Chanukah O Chanukah come light the menorah….
Entranced. That’s what the children are with all things Chanukah: the Chanukiah, the candles, the dreidels. And that was just on Monday!
The Chanukah curriculum is designed to bring the holiday to life for the children through multi-sensory experiences and good old-fashioned play. We began by sharing a very simple version of the Chanukah story. We then showed the children a few different Chanukiot and candles. We explained that we light one candle every night for eight nights (or until there are no more candle holders). They couldn’t wait to practice putting the candles in the Chanukiot themselves.
And what’s even better than putting candles in the Chanukiah? Making your very own so that you can perform the mitzvah of lighting “candles” at home. (We are substituting crayons for candles. We had the children make a Chanukiah that they can play with and enjoy. Candles should not be used with the Chanukiah.)
We began by dumping, much to the children’s delight, blocks of different colors and shapes on the table. The idea was that each child would freely free choose any eight blocks (of the same size) they wanted, as well as a taller one for the shamash and put them on their tray. (Decision making, shape sorting, and color recognition.) They would then choose the actual “candle” holder (tops from those delicious fruit pouches you send in their lunches) and glue it on to the block (fine motor development).
We thought we would work with one or two children at a time, but intrigued by what was going on, we found ourselves with a full table. While waiting for their turn to work with the Morahs (patience, patience), the others loaded their trays with blocks, making different combinations of colors and shapes.
Then it was time for Chanukah stories and songs and some dreidel fun!
And, here are some highlights from last week’s Thanksgiving feast.