butterfly

Tie-dying and other explorations in the Butterfly Class

We’ve been continuing to learn about the Native Americans, Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving. We learned that one of the things the Native Americans were known for was that they used dye to make clothing. To explain what dyeing is, we took a cup of water and a paper towel. We noticed that the water was clear, and the paper towel was white. Then we dripped in some red food coloring, and everyone said that the water turned red! We dipped the paper towel in and watched the red color rise up. We dyed the paper towel! All the children thought it was so interesting.

Then we went into the Exploration Room and made our very own tie-dye shirts. We had two colors to choose from – pink and brown. Many children chose both. They held the clip on the edge of the shirt and carefully dipped it into the dye. Then we squeezed it out and let it dry. We will wear them at our Thanksgiving feast!

Another exciting thing we did this week was play in the Exploration Room! The children enjoyed relaxing with the big bears, building with the interesting blocks, and sorting the big colorful buttons. We will continue to explore new things in this room as the year goes on. There are lots of treasures in there!

Of course, we’ve still been exploring the outdoors too. It’s getting colder but we spend a few minutes outside if we can, observing the leaves changing color, the wind blowing, and interesting things like this little insect we found.

We brought our turkey friends outside too.

And lastly, we had a very happy music session this […]

By |November 16, 2017|

Thanksgiving is coming! in the Butterfly Class

We have been learning all about Thanksgiving! The Pilgrims sailed on a big ship called the Mayflower and came to America. When they got here, they met the Native Americans who taught them how to use the land for all their needs. They helped them grow food and showed them how to dye and weave clothing and bead. The Pilgrims were so grateful to the Native Americans for helping them in this new strange land, that we are told they made a special feast to thank the Native Americans. Now we celebrate Thanksgiving every year, with foods like turkey and pumpkin pie. We talked about what makes us thankful and what we’re happy about. Some children said “Mommy and Daddy,” “crackers,” and “food.”

We looked at some pictures of Pilgrims. We also held a little Native American doll and observed all the interesting things she was wearing. She had a feathered headdress, a beaded necklace, and was wearing two babies on her back in a papoose. Then we did some beading of our own. Each child got a piece of string and multicolored pasta shapes to string on. It was good fine motor practice. The children had so much patience and determination as they sat enjoying spending time putting each bead on. We’ll wear our necklaces at our Thanksgiving feast!

We also read a book called “What Is Thanksgiving?” by Harriet Zeifert telling the story of Thanksgiving. We saw in one of the pictures that the girl was shucking corn. It looked like fun! We all went to the table to have the chance to shuck our own corn on the cob. We found the tip and pulled from there to get the husks off. […]

By |November 9, 2017|

You Shoulda Been There! in the Butterfly Class

After opening up our pumpkin, we were curious about what it would feel like to really mush it in our hands. We had a sensory bin with pumpkin puree that allowed us to get messy and have fun with it. Some children enjoyed scooping it up on their fingertips. There were even pumpkin seeds hidden inside that we could find.

Speaking of pumpkin seeds, we enjoyed another taste of pumpkin at snack time. Not only did we roast another batch of the seeds because they were such a hit, we also tasted the pumpkin puree (not the one we touched!). It was yummy! We ate it along with our other snack and some children got creative, scooping the pumpkin up on crackers.

We had one pumpkin left over from our explorations this week, and we decided to paint it. We used sparkly blue, yellow, red, and green. It was good teamwork – we painted the stem, sides, and even the bottom.

Thank you to Caleb’s mom who came to read us two fun books! We especially loved the book about Pete the Cat and his colorful shoes.

And here are some happy playing faces!

   

 

By |November 3, 2017|

All things pumpkin in the Butterfly class

We took a break from our leaf explorations to explore something else that reminds us of fall – pumpkins! The children noticed the pumpkin on the counter and guessed what we were doing before we even sat down to do it. We gathered around the table and passed around the pumpkin for everyone to hold. We noticed that it was very heavy and we had to use our strong muscles to lift it. Some other things we observed about the pumpkin were that it was orange and round. What would it look like inside, we wondered?

   

We tried to cut it open, but our knife wasn’t strong enough. So we thought of an interesting idea – to put it in a bag and throw it on the ground. Isn’t that funny? In just two tries, it broke! We helped pull it apart to see what was inside. We each felt it. There were stringy pumpkin flesh and lots of big seeds.

Then we used orange paint and round stampers to make pumpkin paintings.

The next day we decided to make pumpkin play dough! We measured and mixed flour, salt, oil, water and cream of tartar in a bowl. We added food coloring to try to make it orange like a pumpkin. It turned out yellowish instead but that’s okay! It felt so nice and soft when we played with it.

    

We also roasted some pumpkin seeds in the oven and they came out delicious. The children ate every last one.

By |November 1, 2017|

Another great week in the Butterfly class

We sure learned a lot about animals this week! To review everything we talked about and all the explorations we did, each child made a peekaboo animal guessing game to bring home. They chose each fabric piece to match the animal picture underneath and glued it on. They are very excited to show you everything they know! Ask them about the names of the animals, which animal each fabric represents, and what sounds the animals make.

Other ways we spend our days include singing our circle time and davening songs every day and learning all the words. Even the children who don’t talk so much really know and sing the songs. The children love giving tzedakah and singing Shema with all the motions. They also enjoy giving the Torah a hug before passing it on to a friend. We are working very hard at learning to take turns, and are getting better at asking “Can I have a turn?” if someone is using something. At this point in the year, we can tell that the children are really getting comfortable with the routine and know just what happens next at each point of the day.

