be planted in her heart.

The book I love the most for “easter” is The Parable Of The Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is part of a series that gives a meaningful parable (aren’t all parables meaningful?) to common holiday items (like my favorite Christmas book, The Parable of the Christmas Tree).

The Parable of the Lily is about a little girl, Maggie who gets a surprise package in the mail—a box of dirt! She is disappointed and places it on a shelf. One day she accidentally knocks it over and out of the dirt pops a flower bulb. She is aggravated at her plant and throws it into the yard. Early Easter morning, she walks out into the garden to see that her dirty ugly boring bulb has blossomed into a beautiful lily!

The parable-ness comes in when you read the scriptures on the bottom of each page. Higgs uses scriptures to compare Jesus to this flower—an unimpressive man, hated and rejected by his people, dead in the ground for three days, bursts forth with new life for everyone. She also ties in Maggie’s father as the giver of the gift…just like God’s indescribable gift of Jesus to us.

It’s a beautiful book. I read it to Lydia once, then again with the scriptures. I wish I had thought of it earlier and we would have planted a lily, too. What an object lesson for her to see growing in her own front yard!

We also read The Easter Story by Tracy Harrast. It’s part of the Peek-a-Bible series, a fun lift-the-flap series. I like this one because it tells all the important parts of the story—Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the resurrection, Jesus’ appearance to the disciples and his ascension.

The very last page does have a picture of some modern day kids holding Easter baskets, but at least it doesn’t talk about eggs or bunnies.

Then we “read” my new favorite version of the Resurrection story from the See With Me Bible: The Bible Told in Pictures by Dennis Jones.

There are no words. Just pictures. And it is breathtaking. Jones absolutely captures the emotion of the story. It is the only book of all our books that actually showed Jesus in pain and with wounds (cartoon-ish, but still…). I couldn’t find any online to share with you but I highly recommend this book!

The last book you could probably see coming a mile away since I have probably blogged about it 80 times. Yes, its the The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd Jones.

There are about six different stories surrounding Jesus’ passion–Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, Jesus washing the disciples’ feet at the last supper, the garden of Gethsemane, the crucifixion, the resurrection, Jesus appearing to the disciples & ascension. Here’s the best part…

“If you were really the Son of God, you could just climb down off that cross!” they said.

And of course they were right…But Jesus stayed. You see, they didn’t understand. It wasn’t the nails that kept Jesus there. It was love.

“Papa?” Jesus cried, frantically searching the sky. “Papa? Where are you? Don’t leave me!”

And for the first time–and the last–when he spoke, nothing happened. Just a horrible endless silence. God didn’t answer. He turned away from his Boy.

Tears rolled down Jesus’ face. The face of the One who would wipe away every tear from every eye…

The full force of the storm of God’s fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.

Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, “It is finished!”

And it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.

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Don’t miss out on this opportunity to impress your kids’ heart with God’s ultimate story this easter season. Grab these books and give them in (or in place of) an easter basket. Then, make them a part of your book rotation, not just at easter-time—this is the story that should be central to your kids’ lives…and to yours!

Do you have a favorite easter book to share?

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Joyful Impressions: Week 2

3080366970_4cc785dc1e_oI LOVE CHRISTMAS. I do, I love it! And I think I’m passing that love onto Lydia. She is SO excited about everything Christmas. The first morning we had our tree up, I let her watch a Christmas movie while she ate breakfast. She turned around and said to me, “Is it Christmas today?” The tree and the movie were so exciting to her, she thought it was actually Christmas! And I’m pretty sure if it *that* was Christmas, she’d have been ok with it!

One of my favorite things at Christmas are the books. I love books anyway, but I just can’t pass up a good Christmas book. We basically read these books in place of our “regular” books during December. It’s exciting because they seem new and because they’re all about the holiday we’re experiencing.

I’m so ridiculously excited about all my Christmas books this year, that I’m vlogging the Twelve Days of Christmas Books. So, here’s Day One: The Parable of the Pine Tree. After you watch, don’t forget to link up with us…I’d love to hear your favorite Christmas books!

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Want to join in our Joyful Impressions? Just post a fun Christmas-y tradition, craft, recipe or activity on your blog. After posting, just click the Mr. Linky below to add the link to your post. (Not the link to your blog, but to your actual post.) And just to be nice, link back to this post, so others can participate, too!

Then come back and look at the other posts and find some fun stuff to do with your kids!

