Looking for fun treats to add to your grandkids' Easter basket? Be sure to include some books!
I recently went shopping for my youngest grandson's Easter basket. Besides the religious books that I wanted to include, I found some good secular books as well.
Easter weekend fun!
Just like you I'm sure, we always dye Easter eggs, bake and decorate cookies with a springtime theme, and of course hide those eggs after church on Sunday. Since my grandson will be with us the entire weekend, I decided we needed to add another activity to the mix. And one that went with the fun books I bought,
A Reading/Art Connection~
Since a chick figured prominently in two of the Easter books I bought, I thought we could make an Easter chick finger puppet. Both books have a familiar plot line and pattern, so besides the craft, we could then use the puppet/puppets we make to act out the story from the book. This is such a good literacy experience for my 5-year-old! It includes reading, art, and dramatics. Anytime you can extend one of your child's favorite books in this way, it makes for a very rich experience for him.
I got online and found a website with instructions on how to make a chick hand puppet:
So I was off to the craft store, my home away from home!
I had these two books in mind as I set out to create one puppet before my grandson gets here. That way, when he makes his puppet, I can anticipate his needs and his abilities.
Another idea with this craft project is to include it as a station during your afternoon of decorating eggs. I don't know about your family, but Saturday's the day we decorate eggs. We make an entire afternoon of it--decorating eggs and cookies. One year we had 2-3 stations in our backyard so that when the grands and cousins completed one task, they could move on to another station. This puppet idea could be added as a station. Then at the end of the party, they could put on a puppet show using the finger puppets and paper sack puppets they have made.
It's all about adding to your family traditions. And what can be better than using a good book for inspiration and fun.
I found these two books at the book store and I think my five-year-old will really like them:
"There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick" by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee. Patterned after Rose Bonne's story, "I Know an Old Lady." Kids of all ages love this cumulative story and song.
"The Night Before Easter," by Natasha Wing. This one is of course patterned after "The Night Before Christmas." Another good story that children love.
And you don't have to wait till Easter to do this. You can add an art activity to ANY book you and your grandchild read together. Things like that just enrich the grandparent/grandchild experience. I'm guessing it's something they'll always remember.
Have fun and Happy Easter!
Website with instructions for making the bunny paper sack puppet:
This old world is different from the one that we were raised in. It's even different from the world in which our own children were raised. Our kids and grandkids DO have to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with our modern-day world. Parents and grandparents can help.
In a previous blog I addressed helping your grandchild deal with stress by using breathing and mindfulness techniques. In this one, I'll show you some yoga poses I've gleaned from various websites. Let's begin!
A good starting place for me is a good book, and they have some appropriate ones out there:
The premise of Mariam Gates' book, "Goodnight, Yoga," is quieting your mind and body before bed. She uses things in nature to show the young child yoga poses. My grandson and I looked at traditional yoga poses and came up with our own animal names for some of the poses. My grandson does not live with me, so by using these animal names, he can remember the poses after he gets home to his house. Hopefully he can try them before bedtime to calm himself after a busy day. Here are some we copied from websites and some of our own.
Next we decided to use super heroes or athletes for some of our poses. These could be used to energize when he gets home from school or even to start his day BEFORE he goes to school.
Next we decided that it was easy to remember some of the poses if we named them after OBJECTS. The "cat" pose above, for example, could be renamed as the "table" pose. Here are more examples of what we came up with for poses named after objects:
The suggestions for children regarding how long to hold these poses is about 10-15 seconds. If you're a grandparent that keeps your grandchild after school, these are some great wind-down poses. You can also teach your grandchildren when they come for the weekend or an overnight. We grandparents should help with the raising of children any way we can. And help them deal with stress in their lives. My last blog about helping our grandchildren deal with stress was about mindfulness and breathing techniques. Those go hand-in-hand with yoga. You'll also have to show them how to breathe as they are doing each of these poses.
Besides the above book, I found a website that deals with bedtime yoga for kids. It even suggested that parents start a ritual at their house of the WHOLE FAMILY doing yoga together before bed. Wouldn't that be great! And as I said, grandma could do bedtime yoga with her grandchildren when they come to visit.
Perhaps as a yoga practitioner yourself, you know these bedtime poses. They are great for relaxing before bed and help with such things as restless leg syndrome or those nighttime leg cramps we often have. You can do them with your grandchild!
Websites to visit for great suggestions and tips:
My previous blog about helping your grandchildren deal with stress:
"Give this world good energy." Unknown
"Yoga means addition--addition of energy, strength, and beauty to body, mind and soul." Amit Ray
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!