It’s getting chillier outside and we’re squeezing out every last bit of time in the playground before the winter. Look at these happy faces! We particularly enjoy going for walks around the path singing “We’re going for a walk,” throwing leaves up in the air, and coloring with chalk. We write our names on the ground and find the letters that our names start with. The children also love exploring the back corner where we find interesting acorns, leaves, and rocks. We ask questions like “What does it feel like?” “Is […]

By |October 27, 2017|

Animal Fun in the Butterfly Class

We have a new addition to our class – a fish! We met him in the morning when he was still in his little container from the pet store, and all together we put him into his new tank and fed him. We brainstormed some names for him. Some of the children thought of the name “Red” and it seemed to stick even the next day, so Red it was. (Even though he’s not actually red.) We are really enjoying watching him swim around, making sure not to touch the tank and scare him.

Do you know something funny? Right after we got our fish, Miss Jill came to sing with us, and one of the first songs she sang was a song about a fish! And she had no idea that we just got a new fish in our classroom.

We used animal stamps and animal stickers to make a big mural. Peeling stickers off the sheet is very good for fine motor skills.

We also learned a lot about other animals too. We took out special fabrics that look like different animal prints and feel like different animal furs and skins. We talked about animals and their skins colors, patterns, sounds, and textures, and matched them up with toy animals, as well as pictures of the real ones.

We also really loved doing animal yoga. We did downward dog and frog jumps, flew like birds and swam like fish.

And as always there is more to come!

By |October 25, 2017|

It’s been a colorful week in the Butterfly class!

We have been learning all about Noach and the teyva (ark). We found pairs of all the animals in the ark and made each of their sounds. We know that it was very, very rainy for 40 days and 40 nights, and the teyva floated on the water and kept everyone safe.

We wondered what it really means to make something float. We decided to experiment. We got out our water table and put different things inside to see what happened. First, we tried pieces of pool noodles. They stayed on the top! We loved watching them bounce around. Then some of the children tried other objects in the water, like a toy tiger and cow, toy car, and even an esrog. We saw that some things, like the esrog, sank to the bottom.

The other thing we focused on this week was rainbows and colors, because when the rain stopped, a big rainbow came out. We looked at a picture of a rainbow to see which colors we could find. We noticed all of them – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. We sang a song –

“Red and orange and yellow and green

Shiny blue, purple too

All the colors that we know

Live in the rainbow”

Then we made our own rainbow. We started with a tray with 7 cups of water. What color is the water? The children thought it might be white. Each child had the chance to drip a little bit of food coloring into a cup to make a color. To make some of the colors like orange and purple, we even had to mix two colors together. Slowly we made… a rainbow! It was so exciting to see each color appear.

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By |October 19, 2017|

All the leaves are falling down! in the Butterfly Class

We noticed that the weather is getting chilly and we need to wear jackets. When we went outside to play, we looked to see what else might be changing, and noticed that the ground is covered in leaves! The trees are getting emptier. Luckily leaves are so much fun to collect, sort, and jump in. We’ve been exploring them in many ways. First we gathered red, yellow, and brown leaves in a basket. Some children inspected leaves close up with magnifying glasses. We jumped around in a big pile of them and let handfuls flutter to the ground.

                 

We brought them inside and sorted them by color. We put the red leaves on a red paper, the yellow leaves on a yellow paper, and the brown leaves on a brown paper.

Then we used the rest of the leaves to paint with, creating a collaborative mural for our classroom wall. The leaves made very interesting paintbrushes!

By |October 17, 2017|

Torah Torah! in the Butterfly Class

We learned that soon it will be Simchat Torah, and we will go to shul and dance and sing with the Torah. We went to the shul upstairs to get a sneak peek. Morah Rachelle asked us if we knew what was inside the Aron Kodesh. “Torah!” we said. She opened up the doors and we saw them all. We counted – there were 12. Then we had the chance to go up and touch and kiss the Torahs.

  

After that, we took one Torah out and opened it up at the bima. We loved seeing the letters written on the parchment. We can’t wait to dance on Simchat Torah! We made a special flag to make the dancing extra fun.

We also shook a real lulav and etrog. The lulav was very tall and pointy, and the etrog smelled delicious.

  

We made edible sukkahs out of graham crackers, fluff, and pretzels. They were so sticky and delicious. We made four walls and a door just like in the song we sing.

Then we ate lunch in the big sukkah outside. It was so nice to eat in the fresh air!

Chag Sameach! We’ll see you monday!!

By |October 10, 2017|

Did you ever shake a lulav? in the Butterfly Class

We are ready for Sukkot! We’ve been hanging out in our classroom Sukkah a lot. We sing songs inside it and the children even had the idea to bring the pegs in to play there.

We also went outside to see the big shul sukkah, and hung up our special decoration we made – a collaborative collage sukkah with real leaves for schach, brown paper for the walls, and all different kinds of decorations. If you come to shul, check it out!

We also practiced shaking the lulav and esrog. We sang a song:

“Did you ever shake a lulav, a lulav, a lulav

Did you ever shake a lulav on Sukkot day?

Upwards and downwards and forwards and backwards

Did you ever shake a lulav on Sukkot day?”

We might have a chance to shake a real lulav next week, and eat in the big sukkah! We can’t wait!

We also began noticing the weather changing outside. Some days it’s been breezy and we had to wear our jackets. Soon it will be fall. We collected some leaves and pinecones and will keep observing the trees to see what happens.

Chag Sameach!

By |October 3, 2017|