Having Eyes That See (Life Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cornmeal and Shaving Cream... (Week 4)

Well today is the day...

"A Place For Little Hands" has officially closed its doors 
as a Licensed Family Child Care Home

It is bittersweet
and I am tired

but I can't help but stop here and reflect over the past 8 years...

-giving thanks for all things
-grateful to God for all things
-growing in gratitude and grace in all things

Earlier today...

we were all running around barefoot
while enjoying our last day together

So after lunch I grabbed

a towel
a box of baby wipes and
a shallow pan of warm water

so that I could wash the children's feet 

When my mother called to see how the day was going, I laughed as I told her that I was

performing my last act of humble servitude
by was washing the children's feet

She reminded me that the Lord performed this service for his disciples right before
He was offered up as a sacrifice. 

I stopped laughing and wondered...

What type of emotion Jesus felt that day...  To Him was it bittersweet?
Did He sit with them and reminisce over all they had been through?
Did He think about what He had spent the last 3 and a half years teaching them? 
Did He use those memories as comfort, knowing that His work in that capacity was complete?

I wondered because that is exactly what I was doing... 

remembering how small each of them were when they came to me
telling myself that I had done enough

that they were ready and
that my work here was complete

because although this has been an amazing journey
the time has now come for

"A Place For Little Hands"

to be offered up...


Here are the final activities from our "spilled cornmeal"

 Activity #16- Cornmeal Letter Search

What I did:  Hid letters in a bowl of cornmeal... (Social-Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Physical Development).

What they did: The children paired themselves up (1 older child/ 1 younger child) and played a game they made up.  The younger child pulled a letter and challenged the older child to name something (food, animal, color, person's name, etc... ) that began with the letter.  This game was a lot of fun and helped the younger children make the connection that letters represent sound.

Activity #17- Cornmeal Play Dough
Sensory Pie

What I did:   Put our homemade cornmeal play dough in a large bowl and provided beans, unpopped popcorn, rice, and bird seed for a cool sensory experience that the children enjoyed.  (Social- Emotional Development, Visual and Performing Arts, Physical Development).

Helpful Tip:  Keep your children's age and developmental stage in mind when planning your activities.  Some things may be inappropriate for the little ones in your care.  Go back to what I said on Day 1... Know your kiddos!

Activity #18- Cornmeal Goop

What I did: I added water and glue to the cornmeal and began stirring it together to make "goop".  (Social- Emotional Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts).

What they did:  This activity was an epic FAIL!  The children hated everything about it (which really shocked me).  I thought they would love playing in this soupy mess, but they said it smelled funny, it was runny, and was definitely NOT goop!

Lesson Learned:  The first thing that I did wrong was put a name on the item we were creating.  I grabbed all of the items and (mistakenly) asked aloud "Who wants to make goop?  Join me at the table."  I didn't realize until later that as I said "goop", the children immediately had an expectation of what the activity should look like.  When it didn't turn out the way that they expected, they were disappointed.  What I SHOULD have said instead is, "Come check it out... let's see what we can make at the table."  Lesson learned indeed.

Activity #19- Cornmeal and Shaving Cream

What I did: I finally went to the store and bought some shaving cream, added some brushes, paint, and dry cornmeal and let the children mix on their own.  (Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts, Physical Development).

What they did: They love, love, LOVED this activity!  So much that they were actually singing "shaving creeeam"!  check out the video of their reaction when I refilled the shaving cream (for the third time) It is absolutely hilarious!

Helpful Tip:  The use of shaving cream is controversial and in some programs is NOT ALLOWED.

Please check with your State licensing entity for further direction.  If you choose not to go the shaving cream route, consider using non-toxic foam paint from your local school supply warehouse.  It has the same consistency of shaving cream, so the kids don't really seem to mind the difference.  Also fill and refill your containers out of the presence of the children to avoid the issue of operating the can in the classroom, however their reaction alone was motivation enough for me to just go for it!

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