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The W that almost Wasn’t…

So, I’ve had big plans for the letter “w”. There are so many awesome words, Lydia and I have been making a list all week. (It includes walrus and Wall-E.) Anyway, the main thing I wanted to do was “WEEK” and learn the days of the week.

I had it all planned out. I asked one of my bff’s, Becky, who is a kindergarten teacher if they sang a days of the week song. And they do…to the tune of The Addams Family. (I found several videos online if you are a glutton for punishment.) Perfect! Lydia loves to sing.

Then I bought The Very Hungry Caterpillar and was going to read that because the caterpillar eats something new every day.

Then I found some days of the week printables at First School that go along with the Very Hungry Caterpillar. I was going to print those and let Lydia color them. Then we could display the day…every day.

I mean, how creative am I? A song, a book AND an activity! I just knew Lydia would quickly learn the days of the week and continue to be the child prodigy that she is. All thanks to her creative and attentive mother.

Well, we tried singing the song one day for about five minutes. I bought the book and it sat on the end table for about 3 days. After we finally read it, I tried to print off the aforementioned pictures, but our printer didn’t work. Then I decided to wait until Monday so we could start at the beginning of the week. Well. It’s Tuesday and I just remembered all of this.

Oh, well. Better late than never, right?

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FYI: I’m going to take a break from ABC’s in December because Lydia and I are doing a daily Advent craft. I’ll post more about it on Wednesday when we begin a new monthly carnival called (are you ready for this genius?) Christmas Impressions! Joyful Impressions (Leigh had a better title than me!) See you then!

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Towers & Tinkerbell

In the continuing effort to maximize our “T verse and after our awesome train, I scoured our bookshelves for some good “T” books. But no such luck. Then I glanced at the site Leigh mentioned, Christian Preschool Printables but their suggestion was the Tower of Babel. Which made me remember my FAVORITE BOOK IN THE WHOLE WORLD and its story about the Tower of Babel.

So, Lydia and I read it. And for some reason, even though we’ve read it 100 times, she was mesmerized by this story and the tower. She asked lots of questions. And even though I couldn’t really explain languages, I was happy to read the end because (in my own terrible paraphrase), the author explains that there is no way we can get to heaven. We can never build a tower big enough. So, for man and God to be reconciled, Heaven would have to come to earth. And that is exactly what happened when Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.

LOVE IT.

And the Tinkerbell? Well, my aunt sent Asa some clothes and was kind enough to not leave out the big sister. So, Lydia got a Tinkerbell paperdoll. We played with it forever and continued to talk about T-t-t-t-tinkerbell! Hey, anything can be a teachable moment! (Like, “Uh, Lydia, we do NOT dress like Tinkerbell. Only fairies can wear short skirts and a strapless bustiere and have pouty lips.”)

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R: Rainbows

Today was all about rainbows! And not just any rainbows, God’s rainbow! We read four different Noah stories today. (Well, same story, just from different books. You know what I mean.) I told Lydia to make sure to let me know when she saw the rainbow as we were reading. When we got to the final page of each story, she almost jumped up and down, “Rainbow! Rainbow!”

The first book is my absolute favorite book in the whole world, The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones. If you haven’t read it, you MUST BUY IT NOW. It’s really one of the best kid’s books I’ve ever read. (Here’s a full review by moi.)

The best line in Noah’s story is,

“And there, in the clouds–just where the storm meets the sun–was a beautiful bow made of light…God’s strong anger against hate and sadness and death would come down once more–but not on his people, or his world. No, God’s war bow was not pointing down at his people. It was pointing up, into the heart of Heaven.”

Isn’t that awesome?! That’s how this whole book is—along with humor and fabulous illustrations.

Then we “read” the next two, Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier and See With Me Bible, illustrated by Dennis Jones. I say “read” because they are both picture books. But Lydia was enthralled nonetheless. Both of these books are humorous and real portrayals of what it must have been like in a crowded, stinky and loud ark for months and months.

We also read one of our old favorites, a book Lydia got for her first birthday, Elephant’s Big Ride, which I think is part of the Beginner’s Bible.

So, after getting the “real” rainbow into our heads, I pulled out the supplies for our activity…are you ready? Because I’m so proud of myself. Not because I made this up, because I certainly didn’t, but just that I pulled it off!

RAINBOW BREAD

Supplies:
several small containers
food coloring (prefereably red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)
small paintbrushes (or q-tips)
sliced bread
milk

Directions:
1. Pour a tiny bit (a few tablespoons) of milk into each small container. Then add a few drops of food coloring so each container is a different color of the rainbow.

