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!


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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!”


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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…


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

Remember to Pin this for next year!

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!”

Easter Egg Letter Hunt



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Anyone else suffering from TMEEIMH (Too Many Easter Eggs in my House) Syndrome?  They are everywhere you look at my house – despite my best efforts to sneak a handful at a time into the trash.  But, don’t throw them away just yet!  These plastic eggs can actually serve as practical learning manipulatives for you!  My old teacher self used to actually buy dozens of them each year to use in my classroom for letter matching and rhyming words (I tell you, Jess and I share a brain because she does the same thing, too).

Leyson’s favorite word to read is “Leyson.”  Well, that and “pizza.”  In a past post I wrote about Busy Bags, I talked a little bit about the significance and  progression of a child learning to read and spell his/her name:

WHAT’S IN A NAME?:

Kids are so funny when it comes to learning how to spell their own names.  Most often kids learn how to spell their names before they completely understand the concept that letters make words when put together.  Take my son Leyson, for example; anytime he sees a word that starts with an L, he says it spells Leyson.  He thinks he owns the letter L.  The same goes for the letters E, Y, S, O and N… he owns them all.  You see, for young toddlers, they will not understand that the ORDER of letters actually makes a difference when spelling words.

Even in my kindergarten classroom, students who knew how to spell their names would sometimes slip into the idea of “owning” all the letters in their name and would write their names out of order.  LUIS would spell his name UILS… still thinking that it spelled the same thing.  Even more common would be for kids to write their names backwards (SIUL)… and several, get this, would write their names in mirror image!  I can’t even do that!  All of these are totally normal progressions when your child is learning how to spell his/her name…

Well, here’s another activity that not only teaches the letters of your child’s name, but also teaches the ORDER of the letters – and, of course, we are using Easter eggs because, well, who doesn’t love a good egg hunt?



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I first wrote Leyson’s name and underneath each letter I wrote the numbers 1-6.  I did the same thing on another sheet of paper, but this time, cut out each letter and number.

We used 6 eggs… the same number of letters in Leyson’s name (no, that’s not a coincidence).  I stuffed each egg with 1 letter and the corresponding number and then I hid the eggs around the room while Leyson was in the other room.  Then, the hunt was on!



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Once he found a letter and number inside of his egg, he had to tell me what he found:

Leyson:  “It’s the letter L and the number 1!”

Mommy Teacher:  “That’s right!  Because the letter L is the FIRST letter in your name!  L is the FIRST letter in Leyson!”

See that right there?  Right there in the bold, italicized, CAPITALIZED print?  See how I threw in some number recognition and some sequencing vocabulary?  Sneaky, sneaky, Mommy Teacher!

Now, the reason I have his name and numbers written on

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another piece of paper  is, yes, so he can see the ORDER of his name, but to also see which way the shape of each letter is supposed to go.    Kids will recognize the SHAPE of the letter no matter which direction the letter/number is facing, so it’s important to also show them that they have to turn their letters/numbers around.

Reminder:  a letter, number, symbol is a SHAPE much like a square is a shape.  That’s why it’s so easy to confuse d, b, q, and p – they all have the same shape but are just turned different ways.  But, I digress…

Next, I took away Leyson’s cheat sheet and asked him to spell his name.



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Juuuust as I anticipated.  So I brought out our language from the first activity…

Mommy Teacher:  “What is the FIRST letter in Leyson?”

And he grabbed that L and put it underneath his scrambled name.



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And the whole time he was singing his very own name song saying each letter of his name to the tune of “Bingo.”  It really is magic how quickly they learn things when you tie a tune to it!

What other activities can you do with your Easter eggs?  Sorting?  Counting?  Compare/Contrast?  The learning possibilities are endless!

Sun Crosses – Easy Easter Craft

I had planned to do a different Easter craft activity every day this week, but you know what?  This week FLEW by and we were never home!

Being Spring Break, I knew my kindergartner would want to be on the GO so I planned the week chock full of stuff… play dates to the park, zoo, arcade and more!  So needless to say that by the time we got home, took naps, woke up, it was already dinner time!

Tonight we will be having a glow in the dark Easter egg hunt with all of our friends at our house!  It will be so much fun!  (If you want to do this, simply get a package of LARGE plastic eggs and glow in the dark bracelets to fill them.  Then throw them in your yard.  Bam!  Glow in the dark Easter egg hunt).

Anyway… onto the ONE Easter craft we were able to d

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o – and we were able to complete it in about 15 minutes before we left for a play date one day this week!  My kids call them Sun Crosses, for lack of a better name.

 

Materials:
2 sheets of paper per kid, scissors, tissue paper and stick glue

Step 1.  Fold the 2 sheets of paper in half long ways together.

Step 2.  Draw half of a cross on the fold.



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Step 3.  Cut out the 1/2 cross.

Step 4.  Flatten one cross and cut 3-4 inch strips of tissue paper (or use one large sheet of tissue paper for your entire cross).

Step 5.  Put the stick glue around the outside edge of the cross.

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Step 6.  Place the tissue paper across the opening for the cross.  Do not leave any gaps.



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Step 7.  Take the other sheet of paper with the cross cut out and cover one side with the stick glue.  Then glue it directly on top of the other cross on the tissue paper side.



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Step 8.  Add your own artistic flare around the crosses.

Step 9.  Place in a sunlit window and watch the light shine through the cross!



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Happy Easter, y’all!!!

Cheap and Easy, Easter Bunny Gift Baggie

I found this idea in my teacher stash of Easter activities.  I almost always have paper bags, glue, markers, contruction paper, and scissors in my playroom cubbies.  So, for me, this was just a “sweep-the-playroom” kind of activity.

I wanted to put a little Easter picture inside of a little gift bag for Sean Patrick’s grandma and great-grandma.
Way better than a gift bag was this little craft idea I found in my teacher shed (the one on the left is my “example” and the one on the right is the one Sean Patrick made):
 


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I just Cut a dip in the top of a brown bag (the side that opens) to so it left a shape that resembles a bunny.  You could cut a rectangle out of  the middle of the top of the bag if you don’t want them to be as rounded. (A white paper bag would be super cute too, but I was out).


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I used pink, blue, & black construction paper to make the eyes, inner ears, nose, & whiskers.


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Sean Patrick wanted to color it first of course (red is his favorite color if you haven’t guessed by now).


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I always include my little bed-head one year old too.  (they are both shirt-less because I wanted to keep their cute shirts clean).
 


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I then helped him cut/tear and glue little pieces of pink paper to a gluey oval in the inner ear.  Then he glued the eyes and nose (“just a dot, not a lot”)…. I glued the whiskers because I couldn’t find my glue stick which would be easier for him.
 


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After we finished glueing, I grabbed a black marker, took his hand and guided him to make the pupil of the bunny’s eyes, the eyelashes, the little dots around the nose, and the mouth.


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That was it!
We wrote a note from “Sean Patrick” on the back.
We put some Easter grass, starburst candies in some eggs, and the pictures inside & he will give them out when he sees them for Easter!
 


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You can always add to it and share your ideas on facebook (like a cotton ball on the backside):



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