Week 12

Our theme this week is: The Ocean

Our learning objectives are: The following activities will help your child learn about the ocean while engaging in fun and explorative ways. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Art Activity: Ocean Art

Materials Needed: 

  1. Blue and white washable paint
  2. Paintbrushes or cotton swabs 
  3. Cups for water
  4. Fish cutout or stickers
  5. Glue stick
  6. Piece of paper

Directions: Mix the blue and white paint to create different shades of blue. Then, give your child a piece of paper and use the brush to paint using different blue shades. After the paint has dried, take a glue stick and cut out fish or stickers to glue down. Children can then add a school of fish to their ocean.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Science: Ice & Salt Experiment

Materials Needed: 

  1. Ocean toys in a bowl of water
  2. A tray
  3. Kosher salt
  4. Warm water and a dropper
  5. 2 plastic bowls and spoons
  6. Spray bottle

Directions: Fill a large plastic bowl with water/food coloring and ocean toy animals. Please place it in the freezer for two days. Then set the bowl out, remove the ice from the bowl and put it on a tray. Then in two plastic bowls, add some warm water with their dropper and some salt using a spoon. Your child will see that dropping warm water and sprinkling the salt on the ice creates a melted water trail, and they will then be able to reach the ocean toys and play with.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Cooking: Sea Foam and Shark Jell-O Cups


  1. 1 Box of blue Jell-O
  2. Whipped cream
  3. Gummy sharks

Directions: Make blue Jell-O according to the package in small cups. Top them with whipped cream and add a few gummy sharks!

Thursday, June 4, 2020 

Outdoor: Seashell Alphabet Activity

Materials Needed: 

  1. Seashells
  2. Permanent marker
  3. Spoon or scoop

Directions: First, write various letters of the alphabet in the seashells. You can do both upper case and lower case to match this activity. Then pour sand over the shells in a tub. After that, burry the shells in the sand and invite your child to dig and search for the shells. 

As they find the shells, you can point out the letters written out in them. They can then use the letters they found to spell out their name! 

They can also match the upper and lowercase letters, and count the seashells.

Friday, June 5, 2020 

Song: Slippery Fish by Charlotte Diamond

A slippery fish, a slippery fish,
Swimming in the ocean.
A slippery fish, a slippery fish,
Glub. Glub. Glub.
Oh no, I’ve been eaten by a tuna fish!

A tuna fish, a tuna fish,
Swimming in the ocean.
A tuna fish, a tuna fish,
Glub. Glub. Glub.
Oh no, I’ve been eaten by an octopus!

An octopus, an octopus,
Swimming in the ocean.
An octopus, an octopus,
Glub. Glub. Glub.
Oh no, I’ve been eaten by a great big shark!

A great big shark, a great big shark,
Swimming in the ocean.
A great big shark, a great big shark,
Glub. Glub. Glub.
Oh no, I’ve been eaten by a humongous whale!

A humongous whale, a humongous whale,
Swimming in the ocean.
A humongous whale, a humongous whale,
Glub. Glub. Glub.
Oh no, I’ve been eaten by a human!

Was it you?

Book Suggestions:

Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle

Baby Beluga by Raffi

The Rainbow Fish by Marc P. Fister

Swimming in the Sea by Jolanda Garcia

Week 11

Our theme this week is: Transportation
Our learning objectives are:
– Learn there are different modes of transportation and ways to travel (land, sea, and air)
– Learn about the different types of vehicles
– Learn more about how things move

Instructions: Take a walk around your neighborhood and look for a post office trick, a trash truck, a recycling truck, a delivery truck, a tow truck, a fire truck, a police car, a gasoline tanker, etc. We encourage you to take photos of each, if possible. When you get home, talk about the different vehicles you saw. Ask your child which one s/he likes the most. Then ask them to draw a picture of it. Your child can reference the photo(s) taken as a visual aid. Don’t forget to ask open-ended questions when discussing the various vehicles they saw, as well as about their drawings.

MONDAY, MAY 25, 2020
Art Activity: Truck Painting Track
Materials needed:
– toy truck(s) and/or car(s) with patterned tire treads
– washable paint
– paper plates
– sponge paint pads
– white paper
– masking tape

Instructions: Put some paint on a paper plate. Carefully drive the truck/car through the paint. Secure your piece of white paper using masking tape. Drive your truck/car around the paper, which will leave a colorful design made of tire tread patterns! We will talk about your art during our individual Zoom meetings on Thursday.
Extension – To extend this activity, you can select different colors of paint to make the tire tread patterns. Additionally, you can select different vehicles that have different types of tire treads to compare the similarities and contrast the differences.

TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020
Guessing Game: Which Vehicle Has…?
Give your child several clues about a specific type of transportation. Once your child has guessed correctly, show him/her the corresponding picture of the vehicle. 

Cooking Project: Fire Truck Cookies
Ingredients needed:
– graham crackers
– red icing
– mini
-Oreo cookies
– pretzel sticks
– marshmallows or gumdrops

1. Spread icing all over the graham cracker.
2. Using 2 whole pretzels and 2 broken pretzels, make a ladder.
3. Place the miniature Oreo cookies onto the graham cracker as the tires and wheels.
4. Add marshmallows or gumdrops as the light bar and siren.
5. If you want to, you can break a graham cracker and use a broken piece to represent the window for the front of the fire truck.

