Recyclable Art, Searching for Signs of Spring and Letting the SONshine In…Day 7 Activities

Today was crazy sock day. These virtual spirit days has been a wonderful way for us to feel connected to my daughter’s school. A personal FaceTime conversation with her teacher and a surprise book sent in the mail from a family friend made for a pretty perfect day!
Recyclable Art– My daughter asked if she could use this paper tube to make a butterfly for our neighborhood art walk. Without any direction from me she planned and created this work of art completely on her own! It was a reminder that sometimes the unplanned activities, led by our children, are the most successful! I encourage you and your family to make works of art out of recyclable materials you have lying around the house. Signs of Spring– After completing the Scholastic Learn From Home lesson on spring we took a walk around our neighborhood looking for signs of spring. My daughter recalled many of the things she learned from our on line reading and pointed them out as we walked. I documented the signs she found and tomorrow we will print out the pictures and make our own book.
Spreading SONshine Project- A few days ago I began the Spreading SONshine Project where I encouraged others to share the love of Jesus by drawing a sun with a cross and or sharing a bible verse on social media with #spreadingSONshineproject The movement hasn’t caught on but my dad, who is an artist, began drawing daily SONshine crosses. If you are interested in seeing more please follow Spreading SONahine Project on Facebook or Instagram. Connecting Virtually- We connected with my daughter’s teacher, Mrs. Stanglein, this morning via a FaceTime chat and after dinner had a Talley family meeting on Zoom. My daughter enjoyed seeing Maw Maw and Paw Paw Talley (who live nearby) along with my sister in law and her family who live in Georgia. As virtual meet ups become our norm, seeing familiar faces brings comfort. We also watched our church’s weekly Lenten service. Participating in our normal religious practices brought joy into our home. My daughter even fetched her church busy bag before we gathered around the TV for worship. Our music director, who is the best organist I know, played an amazing prelude and postlude. His playing inspired our daughter to pull out her cat keyboard and play along! Do we have a future organist among us? Click HERE to watch.
As the news indicates that isolation will be extended through April 24, I pray you and your family create some special memories together. Make a personal or a family goal to try something new. While practicing social distancing, reach out to friends and family you haven’t talked to in months or even years. And in the darkest of days, remember the SONshine.

A Science Lesson, Dances Around the World, Mary and Martha and Extra Snuggles… Surviving Day 5

Dances Around the World– My daughter’s dance studio, the Performing Arts Centre, put together virtual dance classes via Zoom. We had our first class today and for the preschool program they are using is Dances Around the World. Prior to class we were sent instructions on how to make props. Today’s lesson was on Italy and I helped my daughter create a plate of spaghetti, gold coins and a wishing well. She was also instructed to bring a stuffed dog to class. (and if you know my daughter that wasn’t a difficult request). The dancers used the props during class and my daughter had a blast! It was the happiest I have seen her in days. Dressed in her normal pink leotard, tights and ballet shoes, she took the class seriously and enthusiastically followed along with the instructor.

Scratch Garden– We watched an animated song about the sun by Scratch Garden. My daughter loved the song and requested to watch the animation several times. Scratch Garden has an extensive catalog of learning videos that teach the preschool set concepts through visuals. We will watch more Scratch Garden videos in the future.

Books, Books and More Books– After reading about the moon last week we learned about the sun. We began by reading the book Sun Up, Sun Down by Gail Gibbons. I found someone reading the book on YouTube. We read the book Wake Up, Sun! by David L. Harrison, a fun fictional selection about a group of farm animals who think the sun has forgotten to rise. This is a book I digitally checked out of our local library and we read it through Libby.

Sun Science– We used three different sized balls to represent the sun, Earth and the moon and daddy helped us act out how our Earth rotates around the sun while turning on its axis and how the moon orbits Earth while turning on its axis. Daddy was the sun and he stood still in the middle. It is a difficult concept for a five year old to fully grasp but the activity required movement and daddy enjoyed participating.

Sun Art– Our neighborhood is having a sunshine hunt tomorrow so we drew suns to put in our windows for neighbors to find. The idea inspired me to create the Spreading SONshine Project, a way to spread sunshine and Jesus’s love to others during this time of isolation. Spread the SONshine by drawing a sun with a cross and placing it in your window for neighbors to see. Or spread some SONshine by sharing a comforting bible verse via social media or email. Don’t forget to share #spreadingSONshineproject and follow the Spreading SONshine Project page on facebook and Instagram.

Mary and Martha and The Beginner’s Bible– Our church uses The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum for early childhood children. Go to The Beginner’s Bible website for free downloadable material. I also discovered there is an App and I can’t wait to get that for my daughter. We were sent the weekly lesson plan and did the lesson as a family. We read the following stories (“Mary and Martha,” “Lazarus Lives Again,” and “A Gift for Jesus”) in our daughter’s The Beginner’s Bible and after some discussion she colored the accompanying coloring page. Our amazing early childhood preschool director recorded herself reading the book Sit Down (Marty and Martha) by Mary Manz Simon and it fit perfectly with the Jesus Time we had planned for today.. Click here to listen to this engaging story. My daughter watched it three times and loved joining in on the repetitive parts.