The Sun Rays Shined Upon the Sunflowers

The Sunflowers were so delighted to finally feel the sun rays upon their faces.  After being cooped up inside for so many months due to the cold, the Sunflowers  were so excited to be able to go outside this week. Climbing, sliding, drawing with chalk, and playing “King of the hill” were just a few activities the children did.  Also, playing with the fours is always fun. The children were so happy when a friend walked by with her dog.  Everyone ran to pet it.

The children experienced a new type of art.  Sponge painting. The different textures of the sponges made for some unique imprints.

The children had a wonderful time learning about the mitzvah of HAFRASHAT CHALLAH, separating the challah.   We mixed all the ingredients together, waited for the dough to rise, punched it down and kneaded it again.  Then we formed the challah rolls, waited again for the dough to rise, and then finally placed them in the oven and said the special bracha we make when making a lot of challah.  Morah Pam placed the dough that was separated to “burn” in the oven.  Everyone is looking forward to eating the challah on Shabbat.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |April 5, 2019|

Chametz and Matzo — Gan Parparim

Maggid offers such wonderful learning experiences that we’ll continue it next week. We paused, however, to talk about chametz and matzo.

The children already knew (from our Pesach story wall and Pesach songs) that the Jewish people had to leave Mitzrayim so fast that they didn’t have any time to bake yummy bread like challah. The only food they had time to make was a cracker called matzo. But what does time mean to a young child?

So we decided to make both challah and matzo to help the children understand the difference between chametz and matzo. We started with challah. First, we read the ingredients chart very slowly. We mixed the wet ingredients. We had to wait for the yeast to bubble. Then we mixed the dry ingredients together and finally, we combined the wet and dry ingredients. This took such a long time!! We looked at the dough to see how big it was.

The next day we again showed the children the dough. It looked bigger! Now it was time to make individual challah rolls. We made 3 snakes with the dough and braided or used our hands to squish it into balls. We used pastry brushes to “paint” the rolls with an egg to make it shiny. It was a lot of work and took a long time!

We began the week with chametz and ended with matzo! We looked at the ingredient list and saw that challah has a lot of ingredients and matzo only has two. Challah is soft and big and matzo is flat.

As we have been doing throughout our preparation for a Pesach, the children did every step of making the matzo themselves, including washing and drying the rolling pins. […]

By |April 4, 2019|

Work work work every day and every night in Gan Tziporim

Our class Haggadah is almost complete.  The children are working hard but also enjoying the process of preparing the pages and appreciating the results.  They drew a picture of Miriam watching over Moshe as he floated in the Nile.  They are really progressing in their ability with drawing and have been challenged to create recognizable people and animals.  In addition to Miriam, they have drawn a grown-up Moshe tending his sheep, and also the sheep!  They drew Paraoh, complete with headdress, saying: No! No! No!  And wait till you see the burning bush and the cute little mazahs.  Just a few more pages and you will have a delightful Haggadah and memento of their time in the 4s class.

Making printed Matzah

Our class held a model Seder.  The children prepared delicious charoset made with grated apples, crushed matzah, grape juice, apple sauce, cinnamon, and date spread. They seemed to like eating it as much as making it!  We held the Seder in our Art Studio and the children continued with drawing and creating many scenes from Maggid as a lovely decoration.  They helped carry everything to the Art Studio and also helped to set the table. Then we went through the entire order of the Haggadah, using a song to assist us all in remembering what takes place next.  We reviewed the Seder plate, asked the four questions, had our four cups of grape juice, did Urchatz and Rachtzah, the Motzi, Korech, etc.  It was great fun and quite a learning experience.

Making Charoset for our Seder plate.

