We Are Very Strong! — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

This week has been very busy.

We had lots of sensory fun. At the sand table, we observed how the children are getting more proficient in using a wide variety of sand tools and pouring sand from cup to cup or into bottles, which helps to develop eye-hand coordination.

We have also incorporated muscle strengthening activities into our play on a daily basis. In preparation for Parent-Teacher conferences, the children squeezed frosting tubes to decorate the cake they had made for their parents.

In the upstairs play space (social hall), they balanced on alef bet foam blocks, “pushed” the wall, scooted on scooters, and gave their friends rides on the parachute, which helps to develop upper body and leg muscles.


In all of our play, we identify the colors we are learning. Red, green, blue, and yellow frosting on our cake and rainbow sprinkles to top things off. In the “throw the bean bag into the bucket” game (another eye-hand coordination exercise), the children identified the color of each bean bag. And, of course, we named the colors of the parachute.

And finally, we formally introduced the concept of doing mitzvot. We talked about mitzvot we can do at school — sharing toys, helping a friend to feel better if they get a boo-boo (hugs), giving tzedekah, and celebrating Shabbat. Each time a child does a mitzvah, we acknowledge it by saying “what a mitzvah you did by sharing that toy” or “what a mitzvah boy/girl you are for helping your friend feel better.” We will soon begin the practice of sending “You Did a Mitzvah” notes home for your children to share with you.

Wishing you a joyous and peaceful Shabbat,

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie


By |February 7, 2019|

Happy Birthday Dovid! in the Butterflies

Today we celebrated Dovid’s birthday with delicious cake his friends made themselves. Because Dovid loves to look at pictures of his friends and say their names, the children decorated a picture frame with their pictures. First, the children painted it and then added stickers. We know that Dovid will enjoy this gift at home.

We celebrated another birthday this week. Morah Debra brought in her dog, Daisy, on the occasion of her 5th birthday. The children had a great time petting her and watching her tail swish from side to side.

We are excited to share that Elisheva is a big sister! Mazal Tov to the entire Herrera family on the birth of Dovid Aryeh. The children all had a chance to take a peek at the baby and decided he is very little.

Yellow is our color of the week. We had a great time painting with yellow, red, blue and green paint as a way of reinforcing color recognition. The children are getting more adventurous as they test out mixing different colors and using a variety of tools to put paint on paper. All of this is an excellent exercise in fine motor and visual development.

Spring in winter! The children were so happy to play outside in the playground, where they chased bubbles, slid down the slide, and colored with crayons.

Thank you to David and the Romanoff family for our healthy snack of delicious apples. We will enjoy them all week.

More to come…..

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |February 1, 2019|

Happy Birthday, Asher! — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

On Friday we celebrated Asher’s 3rd birthday with his parents and grandfather, Rabbi Rubin. Because Asher loves to collect different objects, the children transformed a large canister into a beautiful treasure holder as their gift to him. We also ate yummy cupcakes and sang Happy Birthday in English and Hebrew. In honor of his birthday, Asher was Shabbat Abba and Chana was Shabbat Ema.

Thank you to Asher and his family for the class gift of The Magic School Bus in Time of the Dinosaurs book, in honor of Asher’s birthday. We will enjoy reading it to the class all year.

The polar vortex did not stop up from having warm indoor fun. In the Exploration Room, the children experimented with the sensory wall, sang the ABCs as we built an alphabet block tower, and created castles out of cardboard and styrofoam. 

A gentle reminder: Parent-Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, February 7. If you have not yet had a chance to sign up, please check your email for the sign-up sheet or email us at [email protected]
Have a joyous and peaceful Shabbat,
Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |February 1, 2019|

Welcome Chana! — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

It is so heartwarming to see how delighted the children are to be back in school. We missed them so much! On Monday they didn’t miss a beat as they happily reunited with their friends and their favorite toys.

In addition to our welcoming the children back to school, the children warmly welcomed our newest friend, Chana Dobroskin. Chana, her baby brother, and parents, Aviva and Shneur, live in Livingston.

Over the next several weeks, we will be working on color recognition. This week we are focusing on red, blue, and green. Since the children can’t get enough of the Sesame Street books we have in class, we decided that Elmo (red), Cookie Monster (blue), and Oscar the Grouch (green) came to visit.

The Social Hall is a wonderful indoor play space. We love to ride red, green, and blue scooters, play roly-poly and hide-and-seek. It’s also a venue for our newest favorite activity — re-purposing empty boxes from around the shul and transforming them into imaginary airplanes, trains, and cozy places to take a pretend nap.

By |January 29, 2019|

Birthdays — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

It’s been a busy week and it’s only Wednesday!