For some reason I only had neon food coloring. So, we didn’t have red. And our orange is a little nutmeg, but it got the point across.

2. Use paintbrushes to paint a rainbow (or random pictures) on bread).

2b. Wait! You might want an apron or an old shirt. This can get messy…

3. Show off your creation.

4. Toast.

5. Be amazed at how different exactly the same they look before and after toasting. (Well, mine did actually look a little darker than before…)

6. EAT. I made a PBJ for me. Lydia dipped hers in hummus. (Sorry, no pics. It wasn’t that exciting.)

Lydia looooooved making rainbow bread! She thought it was so fun. This would be fun for almost anything you were doing. Painting different shapes, animals or letters. What a great thing to let the kids do while you’re cooking. Then they can eat their creations during the meal.

I’m lovin’ me some “R”!!

ps…we also read Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner before Lydia’s nap. Because really, how much better of an “r” book can you get?

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A is for…

…well, we already went over a list of things A is for… but today, A was for “activity!”

Does anyone know how to help a kid whose mom is too tightly wound?  Poor EJ – I know I thought up this activity and all, but I have a serious problem with mess.  I need to loosen up and understand that if I let a toddler have his way with an ink pad, things are going to get messy.  See?

 EJ caught red-handed

So EJ went crazy with his red stamp pad and his fingers and hands, and as he stamped away, I asked him what words started with A.  As he named them off, I tried to find fingerprints on the paper that matched what he said. 

To be honest, I was mostly thinking about red ants and apples – but EJ was pretty creative with his A words!

And my favorite…

I didn’t even know he knew the word “alien!”

So here was our final product.

I also had him do some stamping on a smaller piece of paper so my mom can hang it on her fridge.  She is so excited about having things to hang on her fridge, so I thought we’d start with this one.

Yesterday was a really hectic day for us, so I pulled out some Abooks from our shelves and we read them together throughout the day.  EJ’s favorite was Ananse’s Feast – an Ashanti Tale, retold by Tololwa M. Mollel.  EJ’s really into spiders and turtles right now, and the main character, Ananse, is a spider – the turtle’s name is Akye.  So there were A‘s all over the book!

Tomorrow, I’m thinking we’ll play outside for a while and try to take some pictures of the ants that have invaded our yard.  I’ll let you know how that goes… pray we don’t find any biting ants!

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A Plethora of P’s

There is so much good stuff to go with P! You could do this for weeks. My favorite color is purple and Lydia’s is pink, so that would work. But then pasta is always good, too. And pandas, my fave! Penguins would be fun. Pictures are always great for my little photographer. Puppies are a plus. There’s just too much to choose from! Hmmm…

Let’s get to our verse first. We chose Psalm 135:3, “Praise the Lord, because He is good.” (This is actually just the first part, but if you have an older child, you should do the whole verse because it says, “Sing PRAISE to his name, because that is PLEASANT!”)

It’s an easy verse but I think it is a small sermon. This is the kind of confidence I always want to have in God. That no matter the circumstance here on earth, we can trust that God is good. So good in fact, that our response is to praise Him. It’s a verse that could sound trite, but I pray it really cements itself in Lydia’s heart.

Now, onto our craft. We ended up copying No Time For Flash Cards’ “P” craft a little and did some pasta P’s. I even used some pink & purple paper (although, I have to admit, it’s the only color I had!).

My daughter enjoyed this one so much we ended up making another pasta P.

Then we discovered 2 of our fingers started with “P”—pointer and pinky. So, we put pasta on our pointer and pinky and proceeded to sing, “Where is Thumbkin?” She’s eating lunch right now and has been singing it nonstop!

Speaking of lunch, look what we ate:

That’s right Pasta and Peas!

And a few more things I found to go along with P:

  • How cute is this blog? It’s called Kiddio and is full of crafts, book reviews, etc. This one would be perfect for P—a book and an activity about PEAS!
  • And oh, I want to do this! A Puppy Party with a cute cake, cute decor and the best is the doggy bag. I love it!
  • I glanced through our books before naptime and found, Please Do Not Open This Book! which I think is just the 35th Anniversary book of The Monster at the End of this Book. It was one of my favorites as a kid and now Lydia loves to read it. It must say PLEASE and PAGES a hundred times. We read it today and said, “p-p-please” and “p-p-page” every time. She thought it was hysterical.

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