While I know the East coast is getting its fair share of snow storms, we, here in the tropics, had a very cloudy day today- and when every day is hot and sunny, a cloudy day calls for hot cocoa, snuggling on the couch with a nice thick blanket and mommy reading from The Little Midrash Says all about this weeks parshah, Parshas VaAira.
After reading about the first 7 plagues in my most dramatic voice (the kids were at the edge of their seats and upon finishing the parshah begged me to keep reading into next weeks parshah:) we did a little project-
We took a hanging folder and made 10 squares. In each square we made each plague in order (we will do the last 3 next week).
Check it out:
Here it is in more detail:
And that's our project for today! And we are thinking of those of you in the snow:)
It rained all day today, until about 3pm when it suddenly cleared up completely. The kids were going a bit stir crazy from being in the house all day so we decided to take a little trip to the park down the street since it was now warm and sunny outside (we live in the tropics).
As we pile out of the car, my big guy takes a running leap and goes flying into a huge puddle, splashing everyone! My first instinct was to reprimand him, but the next thing I knew, the words, "ok guys, lets go puddle jumping!" came out of my mouth!
My goodness, the giggles, the squeals of delight as they jumped from puddle to puddle- I dont think there is any amusement park or anything out there that could have gotten the absolute and utter fun and enjoyment these kids were having:)
After about 30 minutes, I decided we need to close it up so everyone marched back to the car, soaked and covered with mud. I am just so sorry I didn't have my camera with me:(
As we arrived home, my husband pulled in only to see a bunch of wet muddy kids... with the biggest smiles on their faces:)
"I guess its bath time!" he smiled.
So once in a while, its pretty awesome to let kids REALLY be kids~
Yes, its been a while, but life gets busy as we all know and I have finally found a few moments to blog-
So lets start of with the fun stuff!
I am making an Alef Bet Bingo giveaway to one lucky reader!
Aleph Bet Bingo plays like a conventional bingo game, but used the Hebrew aleph bet. Cobines two games in one: Aleph-to-Lamed and "Aleph-to-Tof."
Ages 3+, 2 to 14 players.
Here's how to enter!
You can do one or all of the following, but let me know which ones so I can enter you in the drawing~
1- Subscribe to my blog
2- Tell one other person about this giveaway (tweet, FB, your blog etc.)
3- Tell me one or more fun ways you teach the Hebrew Letters /Hebrew Reading to your kids
Drawing will be held next Sunday, December 26th and will be picked via random.org and I will post the winner that night-
Now, this is what we have been up to lately:
We are keeping up with the weekly Parshah using My Parshah Reader and The Little Midrash Says. We practice our Herbrew Reading using the Osios book as well as the Siddur. We have done a few Parshah projects which I have not taken photos yet, but will post when I do-
Since TuBishvat is a few weeks away, we have begun learning about plants and trees. We are using the Nancy Larson Science kit that was sent to us for Review which is just so fabulous. I know she prefers the unit to be studied in the order that she has put it in which makes perfect sense, but the type of homeschool that we do, it just works for us to do the different subjects at certain times-
The kit comes with an entire unit on Botany, including a bag with pine cones, a tree cookie with a looking glass and 3 great books on trees: Peterson First Guide to Trees,Trees to Paper and The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree which the kids love. There is also a booklet on Botany as well as review worksheets. It is done in such a simple, well thought out way that it was a pleasure to teach and the kids were so engaged, they just loved it!
Here are a few books and a CD that we will be reading and listening to over the next few weeks:
I know its early, but it works for us right now:) We live in a tropical climate and so we took a walk through the neighborhood the other day looking for a Deciduous tree... boy, if only I had known what a mission that would become! We finally found a peach tree in someones yard and managed to pick up a few colored leaves to make a project with for fall- but the rest of the neighborhood is filled with Evergreens!
This week we will do some bark rubbings and looking at the difference between trees and shrubs. I hope to post some pictures of our adventures~
Oh, and before I forget, here is a fun Shabbat Activity Pack I made for my munchkins- feel free to print it out for yours!
So I figured I would turn it into a post, maybe it could be useful to others!
The truth is, I would love to say that I have a planner and sit down every week and make a plan for the week- but I don't. We have alot going on in our busy lives with some very unpredictable little ones at home and so I found a system that really works for us right now- this is it:
Every Sunday I fill the drawers with new activities and worksheets that I either made or from the Jewish curriculum resources on the side bar that I listed.
Then as the week goes by, I will refill them with new things. Its a nice way to organize, kind of a tweak on the Workbox system.
We also do ALOT of things spur of the moment, like baking and projects, games, etc.
I think that as the kids get older I will have a more organized schedule and curriculum, but for now, this really works for us!
