Thursday, September 29, 2016

Brown Bear, Brown Bear {Storytime with Biblical Extension Activities}

Hello, hello!  Thank you so much for all of your email responses!  Please Keep them coming!  I'd love to know where you struggle in being intentional about sharing the Word with your littles.  One of the most popular questions I received this week was about sharing it with the littlest of the littles, specifically with our toddlers.  Well, I happen to have one of those, and I have a great activity to share!  :)  Today I'm going to share how we take a storytime and turn it into an intentional teaching moment.  Today's story... Brown Bear, Brown Bear!   Be intentional about sharing the Word with your toddler through this Biblical extension activity for Brown Bear, Brown Bear!   Each day, we start our morning with Breakfast with the Bible.  Each boy has his own routine, but we do it all together around the table.  Baby Boy hears Little Man's devotional and verse of the day, while Little Man hears the story from Baby Boy's storybook Bible.  At lunch, I read another passage to both of them as we eat. To make it meaningful to them, I love to use storytimes.  As an elementary teacher, I always created full units around individual books.  We're getting there with Baby Boy, but on a much smaller scale.  Right now, we have a book of the week, and we read it every single day.  Each day, we do an activity with it that extends the information in some way. This week, his story was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See.  We're working on colors and animal names, so most of our activities revolved around building that vocabulary.  We also have a set of flannels for this book.  We LOVE to extend our storytime with flannels!  He has a board that is set up all the time, and his circle time basket includes a different set each week (along with his vocabulary flash cards and jumbo crayons). After one of our readings, we used our flannels in a slightly different way.  Instead of retelling the story, I let Baby Boy add them to the board and we said the name of the animal.  Then, we'd use in in a sentence.  "God made the brown bear.  God made the yellow duck.  God made the white dog.  God made the children."  We went through this a few times, then he would point to the animals already on the board and we'd do it again. This is a super simple, no-prep activity, but it reinforces one of our basic truths.  God is the Creator of all things.  If you are following along with our Scripture posters, we used the poster for Genesis 1:24 this week. God said, "Let the land produce all kinds of living creatures.  Let there be livestock and creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals.  Let there be all kinds of them." And that's exactly what happened.  ~ Genesis 1:24 NIRV  

Early Learning Concepts

Brown Bear, Brown Bear is such a great story, and it lends itself so well to several early learning concepts.  Try one of these the next time you read the story!
  • To extend vocabulary, pause before saying the color and let your little one fill it in before saying the animal (or the other way around).
  • Go on a color hunt throughout the room as you come across the color in the book.
  • Add a brief conversation about where each of the animals might live (habitats), or discuss their defining characteristics (classification).
  • Count the number of legs on each page, or the number of colored stripes on the inside covers.
  • Using construction paper, make a matching game with beginning sounds.
  • Pat the rhythm of the words as you read aloud.
  • As your little one begins to pick up patterns, let them "read" the words from memory as you point to them on the page.
Is intentional storytime an activity that would help you reinforce the Word? If so, what story would you like me to create next? If not, how can I serve you better? Quick reminder... the Relaxed Mom Homeschool Planner is on sale for only $19 through August 19!  After that, it goes up to $25.  Go grab yours today, and get this great price on both the planner and ecourse with two videos and 8 free bonus printables!
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