Thursday, 26 March 2015

The BEST thing about Easter

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Easter is approaching and it can be  difficult to explain the history of Easter to little ones.  Years ago an amazing family, of a student I was teaching, gave a book to me for my own child (I only had one at the time).  'The Best Thing About Easter' is the most amazing book for talking about Easter with kids!  It is from the perspective of a child who, just like many other children, and adults, loves so many things about Easter - chocolate bunnies, eggs and egg hunts, dressing up in fancy clothes, even spending time together with family.  But the narrator realizes that while all these things are great, Easter is so much more.  The language is kid friendly and the message is simple - Easter is sad, but also happy because of the new life of Jesus and through Jesus.

Here are some ideas for simple Easter crafts.  Here we are rolling 3 different colored marbles on our crosses.

Here is our finished product, once we cut out our crosses and placed them on our cards.

 Here we are making eggs.  Dip pastel colored yarn into glue and wrap it around a small balloon (water balloons work well).  This was great fine-motor practice!  They also required lots of patience, but they turned out great!

We sprayed them with hair spray and gave a coating of podge before we popped the inner balloon.  The yarn held it's shape, and here is our final product!
I placed some Easter words at the felt board and the students began sharing stories of their own experiences with egg hunts and receiving palms at Church, as well as other aspects of Easter.  I love the felt board center because it allows the students to use imaginative play and allows for vocabulary building.    Felt play also enhances fine-motor eye-hand co-ordination and manipulation, and engages students in the development of oral language through speaking, listening, story-telling and enhancing vocabulary.  Some students chose to use the recording sheets as a follow-up which was great since they were now writing about the stories they had just shared with their peers! 

Happy Easter!