Sensory Activity: Make Your Own Construction Site Playdough
Materials needed:
– playdough (*You’ll get a recipe to make in the microwave.)
– river rocks and glass gems (sea glass)
– small construction vehicles
Put all the playdough, rocks, and vehicles on a big tray. Usually, children like to start by pressing out the playdough and experimenting with rolling the different vehicles over it to smooth out their construction site surface. As they do this, they are working on their fine-motor skills and they’ll also likely notice the different imprints, patterns, and designs they are making. They might pinch and load bits of playdough as “dirt,” “cement,” “debris,” or “building materials.” They may even start doing a bit of counting, as they sort their materials, including the rocks or gems. Also, they can put all the materials on top of each other to build a tower.

How to make microwavable playdough:
– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup salt
– 2 tsp cream of tartar
– 1 cup cold water
– 1 tsp vegetable oil
– Food coloring (*optional, Wilson icing color is my favorite.)

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a Pyrex bowl. Once mixed, put the bowl in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, pausing to stir every 30 seconds. (*Keep in mind, you can double this recipe to make more!)

THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020

1. Sussan sings two songs to celebrate and honor Shavuot! 
2. Sussan explains a Shavuot flower art project you can do at home.*** To view these videos, please click here to visit our school website. 

Outdoor Activities: 
1. Shavuot Flower Art Project. Please see Sussan’s video on our website for a detailed explanation.
2. Go For A Ride & Count The Number of Wheels You See! Ride your bicycle, scooter, tricycle, or go for a ride in your wagon. While you are out and about riding around, count the number of wheels you see on the cars and trucks. You can also talk about the different types of transportation you see on the streets and maybe even in the air. You can take photographs of what you see to compare and contrast the similarities and differences.
3. Car Wash! You can go outside and wash your toy car(s) at home.Materials needed:- Toothbrush- Soap- Water- Bucket- Toy cars, trucks, boats, planes, etc. 

Directions: You can do this activity in the kitchen sink or you can take this activity outside. Either way, your child is setting up his/her own miniature car wash for the toy vehicles. Enjoy!

Indoor Activity: Bathtime – Sink or Float!
In the evening, you can add toy boats to bath time to watch them float or sink. You can pour water onto the boat to watch what happens next. Before doing this though, you can ask your child for his/her predictions on what will happen to the boat or other objects. Do you think the objects will continue to float or will they sink? Why do you think this happened?

FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020
Song: “Transportation”

Car, car, car.
Beep! Beep! Sing, sing.
Bus, bus, bus.
Beep! Beep! Sing, sing.
Taxi, taxi, taxi.
Beep! Beep! Sing, sing.
Car, bus, taxi.

Beep! Beep! Sing, sing.

Police car, police car.
Wee-ohh! Wee-ohh! Sing, sing.
Fire engine, fire engine.
Wee-ohh! Wee-ohh! Sing, sing.
Ambulance, ambulance.
Wee-ohh! Wee-ohh! Sing, sing.
Police car, fire engine, ambulance.

Wee-ohh! Wee-ohh! Sing, sing.

Boat, boat, boat.

Toot! Toot! Sing, sing.
Yacht, yacht, yacht.
Toot! Toot! Sing, sing.
Ship, ship, ship.

Toot! Toot! Sing, sing.
Boat, yacht, ship.

Toot! Toot! Sing, sing.

Subway, subway, subway.
Choo! Choo! Sing, sing.
Train, train, train.
Choo! Choo! Sing, sing.
Locomotive, locomotive, locomotive.

Choo! Choo! Sing, sing.
Subway, train, locomotive.
Choo! Choo! Sing, sing.

Airplane, airplane, airplane.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Sing, sing.
Jet plane, jet plane, jet plane.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Sing, sing.
Helicopter, helicopter, helicopter.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Sing, sing.
Airplane, jet plane, helicopter.
Swoosh! Swoosh! Sing, sing.

Book suggestions:
– What Do Wheels Do All Day? by April Jones Prince
– I’m Dirty by Kate & Jim McMullan
– Freight Train by Donald Crews
– Freight Train Trip by Susann & Leonard Hill
– Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler
– Goodmorning Digger by Ann Rockwell
– The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
– Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
– Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres

Week 10

Our theme this week is: Community Helpers

  • To learn the role and importance of our community helpers
  • To promote safety by teaching kids how to ask for help, and just as importantly, who to ask
  • Inspire interest in different kinds of work that people in our communities perform 
  • Encourage interest in one’s own community: we can help our Community Helpers by not littering, driving safely and practicing other good habits.
  • To become observers of the neighborhood
  • To increase vocabulary and general knowledge of how to interact with these community helpers.

Art Ideas
*Draw a person and put a bandage where he or she needs it! Have your child make up a story about how the person got injured and the kind of community helpers that can apply bandages properly. 
*Use magazines, printouts, or advertisements from the mail to and paste items that you may need from the market. Talk about all of the jobs that people can have at the market and how they help us get the food that we need. 
*Make a card for your friends and send it by mail. Peek outside if you know your mail carrier’s schedule, so you can see it being picked up. Talk about how the mail travels from one house to another. 
*Talk to the child about what he or she wants to be when they grow up. Encourage your child to draw a picture of him or herself doing that job. As they draw their picture, ask them to explain what they would do in their job and write down their story to go with the picture.

Show your child pictures of community helpers and give clues, so your child can guess their job.For example, you may say: ”I go to this person when my tooth hurts”, “ when there is a fire we call this person”.

Cooking:Let’s prepare a fireman snack:

  • Graham crackers or pretzels 
  • Yogurt (white color)
  • Red and yellow food color
  • Mix half of the yogurt with yellow food color and the other half with the red one
  • Break your crackers or pretzels and put them in a clear cup
  • Put the yogurt on top, but don’t mix them so you can see the colors of the fire like the wood is on fire

Building Day! Ask the children to find building materials around the house to build their own neighborhood. You can use boxes, legos, magna tiles, shoe boxes, blocks, and plastic cups.Build a neighborhood together and discuss what it needs: does it have a grocery store? A post office? A fire station? A police station? 


