Building and tumbling. Stack the blocks up and knock them over. For one reason or another toddlers love to destroy something they just worked so hard to create, which is great when teaching the story of Joshua and Jericho.
Read: The Battle of Jericho
This week we made a point to count as the Israelites marched around the walls. This was pretty easy, because they count it on the page. I encouraged babygirl to touch each number as we counted so she could start grasping the concept of counting. Also, when the people shout and the walls fall down, I had her shout. She loves to scream, so It’s a good thing the new baby is a heavy sleeper.
Sensory: Desert Sensory Bin
Since the Israelites were in the desert for years and years we made a desert sensory tray. To make it taste-safe, we filled our tray with baby oatmeal “sand.” Then we added our little people and animals. We had done this before, so I figured it would be a hit. Baby girl loves finding the animals, and spreading around the sand. This works great for younger babies too, because, again, it’s tastes safe. This one can get a little messy, especially with younger babies. So make sure you’re prepared. I’ve found putting a large beach towel under our play area helps.
Skills: Stacking and Tumbling
Stacking blocks is actually a motor skill, so we worked on stacking blocks and knocking them over. My original plan was originally to have baby girl stack Duplos to build a tower. And technically she can build with Duplos (I’ve seen her do it), but they don’t really keep her attention. So plan B, we stacked diaper packages. I got this idea after watching her stack giant blocks at the Minnesota Zoo. She loved dragging the blocks to the building area, stacking them up, and then knocking them over. We do not have giant blocks. But with a Toddler and a new baby, we have no shortage of diapers. Over and over again we stacked up our “Jericho Walls” (ahem…diaper tower). The shouted like the Israelites and knocked over the tower. We used 7 diaper packages to represent the 7 times the Israelites marched around the city. Also gave us a chance to practice our counting.
Arts and Crafts: Trumpets
We made paper towel tube trumpets. Baby girl loves pretending that cardboard paper towel tubes are trumpets. Everytime we have one she will march around the house, humming into it until the tube practically falls apart. So we just dressed it up a bit. I wrapped the tube in construction paper and used tape to hold it in place. Then baby girl used crayons and stickers to decorate.
Snack: Milk and Honey
In Veggie Tale’s Josh and the Big Wall, which we watched this week, the Israelites sing a song talking about how they are going to a land “flowing with milk and honey” so snack was milk and honey graham cracker. Did she make the connection? No. No she didn’t. She is a 20 months old. I’m not crazy, but I felt clever when I thought of this.
As I mentioned, we watched Veggie Tale’s Josh and the Big Wall. We really like Veggie Tale’s, not only because the visuals are fun and they tell Bible Stories, but also the songs. At this age, they may not catch anything else, but baby girl always seems to pick up the song. That’s what sticks, and if the song is sticking that’s a portion of the story that is sticking and can be built on in later learning. Bonus: Right Now Media has the Spanish dubbed version of Josh and the Big Wall. So if you have interest in teaching your kiddos Spanish and need another media source, check them out.
Edit: Another fun way to play through this story is to listen to the Gospel classic Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho by Mahalia Jackson while reenacting the story.
If you saw something here you liked or were able to adapt for your family, I’d love to hear about it. We’re all in this parenting journey together and would love to hear your ideas. Comment below.