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|


What a great day we all had at school today.   The Sunflowers invited their parent’s in for a Purim carnival and sing-a- long. First we all posed for a class picture.  Everyone wore such amazing costumes.  We had a unicorn, doctor, princess, and a lot of superheroes. Our Morot  themed their costumes.  They were “If you give a pig a pancake”, “If you give a cat a cupcake”, and “If you give a mouse a cookie”.  At the carnival there were many games to play.  Bowling, pin the crown on the queen, find the hamantashen, and a photo booth that made it look like you were a clo wn.Everyone had so much fun.

After playing all the wonderful games we all  returned to our classroom for our sing- a- long which included our davening.   The ruach in our classroom was amazing.  We all love to sing.

After we said goodbye to our mom’s everyone enjoyed some down time to reflect on the morning.  It is always wonderful to see the children express themselves through art.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

Morah Pam, Morah Aimee, and Morah Debra

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|

Gan Tziporim Did a Mitzvah

The children are posing with their unique Purim masks, each one different and from  an idea that  germinated from each child’s imagination, and then was executed by each child.  The picture was taken prior to the class embarking on their mission to distribute their mishloach Manot baskets to a friend’s home for the holiday.  The children created their baskets with the purpose of giving them away.  This fulfills one of the mitzvot for Purim and is not an easy thing for a four or five year old child to do.  They usually want to keep their own creations.  But they understood what they were doing and accepted the task gracefully.  The children wrote their names on a slip of paper, which was then folded and placed in a basket.  Each child picked a paper from the basket and the name on the paper was to be the classmate to whom they would deliver the basket they had created. They were to keep the child’s name a secret so it would also be a surprise.  The children enjoyed the element of surprise.

It’s shake your grogger time!  The groggers were also individual and playful.  A variety of containers were chosen, decorated with colorful papers, and then a picture of the child displaying a funny expression was attached to a styrofoam head, which in turn was attached to the container. These were really charming groggers!

By |March 20, 2019|

Torah Life Lessons in Gan Tziporim

What better time to be singing with Morah Jill than at Purim time!  There are so many lively and amusing songs to sing.  The children sang the Hebrew song, Leitzan Kitan Sheli (My Little Clown), complete with movements and an “atchoo” (sneeze) inserted at the proper time. They even got to perform it using a cute and festive parachute.  They also sang the classic Purim songs:  Ani Purim, Chag Purim, and Oh Once There Was a Wicked, Wicked Man.  They used musical instruments and their bodies (hand clapping, feet stomping) to simulate groggers and to keep with the rhythm of the music. The children will provide some of the entertainment at our Friday Purim Carnival/Costume party and many of these songs will be sung.

The children have been working on recognizing their own and each other’s last names.  This is a fun way to practice letter recognition and also word recognition.  We have been spelling out the names during our morning circle meeting time.  In order to keep things fresh, we have brought out our magnet letters and the children have started to spell out the names using the letters.  We have wipeable word strips and some children spontaneously decided to write the names on the strips.  This gives them such a feeling of accomplishment.

Yay!  Yummy hamantashen were made today.  We reviewed all the ingredients required for the recipe and then the children measured and poured and stirred.  They also checked the eggs for blood, as was related to them in this week’s Parsha Tzav.  It is great when the things we are learning about correspond to real life.     After mixing the ingredients, the children used a rolling pin to roll out the dough […]

By |March 20, 2019|