Bible Alive: Israel Complains

This past week with the kids and then again with my Sunday school class we learned about Moses and the Red Sea and a few other things.

I’m going to spotlight how I taught this with my Sunday school class, I taught the story on a walk with the kids taking turns acting the part of Moses and other people, since I didn’t take pictures in that version I’ll show the pictures from the peg doll version I did with my kids.
Moses and all of the Israelites set out following God, but they looked behind them and saw Pharaoh was following them and the Red Sea was in front of them.  At this point I had the entire class say, “Why did you lead us out here to die!” as dramatically as possible.
Then Moses held his staff out over the “water” (or the street) and all of the Israelites crossed on dry land.

The Israelites traveled some more and they started to realize they were thirsty but the water they found tasted bad (I gave them each a few drops of watered down vinegar to taste, boy were they unhappy).  Again the Israelites said “Why did you lead us out here to die!”
Moses prayed to God, and God told him to throw his stick in the water (the kid playing Moses threw his staff on the ground and then they got to drink from the water fountains).

They traveled some more and at this point they’ve been traveling for 3 months.  They’ve started to run out of food and they’re hungry.  They came to Moses again and said, “Why did you lead us out here to die!”

Moses went to God, and God said He would send mana for the Israelites to eat.
The Israelites gathered mana just like God said (they walked to another corner of the building and found cups of honey teddy grahams). 

They traveled some more and were out of water again.  They complained to Moses again and said, “Why did you lead us out here to die!”

Moses went to God and said, “What should I do?”  God told him to hit the rock with his staff and water would burst forth.
Moses did as God said and just as God said water burst forth.  The Israelites drank the water and were happy.

We talked about two things with this:

1.  Do you thank God for what He gives you?  The Israelites didn’t always thank God when He gave them what they needed.
2.  Do you obey without complaining?  The Israelites spent most of their time complaining.

The full story can be found at Peg Doll Bible Stories (where I’m occasionally putting up the stories I tell my kids) and this is the Israel Complains story cards.

Advent Days 7 and 8, I think

Sigh, I know where these fell, but I’m totally not remembering the exact day.



We talked about the story of Jacob and how he tricked his brother and had to run away.  Then we talked about Jacob having his dream with the angels coming up and down.


Afterwards we created our own Jacob’s ladder.  I had planned to take another stab with the bubble dying, but I was not feeling up to it, and my second plan was missing parts.  So, regular old blue paper it was……


Since they didn’t know about my more ambitious plans they didn’t care one bit.



Princess was quite proud of her creation, and so were all of the kids, but she was the only one who posed with hers.





I love how everyone had a different interpretation.  Superman literally built a stairs out of popsicle sticks, and Batman had huge numbers of steps.  Princess wanted her angels to be pretty.



Now on to the next day, acting out the story of Joseph with popsicle stick puppets, which was a huge hit.  Other than I had to sit through 3 renditions of it all, which got to be rather “creative,” yeah let’s say creative.


You can see a not really tutorial on how to make the puppet theater here.  You can find the printables for the Bible story and craft at part 1 of my Advent project.


Advent Calendar part 2


We’ve completed the first few days of our Advent project.  The kids happily search through the Christmas tree to find the day’s activity and box.  It’s a bit of a challenge because some of the numbers are on there as words, and they don’t know all of their number words yet.  So, this has been great practice.


Day 13- Solomon, God said Solomon’s wisdom would be greater than the sands on the shore.  Make “sand pudding.”  I don’t have any extras with this one because I have no movie or book in particular for it at this time.



Day 14- Elijah, God kept his prophet safe even when all else seemed to be against him, and Elijah was able to show others the mighty wonders of God because of this.  Same for this one, for some reason there’s not a lot of movies about Elijah, which is a shame because he has some great stories.



Day 15- Esther, God used Esther to keep His people safe so that His BIG Plan could go forward.  Make the princess pretty using markers and glitter and whatever else you have.  Watch the Veggietales: Duke and the Great Pie War.  If my kids had an amazing attention span and were older we could watch “One Night with the King.”  I highly recommend that movie if you have any interest in Old Testament history, or want to watch a true romantic movie.  It is wonderfully made.



Day 16- Nehemiah, God used Nehemiah to bring His people back to Israel, so eventually His Promised One would be born where God promised.  Build a wall like Nehemiah did, try to keep others from knocking it down.  Again no movie, another sorely under represented figure in animation and books.



Day 17- Zechariah and Elizabeth- play charades.  I also loved the idea from over at Fantastic Five of making edible peanut butter and HONEY play dough (get it because John ate honey), but since I’m making this for others as well I didn’t want to include something their kid might potentially be allergic to.