When I Build my House 

Check out teacher Debbie’s video that will be posted on Monday for a fun science experiment! 


(sung to the tune of Happy Birthday)
Good morning to you! And how do you do?
I am the doctor
Healing people like you!

Additional verses:
I am the nurse, helping the doctor help you.
I am the dentist, giving tooth care to you.
I am the firefighter, fighting fires for you.
I am the grocer, selling food to you.
I am the police officer, solving crimes for you.
I am the mail carrier, bringing letters to you.
I am the carpenter, building houses for you.
I am the teacher, teaching children like you.
I am the librarian, lending books to you.

Matching Game

Find pictures of objects that correspond with different community helpers (mailbox, dentist chair, firetruck, etc.). Additionally, find pictures of community helpers in uniform. Let your children match which object goes with what helper.

Book Suggestions: 

  • In My Town by Richard Scarry
  • Daddies at Work, Mommies at Work by Even Meriam
  • Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Katrina Heling and Deborah Hembrook 
  • Guess who? by Margaret Miller  

Week 9

Our theme this week is: Birds
– Children will be able to explain that a bird is an animal with feathers, wings, and a beak. 
– Children will explore birds in creative ways to spark their interest. 
– Children will learn more about the habitat of birds and be able to explain that birds live in nests made up of many materials. 

Book recommendations:
Whose Nest by Lynett Evans
Bluebird’s Nest by Jo Parry
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
Birds Build Nests by Yvonne Winer

Fun Facts About Birds: 

  • What Makes a bird a bird? Feathers! Birds are the only creatures with feathers.
  • Birds use grass and twigs to build their nests. Birds lay eggs in their nests.
  • All birds have feathers and wings.
  • Most birds are able to fly.
  • Ostriches and penguins are birds that cannot fly.
  • The largest living bird is the ostrich.
  • Ostrich eggs are so strong that an adult human can stand on one and it will not break.
  • A hummingbird may visit many flowers a day.

Due to the fact that we know you may not have all of the materials for some of our ideas in your home, this week we offered multiple options and created a new Pinterest board of fun bird-related ideas for you. 
Fun Fact: Rose’s mother is the President of the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society and a former teacher. She highly recommends using this link to identify birds that are native to Southern California, as you go on walks.

Monday, May 11, 2020
Art Activity: Binoculars 
– 2 toilet paper tubes 
– Twine or string 
– Any decorative materials you have 
– Glue or stapler
Attach the toilet paper tubes side by side using staples or glue. Decorate them and attach a string to create binoculars to take with you on a bird walk. 

Art Activity: Paint with Feathers to Build Fine Motor Skills
– Washable paint in small jars
– Feathers (arts and crafts feathers work well)
– Construction Paper
How do lines change when you use a different feather? Which feather do you prefer to paint with? 

*If you want, you can tape a few feathers together to create a feathery paintbrush. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Science Activity: Nest Exploration 
Materials (not all are needed):
– Feathers
– Leaves 
– Twigs 
– Fake eggs
– Fake birds (puppets work)
– String
– Shredded paper
Use any or all of the items below to work together to create a nest. 

Science Activity: What Parts Make A Bird? 
Materials: Any art or building materials you have in your home. 
Explain that birds have a beak and the size depends on what they eat. They have feathers and wings too. Ask your child to build or create a bird.
When your child is done, you can ask: 
– What does your bird eat with its beak? 
– Does it walk around or fly? 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Outdoor Activity: Bird Identification 
– Computer
– Camera 
– Binoculars if you have them or made them earlier in the week
Go on a walk outside and listen for different bird sounds. When you hear one, look around for what bird it could be. If you are unsure, take a picture to bring home and try to find online. You can also bring a notebook and have your child describe the bird to you, so that you have key words to use for identification. Scroll through this site of local birds and find out what you saw. It also has some fun facts about each kind of bird.  

If you are indoors and are having trouble getting outside, you can use the website and check out YouTube for videos that show birds with the sounds that they make. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020
Cooking Activity: Bird Feeders
– Empty toilet paper tube
– String, twine, or pipe cleaners to hang your bird feeder
– Sunbutter or nut butter
– Bird seeds 
– Plastic or butter knife
Directions: Using a dull knife, have your child coat the outside of the toilet paper tube with sun/nut-butter. Roll the coated tube in a shallow dish filled with birdseed. Shake off the excess seeds. Tie your string, twine, or pipe cleaner to the top of the tube and hang it on a nearby tree, so you can watch birds while they eat. 

Cooking Activity: Hummingbird Food
– 1 Cup of Water
– 1/4 Cup of Sugar 
Boil water, add the sugar, stir, and let cool. 

Decorate a shallow container to put the water in for outdoor use. If you are worried about ants, have your child decorate a paper bowl or plate, attach some string to hang it with, and put a little of the water in it. 

Cooking Activity: Hooded Oriole Food
– Shoebox lid or paper plate 
– Twine or string 
– An orange and/or sunflower seeds 
Decorate your shoebox lid or paper plate, tie four strings to it to create a pyramid at the top. Hang it from a tree branch and put sliced oranges or sunflower seeds in it.  

Cooking Activity: Bird’s Nests
Just like a bird, children can build nests! Use pretzels and sun or nut-butter to build a nest. Use raisins, blueberries, raspberries or grapes as the eggs!

Friday, May 15, 2020
Song:“La Lechuza” (The Owl)
La lechuza, la lechuza
Hace shhhhhh, hace shhhhh
Todos calladitos, como la lechuza,
Que hace shhhhh
Que hace shhhhh.

