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|

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|

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|

Our First Full Week Begins – Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

Finally, the first full week of school! And David’s 2nd birthday celebration!

We began the week with music time. First we talked about how instruments make different sounds and this is called music. The children then eagerly tried out all the instruments – cymbals, bells, shakers, banjos and tambourines. It was very interesting to watch what they did with the instruments: first, most of children shook them and heard what sound they made, then they turned them over and over in their hands and shook some more, used the table as a drum, and marched around the room. It’s clear the children love music and moving to music and we will be exploring different ways to make sounds with traditional and non-traditional instruments and fun ways to move our bodies.

David is 2! We celebrated with a class party on Tuesday where David was joined by his parents and baby sister Julia. Birthdays are always very special and at IBECC they are more so because the whole class participates in creating and participating in the celebration. The children took turns helping to made the fruit salad, the special birthday snack. David, together with his friends, decorated his birthday crown with stickers. The class also presented David with a treasure box that they decorated with dot dots and stickers. We know that David will fill this box with lots of treasures at home.

The Exploration Room is just that — a room with endless possibilities.

More to come on Friday!

Morah Sherry and Morah Blimie


By |October 10, 2018|

Hashem Is Everywhere and Welcome Aryeh — Gan Parparim (Toddlers)

The chagim are now a wonderful memory. And now it’s time to settle into a regular routine.

We began on Wednesday by reacquainting the children with our arrival practice of putting lunch boxes in the lunchbox basket and water bottles on their special shelf. Understanding how toddlers thrive on routine, we are working on creating a pictorial daily schedule that we will introduce to the children next week and review daily. This will help to reinforce the daily routine while making the children more independent.

We are thrilled to welcome Aryeh Aminoff, the newest member of our class. He and the rest of his family moved to Livingston last month. The children were very sweet, introducing him to all the toys and games they play.

This week we’ve observed that puzzles, especially animal puzzles, are increasingly popular. It’s fascinating to watch how the different children approach puzzle play. Asher names the animal and makes its sound when he puts a puzzle together. Ethan holds up each piece and giggles. Daniela puts the animal pieces in a line. The sand table is a treasure trove of sensory and imaginative play. David and Elisheva pretend the sand is rain. Cars, trucks, and trains migrate from the toy shelves and get buried and unburied by shell shovels and spoons. Cakes are made. Sand is poured from one bowl to another.


Our theme for this week, and continuing next week, is Creation in its many forms. Creation of the world, creation of a classroom of friends who share and play together, and creation of works of art and sculpture. We talked about Hashem, how much He loves us, and how He is everywhere.  To make this concept more concrete, […]

By |October 5, 2018|

We Love Preschool–Gan Parparim (aka Toddlers)

The first few days of school have been filled with discoveries. A new classroom and toys to explore, new and old friends to play with, books to read. Playing in the kitchen is a big hit, especially with the real-life bowls and utensils. All of the children love to set the table, share “food” with their friends, and offer us Morahs delicious creations they have made. The children also love building towers with the Legos (and laughing when they fall down). They are constantly using their imaginations, dreaming up ways to using the furniture as play spaces. Mazali loves lining up the animals on top of the cubbies and Ethan loves cooking in the kitchen.

They are very busy!


It has also been a time to explore the outdoor play areas. The children are testing out their climbing skills on the jungle gym in the playground and learning how quickly they can slide down the slides. Elisheva and Dovid like holding a Morah’s hand when they slide down. The outdoor classroom was a revelation–so much to do. Wash the kitchen with sponges, blow bubbles, test drive the cars lined along the fence and, of course, dig in the dirt – a great sensory experience and David’s favorite.

The best art is messy! Look at these hands! A great experience in the feel of paint; was it cold or hot, was it hard or squishy, and what beautiful creations can we make? On Thursday we moved into the Art Room to create a card welcoming David’s new baby sister. A heartfelt Mazal Tov to the whole family. This time, the children stood as they painted so they were able to get a different perspective. Elisheva and Daniela had […]

By |September 7, 2018|