Let It Snow! — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

Our room was transformed into a winter wonderland, giving the children opportunities to see, taste, smell, touch, and hear. With the CD playing a cheery snow song, the children visited our snow corner, complete with gray sky and snowballs, which felt prickly.

Then we made “snow” play dough using cornstarch and white hand cream. The cornstarch felt soft and looked like snow, and the smooth white lotion also looked like snow. The best part: rolling, patting, and cookie cutting, and prickling our beautiful play dough. “I made a butterfly” (Asher). Dahlia liked squishing it with her fingers. Daniela made a snack.

And, since we’re all about winter and snow this week, what could be more timely than Thursday’s flurries. The snow tasted cold and wet

Parent Night was a big success. It it is privilege for us to be your children’s Morahs.


Have a peaceful and joyous Shabbat,

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |December 14, 2018|

It’s Cold Outside!– Gan Paparim (Toddlers)

Some highlights from last Friday…

We spent the last days of Chanukah focused on light. Glow-in-the-dark light sticks filled the children with wonder and delight. Colored Magnatiles that danced on the wall in the Exploration Room were captivating.

We are now turning our focus to an exploration of winter. We began by reading Snowballs by Lois Ehlert and Snow by Marion Bauer. We said it is cold in the winter and we need our heavy coats, hats, and mittens.

How cold is winter? Out came ice cubes and warm water. We noticed as we felt it, that ice is hard and stays in the same shape. We used the word solid. We felt the water and observed how it moved around and didn’t stay the same shape. We used the word liquid. Then we asked the children if they thought the ice would be hot or cold. We invited the children to feel, handle, and taste both the ice and the warm water.  How does they feel? What do they taste like. What else is cold (ice cream, being outside without gloves) or warm (their bath, their house?? We asked them if they like the cold feeling?

Asher said ice is made of water. Daniela said, “it’s freezing!” Elisheva said, “cold!” Ethan licked it. Aryeh, Dovid, and David munched on the ice. They all liked the feeling of the warm water and loved when the ice melted.


We then got all bundled up in our coats and hats and went outside. To our amazement, there was ice on the slide!

We love our cold weather discoveries!!


By |December 10, 2018|

Happy Chanukah — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

On Monday we welcomed the newest member of our class, Dahlia Glatt. For the Glatt family, it is a homecoming as Dahlia’s two older sisters also attended IBECC. The children have been very sweet and are happy to have another friend join us.

Our Chanukah celebration has been non-stop. We made a chanukiah for our class and painted it using many different kinds of brushes. Each day we are counting the number of candles to add to the Chanukiah.

There were so many special things to do this week. A jumping dreidel on a parachute and a singing Chanukah bear were just two of the highlights of music with Morah Jill. And who knew oil comes from an olive? The children were watching Rabbi Rosenblum intently as he helped them to squeeze the juice from the olives. Their eyes were filled with wonder as they watched the oil spin in the centrifuge. It whirled just like a dreidel!!! And when he opened the test tubes they were amazed as he poured the oil into the Chanukiah and lit it!

To help the children understand the joy in giving, as well as receiving presents, we baked cookies sent home in time for Shabbos Chanukah on plates the children decorated themselves. The children had a great time oiling the cooking pan and mixing the batter. We also presented a cookie platter to Karen, one of Suburban Torah’s amazing office staff.


Without a doubt, though, the highlight of the week was the Chanukah party. Having all of you with us was very special.


Wishing you a joyous Shabbos Chanukah.

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie


By |December 7, 2018|

We Light the Chanukiot — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

We continued to experience Chanukah throughout the week, putting the finishing touches on our Chanukiot. The children can’t wait to bring them home. We chose to make this particular Chanukiah so that the children can play with it all week long and “light” along with you every night. Please note: regular candles are not recommended for use with this Chanukiah.


A Chanukah matching game reinforced the names of the major symbols of the festival and marked the first time we introduced the concept of matching. We also read several Chanukah books including “Where Is Baby’s Dreidel?” and “Chanukah Bugs.” We also dug for dreidels and candles in the sand table.


We took time indoors for reading Clifford books and outdoors for outdoor fun.

With best wishes for a Shabbat Shalom and Chag Chanukah Sameach filled with light and joy,

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie


By |November 30, 2018|

Chanukah O Chanukah — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

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 […]

By |November 28, 2018|

Happy Thanksgiving from Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

The severity of last week’s snowstorm took many of us by surprise, including us Morahs, whose 10-minute commutes stretched more than seven hours. We hope you fared better.

There’s always an upside. Asher, Daniela, and Aryeh told us how much fun playing in the snow. The snow play continued on Monday, turning into a terrific sensory experience: touching (Elisheva – cold!), stomping, and crunching. They were fascinated that they could make the snow turn different colors by drawing on it with chalk.