The children learned the Hebrew letter “kaf”  with Morah Yafit this week.  The vocabulary they learned to go along with the letter “kaf” included:  kadur- ball, kelev – […]

By |April 3, 2019|

The Sunflowers had a Marvelous Music Monday

The Sunflowers experienced a marvelous music Monday with Morah Jill. The children are always excited when Morah Jill comes to sing with them.  They wait with bated breath to see what songs they will learn, along with what cool instruments Morah Jill will bring for them to use.  Morah Jill couldn’t believe how many Passover songs we knew.  She smiled when the children were able to sing along with her since they knew all the words.  Ma Nishtanah, The Frog song, and NO NO NO I Will Not Let You Go.  Morah Debra acted as Pharoh while we sang that song.  The children thought that was just the funniest thing.  Playing with frogs was great, especially when everyone was able to make them jump up and down on the blue parachute that was representing the YOM SOOF.   The jumping matzah ball was fun too.  Morah Jill taught us a counting song using matzah balls.

The children were given the challenge to build Paroh a city as if they were slaves in Mitzrayim.  The children absolutely met the challenge.  All the different ways they used the blocks to build was incredible.

Morah Debra also challenged the children.  Setting up a picture of a piece of matzah for them to draw was no easy task.  The children had no problem with the challenge.  Sheer matzah masterpieces.

We can not wait to see what type of adventures the rest of the week will have.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

By |April 3, 2019|

We Planted Parsley — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

A natural tie-in to Karpas was an exploration of how vegetables grow. We talked about how seeds are planted in soil and need sun and water to grow. Each child planted parsley seeds in cups they filled with soil from the Outdoor Classroom. They are very excited that they are able to “visit” their plants every day to see if they are sprouting. 

Our visit to the Outdoor Classroom included time to play with trucks and work on our balancing skills.

We turned our attention to Maggid.  We began with a reenactment of the Pesach story. The children were especially interested in Baby Moshe. Using the simplest of materials — a brown box transformed into a basket and a bin filled with water — they have been taking turns “floating” Baby Moshe down the river under the watching eye of “Miriam.”

Did the children carry heavy bricks like Bnai Yisroel in Mitzrayim? Yes, they did! They are heavy!


Pesach play is a big part of our day. The children boarded a train out of Egypt (pushing the chairs was hard work, just like the Jewish people had to do in Egypt) with the “matzoh” they made in a hurry. We like to look at pictures of the order of the Seder and point out what we have already learned. We also like to “read” the Pesach story on our story wall.

During music with Morah Jill we sang and danced to Pesach songs.





By |April 2, 2019|

A Touch of Pesach in the Little Beginners

The children enjoy lots of singing of the Pesach songs in our classroom.

They loved making salt water and dipping our karpas and chazeret.

We used legos to dip into the paint to look like matzah on our matzah covers.

We all had fun breaking the middle matzah and eating it. Yummy.

With all our preparations for Pesach, we still had time for lots of play!!

Have a good shabbos. See you on Tuesday.

Morah Kerry and Morah Alana

By |April 2, 2019|

Working Hands in Gan Tziporim

There’s more than one way to build an Egyptian city!  We are moving full speed ahead with our Pesach Haggadah and are busily working on it each day.  The children really enjoy cutting things and jump at every opportunity.  They cut out various sizes of rectangles and squares from sheets of sandpaper and then had the opportunity to use these cut-outs to “build” an Egyptian city.  The sandpaper simulated the color and texture of the ancient cities we were able to locate and copy via the computer.  The children were shown the pictures and created their own version of what they saw.   It was fun for them to manipulate the shapes into the structures they envisioned!  Another page involved a very different setting – grasses and a body of water.  This time the children were recreating the famous scene of the infant, Moshe, in his tayvah (basket), floating in the Nile River.  Again, the children were able to use their cutting skills, but this time it was green construction paper grass.  The children have become so adept with cutting that they were finished in a jiffy.  Next, they glued an interesting material onto their papers, to resemble the Nile – blue plastic cling wrap!  They were even able to create the baby, Moshe, from a mini wooden ice cream spoon and fake curly hair.  A cut-up coffee cup covered with yellow textured material became the tayvah.  And of course in the process of forming these pages, the story is reinforced.

We started singing Pesach songs last week and Morah Jill brought some more to add to our repertoire. She adds a dramatic flair to it and makes it so much fun!  There were songs about […]

By |April 1, 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|