We took a paper plate and covered it with silver foil. Then attached a handle to it made out of Popsicle sticks stuck together covered in construction paper so it wouldn't bend when you hold the pan. We then cut out "latkes" out of white card stock and colored them yellow. We glued 2 latkes to the pan and attached one latke to the pan with a piece of string.
The munchkins had a ball "flipping" their latkes and trying to make it land on their frying pan!
We then did a size order activity which you can find here:
And a really cute Chanukah printable booklet made by Elizabeth at Creative Learning Fun can be found here- Enjoy and have a fabulous Chanukah!
The great thing about this clay Menorah, is that the kids get to make it literally from scratch.
Here's the clay recipe:
3 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water (plus a little extra if needed)
Mix all the ingredients together until it forms a nice smooth dough. I found that we needed to add some water along the way to get the smooth doughy consistency. The recipe said you can add food coloring but I found it just stained the kids hands when handling the dough which was not too exciting.
Preheat oven to 275.
Once we had our dough, we made a base for the menorah, made 8 round balls and used actual Chanukah candles to form little holes to put the candles in. Make sure to make the holes a bit bigger then the size of the candle, as it shrinks a drop in the oven. Use water to "glue" the holders to the base and the shamash.
Place menorah in the oven on wax paper for 1 hour.
After an hour, take it out and let it dry completely, then paint with acrylic paints. As you can see, ours turned into a finger painting session:)
Here's the finished product:
We then did dreidle sorting into the different colors with the little ones- I have a printable of colored dreidelshere, feel free to use it-
Here are a few more Chanukah printables I made- I got all these ideas from the Curriculum of the Arts, a fabulous Jewish preschool curriculum geared toward both preschools, Hebrew schools and home schoolers. Click here to buy a copy!
I hope these printables are helpful and fun for your little ones!
Now I am sure there are many of you out there with a little one (under the age of 2) climbing all over you or the other kids while they are trying to get their work done:) Yes, I have one of those and have come up with a few things to keep him busy and feeling like one of the big kids while they do their activities.
Here are a few favorite toys that keep him stimulated and that buy me a few minutes, as well as books that he absolutely loves to read with me or any of the other kids:
Books: any books with large clear pictures of things that they are familiar with in their little world. Also, touch and feel books are a big hit, or lift the flaps
Toys: You don't even need fancy toys- stacking plastic cups, putting money into the pushkah, putting pompoms into a container, there are so many little activities to do, check out these resources: Tasks Galore and Tot Trays
We did a project today on Yosefs coat- will post the photos when I get a chance. We also did some dreidle sorting which my 3 year old loved. Oh, and check out this link to a post I posted this time last year on what we were doing, as well as this list of fun and creative ideas to do for Chanukah.
Looking forward to hearing who the winners are for the Homeschool blog awards!
We made a project for this weeks Parshah, parshas VaYishlach. The munchkins colored a picture of Yakov meeting up with Eisav. Then we made a little wheel that pokes through a window on the paper showing the 3 things Yakov did to prepare to meet up with Eisav (prayed to Hashem - drew a Siddur, sent Eisav gifts- colored goats and sheep and prepared for war- colored bows and arrows). The little guy loves turning the wheel to see which picture shows up in the window...
Here is the full project:
This is just a little activity I did with Munchkin to help her practice coloring inside the lines:
Using pipe cleaners, I made them into shapes and glued them onto index cards. She then took markers and colored them in. She loved it:)
And here is just a peek inside our little Workboxes... I find it a great way to keep organized and to plan for each day:
The night before, I put a different activity in each drawer with any supplies they will need for the activity. Here are 3 examples:
A Beading Activity: I put the pipe cleaners shaped as dreidles with the beads in the drawer. The drawers come out, so I just put it out next to them.
A Chanukah Stamping Activity: Stamps, Ink pads and paper are all inside. Menorah Activity: Paper, Popsicle sticks, tissue paper flames (under the paper) and glue...
One of our favorite activities is gluing- here is a little Menorah that we made out of the Popsicle sticks. I gave each munchkin a piece of colored construction paper with an outline of a Menorah. They each got Popsicle sticks and glue and glued each stick onto the line I drew. They then took yellow tissue paper and cut out flames to glue on... and voila:)
We also did a lot of practice with our Hebrew reading, as well as lots of singing and dancing to our favorite CD "Morah Music: Music and Movement"
We have a few of her CD's, the kids absolutely love them and all her songs of filled with information.
And so, thats been our week so far!
Oh, and today is the LAST day to vote for me in the Homeschool Blog Awards, so if you haven't yet voted (and if you have, thanks!!!) please take a minute, and vote for me! Vote Here!