The owl, the owl
Does shhhh, does shhhh
Everybody quiet, like the owl,
What does shhhh
What does shhhh.

Here is a link to the song!

Week 8

Our theme this week is: Yom Ha‘Atzmaut
Last week on the evening of Tuesday, April 28, Yom Ha’atzmaut was celebrated. This is Israel’s Independence Day! In Israel, the day is celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, public concerts, Israeli dancing, and delicious Israeli food. People wear blue and white clothing and wave Israeli flags. You can celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut too by trying Israeli salad, listening to Israeli music, and “visiting” Israel with these books and activities.

Objectives:– Be able to recognize the Israeli flag- To be able to learn that Israel is a country that is mostly populated by Jews- To learn new Hebrew vocabulary- To remember the colors of the Israeli flag- To remember that we created tint (to make lighter) and shade (to make darker) using colors
Yom Ha’Atzmaut dance song recommendations:
1. “שלום עליכם טכנו” by Shalom Aleichem Israeli Techno
2. “Hava Nagila” (Dance Energy Techno Version) by Xpanzion
3. “הבאנו שלום עליכם” (Trance Version) by Heveinu Shalom Aleichem

Monday, May 4, 2020
Activity: Make a Jewish Star, a Magen David (star/shield of David)
– 6 popsicle sticks, straws or strips of paper
– Tacky glue or glue
– White and blue paint
– Sequence, little marbles, stickers, jewels or other decorations that you have in your home
– Any kind of string

To make a star of David shape, glue (3) craft sticks together to form an equilateral triangle shape. Repeat to make a second triangle. Glue the triangles on top of one another. Depending on what glue you use, you may be able to paint it while the glue is still wet. Cover the wood stick shape and set aside to dry. Tip: You may want to paint several coats to cover after the glue is dry and decorate with any decorative materials that you have. 
Cut a 7-inch piece of string and tie it to the wood stick shape. You will use this to hang your Star of David.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Activity: Mixing colors, sensory bottles

Let’s try to say kahol (blue) and lavan (white)

  • Plastic bottles or jars
  • Tap water
  • Liquid food coloring (blue and white) – other colors are fun too! 
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil
  • Glue or glue gun (optional but recommended to seal the jar after you have finished the project)


  • Fill half of the jar (or bottle) with water
  • Add a few drops of the food coloring of your choice (I just add one or two and it looks intense enough)
  • Mix them together
  • Add your oil
  • Ask your child what will happen when you mix the two liquids:
  • will they mix?
  • if not, which one will be on top?
  • will color change? And if so, what color will you get?
  • will color stay blended or will it return to its original color?
  • Give them a good shake and see what happens.
  • Let them separate again and see how these two liquids don’t mix at all.
  • If you want to have one with the 2 colors, you will need an oil-based food coloring and a water-based food coloring, so they don’t mix
  • Add one color in the water mixture and mix it well, then mix the oil base in the oil, mix well, and then you can put them in the same bottle.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Activity: Let’s take a trip to a holy place for Jewish people – the Kotel – the last remaining wall of the Holy Temple. This big wall is in Jerusalem and people go there to pray or write notes to God about their wishes. 

Build the Kotel
– Boxes
– Legos
– blocks 
– Magna tiles
– Leaves
– Green paper
Google pictures of the Western Wall to show your child. Work with your child to build a wall together. You can put green paper or other fun green textured items in between the bricks as plants. 

Explain that the wall is in Israel and was a part of a big temple a long time ago. A lot of people put notes in the wall that are their wishes. Ask your child what he or she wishes and write it down. Put your notes inside your wall. You may need to give some examples of your own wishes.

Thursday, May 7, 2020
Cooking Activity: Prepare an Israeli salad!
The salad is known by various names, with slight ingredient variations throughout the Middle East.When Jews began making aliyah (moving) to Israel in the late 1800′s, Coban Salatsi from Israel’s Turkish neighbors became popular on the kibbutzim (communal agricultural collectives) because of the simple, easy to grow ingredients: cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mint. Over time, ingredients were added or taken away, but the basic components remained the same: cucumbers and tomatoes dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. The vegetables are always diced; the size of the pieces varies depending on personal preference. Some people prefer to dice the vegetables very small, while others prefer a more chunky texture.


• 1 lb Persian cucumbers, diced

  • 1 lb fresh ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup minced onion (optional)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp)

Cut and dice the items, based on your size preference. Place them into a large mixing bowl along with all the other ingredients.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Book recommendations:

Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel by Sylvia Rouss
It’s Israel’s Birthday! by Ellen Dietrick
Dinosaur Goes to Israel by Diane Levin Rauchwerger

Song (with hand motions):
“David Melech Yisrael”

David Melech Yisrael
Chai chai vekayam.

Other song recommendations1. “Kachol v’ Lavan” (“Blue and White”)
Kachol v’ lavan (ka-chol v’la-van)Zeh tzeva sheli (zeh tze-va she-li)Kachol v’ lavan (ka-chol v’la-van)Tzivey admati (tzi-vey ad-ma-ti)Kachol v’ lavan (ka-chol v’la-van)Kachol v’ lavan (ka-chol v’la-van)Zeh tzeva sheli (zeh tze-va sheli)Kol yamai l’olam (kol ya-mai l’-o-lam)
“Blue and White”

Blue and white
This is my color
Blue and white
The colors of my land.

Blue and white
Blue and white
This is my color
All my days forever.