Day 18- Mary and Joseph, got told Mary and Joseph beforehand about Jesus’ coming.  Create a song of praise like Mary did to God.  As a side note I opted to go with the traditional colors for the Nativity figures and just paint them solid.  Therefore Mary is blue for purity and mercy, Joseph is brown for humility.  Many thanks to Nicole from Tired, Need Sleep for helping me figure that out.



Day 19- Journey to Bethlehem– play the game.  We’ll also read “Donkey’s Dream,” a very cute story that is beautifully illustrated about the donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem.  He dreams he is carrying many different things that are all names for Jesus or come from Catholic imagery (this is my memory from reading it last year, it’s not one I’ve read zillions of times).


Day 20-Shepherds, while reading the story eat your candy canes that look like shepherd’s crooks.  I painted the shepherd figures green for their traditional color, but couldn’t find what it is supposed to represent.  Any ideas people? Any Godly Play people know?  Maybe life or growing?  I’m planning to read Crippled Lamb, if I can find my copy.  I think it might technically be my Mom’s……..  So maybe at her house.



Day 21-Magi, the magi are painted yellow to represent wisdom or preciousness (maybe, anybody know for sure?).  I included popsicle sticks to make a star and decorate it to hang on the tree.  I’m thinking of teaching the boys how to make this, because I’m a glutton for punishment.



Day 22- Simeon and Anna, I love this part of the story and it is so rarely included when we teach it.  We tell about the shepherds and the magi, but we leave out these two simple people who waited their whole lives.  In that vein we will each have a cookie place in front of us and have to wait 5 minutes to show us how hard it is to wait like Simeon and Anna did.



Day 23- Flight to Egypt, Dixie cups in a Pringles can.  I’ve made my kids eat a lot of Pringles recently.  The cups are to stack to make a pyramid.  How big of a pyramid can you make?


Here is part 1 of the Advent project

Here are the updated Advent printables (including a master list of what to do each day).


I meant to get this up before December 1, but I quite literally finished all of these on December 1, and I already had posts scheduled and I haven’t had time to sit down and write until now………  All right, I’m off to start school for the day.  We’ve already gotten our Advent acitivity for today done.  I quite literally got out of bed and they pounced on me saying, “We have to find the 5!”


We PlayKatie's Nesting Spot

Advent Project part 1

So, I showed you my plans and pictures of bits and bobs that I had completed, but I’m going to show you step by step and pictures of what it looks like completed, because I figure there’s got to be quite a few of you who are visual learners.  Also, my plans are still revising as I go along.

Supplies needed for days 1-12: cardstock, 6×9 manila envelopes, small boxes to hold peg people, plastic animals, green felt, pipe cleaners, green fabric, popsicle sticks, blue paper, peg people (3 men, 4 women, 2 babies, 1 boy, and 1 giant [I get my peg people from Casey’s Wood Products]), acrylic paint (for peg people, could use markers)
Day 1: Creation- 2 peg dolls for Adam and Eve, and various small plastic animal toys from around the house, and a fat quarter of green fabric (could also be a sheet of felt).  Additional activities: watch What’s In the Bible DVD 1, part 1.  Potentially also play with the Creation bean bags.

Day 2- Fall of Man- felt leaves with pipe cleaners for the fig leaves, a small “fruit” made from beads and pipe cleaners, they’re going to make a snake from play dough for acting the story out.  I hot glued the beads on to make it “more” child friendly, but it’s still not the best for little guys unsupervised.  Also watch “What’s in the Bible DVD 1, part 2.”

Day3- Noah- play Memory or Go Fish with the cards found for this game (I printed two copies of the each page) and act out the story using animals from Day 1, and the 2 new peg dolls.  Watch “Veggietales: Noah’s Umbrella.”

Abraham game
Day 4- Abraham- Abraham’s Journey game and act out the story using the peg dolls.  Watch “Veggietales: Abe and the Amazing Promise.”
Day 5-Isaac- ram craft from Little Blots.  I currently don’t have any random extra stories or videos aside from one I wrote.

Day 6-Jacob, Jacob’s ladder craft, read the story of Jacob and Esau.
Day 7- Judah,  act out the story with popsicle sticks.  I’m planning on emphasizing Judah’s growth from planning to sell Joseph to making himself responsible for Benjamin’s safety.  Also watch “Veggietales: The Ballad of Little Joe”  or listen to the Adventures in Odyssey.

Day 8- Moses, since I want this also to be the story of God’s Redemptive history, I’m including people not specifically in Jesus’ lineage.  We’ll act out the story of God acting to save Moses as a baby.  Afterwards we’ll watch “Veggietales: Moe and the Big Exit.”  Or possibly “Prince of Egypt.”
Day 9- Rahab-make a red bookmark by braiding yarn.  Thanks to Annette for this suggestion!  We’ll watch “Veggietales: Josh and the Big Wall.”

