Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Letter of the Week Activities with the Letter B

It has been a B as in beautiful week with the letter B for me and my sons last week!
Let me share with you the activities that we had.
1. Finger-painting of letter O by Mateo - We always kick off our Letter of the Week Activity with finger-painting by my 2-year-old son. It's very simple but effective, relaxing and therapeutic.

2. Painting the Life Cycle of the Butterfly - I already had this idea right after we bought a copy of the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. But I had to postpone it for some time when I have decided to do Letter of the Week activities with my sons. Having the letter B as our Letter of the Week was just the perfect time for it.

This was made by Mateo.

Here's how we did it step-by-step:
     a. I folded a bond paper into 4 parts/quadrants. Each child was given his own bond paper.
     b. I painted my son's hand with green paint using a brush.
     c. Then, I helped my son press his hand on the first quadrant of the bond paper.
     d. Next, I helped/guided my son as he dipped one finger on green paint again and made a series of dots that are joined to each other like a caterpillar.
     e. After finishing the body of the caterpillar, I helped/guided my son in dipping another finger in red paint and in making a head for the caterpillar.
     f. While waiting for the leaf (hand print) and the caterpillar to dry, I helped/guided my son again in painting a cocoon using his fingers. I helped/guided him in dipping his finger on brown paint and pressing it on the bond paper to form the pattern of a cocoon.
     g. We cleaned his hand/fingers first before painting them with his chosen color for the wings of the butterfly. I used a paint brush to paint my sons' palms.
      h. Then, I helped each child press his palm gently on the last quadrant. You can use both hands/palms to stamp hand prints for the wings or you can just use the same hand to do that. If you use the same hand though, you need to coat the same palm with paint again before pressing it the second time. 
       i. I waited for the paint to dry to add details to the caterpillar, an egg on the leaf hand print and additional colors and the body and details on the butterfly.
       j. Once dry, I helped/guided my son as he dipped his finger on white paint and pressed it on the green leaf.
       k. I assisted my son in drawing the eyes, smile and antennae on the caterpillar.
       l. I helped/assisted my son in finger-painting the body of the caterpillar and eventually finger painting and drawing the additional details.
This was made by Yanthy.

Note: My eldest son worked independently on this art activity. He would simply watch what I was doing with his younger brother whose hand I am holding/guiding most of the time. I asked him to imitate what I was doing and I would just intervene if necessary. ;)
I explained our art activity briefly, relating it to the story in our book. We capped our painting activity by singing the butterfly song that we learned from one of our helpers. It's actually spelling out the word BUTTERFLY. :)
3. Making a Bulldozer Toy Out of Paper Cut-out - I recently found and bought a book from the Book Sale that's about Diggers. It's an activity book about construction toys and areas. I was delighted when I saw it because I know that my sons would like it. In one of its pages, there's a bulldozer toy that can be cut-out and formed. I proceeded to cut the parts of the toy after we finished our painting activity on the life cycle of a butterfly. The boys were very happy to play with the paper bulldozer as soon as I finished it. 

4. Reading books about Things that Start with the Letter B - Aside from reading the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, we read books about bulldozers, buses, bees and stories from the Bible. As usual, we used props (their toys) as we read the books.

5. Serving and Eating Food that Start with the Letter B - Some of the food that we had starting with the letter B last week were the following: banana with peanut butter wrapped in tortilla, beef balls, eggnog biscuits which my sons imagined to be hosts (Body of Christ during their pretend play of the Holy Mass), and bangus or milkfish sinigang.

6. Bible Verse Writing Activity - This is part of our Catholic ABC Program. Aside from the art and reading activities that we have each week, I make sure that I introduce a Bible verse to my sons, particularly to my eldest son. I use this activity as an opportunity to practice my eldest son's listening, writing and spelling skills. Last week, our Bible verse was taken from John 6:51.

7. Playing with Toys that Start with the Letter B and Pretend Play - The boys played again with their construction toys that start with the letter B (bulldozer, backhoe, bike). After tracing his finger on the letter B puzzle mat, I removed the letter B and filled it with my son's building blocks. Both of my sons love playing with building blocks! They can play with these toys for hours, imagining scenarios and creating them using the building blocks. They also played bowling , basketball and my younger son played with his smaller balls.

Aside from their favorite pretend play with building blocks (wherein they pretend to have a parking lot/building), they also pretended to celebrate the Holy Mass. My eldest son pretended to be the priest most of the time, doubling as musician/pianist and choir sometimes. My younger son pretended to be a reader (lector/commentator), parishioner or Mass-goer, choir member and sometimes priest also. He enjoyed pretending to receive Holy Communion (he liked the eggnogs!).
My eldest son pretending to be a priest giving Holy Communion to our helper.
My toddler pretending to carry the Bible
during the entrance procession at the start of the Mass.
8. B as in Bethlehem Craft - This craft activity is in line with our Bible verse for the week as well. I learned while I was researching for the most appropriate verse for our letter of the week that Bethlehem means house of bread. That discovery affirmed my plans to make our DIY Bethlehem/Nativity décor. I recommend that you read this interesting article about Jesus as the Living Bread that came down from heaven and how perfect that He was born in Bethlehem.
I did the same DIY Bethlehem décor/craft using popsicle sticks with my toddler which I did with my eldest son last year.

Let me share the steps as well for this craft:
     a. I simply asked my son to paint 6 popsicle sticks with green paint.
     b. Then, I asked him to paint 1 popsicle stick with white paint, guiding him to leave a space for the face of Baby Jesus.
     c. We set aside these popsicle sticks to air-dry.
    d. I then painted cream colored paint to serve as faces to the yellow and blue popsicle sticks as well as the white popsicle stick. I let these air-dry once more.
     e. While letting them dry, I drew and cut out a star from a scrap of bond paper.
     f. I asked my toddler to squeeze silver glitter glue all over it. Then, we let it dry once more.
    g. When all the popsicle sticks were dry, I glued them to form a stable and inserted the sticks that represent the Holy Family. I broke the sticks that represent Mama Mary and Jesus so that they would be shorter than the stick that represented St. Joseph.
    h. When the faces that I painted were already dry, I drew the details using a sign pen. I also glued the star on top of the stable.
We hanged this décor in our Christmas tree afterwards.
This year, I did a different Bethlehem craft with my eldest son. I asked him to paint a milk carton with brown paint so we can use it as stable for our toilet paper tube characters in our DIY Nativity set. My toddler also helped out in painting the parts of the manger for this set. Then, I took charge of making B as in Baby Jesus out of the other half of the toilet paper tube we used for the manger. I used left over yellow paper to cut out the hay for the manger.

9. Flag-making Activity - My sons made the flags of Bahrain and Bangladesh.

It has been another B as in busy week for us but it was fun-filled and blessed especially since our week was capped with the All Saints' Day party of our homeschool group where my sons came as San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila and St. Dominic de Guzman.


My two sons as St. Dominic de Guzman and San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila.
Today, we kicked off our new letter of the week - the letter C! Watch out for my post where I will summarize and enumerate our activities this week!