Friday, April 19, 2013

MOPS Craft Project - Activity Bags

I've been the coordinator for our Mothers Of Preschoolers (MOPS) group this year, and we don't have many leaders, so I have been doing the Craft projects.  I thought I would share our craft this last week.  Our topic was on depression (I know, a depressing topic!), so to keep little ones busy while at appointments or car rides, we made busy bags for the car.

I found these cinching backpack bags at the Dollar Store:
There were two different designs, the other one had a beach ball on it.  You could use as small rubbermaid or a book bag too, but I was looking for something that was cheap.

We made 3 different activities to put into the bag.  The first is a popsicle stick puzzle that I got from HERE at Tot School.  This only required popsicle sticks and different colored Sharpies to make. 

One of my personal favorite activity to make for my kids are the I Spy bottles.  What you need for this project are:
  • Empty Water Bottles
  • Small Items to put into the bottle (See the picture below for ideas)
  • Photo of items
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn
  • Rice
  • Funnel
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
To make these:
  1. Find all the small items, and lay them out on a piece of white paper.  Write the name of each below and take a photo.  Send photo in to develop.  Just a side note: I prefer to use a developed photo from store, because the photo paper is more sturdy.  If you were printing this at home, I would print it on cardstock and then laminate it for durability.
  2. Fold the picture in half with the photo on the outside.
  3. Punch hole in corner.
  4. Run yarn through the hole.
  5. Use funnel to put about 1 inch of rice in the bottom of bottle. (This prevents the items from being stuck in the bottom)
  6. Put items into the bottle.  
  7.  Fill with rice, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top.
  8. Hot glue the cap on.
  9. Tie picture to the bottle with yarn.

You could do themes in the bottles. Some ideas would be:
  • Each letter of the alphabet: A= toy apple, Letter A, acorn, etc.  B= button, bean, bead, blue, etc.
  • Colors 
  • Outdoors
  • Numbers
  • Seasons
Really the ideas are endless!

Here is the picture I took and the things I included.
 The next activity we made were sewing cards.  Again, these were very easy to make.  All you need are:

  • Foam shapes (I even found a pack of these at the Dollar Store)
  • Hole punch
  • Yarn
  • Scotch tape
  • Scissors
This activity could challenge your strength in your hands, because it's a little tough to punch the holes in the foam, but worth it!  My two year old loves this one!  There's no right or wrong way to punch, just make sure it's not close to the edges.  Cut a piece of yarn to go through.  I used the Scotch tape to wrap around each end, so the yarn didn't unravel and it worked as a "needle", too.

This activity took us about 30 minutes to make, but we had a great time visiting while we did it.  Not to mention how excited our kids were when they saw the bags we brought home.

I pin a lot of ideas about making Busy Bags under my Homeschooling: Busy Bags board on Pinterest and any ideas for Creative Activities for MOPS under my MOPS board.  You can follow me here on Pinterest:

I will be sharing this post at the blogs that I love in the right hand column of my blog.  Be sure to leave me your feedback, too!

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Kingsbury Collection - A Book Review

My daughter has been reading Three Novels in Ones lately, and when "A Kingsbury Collection" by Karen Kinsbury came available to order, I jumped on it.  My daughter's books have been around 200 pages each, so, when this one arrived with well over 700 pages of three complete novels, I was a little shocked!  This book really is a great value, because it is three complete stand-alone novels, not shortened versions or just short stories.

The topics that Kingsbury covers in these novels are sometimes not covered, or even well represented in the Christian community, but Kingsbury truly gives the reader a genuine look into many modern day issues.  Each of the characters in this trio of novels seem very real and authentic.

In the first novel, "Where Yesterday Lives", Ellen Barrett, a successful journalist, struggles with her marriage and is called to her hometown when her father passes away.  While at home, she wrestles with making peace with her lost faith, her four grown siblings, a high school heart-throb, and of course the loss of  her beloved father.

"When Joy Came to Stay" addresses the high expectations of living a "perfect" Christian life.  Maggie Stovall on the outside is a successful columnist married to a godly, successful attorney, Ben Stovall.  Ben has no idea of the dark secret that Maggie has kept from him their entire married life.  In a twist, this story also follows an abused, foster child, Amanda Joy who has an unwavering faith.  Can Maggie overcome her deep depression, make peace with her husband and find the child that she loved, but gave up before her marriage?

"On Every Side" takes place in small, town America that ensues in a battle over a one hundred year, much loved Jesus statue in the city park.  Big town attorney, Jordan Riley has come to town to fight for human rights and once and for all, get back at God for his own boyhood losses in that town.  Faith Evans, the town's sweetheart newscaster must face her own demons and take a stand for her town and her God.

All three books are fantastic, and will give you many hours of reading pleasure.  These novels don't pussy foot around the issues of our society and will have you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation of the  outcome and rooting for it's characters.  I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from Waterbrook Multnomah.

You can rate this review HERE and help me out too!  Thanks!