Day 10- Ruth- We’ll build an obstacle course and go through it in pairs, like Ruth stayed with Naomi.  We’ll also watch “Veggietales: Duke and the Great Pie War.”

Day 11- David- Read the story and act it out with the peg dolls.  Then we’ll watch “Veggietales: Dave and the Giant Pickle.”
Day 12- King David- Read the story of David bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem.  Make crowns for ourselves and decorate them.
And here are the printables I’ve created so far for this project, I have a small paper for each day that goes in or on the container, the dolls for acting out Judah’s story, and the angels for Jacob’s ladder.
Advent Printable(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();
And that is all I have done to show in pictures.  I’m hoping to get the rest of it all finished tonight/tomorrow to share on Saturday.  I’ve changed my original plan somewhat.  Tightened up some parts, and added in some others.We PlayKatie's Nesting Spot

Advent season

This year I am going to try and be more focused in our plans for Christmas and the Advent season, and towards that end I have a plan.

Hopefully the plan will go well.


Day 1- God creates the world, play a Concentration game using cards from Adam Names the Animals. For other things we have done with Creation, go to: Creation book part 1(follow the link trail), Creation book 2, Creation game.  This is going in an Altoid tin, I’ve altered somewhat……  Mainly gluing scrapbook paper all over it.

Day 2- Adam and Eve peg dolls, along with a snake and a garden of Eden play mat (also known as a handkerchief colored with sharpie and food dye). The idea is from Our Country Road.
My plan is to use the play mat for the others days in general.

Day 3- Noah, I’m still debating on this one.  The kids are advocating for another play set and an ark……  You know another one.


Day 4- Abraham, Sarah, and baby Isaac, story of Isaac as the promised child.

Day 5- sheep- tell the story of Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice.

Day 6- Jacob’s ladder.  I probably will put the supplies in to do this craft.  Now to figure out how to do that……..

Day 7- Joseph and Judah, since Judah is the one who is in Jesus’ line, I’ll probably emphasize how Judah offered to be responsible for Benjamin.


Day 8-Moses in a basket- to show how God is keeping Israel safe even in the worst times.

Day 9- Rahab and the spies (one of 4 women mentioned in Jesus’ line, including Mary).  I’m still debating on what I’m going to do here.  I don’t want to do an endless line of peg dolls, but at the same time the kids love them.

Day 10- Ruth Boaz and probably Naomi- another of the women in Jesus’ line, I find it interesting that most of the women mentioned are not actually Hebrew.

Day 11- David and Goliath- more peg dolls

Day 12- David as king, probably the story of David and the ark of the covenant- make crowns

Day 13- King Solomon- King Solomon and how he asked for wisdom

Day 14- Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-25)

Day 15- Mary (Luke 1:26-44), Mary nativity doll

Day 16- John born (Luke 1:57-80)

Day 17- Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25), Joseph nativity doll

Day 18- Journey to Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7), board game from Living Waters (printable)

Day 19- shepherds (Luke 2:18-20), shepherd nativity figures, possibly drummer boy

Day 20- magi (Matthew 2:1-12), magi nativity figures, maybe frankincense and myrrh

Day 21- Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)

Day 22- Anna (Luke 2:36-43)

Day 23- escape to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-18) pyramid puzzle or stacking cups

Bolded items I’m still debating on what will go in those particular boxes.  My plan is to wrap them in individual boxes and hide them all over the house with numbers on them.  I deliberately ended it on the 23rd because I’ve found for us that Christmas Eve and Christmas tend to be fairly busy so I don’t want to try and plan a special event that we won’t be able to do.  I’d rather finish it up early and just read stories on the last two days.

Over at Tired, Need Sleep she also has a great Advent calendar which I’m going to print out for my Sunday School class.  I also have a ton of ideas over on my Christmas board and my Advent board.

Linking over to: Ten O’Clock Nativity Post

Bible Alive: Abraham part 1

This past week with the kids (I did this a few weeks ago in Sunday School) we talked about Abraham and how God promised him his descendants would be as numberless as the stars.
Then they got to color their picture with crayons and make glitter glue stars.  When it was all dried I painted over it with watercolor paint to make it look like night.

I thought I had gotten this idea from a post over at Our Country Road but can’t find it or anywhere else I might have gotten it.  My Genesis Pinterest board failed me……..  Oh well.  So, if you’ve seen a similar craft to this can you put the link in the comments?

I particularly like the individuality in each one.  Superman added an owl up in the tree.  Princess and Batman added Jesus.  But Batman was more interested in getting the the next thing so his Jesus is just an outline, and Princess drew in this big vague shape with lots and lots of color, mainly pink……..

If you’d like the picture they used to color, here’s my Abraham counting the stars coloring page.

