Easter Fun Focusing on Jesus

Hi Mommy Teachers!  I hope you all enjoyed a fabulous Easter!  Many of you may have kids on Spring Break now, or perhaps your Spring Break was last week like my oldest’s was, or if you don’t get a Mardi Gras holiday like we do in Louisiana, yours may have been several weeks ago.  Or if you don’t have a child in school, then perhaps every week is Spring Break… or not.  What is a break when you’re a mom anyway?

Easter was so much fun this year for my family!  The night before Easter, our family had our 4th Annual Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt with friends!  While I read from our Jesus Storybook Bible about Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection, the dads threw hundreds of glow-in-the-dark eggs in the field.  Jesus is the light in the darkness…great reminder!


Easter


This year, for our egg hunt on Easter morning, we decided to hide 12 Scripture Eggs, or Resurrection Eggs.  We followed the guidelines from Your Homebased Mom’s post for the Easter Scripture Egg Activity.  She shares a list of items/symbols to include in each of your eggs to have a visual element to better connect to each scripture, the twelfth egg being empty to represent the empty tomb. Her post also includes a PDF that you can print out with each of the scriptures on it.

I know that this post is after Easter, but I wanted to share with you how we adapted wonderful activity to our family and how my kids processed it.  Be sure to pin it to your Easter and Holiday Pinterest boards for next year!


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My kids are 7, 5 and 2 and so I decided to hide three sets of Scripture Eggs to avoid a huge fight over who gets to learn about Jesus ;-).  I used 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 pink eggs and each of my kids knew which color they were searching for.  My kids each got a symbol in their eggs, but I rotated which kid got the scripture reference in his/her egg.  My husband had an New International Version (NIV) Bible open (or you can search for your favorite translation online) because the King James Version (KJV) can be confusing for the kids.

The kids were instructed to find the eggs, but not to open them.  When all the eggs were found, we sat down together and opened one egg at a time in order.  I loved hearing my 7-year-old say, “Hey!  There’s nothing in my 12!” and then the light bulb went off seconds later, “Oooooh because the tomb was empty!”


symbols


The whole family really did enjoy this activity! There was a bigger purpose and defined focus for what each egg represented than years past when we filled the eggs with candy… and even my 2-year-old caught on.  When my oldest was joking around like they do on VeggieTales saying, “Easter is for chocolate bunnies,” my 2-year-old was the one who corrected him, “No, Easter is for Jesus!”

Easter win!

Oh, and here’s a Mommy win for egg dying…


tongs


I call them “egg tongs.”  You’re welcome 😉

Remember to Pin this for next year!

5 Backyard Soccer Games For Kids – Thanks to U.S. Soccer Star Kristine Lilly & Dr. Pepper Snapple

Are there any parents out there lost in summer?
Some days I’m lost in the best ways….playing and swimming the day away with my three kids.
Other days, I’m lost in an August daydream when I will have even a few hours to run errands alone.

Even though I might get a little antsy some days for a little reprieve, I really admire (and am inspired by) moms who have not allowed their work load or daily tasks to drown out what really matters as a parent… making time for family.

So, it’s not very often that you get to spotlight a mom who has accomplished so many life goals as an athlete and entrepreneur (read bio at the end of the post!).  AND she also shares tips for moms like me, with young kids, to make time as a family (perfect timing in light of summer and the World Cup!).

U.S. soccer legend Kristine Lilly, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Play Ambassador for Let’s Play, an initiative led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide, shares tips below on how she transforms the soccer drills she learned on the field into fun games that keep her kids active all summer long.

1. Dribble Relay

o Set up some small orange cones or plastic cups in a zig-zag pattern.
o Divide your family into two equal groups and give one person from each team a soccer ball. Have the team members stand on opposite ends of the yard.
o To begin, the team member with the soccer ball has to dribble around each cone to the other side, tag their teammate and pass them the ball.
o Then, the teammate has to dribble the ball back through the cones and race to the other end of the field. The team to complete the obstacle course first, wins!

2. Kick-out Keep-away

o Great for a large group of kids, give all players a soccer ball (or any type of ball they can kick around) except for the person who is “it.”
o Set up four cones or plastic cups on each corner of your “field,” and when the game begins, all players dribble their ball while the person who is “it” tries to kick each ball out of bounds.
o When a player’s ball is kicked out of bounds, he/she is eliminated. The last player with a ball wins!

3. High-Five Goals

o Set up a couple of markers to signify a “goal.”
o Pass the soccer ball to your child, and have them kick it back to you.
o After three kicks back and forth, tell them to run over to you and give you a high-five, and then kick the ball into the goal. This is a great game for little ones!

4. Sideline Sprints

o Put a mark on the lawn or driveway about 15 yards away, or whatever distance works best for your space.
o Run to the line and back five times.
o Next, do five jumping jacks and count them off together out loud.
o Continue the sequence, but this time, run to the line and back four times, and work your way down to one time. It is a great workout game for parents AND kids, and helps little ones learn how to count.