Week 7

Our theme this week is: Letter Recognition

Objectives: To continue the children’s exposure to the symbols we use in writing and communicating ideas – letters. This includes the following:
– Children will begin to identify most (if not all) of the letters of the alphabet in non-alphabetical order and that is okay
– Strengthen their understanding of the corresponding sounds that match the individual letters
– Recognize specific letters within words
– Start to develop the skills necessary to confidently find and identify specific letters
– Identify the letters in their individual names, recognizing their own names, and other names.
– Identify the beginning sounds and letters of words by recognizing the first letter of various words
– Understand that letter symbols are grouped together in a particular order to form words.

Book recommendations:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Alphabet Rescue by Audrey Wood
Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood
Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff

Monday, April 27, 2020
Activity: Painted Tape Letters
– Construction paper or watercolor paper
– Painter’s tape or masking tape
– Watercolor paint
– Paintbrush or sponge

On a piece of construction/watercolor paper, invite your child to form the first letter of his/her name using painter’s tape. Once the letter is formed, s/he can paint over the letter made of tape covering the construction/watercolor paper using watercolor paint and a paintbrush or sponge. The watercolor paint should go over the tape. Once the paint has dried, carefully remove the tape leaving a print of the letter. Your child can do the remaining letters of his/her name, as well as the name of other family members, as a natural extension to this activity.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Activity: Letter-Shaped Jell-O
– Large mixing bowl
– Boiling water
– Jell-O gelatin mix
– 13″x9″ pan or similar size
– various cookie cutter shapes, preferably letter shapes if possible

To prepare Jell-O, make sure you can be available for adult supervision. First, stir dry gelatin mix with boiling water into a large mixing bowl for at least 3 minutes until the gelatin mix has completely dissolved. Then, pour into a 13″x9″ pan. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours to cool down and become firm. Once it is ready to be served, dip the bottom of the pan in warm water for 15 seconds before cutting the Jell-O into decoratives shapes, which could include letter shapes, if available. When cutting the Jell-O into shapes and letters, make sure to carefully cut all the way through the gelatin to the bottom of the pan. Lift each Jell-O shape/letter out from the pan. You can serve the Jell-O scraps for snacking. Store your new Jell-O shapes and letters in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve with a meal. Enjoy!
*While doing this activity, encourage your child to participate as much as safely possible by directing his/her attention to the various states of matter these ingredients are before and after they are mixed (dry, wet, solid, liquid, gas, hot, cold), as well as after it has cooled down. To do this allow your child to periodically check on the Jell-O as it solidifies. Ask your child to make predictions as you go through the process, such as, “What do you think will happen when we add this dry gelatin mixture with the water?” “What will happen as we mix these ingredients?” “What will happen when we put it in the refrigerator?”

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Activity: Nature Letter Games
– Sidewalk chalk
– Rocks
– Camera

We invite you to go outside and collect little rocks and stones. Using chalk, write on the floor the first letter of their name and cover with the rocks. First, start with the various letters in your child’s name. Invite your child to find the specific letters. To extend this activity, incorporate additional letters from the alphabet. 
Another iteration of this activity involves tracing larger block letters of your child’s name and inviting your child to walk on these bigger letters while maintaining his/her balance. As an adult, you may need to write the bigger block letters yourself; however, we encourage you to invite your child to draw his/her own block letter version of these letters, as well, perhaps as a second-round to this activity.Another activity involves going around your front yard, back yard and neighborhood in search of letter shapes found in nature. For example, you might find an ‘F’ shape formed by some cracks in the sidewalk, or a tree branch forming the letter ‘K’. Take pictures of these natural letters and perhaps you can make a flip-book of photographs.

Thursday, April 30, 2020
Activity: Letter Butter Cookies
Materials & Ingredients:
– 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 1/2 (or 3/4 cup) sticks unsalted butter, softened
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 large egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Icing for decorating
– Food coloring, various colors
– 2″ to 3″ alphabet cookie cutters
– Small mixing bowl
– Large mixing bowl
– Handheld mixer or electric mixer
– 2 large baking sheets

– Whisk together flour and salt in a small bowl.
– Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer (preferably fitted with paddle attachment) or 6 minutes with a handheld. Then, beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until completely combined. 
– Form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least an hour. 
– Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. 
– Roll out 1 piece of dough (keeping the remaining dough chilled) into 8 1/2″ round (1/4″ thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, rewrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many letter cookies as possible from the dough using the letter cookie cutters and transfer to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging them about 1″ apart.
– Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until edges are golden, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool off completely. 
– Once cooled, you can decorate them by covering them with colored icing, as you desire.

Friday, May 1, 2020
Let’s celebrate Shabbat together!! We can sing the letters in Hebrew! (*Additional activity found below, after song lyrics.)
“A, B, C” (Extended Version & Traditional Version)

A, B, C, D,
E, F, G,
Come and sing along with me.
H, I, J, K,L, M, N, O, P,
Tell me what you want to be.
Q, R, S, 
T, U, V,
W, X,
Y, and Z.
Now I know my ABCs,
Next time won’t you sing with me.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G,
H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P,
Q, R, S,
T, U, V, 
W, X, Y, and Z.
Now I know my ABCs,
Next time won’t you sing with me.

“Alef, Bet, Vet”

Alef, Bet, Vet, (Alef, Bet, Vet),
Gimel, Dalet, Hey, (Gimel, Dalet, Hey),
Vav, Zayin, Chet, Tet, (Vav, Zayin, Chet, Tet),
Yud, Kaf, Chaf, (Yud, Kaf, Chaf),
Lamed, Mem, Nun, (Lamed, Mem, Nun),
Samech, Ayin, Pey, Fey, (Samech, Ayin, Pey, Fey),
Tzadi, Kuf, Reysh, (Tzadi, Kuf, Reysh),
Shin, (Shin),
Sin, (Sin),
Tav, (Tov).

