This week we started learning about Rosh Hashanah: The Jewish new year! The new year is the most important holiday we celebrate all year. In the preschool room we are still working on introducing the holiday and talking about some of the highlights of the tradition.
We got to go outside and enjoy beautiful weather multiple times a day all week!! What a blessing during September in Minnesota!
Every day we also practiced our circle time chant and good morning song to get our calendar meetings off to a fun start.
To start the week off we opened the sensory table to take turns and share the glass gems since this was a big hit last week.
The room was also set up a little differently than last week with more distinct play areas. Everyone is still learning how to spread out and share the spaces while playing together.
The first activity of the week was making Rosh Hashanah placemats! First we read the book The Apple Tree’s Discovery about a little apple tree who discovers she has stars growing from her branches. To discover the stars, she had to wait patiently all year for the apples to grow and fall to the ground. This revealed the seeds inside shaped like a star. Then we took a look for ourselves! Each friend had half of an apple that showed the star, and used this apple to dip in paint and stamp all over a large paper. The results were wonderfully mixed fall colors and exciting designs!
On Tuesday the sensory table was changed to another favorite: beads! There were rainbow, wood, big, and tiny beads to dig into and sort.
During circle time we learned the song “Apples and Honey (Tapuchim u’dvash)” and read the story It’s Shofar Time! Some of the traditions shown in the story are dipping apples in honey, baking round challah, and hearing the shofar.
The activity on Tuesday started with another Rosh Hashanah theme book: Apples and Honey that had fun flaps to lift! As seen in our books, a common tradition is to make cards to wish family and friends a good year (shanah tovah). We made ours extra special by making the card shape with each person’s unique handprint! When the cards were decorated we talked about who we might want to give it to to wish a happy new year (mom, grandparents, friend, siblings, etc.)
After lunch there was another surprising change when we got to have Hebrew Through Movement outside and in person with Rabbi Crimmings!
Sagol spirit was high on Wednesday with everyone wearing purple for class color day!
Again the sensory table had a new filling to keep play time fresh and make sure we keep everything clean and as germ free as possible. Wednesday and Thursday there was a bunch of shredded and crinkled paper to dig through and practice cutting. There were some apples hidden throughout and magnifying glasses for more to explore.
Wednesday’s activity was a little tricky for some! Once again we talked about the upcoming holiday through art. Everyone had a 2 step job. First to tear up fall colored paper into small pieces. Then to collage and glue the pieces onto a blank circle to later be cut out as an apple. Tearing paper can be fun but was also new and challenging to many friends!
Thursday was our last full day of the week and we really made it count! The weather was nice and there was a lot to do. In the morning we got a little band together and played instruments to Raffi songs. Later in the day the jigsaw puzzles were out and we had some quiet playdough time. Before our group activity we listened to “Shofar Blast” and sang along with egg shakers! Then we read Sound the Shofar that tells the story of one family’s experience during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur which follows 10 days later.
Of course we had to make our own shofars! In past years I would have had everyone try a turn at blowing a real and toy horn shofar, but this year we just had our own awesome projects to play with at home.
Friday we will close early in observance of Rosh Hashanah which begins at sundown. We will still have our Shabbat service in the morning and have a special sweet new year treat!
Wishing everyone a great weekend and healthy start to the new year!
Ms. Maddie and Mr. Benny