Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Rainbow Promise

Who doesn’t love a rainbow? I always enjoy doing a rainbow lesson with the children so that they are reminded of God’s promise to us. Here is something we did recently:

As the children arrived in the classroom they saw the following items out on the tables:

Cups of colored milk
Brand new, clean paintbrushes
Paper plates
Plastic knives

They were so excited because they knew they were going to get to eat.

We gathered in a circle so that I could read them the story “Let's Paint a Rainbow” by Eric Carle.

After the story we talked about rainbows, and I asked how many of them had ever seen a rainbow in the sky? They all raised their hands, so I figured if they hadn’t seen a rainbow in the sky they at least knew what a rainbow was.

We then discussed God’s promise to us from the passage in the Bible, Genesis 9:8-17. I replaced the word covenant with promise so that the children could understand it better. I explained to them that when they see a rainbow in the sky it reminds us of God’s promise and how much he loves us.

After the discussion we sang “Oh Rainbow.”

Oh Rainbow
Tune: O Christmas Tree
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.
Purple, red and orange, too,
Yellow, green and blue so true.
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.

After we were done singing it was off to make rainbow toast.

The children were allowed to “paint” any colors of the rainbow on their bread using the colored milk and what fun they had!

Before they ate their toast, Emily said a prayer, “Thank you God for this rainbow toast. Amen.”

As always, peace and joy,

Don't Be A Litter Bug - Earth Day Lesson

Earth day is fast approaching and I wanted to give you an activity idea to use with your children.

One lesson we use this time of year is to teach that God wants us to protect our earth, take good care of it and honor it. One way to get the message across to young children is to teach them not to be a “litter bug.”

Take some newspaper, scrap paper, clean bottle caps, clean string and other items that resemble litter. Go outside to the playground or outdoor setting and toss the “litter” all over before the children arrive, (yes, you read that correctly, make a mess and spread the litter).

As soon as all of the children have arrived tell them that something happened on the playground that you want to show them. Be prepared to answer questions about why there is litter all over the playground. Take garbage bags with your when you go outside or have them out there ahead of time.

Ask the children how God would feel if he knew that someone had spread litter outside. Most likely you will get answers like sad, mad, upset and not happy. Take a moment to sit outside with them and ask them if they know what a litter bug is and if they have ever been a litter bug.

Suggest to the children that we need to pick up the litter from the playground or outdoor area and once we pick it up we are going to go inside and make “litter bugs” with it. Explain that this litter is actually items you brought from home to help them practice picking up litter, and that the items are clean and OK to use for a craft project. Litter that they find on the ground in other settings should be disposed of properly.

In advance have
glue, scissors and crayons ready for the children to create their litter bugs.
One way to start is to show them how they can crumble the newspaper into balls and glue the bottle caps, string and other litter to the newspaper to create their bugs. This can be a creative, unguided project where the end results can be anything the children imagine.

Have little signs made up ahead of time that say “Don’t be a litter bug!” The children can attach these signs with a craft stick, straw or twig for their litter bugs/creatures to hold. Remind children when they see litter outdoors they can help keep the earth beautiful by picking it up and disposing of it properly.

At the end of class you can read a story about the earth. One of my favorites is “Dear Children of the Earth” by Schim Schimmel.

I hope you have great fun with this activity and let me know how it went.

As always, peace and joy,