Monthly Archives: March 29, 2019

Happy Birthday, Morah Debra ! Love, the Sunflowers

The Sunflowers took a little break from preparing for Pesach.  Playing with the blocks, cars, and trains to create a great big city took a lot of time and concentration.  The children used their creativity and of course team work.

The children had a wonderful surprise when the Morot opened the classroom door to welcome The Little Beginners in for a short play time.  It is always a pleasure to watch with excitement the expression on the children’s faces when they are able to spend some time with their siblings and all the other younger children.

Happy Birthday, Morah Debra! Everyone had a wonderful time celebrating Morah Debra’s birthday.  We surprised  her by inviting the Fours in for a Pesach sing-a-thon and ended it with a rendition of HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOM HULEDET SAMEACH, and a cake.  We believe we truly surprised her.

We continued the party outside. Running up and down the hill and around the play area along with climbing and sliding down the slide was a great way to work off the cake they just enjoyed.

Have a Shabbat Shalom.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |March 29, 2019|

Look What Happens in Gan Tziporim

We have been going over the order of the Seder with the children, reviewing the Hebrew words of each part, i.e. Kaddesh, Urchatz, Karpas, Yachatz, Maggid, Rachtzah, etc.  We sing a song to help them remember, along with an illustration of what is taking place.  The children have been incorporating some of the things they have learned into their pretend play and bringing the Seder plate, including the items that are traditionally on the plate, and pretend foods to be served at the Seder.

The children begged to hear the book, The Matzah Man, by Naomi Howland.  The illustrations looked amusing and the book was a Pesach derivation of the Gingerbread Man.  The story included all the traditional foods that are eaten at a Pesach Seder, and showed the table, at the conclusion of the tale, set up with the ritual items for a Seder.  This book further enticed the children to set up their own Seder.


The children have been busy, working diligently on each page that will illustrate a portion of the Maggid.  They spent time this week cutting and pasting Paraoh’s headpiece, and painting and drawing his face.  The next page will involve creating the Egyptian city that the slaves were forced to build.

Our literacy work moves along, writing and sounding out the letter “Ss”.  The children are really improving on their formation of this difficult letter and identifying words with the initial “Ss” sound.  They also were fortunate to have additional engaging and entertaining activities with our Synagogue’s member and literacy expert, Brenda.  She brought many wonderful activities to help the children learn this letter through sensory (playdough for tactile, Sammy Snail and his bag of “Ss” items for visual and auditory, […]

By |March 29, 2019|

It’s Center Time!!!! for the sunflowers

The Sunflowers enjoyed taking turns at all the different learning centers.  It has been wonderful to observe how their coordination has improved from the beginning of the year until now as they rotate between the tables and floor showing off their fine and gross motor skills.  Using the sensory box to feel the sand and corn while finding all the different objects that were hidden was incredible.  None of the children wanted to go to another center since they were having so much fun.  But they enjoyed playing their favorite bingo game, alphabet game or even having a dance party.  The children were truly mesmerized when listening to the Passover story.  Watching how the story encoded into their minds was evident as we watched the way they built with the blocks.  Using the cork pyramid made it appear as if we (the Jewish people) were SLAVES in Egypt.

Spending time with the loose parts is always a wonderful experience. Watching their creativity come out as they design on their mirror boards is great to watch.  They are always so proud of themselves.

The children are looking forward to the upcoming holiday of Passover (Pesach).  Singing Passover songs is beginning to become the norm in our classroom.  The children love singing the order of the seder; KADESH OORCHATZ KARPAS YACHATZ…. feel free to ask them to sing it for you.   Talking about the foods we can and can not eat on Pesach is interesting.  One of the foods we eat on Pesach is MATZAH.  Though not edible, we enjoyed making matzah in our classroom.  Using a lego board the […]

By |March 28, 2019|

Kadesh, Urchatz, and Karpas — Gan Parparim

This week was filled with hands-on experiences as we learned about the order of the Seder through our five senses.

We began our exploration at the beginning with Kadesh. We remembered that we drink one cup of grape juice from a Kiddush cup on Shabbat. It’s very sweet and we really like it. On Pesach we drink four cups. Then we compared two Kiddush cups. We all agreed that one was small and one was very big.

We learned that grape juice is made from grapes. Some are red and some are green. We squish the grapes, add a little water, and it turns into grape juice.

Then we got to work. The children washed the grapes, plucked them from their stems, squished them, and poured the leftovers into their own cups. At first, the children squished them with both hands, and then they tried flattening them on the table with their palms. They decided flattening them on the table was easier. There was a lot of taste testing!


We then moved on to Urchatz. Using our class washing cup, the children poured water on each hand two times. We practice this every day when washing for lunch time.

