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When I agreed to create and run the preschool class for Vacation Bible School I didn't really know what I was doing. Selfishly, I just wanted there to be an option so my daughter could attend. We decided to have preschool mirror the activities going on with the older children, but I was given freedom to do what I wanted. Set Sail with the Holy Trinity was the program that we were using for the entire camp. It ties into the saints, specifically St. Patrick and talks about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. I decided to make that the focus for our week. Each day we would learn about one part of the Holy Trinity. Then, we would spend a day focusing on St. Patrick. Our final day is spent in mass and then with activities in the social hall.
Here is a little round up of our God the Father day.
Picture Book & Felt Board
The book we read was The Beautiful World that God Made by Rhonda Gowler Greene. This is a poetic yet kid friendly rendition of the creation story. I then used my felt board with my creation story pieces (totally freestyled these and cut by hand) and we retold the creation story. We talked about how God created the world and everything in it. We talked about how much he loves us and how he holds us in his hands and takes care of us. I kept it as basic as possible since we had 3 and 4 year olds in the class - so very short attention spans.
For our craft, we made a stained glass Earth. Some children had the time and talent to add the hands (to represent God's hands) and then we stapled on a quote from the song, He's Got The Whole World In His Hands. To make these you need the following supplies:
-2 pieces of clear contact paper (ours were 9x9 inch squares)
-1 black circle outline (about 8" circles)
-blue and green tissue paper cut to squares
-flesh colored paper to trace hands
-glue or stapler
1. Set down one piece of contact paper (sticky side up) and set the earth outline on top.
2. Place tissue paper one piece at a time on the contact to fill the whole circle (pieces will overlap).
3. Place a second piece of contact paper on top to seal it in.
4. Cut around the earth. Younger students might need to stop on this step.
5. Trace, cut out and staple/glue the child's hand to the bottom of the earth so it looks like it is holding the whole world.
6. Glue/Staple the quote to the world
CentersI decided to do centers each day so that students were rotating and moving around as much as possible. We also have 20 little ones in one room so it is busy.
For our fine motor center, we used pony beads and animal beads and string. The students were allowed to make necklaces or bracelets. Some of them required a lot of adult help to get the string cut and tied.
For our sensory center, we used water beads. I did blue and green beads. These are SO much fun to play with. Every adult that came in my room during setup, had to stick their hands in and try out the water beads. They are so calming and squishy and leave your hands damp, but don't make a mess. We also added sea animals to the bin.
For our counting and fine motor station, we did counting clip cards where the students practiced counting the sheep, finding the correct number and clipping it with a clothespin. You can grab your own copy HERE.
At our puzzle station, we worked on creation puzzles. Students could put these together by using the picture clues, or by sequencing the numbers at the bottom. You can grab your own copy of these puzzles HERE for free.
We also had coloring pages available and the felt board out. We realized that the students were younger than we anticipated and not many had school experiences yet so we decided to plan more centers for the rest of the week as well as using the centers that we used in previous days.
GameFor our game we played I Spy and noticed things that God made. We did this in small groups and each volunteer took a group to play this with while we were outside.
We also had lots of time in between for listening to music, snack and bathroom breaks and free play both inside and outside. Stay tuned for part two where we learned about God the Son.