Aldersgate Preschool


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1,2,3 God Loves Me

Today we had our February devotion worship.  It was the perfect time to talk about God’s love for us and how he want’s us to share that love with others.  There’s a certain holiday coming up tomorrow that is all about love.

One of our beginning songs goes like this;

1, 2, 3 – God loves me.

4, 5 – I’m glad I’m alive.

6, 7, 8 – God is great.

9, 10 – Let’s sing it again/God’s love never ends (second time)

Our bible verse was Colossians 3:12-14 (living Bible)

Since (God loves you and has chosen you,) you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others.

We talked about how we have been sharing God’s love through our kindness campaign.  And BOY, WE HAVE WE!!!

We also talked about what bodies and faces look like when the person is feeling sad, mad, frustrated or happy.  We learned that pictures sometimes use color to help us know the feeling of what is being portrayed.  Vibrant colors are often used when someone is feeling happy or excited.  Muted colors portray sadness, etc.  A youtube video demonstrates that beautifully.  The kids really enjoyed this one.

(Click on the picture for the link to the video.)

Next we played a game with a feelings meter.  My poster board had lots of colors on one side to represent happy feelings and grey and black colors on the other to represent sad.  The kids helped me know which side to show for the following:

You fall down  . . . . . . . . . and someone helps you up and gives you a hug.

You don’t have anything to do . . . . . . . . . . . .and someone asks you to join their game.

You have a very hard job to do (like maybe folding all the laundry) . . . . . . . . . . . . . and someone offers to help you.

You are a baby that is kind of fussy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and someone makes silly faces or sings you a song.

The kids were proud to know that all of those actions were things that our kids have done during the Kindness Campaign.  So now . . . it was time to see just how long our kindness chain has grown.  Each link on this chain represents a kind action done by a child.

       

Can you believe it?

IT STRETCHES ACROSS THE WHOLE SANCTUARY!

Amazing!  Wonderful!  Exciting!  Heartwarming!

We were so exited we danced to a fun song; Give it Away

 

We ended our devotion with a prayer;

   

Dear God,

Thank you for loving us.  Thank you for showing us how to love others.  Help us always look for ways we can be kind.  We want to share your love everyday.

Amen


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Fun while learning – indoor play

It’s that time of year.  Time to think about indoor fun.  Time to think about new activities to keep the kids busy and stimulated.  I spent some time looking at the blog BUSY TODDLERS: making it to naps, one activity at a time.  I am linking to several of her posts.  WAIT!  If you have older preschoolers, don’t despair, there are lots of things in here that would interest them.  Simply click on the photo to link to the full blog post.

Post it notes!  These are great fun for kids.  In the activity above the goal is to match letters to the ones in your child’s name.  You could do this for all the alphabet – or even for those letters your child is less familiar with (our Pre-K families probably got this information on their recent conference form!)  I would also consider making this an active game by having your child run, hop, spin, crawl, etc. to put on the letter.  All that movement will further stimulate your child’s brain.

This is the same kind of idea as the one above but with numbers.  For the youngest children you could just write the numerals in the colors of the sticky notes.  Encourage your child to match the orange sticky note to the orange numeral 3, etc.  They will be matching colors but can also build some awareness of numbers.

There is a wide array of concepts this post it note idea could adapt to; colors, shapes, emotions, and even sight words, etc. as children begin working on those in Kindergarten.

Manipulating stickers is a wonderful fine motor activity.  This changes the typical sticker play a little by placing it on a vertical surface.  Imagine how this will strengthen the wrist muscles.  For children working on patterning this would be a great way to do that.

If you’ve never thought about play in the bathtub (even when your child is in there for getting clean) I’d encourage you to, especially in the winter!  There are so many ways to play.  I remember my nephew often putting on his swimsuit and playing with plastic animals in the tub for almost an hour at a time.   I’m sure a quick search on Pinterest for “bathtub play for kids” will offer you a wide array of options.

While this is a fairly traditional (read “old school”) game, it’s still a good one!  The Peak Performance Center has a website all about helping people improve their performance.  In it they explain that human memory is a process that involves three domains: encoding, storage and retrieval.  This fun game supports growth in all three areas.  By the way, this is a great alternative to smart phones while you are waiting at a restaurant, etc.

Very young children will love this activity.  Surprisingly I am confident our oldest kids would also enjoy this as well.  While this seems like a “just keep them busy” activity, children are actually building hand-eye coordination, building strength in their hands and even cementing knowledge in the physical make-up of some dry foods.  Remember, there is learning active in all play experiences.

We LOVE shaving cream at preschool.  This is actually an activity I’ve done with my grand kids, multiple times.  They love it and they ask for it, even the seven year old.  At a recent conference, we were also talking to a family about using shaving cream as a way to practice drawing shapes, letters and numbers.  You could even combine this with the previous idea for playing in the tub.

 

Colored ice is also a staple around here.  Often the church staff or members ask us about the ice trays with colored water stored in the freezer.  You can also freeze a popsicle stick standing up in the tray (just stick it through some cling wrap) and then children can use this for painting too.  Also, adding salt to the mix brings in some science experimentation.

Perhaps you remember doing this as a child.  It’s so fun to expose a “secret” message, picture, shapes, etc. while painting with water color.  Psst, it’s just white crayon drawn on white paper.  You and your child could take turns drawing or writing the secret part.