5. Hydration Station

o It’s so important to stay hydrated when you’re playing outside in the heat. I like to keep a small cooler filled with cold water or juice in the fridge so I can easily grab it and during outdoor play in the summer.
o Just make sure your kids don’t drench the “coach” after they score a goal!


Kristine Lilly



Kristine Lilly is a mom and an American soccer player who last played professionally for the Boston Breakers women’s professional soccer team. She was a member of the United States women’s national soccer team for 24 years and has appeared in more international matches than any other player in the sport, appearing in her 352nd and final match against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in November 2010. She is the founder of the Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy and author of an e-book, Girls Soccer: My Story. Lilly lives with her husband and their two daughters outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

An Easy Way To Teach Your Kids Your Phone Number

On the road with my kids, my toddler was screaming at me because she hates the car. I decided it was time to teach them a new song to re-direct the irritable one’s attention.

I figured it was time to teach my kids my phone number (even though I PRAY they never get lost!).  It was one of those judgment calls where I figure that it is better for them to know my number than to assume that I am going to be a perfect parent and never miss a beat (with three very little children!).

This song popped into my head to the tune of “Oh My Darlin'” and I sang it multiple times on the way home:

We have practiced it enough now that they actually do know the whole thing, but I didn’t want to share my phone number publicly on YouTube so I posted the one they didn’t quite get right. Haha.

I’m pretty sure it can go with any phone number.

“(_ _ _) – _ _ _ – _ _ _ _

That’s my mommy’s phone number.

If I’m lost, please call my mom!”

Since then I have asked them questions “WHat are you going to do if you’re lost?”

And I give them the answers like “I know my mommy’s number…. can you call her?”

My kid’s also know their whole names and mine to give someone helpful information to find us quickly if for some reason it is needed.

I don’t plan on losing my children any time soon, but I also want to have a plan in place just to be sure!

 

5 Wait-Time Children’s Games for Crowd Control

LSU’s Mike the Tiger came to my son’s school the other day for a surprise birthday visit!

It was such a memorable experience for ALL of the children.

But, it actually could have been CRAZY and chaotic if I didn’t “think fast” and come prepared with a few ideas to keep the kids somewhat calm.

It could’ve turned into a bunch of injured kids or an injured Mike, but I always keep a few tricks up my sleeve.

Any time I am in front of a big group of kids, I always try to get them to do something along WITH me.  So, here are my 5 top picks to fill wait -time or keep crowd control when you have a group of kids to organize.

1) “Silly Says” – Today we played “Mike Says” and everything he did, we had to do.  I play this with kids a lot and I just play “Silly Says” – whatever silly thing I do, you do.

2) “Going on a Bear Hunt”  – I was at the park once trying to keep the kids away from the sandbox and this chant did the trick!

3) “I Spy” – The classic game – I usually play it in a variety of ways. “I spy something shaped like…. I spy something that starts with….   I spy something the color….  I spy something that sounds like…. I spy something that rhymes with…”  You get the picture.

4) “Mirror Fingers” – hold up the same number of fingers that I hold up in a different way.

5) “Imitate my Clap”  – this is an old teacher-tactic where the kids simply have to listen and follow the beat that the leader makes.

A couple other easy ones:

1) Coordinate “Little Sally Walker” – you may have to YouTube it if you aren’t sure what that is.

2) Play “Man in the middle.” One person stands in the middle of a circle and throws the ball to someone on the outside (who can’t move their feet).  Whoever catches it and follows the rules becomes the man in the middle.

3) Play “Duck, Duck, Goose!”

4) Sing  “If you are Happy and You know it” – I always come up with lots of things to add to the song like “wag your tail, hop like a frog, roar like a lion, etc”  STRETCH IT OUT! 🙂

 

Painting Circles With Plastic Eggs – Mommy Teacher Spotlight

If you are looking for an activity to re-use those eggs from the egg hunts… look no further.

I love my artsy friend Allie and all the ways she crafts with her kids.  Keep reading because she inspired me to do this with my kids today and that is what The Mommy Teacher is all about:

“My girls, AvaKate (3) and Addie (2), absolutely love doing crafts. They would do them all day long if I let them.  So, when we woke up this morning, they asked to paint.

We painted yesterday, so I wanted to do something a little different.

They had an Easter egg hunt at school yesterday and I wanted to reuse those annoying, oh I mean amazing, plastic eggs before I secretly threw them away, I mean put them back in their baskets (any Moms with me??).

I took them apart and let them dip it into finger paint (easier clean up) and it made circles on their paper. Addie is really into shapes so she got really excited to see the shapes on her paper. Very simple, but it was exciting for the girls to incorporate their eggs from their egg hunt.


Painting with Easter eggs


 

You can also see in the picture little pieces of string and paper. My oldest, AvaKate is obsessed with decorating and making gifts… So those elements were her specific request.

I put some glue on their plate and gave them a paint brush and they “decorated” their art. They loved it! And I loved it because it was all stuff I had around the house and it kept them occupied while I nursed my six week old!”



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