Good Friday, The Sparkle Egg and Virtual Family Bingo

For the last two years my daughter and I have spent Good Friday attending an Easter event with my parents at a farm near their home. We pet baby bunnies, participate in an egg hunt, have a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny…a few of the many activities at the farm. This year that tradition, along with many others, was unable to take place. But as I reflect on the events that unfolded instead, simple as they may be, this Good Friday, the one spent in isolation, helped my family focus on the Lamb instead of the bunny!

Easter Scavenger Hunt– My daughter and I began our Good Friday with an Easter scavenger hunt. We headed outdoors on this beautiful day in search of the items on the list below.

As we went through the list, collecting the items around our yard, we were reminded of Jesus and the loving sacrifice He made for us.

The Sparkle Egg – This heart warming story about Easter and forgiveness will strike a deep chord with readers of all ages. The Sparkle Egg tradition will help readers and their families grasp the totality of God’s perfect grace. Go to The Sparkle Egg website and read the book for free! Make a Sparkle Egg and draw a picture of something you are holding onto or are ashamed about and put it inside the egg. On Easter morning, remove the paper and when your child opens the empty egg they will be reminded of the gift of complete forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Like the tomb on Easter morning, The Sparkle Egg is empty.

A Surprise Easter Egg Hunt– When we dropped off supplies at Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s house my daughter was thrilled to find they had hidden Easter eggs for her to hunt in their backyard. While keeping proper social distancing we all enjoyed this fun surprise!

Virtual Bingo– Via Zoom my daughter joined her cousins in Georgia for a game of virtual bingo. Virtual daily meetings with family and friends are becoming our norm.

Good Friday Tenebrae Service- Our family of three gathered on the couch and in darkness worshiped together. While worshiping at home we remembered the day that the sun stopped shining as the Light of the World was crucified for the sins of the world. CLICK HERE to watch Zion Lutheran church’s Tenebrae service.

Good Friday With Pastor Rouland and Gary– During the isolation a highlight of our week is watching a special message from our senior pastor, Pastor Rouland and his sidekick Gary. Each week, my daughter laughs out loud as she points to the screen. We ended our day watching their video before bed. CLICK HERE to learn why we call today Good Friday.

An October Filled With Pumpkins, Pumpkins. Pumpkins!

It wouldn’t be fall without fun pumpkin activities, yummy pumpkin treats and a visit to the local pumpkin patch.

Roll a Pumpkin Game- This game is played like Cooties where you roll the die to build a pumpkin person. Everyone starts with a pumpkin body. With the youngest player going first you take turns rolling the die and building your pumpkin. The first player to build a pumpkin with a stem, eyes, nose, mouth, arms and legs is the winner!

Five Little Pumpkins- We enjoyed singing the classic song, “Five Little Pumpkins” and reading several different versions of the book. Using a fence and pumpkin play set found in my book Student Made Thematic Mini Books: With Extension Activities to Increase Language Literacy, my “Little Pumpkin” and I acted out the song and practiced our counting skills.

Pumpkin Bread- Nana helped us make yummy pumpkin bread. We added chocolate chips and enjoyed sharing our bread with others. Paired with Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend hot tea, pumpkin spiced coffee, or even pumpkin beer, it makes the perfect fall treat!

Jack-O-Faces Book- This is another fun rhyme found in my book Student Made Thematic Mini Books: With Extension Activities to Increase Language Literacy. We enjoyed coloring the book together and reading the fun rhyme about a pumpkin who shows us a variety of faces and emotions but ends up in a pumpkin pie! We acted out the story by making the faces along with the pumpkin. Lillian enjoyed looking at herself in the mirror as she made happy, sad, mad and sleepy faces.

Pumpkin Carving- Daddy helped Lillian carve a Jack-o-Lantern this year. Prior to creating her pumpkin, Lillian planned out her design on a large pumpkin shape. Daddy cut and we all helped clean out the “pumpkin guts,” making sure to save the seeds to roast later. We talked about how the pumpkin smelled, felt and looked. A great way to build vocabulary and to use the five senses.

Pumpkin BINGO- My dad helped me make this pumpkin themed BINGO game when I was teaching kindergarten. We dusted it off and played it at Lillian’s preschool Harvest Party and with our friends. One side has the letters of the alphabet, perfect for developing alphabetic knowledge. Flip the card over and you will find numbers, giving the BINGO players an opportunity to work on both letter and number identification. The children enjoyed using candy corn as cover ups and got to eat the candy corn at the end of the game.

Pumpkin Exploration- Lillian’s preschool teacher incorporated some wonderful pumpkin activities into center-time. An activity new to me was hammering golf tees into a pumpkin to work on fine motor skills. Pulling the golf tees out provided even more motor strength. They also did a pumpkin experiment where they tested a pumpkin to see if it floats or sinks. (It Floats!) Students worked on exploring the inside of a pumpkin, using tweezers to remove the seeds (another great fine motor activity), measured pumpkins, compared pumpkins and recorded their findings in their science journals.