“Letter Freeze Dance”
Put some music on and when you stop the music, the adult can call out a letter and the child stops his/her body to make that letter shape.
You can also letter your body relax and simply try to form various letter shapes. Perhaps siblings and parents can assist to make more complex letter shapes together. Take photographs of the various letters you can make.
Furthermore, you and your child can try yoga poses together, referencing the illustrated instructional children’s book Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff. Enjoy!

Activity: Letter Formations with Found Objects
– Found household objects, materials and/or toys
Encourage your child to make various letters using items that s/he can find around the house and/or outside. Perhaps s/he could make some letters using craft sticks, cotton swabs, Legos, small sticks, wooden blocks, or strips of paper. This allows your child to further identify the letters while using familiar objects.

Week 6

Our theme this week is: Insects and bugs
Objectives: Overall our objective is to instill a deep sense of respect and
appreciation for nature and the natural world which we live in. This includes the following:

  • To learn facts that can be applied to critical thinking skill development
  • To become astute observers of the environment
  • To use all of our senses to aid learning about the environment
  • To learn about new interests in the child’s environment
  • To ask open-ended questions, to explore, to discover, and to have fun while
    engaging in learning
  • To enjoy and build appreciation for the beauty that nature has to offer
  • To learn that insects have three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen

    The Very Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

    Ladybugs are very beneficial for the garden because they eat all the unwanted pests that eat the plants. They smell with their feet and antennas.
    Art activity – Make a ladybug
  • Big rock or stone
  • Red watercolor paint
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Pipe cleaners or black paper
  • Googly, wiggly eyes

    Find a big rock and paint with red watercolor. Let it dry. After it is dry make the dots with a black marker. Don’t forget to add the legs, eyes, and antennas. You can glue with tacky glue or with a glue gun if you have one pipe cleaner or paper for the legs.

    Ant by Margaret Hall

    Ants are one of the most common types of insects on the earth. Ants are social creatures that live in colonies with large numbers of other ants. Ant colonies work together to build a nest, gather food, and defend themselves from predators.

    Healthy “Ants on a Log” snack
  • Ingredients:
    • Celery
    • Peanut Butter
    • Raisins
    • Cream Cheese
    • Use yogurt instead of peanut butter and add trail mix on top (honey would be good on this one too)
    • Cut the celery into 4 pieces and spread the peanut butter, cream cheese, or yogurt on it. Place raisins on top.

Are You a Grasshopper? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries

A grasshopper makes its distinctive sound by rubbing its bristly hind legs together. People who have spent time outdoors in the summer are aware of the beautiful music made by them. After you have read the book, have the children answer questions about the story. Ask the children if they have ever seen a grasshopper. Ask the children where grasshoppers live. You can ask them where the grasshopper’s antennae and other body parts are. Ask the children to tell you what color grasshoppers are. Are they walking?
Jumping? What do they eat? Let the children show you how grasshoppers jump, as well as where the grasshopper’s head, thorax, abdomen, eyes, antennae, and legs are.

Hop like grasshoppers! Put on some “hopping” music to hop on all fours like a grasshopper! See if they can hop forward, like grasshoppers do. Can they hop backwards? To the left? To the right? Diagonally?

Sing to the following “Ten Little Grasshoppers” song to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”.
One little, two little,
Three little grasshoppers,
Four little, five little,
Six little grasshoppers,
Seven little, eight little,
Nine little grasshoppers,
Ten little grasshoppers HOP!

The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman

Honeybees are social insects that live in hives. Like all insects, bees have six legs, a three part body, a pair of antennae, eyes, and legs. The three body parts are the head, thorax, and abdomen (the tail end). Bees eat nectar which they turn into honey. As the bees fly from flower to flower to collect nectar, pollen from many plants gets stuck on the bee’s pollen baskets (hairs on the hind legs).

Patterning activity – Bumblebee stripes

Yellow & black Legos
When we showed the children bees, we taught them about patterns. Bring legos or cut stripes of paper in black and yellow. Ask if they can see the pattern in the bees’ stripes. Reinforce the concept that we often can see patterns found in nature. Ask them to put together the stripes or legos in the colors of the bees. Ask them to make the pattern with the cubes: black, yellow, black, yellow. Ask if they can think of other animals with similar patterns such as black and white striped zebras or orange and black tigers. Ask to create these patterns with the
cubes and paper strips.
(*You can extend this patterning activity to include other colors, moving from a two-colored pattern, to three-, four-, or five-colored patterns; whatever is appropriate and demonstrates the child’s understanding of the patterning concepts. Don’t forget, patterning could happen beyond color and could exist using other materials, such as sequin, sticker, pencil, sequin, sticker, pencil, etc.)

Let’s celebrate Shabbat together!

Shabbat book recommendations –
Dinosaur on Shabbat by Diane Levin Rauchwerger
The Littlest Candlesticks by Sylvia A. Rouss

Shabbat song recommendations:
“Shabbat Feelings”
I got that Shabbat feeling
Deep in my heart
That’s where it starts
Deep in my heart to stay.

I got that Shabbat feeling
Down in my toes
That’s where it goes
Down in my toes to stay.

I got that Shabbat feeling
Up in my head
That’s what I said
Up in my head to stay.

I got that Shabbat feeling
Right in my tummy
Isn’t that funny
Right in my tummy to stay.

I got that Shabbat feeling
All over me
All over me
All over me to stay.