This blog had a ton of other ideas.  I’d encourage you to check it out.  Also we have some previous posts about indoor activities.  Some include much more active play.  I’ve linked to a few of those below:

INSIDE PLAY

INSIDE ENTERTAINMENT

WHAT CAN WE DO NOW?

Have fun playing!

 


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Kindness is contagious!

Isn’t it amazing how just taking time to focus on something seems to manifest even more of that.  That is how I feel about our Kindness Campaign.  It is amazing how often I see children do kind things or hear a teacher talking about a kind action.

I LOVE IT!

Our teachers are sharing the kindness strips that our families send in during their circle time.  The children just BEAM when their kind deed is announced.

 

Again, I LOVE IT!

Our kindness chain is sure growing!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

Perhaps this focus has even helped you become more aware of kind actions all around you.  I sure hope so.

One little guy make cookies and took them to the Police Station to thank them for keeping us safe.

Today I noticed a little guy in the Blue class giving a thumbs up to his friends as they were performing a play of The Three Little Pigs.  I know that made them feel great.  He got to add a link to our chain.

I’d love to see any of the kindness activities your buddies are encouraging the children to do.  Please drop us an email or add it as a comment to this blog post.

As another way to carry the kindness focus into the homes you may want to pick up a couple of books about kindness from the library.  I found this wonderful blog post about books that encourage kindness.   HERE   I hope you enjoy some from it.

 


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Kindness Campaign

Therefore, as “children of God,” holy and beloved,

put on mercy, kindness, humility, meekness.

Colossians 3:12

This was the focus of our Devotion Worship this week.  

Kindness will be our focus through February.  Young children are naturally self focused.  This is a developmental thing.  It’s normal.  However, we can help children learn how to notice others, think about others needs and even care for others.  Jesus was a wonderful example of showing kindness to others.  I told the children the story of Jesus finding the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.  The man could not get into the healing waters since he couldn’t walk and people kept going before him.  Jesus asked him about it and then said, “Stand up, pick up your mat and walk.”  Jesus showed kindness.

 

We then read the book A World of Kindness, from the Pajama Press.  This adorable book showed us a various ways that we can be kind to others such as

Helping people young and old,

Comforting someone who is sad,

Being a friend to someone new, 

We are sending home a kindness buddy with each preschool family.  (If you are reading this but aren’t a part of our preschool I would encourage you to use a stuffed animal as a kindness reminder.)  Children can show kindness to their buddy by making it a bed, a house, etc.  But mostly the buddy can help children think about a special way to be kind each day.

We also sent home strips of paper.  We hope our families will write on it the kind actions they see their kids doing.  You can send these in and we will celebrate with the child as we connect them to our Kindness Chain.  I started the chain with a link for each of our staff.  It was so easy to come up with a kind action for each person.  They exhibit kindness everyday!

We also added kind actions witnessed after our Worship yesterday.  

Our Kindness Chain is already growing!


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New Year’s Resolution – taking a cue from our toddlers

My niece posted on Facebook about her New Year’s resolution.  She was taking a cue from her toddler.  I loved the idea.  There are so many things we can learn from our little ones.  Here are her ideas.

This year, perhaps we should all strive to . . .

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

SAY Hi AND BYE TO EVERYONE

READ FICTION EVERYDAY

 

PLAY, PLAY, PLAY

BE CURIOUS

BE ASSERTIVE

(I love how honest and up-front children are with what they need or want. Couldn’t we all learn something from that. For this post, though, I am going to interpret this as a child being intent on what he is doing. I love watching a child “struggle” to figure something out.)

TAKE A NAP WHEN YOU NEED ONE

 

LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERYDAY

THROW A GOOD FIT EVERY NOW AND THEN

(While we see the need for this it’s not a part of our day we take pictures of.  Somehow I am sure you can visualize this without a photo.) 

HAVE FUN and BE SILLY

(I added this one.  We do this a lot around here.)


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Christmas Worship – There was no room at the Inn

We had a wonderful time celebrating Jesus’ birth at our two Christmas worship services this past Saturday.  Wow, we had large crowds.  I think we had the most people we’ve ever had before.  I’m so glad our families were able to join us!

It is wonderful to take a short time to focus on Jesus!  I love singing with the kids each day as we prepare to share the story through word and song.  I hope they sang out loud enough for you to hear their sweet voices.

We have the songs on our website but I thought we would add them here too so you can always have access to them.  I’m glad to know that the kids want to continue singing them well past the Christmas holiday.

Our Songs: 

Born in a Stable

Hush There’s a Baby

On the Day that Jesus was Born

Somethings Going to Happen in the Stable

We’ve got No Room

Here are some photos we took of the wonderful morning.

I thank all the staff and families that helped us share the message.  It is my hope to share a message that is meaningful for both the kids and the adults.  We hope everyone makes Christmas preparations and celebrations for focusing on Jesus – the true reason for Christmas!

We love the large crowds – and hope you were able to find a good spot to see your child.  I laughed when I saw this photo of a mom capturing the moment on her phone.  I hope you all appreciate how easy it is to get these moments with your kids.  Back in our day we had to lug in a large DSL camera if we wanted to have any quality pictures.  Just saying.  🙂

 

And, of course, we especially love the sound of those sweet voices.  Thank you for sharing your children with us.  Hearing them sing is truly a Christmas gift we enjoy each year!

        

Our Collection:

We are so thankful for you – our generous families.  Mission Southside is such an awesome ministry that serves youth right here in our area.  We are very glad to be able to share such a wealth of items to stock their BackSnack program.  THANK YOU