As we wrapped up learning the letter “Gg”, the children worked on an exercise where they were required to match up the upper and lower case “Gg” pair.  Since the upper and lower case of this letter is so different, it was especially important to make sure that the children really understood this. In order for the children to fully incorporate an understanding of the letters, they are given the opportunity to use wooden lines and curves (both large and small) to actually form the letter.  We also use a sand tray, so the children can write the letter in the sand with a chopstick, and using play dough is a nice tactile means to “feel” the shape of the letters. We also read the book, A Gift for Gus – The Sound of Hard G, by Peg Ballard.  This short book, with simple text and repetition of the letter “Gg”, was helpful for the children to learn the phonetic hard “Gg’ sound.  Continue encouraging your child to find items all around that begin with this sound.

After having traced, cut out, and decorated the four small rectangles of paper for their Shalach Manot baskets, the children were ready to glue them in place.  To give the baskets a little extra bling, the children also glued some jewels onto their decorations.  Now all we have to do is fill and deliver our lovely Purim treats!

When reading and discussing Parashat Pekudei, we thought we could bring it more to life for the children if we approached it as a treasure hunt for the items that were placed in the Mishkan, some of which are still in the Synagogue today. A copy of the items in the Mishkan was given to each child.  We reviewed what each item was, and its importance, and then took the children to the Sanctuary to find the same or similar things.  They immediately found the Aron Hakodesh and the Menorahs (which are more decorative in our shul).  Then we discussed the things that are new – the bookshelves and the stand to lay the Torah while it is being read.  The children then brought their maps home to share with their families.