After rereading “The Story of the Pilgrims,” we again talked about how how family and friends get together on Thanksgiving for a big dinner. We talked about how our school is like a big family. We matched food eaten at the feast in the book with foods on the Thanksgiving dinner chart. The children recognized corn, carrots, peas, and the live turkey.

Our contribution to the schoolwide Thanksgiving feast was the cranberry relish. Snack time was transformed into a taste testing of cranberry sauce, pineapple, and mandarin oranges. Dovid, Elisheva, and Aryeh liked the cranberry sauce and Ethan, Asher, and Mazali the oranges. The children then took turns adding the ingredients to the bowl and mixing.

Your children are very proud of their Thanksgiving headdresses. These headdresses mark the first time we worked on a project over several days. This is a testament to your children’s increasing ability to complete a multi-step process. The project involved the use of different textures and materials which the children chose for themselves.

If you look closely you’ll see the wood letters spell out your child’s name. After showing them what their name looks like and saying the letters out loud, the children had free rein as to […]

By |November 20, 2018|

Doing What Comes Nature(ally) — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

Asher is a big brother! Mazal Tov to the entire Aminoff family on the birth of a baby boy. We made a cake for his family to enjoy on Shabbat. We took turns greasing the pan and then flouring it, pouring in the cake mix, and stirring. We can’t wait to taste it!

The integration of natural materials and loose parts is a fundamental part of our Reggio-inspired preschool. Wood chips fulfill both categories. The addition of wooden arches opened up a world of possibilities.
It is so exciting for us, as teachers, to watch the children discover the magic of simple materials. Daniela, Dovid, and Asher stacked. Mazali made a garage for her cars using the wood chips. Aryeh and David figured out how to make a tunnel and then take a ride on it.  David also found a new use for the arch – a rocking chair! Perhaps there are some loose parts in your homes that will inspire your children!

Speaking of natural materials, we took advantage of the sun and warm(ish) weather to play outside. The children really enjoy digging (you can probably tell by their clothes) and they exhibit a sense of pride when they fill up their cups. On Thursday, the children poured the dirt into a ziploc bag and added acorn tops that they had collected. Next week we will have some squishy fun digging out the caps and using them to make a seasonal creation. Because there’s never too much dirt, we also visited the outdoor classroom, where the children engaged in impromptu water play.


We had a wonderful visit by Morah Aimee and some of the children in the 3s, who led a sing-a-long with our class. Some of […]

By |November 9, 2018|

Color Fun in Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

This week we will continue our exploration of red and green. On Monday, the children chose red and green objects and put them in a box. We are inviting small groups of children to feel and name the objects and their color. The box is available for the children to play with throughout the week.


The children are beginning to learn the songs that Morah Jill sings and had a great time moving their bodies while pretending to be leaves.


Each time we visit the Exploration Room, we offer the children different materials to play with.  On this visit, we turned on the overhead projector and placed a clear egg carton on top, which created a mosaic. The children took turns putting translucent colored chips in the egg carton cups and to their amazement, the colors appeared on the mosaic on the wall. Many of them walked up to the wall to touch the color and you could see they were trying to figure out how it got there. This activity involved fine motor development (putting the chips in the clear cups), color recognition, and imagination. The children also discovered they could make “snow” by pulling apart a piece of styrofoam. Then we “shoveled” the snow (using a broom and dustpan) off the table.


The Five Little Monkeys book is a favorite of the children; today a monkey came to visit while we were reading the story!


By |November 7, 2018|

Our Green Road — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

Thank you to Asher and his family for providing bananas for our healthy snack this week. And peeling bananas is a great fine motor activity!

This week we enjoyed a spirited music session with Morah Jill. We even used our Stop Lollipop. It’s clear that music really speaks to the children, and we encourage this appreciation through instrument play and background music throughout the day. Morah Jill is also going to share lyrics of the songs she sings so that we can incorporate them into our classroom songfests.

More stop practice. Many of the children are putting their hands up in the stop position when they see the sign. We introduced the color green by using the “go” side of the renamed “stop and go” lollipop. To reinforce recognition of these colors we read  Red Apple, Green Pear (Scholastic) and Elmos’s First Book of Colors (Sesame Street) and created a green road by dipping dump trucks (class favorites) in green paint. This activity elicited a lot of giggles (as well as green hands).

Speaking of colors, the children love our “magic rainbow rope” (they chose the name). This rope helps us safely cross the parking lot and street when we go to the playground.  It also promotes color recognition and teamwork, as the children help each other find a handle.

On Wednesday and Thursday we took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent as much time as possible outdoors.  The children colored with green chalk and became excavators as they dug up dirt and transferred it into cups, which required strong grips and balancing the cups.

We Morahs are looking forward to our professional development day. We know it […]

By |November 1, 2018|

We Welcome Guests to Our Tent — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

By |October 25, 2018|