“I Was on My Way to Shul One Day” (sung to the tune of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”)

I was on my way to shul one day, and not far from home,
On my way I met a grasshopper and said, “Shabbat Shalom!” (2X)
*You can substitute different insects for the grasshopper on this song.

Week 5

When we were together in the Purple Room before this unfortunate pandemic, the children worked so hard to make a cave for our bear because it was the winter season, which is a time for some animals, such as bears, to hibernate. We talked about what hibernation is and at that time we shared how the bear would wake up in the springtime. And here we are. We want to make a concerted effort to revisit these concepts that we previously discussed. In this, we also want to explore the spring season. To start, we ask “What makes the spring season different from winter or any other season?”

– Show them pictures to see the differences between winter and spring- Go outside and ask them to feel the temperature outside. Is it cold? Warm? Mild? Chilly? Wet or damp? Sunny and dry?
– Look through the window and ask them, “Do you see any signs of spring?” If so, what are those signs or indicators?
– Ask them to wear pretend “spy glasses” and look for trees, flowers, birds, butterflies, green grass, bugs, etc.
– Please read or listen to the story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Afterward, you can access the corresponding song we sent you and you and your child can act out the scenes. For example, you can rub your hands together to make the sound when going through a wheat field, move your arms to act out the motion of climbing up a tree while holding a hand above your eyes as you look across the land, and tiptoe as you enter the cave.
– Show them pictures and photographs of both seasons to better compare and contrast. What do you see there? What is similar? What is different? Why?
– Science experiment: Put some white carnations or stocks of celery into a cup of water with a specific shade of food coloring and observe what happens. We suggest taking a photo a day to be able to better compare and contrast the development.
– Draw a still life/observational drawing of the flowers, celery stock or trees. Take a picture of it and send it to us via our purple room email. We would appreciate seeing their work.
– Using scissors to cut, place fresh-cut flowers and leaves to make a springtime inspired collage. Please gently remind them to keep their thumbs up when holding the scissors as they continue to strengthen their fine motor skill and muscle development and cutting skills, both of which will be helpful in their hand-eye coordination and will be useful as they become more skilled writers.
– Walk around the yard and talk while you find flowers that are blooming, flowers that are drying. Bring them all to a big table and place them there. The children can start cutting all those flowers while inviting them to explore with their senses, specifically sight, touch, and smell. Ask them which one is easy to cut (the petals, leaves or stem) and which one is harder to cut (the petals, leaves or stem).

Books Suggestions – 
– We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
– When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
– Look! Flowers! by Stephanie Calmenson
– Spring Is Here by Will Hillenbrand
– Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson
– Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
– The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

Week 4

We will be continuing our exploration of the Passover story this week.

For the Passover holiday, we learned how Moses saved the Jewish people from the mean Pharaoh. For this holiday we focus on the theme and concept of freedom. To explain this concept we discussed how the Jewish people had to work very hard because the mean Pharaoh made them. Moses received a message from G-d to free the Jewish people. Pharaoh kept saying, “No, No, No. I will not let them go.” Finally, Moses’s bravery was successful and he was able to lead the Jewish people to freedom.
We invite your child to draw illustrations and compare how the Jewish people looked as they were having to work hard (sad) versus how they looked once they were free (happy).

Here are some songs with lyrics that we invite you to sing.

1. “The Frog Song”One morning when Pharaoh awoke in his bedThere were frogs in his bed and frogs in his headFrogs on his nose and frogs on his toesFrogs here, frogs there, frogs were jumping everywhere.(Children sometimes add the line, “Even in his tachtonim – aka underwear.”)

2. “I’m a Little Matzah”I’m a little matzah flat and thinOpen your mouth and put me inBake me in the desert by the sunPesach is coming, oh what fun!!!

3. “The Building Song” (*We encourage doing hand motions with this song.)Bang! Bang! Bang! Hold your hammer lowBang! Bang! Bang! Give a heavy blow!For it’s work, work, work every day and every nightFor it’s work, work, work when it’s dark and when it’s light.Dig! Dig! Dig! Get your shovel deepDig! Dig! Dig! There’s no time to sleep!For it’s work, work, work every day and every nightFor it’s work, work, work when it‟s dark and when it’s light. Lift! Lift! Lift! Lift that boulder highLift! Lift! Lift! Until you touch the sky!For it’s work, work, work every day and every nightFor it’s work, work, work when it’s dark and when it’s light.

4. “We Work So Hard…” (Sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)We work so hard in the desert sun. Making bricks is not much fun. Pharaoh, let us go awayWe don’t really want to stay.Moses lead us to the sea’Cause we all want to be free.

Additionally, please ask your children open-ended questions, such as “What are some things you are able to do because you are free?” Some example answers might include:

– Play with the toys they choose
– Pick out different snacks to eat
– Choose what clothes to wear
– Ride my bike
– No fear or worries
– Free to be happy
– Watching TV
– Eat ice cream 

We invite your child to draw illustrations of the story of Passover making his/her own illustrated storybook. Children can draw the pictures, while parents (or older siblings) can take dictation, writing down the child’s words that accompany the drawings. 

Cooking Project: Matzah Brei

Ingredients:- 2 sheets matzo
– 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
– 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
– 1/2 tsp. fresh or dried thyme
– Kosher salt
– Freshly ground black pepper
– 2 tbsp. butter
– 4 large eggs, beaten
– freshly chopped chives, for garnish
– sour cream, for serving

Run each sheet of matzo under cold water for 10 seconds, then set aside on a plate to soften. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onions and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Add butter to the pan, then tear matzo into bite-sized pieces directly into the pan. Stir matzo into onions and let toast 2 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in eggs. Cook, stirring frequently until eggs are cooked through and fluffy, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate, season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with chives. Serve with sour cream on the side.