On Monday we celebrated Daniela’s 3rd birthday with cupcakes and a birthday crown, both of which the children made for their birthday friend. A great time was had by all.

Daniela’s birthday became the jumping off point for our exploration of Tu B’Shevat. We explained that just like we have birthdays, so do the trees. In Israel it is called Tu B’Shevat. We talked about how in Israel it is spring, but at home it is still cold.  We read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. And It’s Tu B’Shevat by Edie Stoltz Zolkower, and talked about how birds and squirrels live in trees and that healthy foods, like nuts and fruits, grow on trees.

Tu B’Shevat was celebrated in music with Morah Jill. Wind blew through our branches (colorful scarves). Noticing how fascinated the children were with her keyboard, Morah Jill invited the children to take a closer look.

Can you guess what we found in the Exploration Room? That’s right—bugs! They looked even bigger when we used magnifying glasses to examine them. (Don’t worry! These bugs are from a Science Exploration kit. We are a very clean school!!)

And of course, we need our construction helmets when we build.

And, from last week — a spirited Shabbat sing-a-long led by Rabbi Mischel and our Shabbat party at which a dinosaur knocked at our door.

More to come later this week!

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie

By |January 10, 2019|

Fashion show, Shaving Cream, and Snow — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

Collaboration and doing mitzvot are integral parts of the IBECC. When we asked the Gan Tziporim (4s) if they could help bring winter to life for our class, they readily agreed. The result: a fashion show of seasonal apparel. Lieba, Uriel, and Lauren, our winter models, were bundled up in heavy coats, hats, gloves, mittens, and boots. We pointed out that it is very cold in winter and we need to wear heavy clothes that cover our bodies, heads, feet, and hands. Lia and Simon were our summer models. Simon wore shorts and a t-shirt, and Lia wore a sundress, sunglasses, and flip-flops. We talked about how we can leave our arms, legs, and heads uncovered in summer because it is hot. Thank you Gan Tziporim for welcoming us to your classroom and doing a big mitzvah!

Next, we asked Morah Aimee if she could share two of the flannel boards she has created. Morah Aimee, joined by several of our friends from the Sunflowers (3s) watched, fascinated, as she made snowmen melt under the sun and bump their heads as they fell off the sled (a new take on Five Little Monkeys). Billy Goat Gruff also visited. Another big mitzvah!

We also had some indoor snow fun. The children loved shoveling and transferring “snow” (packing noodles) from one bucket to another using a variety of tools: spoons, shovels, rakes, and colanders. We noticed the buckets were blue and red. (Can you guess who is hiding under the red colander?) In the Art Studio, we dug our hands deep in (shaving cream) and enjoyed snow painting.

On Friday we baked cupcakes in honor of Daniela’s 3rd birthday, which we will celebrate […]

By |January 4, 2019|

Paint and Play Dough Fun — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

Painting has recently become a favorite activity. This week we donned our smocks and created colorful freestyle art. Painting is wonderful in so many ways: it’s a wonderful sensory experience and helps to develop fine motor skills, color recognition, and creative expression. The children love to experiment with different implements and textures,  and of course, their hands.


Another sensory experience: we made play dough using Morah Yafit’s recipe. In keeping with our winter theme, the flour was “snow” and the salt bits of “ice.” The texture is wonderful. The children literally couldn’t wait to dig their hands on in. How did it feel? Warm, soft, squishy. White like snow. The children made mitten hand prints and snowflakes. And, of course, plenty of patting and rolling out the dough.

Fun in the indoor play area. What better way to roll a big bouncy ball than with your friends?


Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie



By |December 21, 2018|

“Snow” Cookies and Scooters — Gan Parparim (Butterflies)

Our exploration of winter continues. The children dug for snowballs and snowflakes in the sand table and had an icy treat for snack. We sang winter songs with Morah Jill.

Every day we bundle up and play outside. With many of the children now wearing mittens (or gloves), it was only appropriate that we read The Mitten by Jan Brett. We then decided it would be fun to create our own mittens. Since the children love working with play dough, our mittens will be dough based. Morah Yafit gave us a new recipe that we are making this week.


The children love to bake and are becoming more confident with measuring, adding in, and mixing the ingredients. On Tuesday, we joined the 3s and made “snow” cookies, courtesy of confectioner’s sugar the children sifted themselves. Yum.



Whether outdoors or indoors, the children engage in gross motor play every day. Teamwork (and a lot of squealing), played a big part in the children’s scooter play. It was fascinating to watch the children figure out how to hold hands and scoot in unison, and is evidence of their growing ability to engage in group, rather than parallel, play.




By |December 20, 2018|

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|