And for those who are wondering, I need to resubmit my stories to the place I submitted it.  The first go round she said there’s interest but it needs polishing, particularly in the scanning of it.  I just need to sit down and resend it again.

Noah’s ark or maybe just a fun boat to play in

So, because I’m a crazy over-achiever or maybe a perfectionist or something I’ve decided to completely write and design my own Bible study curriculum that goes through the whole thing in 2 years.  More or less.

I mean we’re not hitting everything, but it gets most of the major stories and themes.

Well, this past week in our Sunday school class was Noah, so of course we had to make arks.

SUPPLIES:  individual milk cartons (or in our case orange juice), floral foam (can be found at the dollar store or Michael’s), brown acrylic paint, Noah’s ark printout, sharp knife


1.   Force your kids to drink 14 cartons of orange juice in 2 days, then cut out one side of your ark, so it looks like a boat.

2.  Paint your ark.  I know, normally I’d show me painting, but I didn’t think to take pictures until afterwards.


3.  Cut your floral foam to fit inside your carton.  This is a very exact science which will require shaving off bits and pieces and then shoving it into your ark.

And, it is very messy.


4.  Color the printout and cut out each of the figures.  Then tape them to the ark.


Now set your ark adrift on the ocean.  And look forward to the squeals of delight from your kids.  Yes, that is a mandatory step.
So, I made 24 of these for my class including the sample (I pre-painted them, they colored the pictures).  We used every single one of them.  No joke.
Noah Ark Papers(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })(); learning laboratory at mama smilesabc button

Bible Alive: Creation!

If this seems like a familiar topic it’s because I’ve taught it a couple of times before.  First because we did My Father’s World, and then because of Mystery of History.  This time it’s because we’re starting a 2 year trek through the Bible with our Sunday School class and my kids get to be the guinea pigs for activities.



For whatever reason I decided it’d be a brilliant idea to make a game of “Sort the days of Creation bean bag” toss.


So, I sat there and ironed on about 90 transfers onto squares and made insanely large numbers of bean bags.

Materials for book: creation printables, jello, index cards

Materials for bean bags: creation printables, fabric, iron on transfers, stuffing of some sort


Then I took seven index cards and had the kids make a cheat sheet about the days of creation.  I printed off smaller version of the same pictures and made jello stickers (my counter and tables were covered in these sheets for days as they dried).


They happily licked their way through the days of creation, and finally drew a picture of “God taking a nap.”


And there’s their books to help them play the game.


And there we played the game.  There were 3 different colors of bean bags, and I just so happen to have 3 kids.  Coincidence?  I think not…….

Bible Alive: Plague of Frogs!

Soooo………  My wonderful picture of the kids playing this game is gone.  Disappeared into the nether of my computer.  So, I’ll tell you the rules of the game in a sec……


Frogs were EVERYWHERE! 


They were on their mantle, in the food, everywhere.


So, what better thing to do than play a rousing game of capture the frog?

Supplies: a large group of kids, a pile of frogs (say 15 or so), two rings or circles or something to put the frogs in, a timer



1.  Make a large pile of frogs (picture goes to pattern download).  I gathered a large stockpile of green fabric, and some green felt.  To save time I didn’t turn it, but declared it to be “rustic,” and left the edges raw.  I stuffed the frogs with fabric scraps to make it a big heavier for game play.


2.  At opposite ends of the room or wherever you’re playing set up two rings for the teams to deposit their frogs in.  In the middle of the room drop all the frogs in a pile.  We set up a no-mans land where you couldn’t be tagged, but that’s optional.



1.  Each round last 3 minutes.  Your goal is to get the most number of frogs in your circle at the end of the round.

2.  You can only carry one frog at a time.

3.  You can only tag someone who is on your side and is carrying a frog.

a.  Once you have been tagged you have to go back to your ring before you can try to get more frogs.

4.  You can not stand on your ring to guard it.  You can stand near it, but no babysitting.

5.  If you break any of the rules you are out for the round, no exceptions.


I think that’s all of the rules.  We played several rounds with our Sunday School class, and they loved it and requested to play it again the next week.  Which we were more than happy to let them do.

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Bible Alive: Resurrection Eggs

resurrection eggs

So, we haven’t done this yet, because I plan to share this with my Sunday School class, and my kids this week, but I figure if I wait to share it until after we’ve done it it won’t be useful.

My plan is to print them on Shrinky Dink paper, and let the kids color them and then cut them out and shrink them at home.  Then they can lace it onto a bracelet or what have you……..

Oops, almost forgot to say, I got ideas for my page here (it used some different things than the usual resurrection eggs, and I figure my second and third grade students will have heard the other version A LOT!).

That’s the theory, anyways.
Click on the link to get to the coloring page.

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