Book Suggestions –
– Sammy Spider’s First Passover by Sylvia A. Rouss
– The Story of Passover by David A. Adler
– What Is Passover? by Harriet Ziefert

We encourage you to virtually meet with family members through Zoom during Passover. We hope you have a healthy, happy Passover!

Week 3

Objectives: For the children to learn about and internalize the story of Passover and in continuation with what we have been talking about from last week, explore the story through various retellings of the story, including the use of songs, math and science concepts, shapes while discussing how the different characters might have felt.

– Read the Passover story. For the plagues, we don’t mention the last one, maybe that the children were sick. For the plagues, we also explain the concept of consequences.
– Observe pictures of Egypt, such as the pyramids and focusing on the shapes of those buildings.
– Trace and cut and then give the number of shapes so you can build your own replica of Egypt.
– Count how many numbers of shapes do you need.
– Read the storybook The Matzah Man: A Passover Story by Naomi Howland.
– Trace a big square with a fork (as your paintbrush) and brown paint and pretend that it is matzah. Add a mouth, nose, eyes, arms, and legs making your own “matzah man”. 
– Ask an open-ended question, “Where would you go if you were the Matzah Man?” We plan to share our answers on Wednesday during our group Zoom meeting at 9:40 a.m.
– As a science experience (individual ingredients being combined and changing states), let’s make matzah. You will need the following listed ingredients for the matzah recipe.
Ingredients:- 1 cup flour- 1/2 cup water- Pinch of salt (*optional, but makes the matzah taste better)

Directions: Put the flour into the mixing bowl and then add the water. Mix and knead until the dough is soft, adding a little more flour or water, as needed. Then quickly break up the dough and form balls. Flatten the balls into discs and then with the rolling pin or your hands, roll it out as thinly as possible. Prick all over with a fork. (This minimizes the air bubbles.) Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and bake for 7-10 minutes (depending on size) until golden brown and crispy.

(We recommend you do this before Passover starts if you keep kosher for Passover. This activity helps the children to guess what is going to happen. Pay attention to how much we need. Ask open-ended questions, such as “What do you think will happen if we add more or less water?” “…more or less salt?”)

Book Suggestions –  
– The Matzah Man: A Passover Story by Naomi Howland
– Company’s Coming: A Passover Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub
– Is It Passover Yet? by Chris Barash and Alessandra Psacharopulo

Week 2

This week we are focusing on nature.

Weather permitting (although we encourage you to go in the rain for a short time), we invite you to go on one or more nature scavenger hunts! This is a good opportunity for the children to explore the nature around them while getting some fresh air. Even more so, being in and around nature affords children open-ended ways to play and interact. These opportunities promote their use of imagination and creativity, along with their critical thinking skills and get them moving about. It strengthens their confidence, teaches them responsibility, and has been proven to reduce fatigue and stress while providing a different type of sensory input. Additionally, we welcome you to download the iNaturalist app on your phone. The iNaturalist app allows you to help identify items in nature by taking photographs. This can help better and more accurately allow the children to identify various plants, trees, birds, etc. and at the same time broaden their vocabulary and observation skills.

While outside search and look for the following items:
– A small flower and a big flower (Ask your child to compare the similarities and contrast the differences.) Do some observational drawings of the various flowers found.
– Something that smells good (Ask, “Where do you think the smell comes from?”)
– Something in one of their favorite colors (Ask, “What other colors do you see?”)
– Find and gather leaves of different shapes and sizes (Ask them, “Why do you think the leaves all look so different in shape, size, and/or color?”) With the gathered leaves, you can make various leaf prints by placing the leaf under a sheet of paper and gently rubbing a crayon over the paper. 
– Search for the shapes of letters in nature (This could range from a tree branch that is in the shape of a ‘j’ to a coiled hose in the shape of an ‘o’ or an ‘e’ made by the cracks in the pavement. Be creative!) 

For the rain:
– During the rain, you can take a measuring cup to capture the rain and see how long it takes to fill it up. To extend this activity, you could check it every hour and chart your findings.
– Search for worms that are squirming around as they escape the oversaturated soil.
– Wax resist painting. Using crayons, draw on a piece of paper. Then apply watercolor paint and watch the wax of the crayon repel the watercolor paint, while the paper absorbs the watercolor paint. 

Book Suggestions – 
– The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
– The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
– Fun With Nature: Take Along Guide by Mel Boring, Diane Burns & Leslie Dendy 
– The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

Happy nature hunting!

Week 1

– counting skills
– number recognition
– one-to-one correspondence
– literacy and vocabulary
– creativity, and- fine motor development

We encourage you to use the list of activities listed below and be creative. If you find other items to count or other contextual ways to integrate numbers (i.e. # of ingredients and measurements in preparing a recipe), that’s fantastic! Please take pictures to share. Additionally, you can also try counting in different languages (i.e., Hebrew, Spanish). 

Monday – Count all the furniture (sorting out the number of chairs, tables, shelves, bedrooms, etc.) in your house. Create a graph chart to help visualize the contrasting amounts between each type of furniture. 

Tuesday – Count all the socks that you have in total. Then sort and categorize all your socks by color and/or pattern and count how many from each category you have.

Wednesday – Sort and categorize a type of toy and count how many from each category you have. Feel free to chart the findings as well.

Thursday – Cut and sort images of animals, furniture, sports, etc. from magazines and make a display. 

Friday – Make the symbolic shapes of numbers using sticks, various toys/materials and/or your own bodies and photograph the recreated symbols.

Books to Read – A Couch for Llama by, Leah Gilbert and Goldy the Puppy and the Missing Socks by Kim Ann