We recently began our Adventures in My Father's World curriculum. It opens up with discussions on names - name meanings, etc. It suggests writing a letter to your kids about the meaning and significance of their names. I didn't do that since they have it written in their baby books already, and we tell them these stories all of the time. However, they never tire of hearing about themselves, so I told them all again.
We also made cookies in the shapes of their first names.
Going along with the Bible lesson, the kids made these suncatchers by shaving bits of crayon and sprinkling the bits in between two pieces of wax paper, along with cut-out letters of Jesus. They were thrilled to iron the sheets and watch the crayon melt.
I also decided to use the book, Chrysanthemum, to go along with this week. It had been such a long time that we'd read this book that the middle two didn't remember it. And while I thought only my daughter would appreciate it, the boys love it, too, and requested it many times that week. I love this about my 7 year old son who is all boy. Never would I think, "Here's a book about a girl mouse, Son; you'll love it!" But he is so sweet, and he does love sweet books.Only the large version of the book was available at the library, but that was fun. We love the repetition, and we also like it because their names are long and uncommon, as well.
I printed off the name tile cards from the generator linked on Teaching Heart. They used Legos to represent each letter in their names.
Then they stacked the Legos, one for each member of our family, to see whose tower was the highest. My daughter won, and we were interested to find out that my sons and I had the same number. Poor Ryan was far behind with only 4 Legos.
Then, they took turns graphing the letters in their respective names. "N" was the winner this time.
I also used the name generator to print off "Chrysanthemum," and someone cut it out for me. I asked them to use the letters of her name to make new words. I thought they would enjoy this since they like to look over my shoulder and help me with Scramble with Friends. I was right and very impressed with how many words they came up with, many more than I figured. Tornado found 28!
They also had to use the letters in their own names to create words. We were not surprised that my middle son created one particular word seen above and that his name was the only one suited for it.
The older boys (hiding my head in shame) were a little sketchy on the spelling of their full names. (They always just write the shortened version.) So I included them on the activity I had intended for only Sissy. They each have a small baking sheet (from the dollar store), and they matched up letter magnets under their name tile cards. Then, they practiced handwriting by writing out their names.
For another fine motor skills activity, they each picked a picture from the book to outline with tracing paper, then color.
We cut these out and glued them on craft sticks. They filled these little planter trays (a pack of 5 at the dollar store) with green gems, also from the dollar store, to start their "Book Gardens." Every time we "explore" a book (further it with activities, not just read it) this year, they will add a new stick to their garden. (I got this idea from Teaching Heart.) I'm sure we'll have to find bigger pots by the end of the year.
Next, I had letter beads, stretchy cord, and safety pins for them to make pins or bracelets, etc. Sis made an anklet with her name.
Dash made a pin, and Sissy also made something for all of her cousins. I told Tornado to make something with his name. Not interested. He only wanted to make a pin with Googie's name. But it wouldn't fit on a pin, so he had to use her nickname (Googie even has a nickname; imagine that. Googie is my mom/Tornado's favorite person in the world, if you aren't familiar.).
"But do you want to make a pin or something for your shoe with your name?" I asked. He said he wanted to make something for his shoe that said "I LOVE GOOGIE." So that is what he did.