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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hungry Caterpillar craft

I LOVE this book and decided that I would incorporate it into my prek class during our "Seasons" month.  I looked around online and on pinterest to find a craft that I could do with it.  I wanted something that the children could make that could transform from a caterpillar to a butterfly so they could use the craft to "re-enact" the story while I read to them.  But I couldn't find anything!  So, I made up my own :)

This was the first time I had done this obviously, so I learned along the what I could've done beforehand to make it go faster in the classroom.  If you are doing this with your child at home than they can participate in all the steps - but in the classroom you'll have to do some ahead of time or it'll take you all week :)

Here are the materials you'll need: 
-either 1 1/4 toilet paper roll per child OR 1 paper towel roll for every 2 children
-scissors, glue and hole punch
-green construction paper and white paper (optional)
-paint and paint brushes (red paint for the head)
-butterfly template to be used on green paper and white (I can't draw worth anything and was able to make a crude outline...I'm sure you can too ;)
-1 pipe cleaner per child (any color) cut in half
-piece of 2-3 inch string for each child (optional)

Here is what you can do ahead of time if you are working with a class...
-punch holes in the tube and "head"
This is the "head".  I punched two holes on the top and directly underneath I punched two more holes.  One set is for the antennae and the other is for the string to attach it to the body.
-cut the paper towel rolls in two (if using them) and cut out "heads" (heads are a quarter of a toilet paper roll)

on the left is half of a paper towel roll, on the right is a toilet paper roll.  The difference between the two is the "head" of the caterpillar :)  So the paper towel roll was the perfect size for 2 children to use.
That's about how much I cut off of the paper towel roll for the head :)

-cut out butterfly template (one side needs to be green...the children can paint their butterfly on the other side of the green paper or you can have them paint on white paper and glue it on to the green)  I wanted the white background for the butterflies so I had them paint on white paper and then I glued it to the green...but you could skip this step and the children can just paint the green paper.

-punch two holes on one end of the tube as well...once the butterfly has been painted and glued on to the roll, you'll be punching holes in that as well.

Now here's the craft!! :)

1.  On the first day, have the children paint their white butterfly template (or green).  In addition, have them paint the head red.  I didn't think about that the first day and had to drag the paints back out for the head.  Save yourself the trouble and do it all at the same time :)

I folded the template in two, had them paint one side, then we folded it over to get the "reflection".  They thought that was cool :)  Then I glued them onto the green template.
2.  On the second day when everything was dry, we glued the roll onto the middle of the white butterfly (green facing down).  It dried very quickly.  Then we flipped it over and tied the "head" to the wings/tube with the piece of string. (don't forget to punch the holes in your wings :)


3.  Put the pipe cleaners through the top of the head for your caterpillar.  Now, flip it back over and put the other pipe cleaner in the same holes as the string...this one is for your butterfly :)  The pipe cleaner would probably hold the head on and you wouldn't need the string...but I figured it'd be better to have the reinforcement there :)

To make it a caterpillar, simply wrap the wings around the tube and hold them in place with a rubber band.  (I thought about velcro but that would probably tear up the paper). I have some nice colored rubber bands I'm going to use next time :)

To make the butterfly, simple take off the rubber band and open the wings :)

You could even go further and pretend the tube is the cocoon!! :)  Hope you enjoyed the craft!  God bless :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why can't adults evangelize like children?

I just wanted to share this short story with you.  It happened very quickly but it has stuck with me...maybe because it all seemed so innocent and Almighty at the same time...

My kids and I were hanging out with a couple of other children.  I know the 2 other children don't go to church.  We were all outside and one of the kids remarked about how nice something looked.  One of my kids said simply - God made it.  God made everything.  One of the other kids said - God didn't make everything.  To which one of my children replied - Yes He did.  The other child thought for a second and said - He didn't make ME.  My children very calmly said, "Yes He did.  God made all of us."

Boom.  End of discussion.  Nothing else was said.  The other two children were lost in thought after that and it didn't come up again.  It didn't need to - the seed was planted.  These 2 children who know nothing about God were just handed the key to His unfailing love by two unsuspecting and unprepared  children.  They didn't argue, they didn't yell, they didn't push anything on each other...they simply spoke from their heart and let it go.
Why can't we as adults do this? It pains me when I see people stop others on the street to push religion on others.  Or when people knock on my door at always the worst possible time to tell me that God loves me or that I'm going to hell.  Why can't we be like children?  God will provide the when and where, all you have to do is follow through - not by "Bible beating" or yelling or pushing and prodding...but by simply being.  If you allow it, God can and will use you to spread His word.  Why do we get so scared to evangelize?  If we are asked to share our faith story sometimes we get embarrassed, nervous and sometimes flat out refuse.  Why?  Because we might get turned down? Because we may not be eloquent speakers or know the right thing to say?

May we all be able to share our love for God with others as children do - with no ulterior motive or agenda, with the willingness to share with anyone, anytime and with the acceptance that we are not in control...but God is.  Don't worry that you're not prepared, that you're not eloquent, that you're not dressed properly or look your best...God is.  We are just God's instruments.

Before I went to Peru I attended an informational meeting to learn more about where I would be going.  There were other churches there as well.  It was only a few months before I left to go live there for a while and I was pretty psyched :)

 Fast forward a few years...I was at a Christmas party with a church group that had gone to that meeting and had sent a few groups to where I had lived.  There was a man there that took me aside and said - "You probably don't remember, but I was at that meeting with you a few years back.  I almost didn't go and I was convinced even before I went that I was not going to go to Peru.  But, when I saw you there, and saw how unafraid and excited you were...your passion ignited a passion in me and I've now gone twice.  It has changed me and I want to say thank you."  Wow.  Not only do I not remember him being at the meeting, I had completely forgotten that we had a meeting!  I was so involved in my own life at the time I didn't really see anyone else there.  Even in my ignorance and selfishness, God used me to bring someone closer to Him.

Go with God, live your life as He would have you to live it and God will do miraculous things through you that you may not even be aware of.  Peace