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July 4th freedom celebration

We are blessed to celebrate the 4th of July and rejoice in our freedom in the USA. Thank you to the many military men and women who work daily to provide us a free country in which to live.

God bless America! Watch the video below:

Thank you

Can you dial-up and play?

I remember as a kid running down the street to my friends’ houses to knock on the door and ask if they can come outside to play. There were several other kids who lived on my street. We built a clubhouse in one neighbor’s yard. We played football. We rode bicycles. I remember having bike races up and down the street. This was the decade when CHiPs was a popular television show about California Highway Patrol officers. We pretended to be the main characters, Ponce and Jon, on that show and our bikes were our patrol motorcycles. We would also pretend to be The Dukes of Hazzard and we all had t-shirts with pictures of Bo, Luke, Daisy, and the General Lee. We would run around in the orange grove behind our house and try to climb trees.

What fun times we had running around the neighborhood back in the day. Nowadays, kids are experimenting with play-dates online. For various reasons, kids are unable to get outside for play time: lack of time at home, not enough neighborhood kids nearby, not safe in their neighborhoods. Read this article on kids experimenting with online play-dates using Skype.

Kids as young as toddlers and 2 year olds are Skyping friends down the street when the weather isn’t permitting for them to play face-to-face. It is interesting in the article that young kids are discovering ways to interact with one another online. They are playing with toys together over the internet. They are quoted as saying this playtime is not as good as being together in the same room but it works for a time.

One psychologist “cautions against parents thinking of it as a replacement for face-to-face playdates, which are more valuable for kids.”

I can see one major benefit of Skype playdates being more for long distance family and friends rather than friends within close driving distances. What do you think about this?

Noah is coming

The preschool to children’s worship transition book is in the final stages of the publishing process. It won’t be long now!

In my early childhood lesson plans each week, I have illustrated children’s books to help teach each lesson and go along with each theme. I have an awesome theme lesson on apples where we learn about different kinds of apples, make applesauce, learn about Johnny Appleseed and even pretend to be Johnny Appleseed by wearing pots on our heads and scattering grass seed in the backyard of the school (Johnny scattered apple seeds, but I think my school owner would prefer we do grass seeds.)

I have books to read each day during the apple theme. I have books to read for almost every other theme planned at school, too.

That made me think about something in my children’s worship lesson plans. I don’t have very many books to read along with those plans. Books are great for preschool children. Often even the most active and rowdy preschoolers will express an interest in hearing stories from books. Why not use story books to go along with the theme of the week?

So with that in mind, next up in my publishing notebook: ?Noah and the flood.

I have written out the text for an illustrated children’s book on Noah and the flood. The illustrations are in process. Check out this image — and it’s only a rough sketch. Just think what it will look like finished and in color!

continuous learning opps

Young children learn something from all activities: from learning how to tie their shoes to learning how to help cook dinner. Here are ways to help them learn. Click here for learning opportunities.

online tools for children

Are you looking for activities to do with your children when it is too hot to play outside? Check out these online activities: games, books, stories. But remember to teach Internet safety. Check out this Internet Safety tool.

Have fun together and learn something, too.

Ideas for games to play

We are always looking for new and fun games to play with groups of children. Here is an excellent list of games. Outside games. Relay games. Team games. Inside games. Hand games. Click here for game entertainment.