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Between the burning bush, the 10 plagues, and crossing the red sea, there are ways to approach the story of Moses when teaching a toddler. However the week we landed in this story was the same week we invited a new baby into our home. The baby sister had finally arrived, and as excited as big sister was tiny bouts of jealousy and angst began to creep in. So we took this opportunity to talk about a very important character in the story of Moses: Miriam, his big sister.
Read: Moses and Miriam
We read the story of Moses in our baby Bible everyday, paying extra attention to the part where Miriam helped care for Moses. Vale, our toddler, loved pointing out the baby, the mama, and the big sister on the page.
Sensory: Water Play
We used water play this week, because it was quick and easy with the new baby and big sister loves it. An easy, mess free way to do water play is draw a bath and let your kiddo play. This week we added a variety of objects to her bath and tested wether the would sink or float. Each item we added I asked “Do you think it will sink or float?” Then we’d drop it in and see. Then I’d say something like “Look, the rubber ducky floated” or “Look, the spoon sunk to the bottom.” Vale loves water play in general, so she loved this activity. Did she really grasp the concept of sinking and floating? I don’t know. Maybe? But either way it’s introducing a concept and building vocabulary.
Skills: Caring for a Baby
Becoming a big sister and having a new baby around is a big emotional mess for a little person. So the skills we worked on were learning to help take care of a new baby. This week I was really intentional about asking Vale if she wanted to help me, then having a job for her. For example, every time the baby Naomi needed to be changed, I’d say “It’s time to change the baby. Do you want to help me?” Then her job was to hand me a diaper. Sometimes she was all about helping, other times not so much. But it gave her a responsibility and helped her feel important. By the end of the week every time I said “It’s time to change the baby,” she would run to the changing table and hand me a diaper before I even asked.
Snack: Jello “Nile River”
Surprisingly, I had some Jello in my fridge, so we were able to whip up a cute, fun lesson-related snack. I grabbed a teddy graham Moses, placed him in a strawberry basket, and had him float on the Jello Nile River.
We relied a little more heavily on media this week than we do on other weeks, because you’ve got to give yourself grace when you have a toddler and a 1 week old.
This week we watched Veggie Tale’s Duke and the Great Pie War, because it has a featurette about Miriam and how she cares for Moses. Miriam feel jealous and confused about having a new baby around and has to navigate through all those feelings. But in the end Miriam saves the day by taking care of Moses.
We also watched all of the Daniel Tiger new baby episodes (Season 5, Episode 1-4). They talk about everything from the excitement of a new baby, to big sibling jealousy, to helping with the new baby. All emotions that are featured in the Veggie Tale’s story, but with tools to help toddler (and parents) learn to navigate life with a new baby.
If you’re reading this and getting ready to welcome a new baby: ALL the prayers and love to you.
You can do this!
It may feel a little crazy for a while, but hopefully some of the tools we used can help you navigate this beautiful season.
Was there a tip or trick you used to help your oldest navigate welcoming a new baby? Comment below.