We turned back to our pictorial chart to find out that karpas is the next step in the Seder. We talked about how vegetables grow in the ground. We again brought out bins of water for children to wash the celery and parsley. It was hard to break the celery stalks into pieces. The children made their own salt water, by pouring salt into a cup of water. They mixed it with a spoon and after saying the bracha, they munched and crunched on the celery. (The parsley and potato […]

By |March 27, 2019|

From Purim to Pesach — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

From Purim to Pesach.  So much to learn, do, and experience!

With Purim so fresh in the children’s minds, we introduced the Pesach story by comparing Haman to Paroah — they were both mean men who were not nice to the Jewish people. Moshe, just like Esther, is very brave and helped save the Jewish people. In addition to reading Pesach stories during snack, we have filled our bookshelf with books for the children to enjoy on their own. We even took a plane ride to Egypt!


We are also introducing the children to the ritual objects and foods associated with the holiday. Matzoh is flat like the crackers we eat at snack. As we passed the matzoh around the table, we noticed it can be square or round like a circle.

The children have figured out ways to make their scooters go even faster! They also enjoy a game of catch.

The children were mesmerized by the giant Seder plate. (Thank you Morah Kerry!)

They each took a turn holding and placing the items back on the plate. We compared it to our regular size plate that will be at our Seder table.

Thank you, Dovid, for our healthy snack of the week – yummy apples (can charoset be far behind?)

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |March 26, 2019|

Goodbye Purim…hello Pesach in the Little Beginners

We read the story about Pesach and started to put some of the new things into practice. We washed our hands and cleaned our classroom.

We washed our hands- Orchatz.

We looked at our Seder plate to learn what is on it.

Our class book worms.

We took playdough out while waiting our turn for pictures.

On Thursday, we did lots of grape things….

We mashed our grapes, drank our grape juice, painted out kiddish cups.

Have a great shabbos.

Morah Kerry and Morah Alana

By |March 26, 2019|

Gan Tziporim getting ready for Passover

We started class this week by saying goodbye to Purim.  The children helped us remove the Purim decorations so that we can leave space to display items for Pesach.  It was not a hard transition since the children were already acquainted with the Parashot when we were reading from Shemot. We reviewed the story, checking in with the children to see what they recalled of it.  They remembered a lot and we filled in the gaps.  Play-acting the story is a great way to strengthen their retention of the character’s names, the sequence of events, and to provide a means for their empathizing with the feeling of being a slave. So when the appropriate props were made available, the children happily time traveled to ancient Egypt where they became Pharaoh and the Jewish slaves building the city of Ramses, or Yocheved and Miriam, placing their baby boy in his basket, into the Nile River.



Another medium for exposing the children to all the traditions and nuances of Pesach, is having them create a beautiful and meaningful Haggadah.  This will include all the rituals of the Seder and additionally, the Maggid (story) of how Pesach became the holiday we celebrate today. The children are using their own artwork to illustrate the story, in addition to photographs recording the order of the Seder, as well as the items found on the Seder table.  The children have made a great leap in their ability to create recognizable objects in their drawings.  They are sometimes surprised at what they are able to draw.  The Haggadah will be a wonderful keepsake, demonstrating the talents and skills of their 4 or 5 year old selves.


More objects connected to the Pesach Seder were […]

By |March 25, 2019|


By |March 22, 2019|

Gan Parparim Purim celebration

Here are some highlights from today’s Purim celebration. We enjoyed having the parents come and enjoy this experience with us.


Wishing you a joyous and peaceful Shabbat,

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |March 22, 2019|

NOSH NOSH A HAMANTASH…. with the Sunflowers

Eggs, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and more are the ingredients the Sunflowers mixed together to make delicious hamantashen.  Taking turns adding and mixing the ingredients together as the children counted to ten in either Hebrew or English, the boys remembered that they needed to count in the ZACHAR (masculine) and the girls remembered that they needed to count in the NEKAYVA (feminine).  It was a proud moment as their counting was done with such zest.

After the dough was rolled out the children enjoyed choosing the flavor for their hamantaschen before folding the circle into a triangle.  Morah Jill taught the children a song about the shapes a hamantaschen start out as and then become.

HAMANTASHEN (to the tune of Clementine)


Speaking of Morah Jill, the children were so excited to see her.  It always feels like a long time since the Sunflowers are able to spend time and sing with her.  Being able to sing all our Purim songs and learn even more was so much fun.  Morah Jill brought in some of her favorite graggers. It was a great experience for everyone.  Hearing all the different sounds, seeing how graggers can come in many shapes and sizes was, as one child said, was “cool.”  Ending our time with Morah Jill with the parachute was great.  We even shared this experience with the two’s.

The children put forth a lot of hard […]

By |March 21, 2019|