I have been working on our very first quiet kit in hopes that we can actually make it through church tomorrow! My vision with these kits is to not only keep my daughter busy during what can seem like an endless sacrament meeting but to educate her as well. I am planning on making a church themed kit that I hope to use most often at church-but for this first kit it will be All About Animals! I have some old accordion file folders that I used for reading groups that I think will work just perfectly to hold all the materials.
a bag just for Sunday (which I have termed the Jac Pack)
small flannel board
accordion folder to store each of the activities
Animal Coloring Pages/ crayons
I know this is scary for the little ones at church- just be sure to monitor this activity! Coloring is always a great fine motor skill to work on. I printed some pages with some darling DJ Inkers animals and wrote some simple sentences. What can I say- I am a teacher at heart and love to find ways to integrate literacy!
Animal Lacing Cards
I printed my own from DJ Inkers Clipart- but there are some available as downloads here or can be purchased here (Eric Carle) or here. This might be a mommy/daughter activity at first until she grasps the concept of lacing.
You can make your own with clipart or there are some available here.
I made a very simple Old MacDonald Had A Farm book to go with the kit, but there are several excellent books on animals that you could use as well. My recommendation would be to add books from a variety of genres (fiction, non-fiction, fables, etc) and that specifically will interest your child (my daughter loves cats, bears, and monkeys so these would be great books to add to her kit)
I have gotten great use out of my clipart this week! I created a Mr Brown Can Moo felt activity (it is inspired by the Dr Seuss book) and my little one LOVES it! I am going to throw that story into her kit for church, but there are other stories that are available to download here. You can take any story that your child likes, print clipart that goes along with it, and add felt or sandpaper to the back of the pics. As your children get older they can retell stories using the felt pieces or simply create new ones! I also have a Noah’s Ark kit I found at King’s (thanks Shae for the recommendation) that I might add when she’s a bit older… the pieces are pretty small. Another nice thing about felt is that its QUIET.
So puppets might not be the quietest activity for church. Especially if your child is like mine and loves to talk to the puppet! But they can really foster that love for story telling and good literature… so my recommendation, if you choose to use them- is to use the puppets for a purpose! Gather a set of puppets that goes along with a familiar story or make puppets of the family. You could also use the puppets in a Family Night to discuss sitting reverently and how to behave while at church.
I Spy Bottles
Add small plastic animals and rice to a wide mouth bottle and you’re set! For more explicit directions and ideas follow this link.
This is a bit advanced for my little sweetie, but eventually this would be a great activity to add to the kit. You can find tracing cards to print and laminate here for prewriters and for those little ones learning to write their letters. You will also need a dry erase marker (this is a parent monitored activity- a little too scary for me at church! but it might work for you!) and a small cloth to erase.
And of course, Treats
Treats can be a lifesaver at times! My vision with this kit was to add animal crackers…. seeing as its almost midnight and there are none to be found at home I will add something more practical, but you could really be creative and healthy with the food you add to your kit! Just be sure to empty out the old (if there’s any) and refill each week!
This is just a list to start with… I would go through it and see what would work for you and sift it to about 5 activities. Keep the end in mind that we want our children to be able to sit through a talk eventually and too much entertaining might delay that behavior. I will post pics after I am finished printing, laminating, and cutting! And if you have any fabulous ideas, let me know and I will post them!