Tuesday, February 28, 2012

~~~A Purim Activity Pack for You~~~

Monday, February 20, 2012

~~Purim Stick Puppet Party~~

I was given this Purim Stick Puppet Party Pack to review from Tigercandy Arts- You can check it out here.

Today we all sat down to do them- and it was SUCH a hit. My princess got Esther and Vashti, my big guy got King Achashverosh and Mordechai, and since no one wanted to do Haman, mom got to be in on the fun:)

The pack comes with 1 face of each character to color, so we all colored our characters faces with crayons. We then glued the faces onto a piece of card stock that comes with it that fits it perfectly.

Then came the absolutely awesome part--- designing their outfits! Each puppet has a card board body with limbs you attach with those clip attachments that help them move. It comes with these really funky patterned papers to make very cool outfits for each puppet. We then stuck on a stick in the back (included) and had to wait a bit for them to dry, but once they were ready, the kids were busy for such a long time.

First they just played with them just doing their own game. Then they decided to put on a Purim Puppet show for mom and the little ones so they created a whole Puppet theater using the kitchen chairs and blankets from their bedrooms and before we knew it, we had the whole Purim story happening. It was awesome.

So yes, I HIGHLY recommend this puppet kit, its super easy, lots of fun, it comes with EVERYTHING except the crayons or markers and my kids not only loved making them, but loved playing with them too.

Here is a link to their website- Tigercandy Arts Purim Puppet Party

Enjoy, and if you haven't entered the Purim Giveaway yet, click here and enter!
A great week to all~

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Okay, I am on a GIVEAWAY ROLL over here and ONE lucky reader will win ALL of the above!!!

This Purim Giveaway includes:
1 pack of 5 Purim masks
a package of 5 Purim cookie cutters
a Purim coloring book
a Purim activity book
5 adorable Purim finger puppets

Here's how to enter:
Leave INDIVIDUAL comments on any or all of the following:
1- Leave a comment with a fun Purim activity to do
2- Leave a comment with a great Hamantashen recipe
3- LIKE Jewish Montessori on Facebook
4- SHARE and LIKE this post on Facebook
5- TWEET this post
6- Blog about this post and link it back here
7- Leave a comment with a fun Purim costume idea

Remember, each comment you post is an entry in the Giveaway.
One lucky winner will be announced on Sunday, February 26 and package will be mailed out the next day for you to enjoy in time for Purim!

Good Luck and have fun!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

And the winners of the Simply Fun Giveaway are.....................

Thalia - Lets Drive
Sarah- Space It
Neshermom- Lets Jet
Tobey- Pickety sticks

Congrats to all of you!!!

Please send your name and mailing address to Jewishmontessori18 AT gmail DOT com and I will forward it to my contact at Simply Fun and they will ship you your winning game!

Coming up... a Purim Giveaway:)
All the best,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Purim Preps, Storing Books & Tzedakah Boxes from Matzah Balls!

Purim is a pretty busy time around here and although its still 2 1/2 weeks away, we have started doing some activities connected to it.

Princess Puzzle
I made a little Princess puzzle for my 4 year old Princess to do, in preparation for Purim.

I cut out Princesses from the cover of an old coloring book and hot glue gunned Popsicle sticks to the back of it. The cover was pretty thick cardboard but if you are using a paper you printed, I recommend either laminating it or printing it on card stock.

I then used a knife and cut along the sides of the Popsicle sticks to separate them and turn them into puzzle pieces.

The Kings Treasures Sensory Bin

Oooooh, my daughter LOVES this- so easy... I just filled up a plastic tub with sand and pebbles and these funky looking plastic Jewels that we had. She then used the sifter to go "digging" for treasures and placed them in the glass dish. Instant winner.

Brachos Sorting Tray

I got this from the Jewish Montessori company that manufacture Jewish Montessori products, and honestly, this is something you can really do yourself. Just get 6 bowls, put the name of the bracha in each and get a basket of plastic play foods to sort into each bracha.

We did this in connection to sending Shaloch Manos and how we need 2/3 different brachos in each one.

Purim Puppets

I actually have a very cool Purim Puppet review coming up, but I wanted to give you the chance to check out the website before I posted it so should you decide to purchase the Purim Puppet Kit, you will have enough time to get it in time for Purim-

For those also doing early Purim preps, here is a fun Purim Activity Pack I made for the munchkins.

Book Storage
Okay, I am officially in love with Pinterest. I am sure many of you are as well and feel free to follow me (Mommzy). I found this AWESOME idea that someone used to store their magazines and tweaked it to store our books we use in our classroom. I am on SUCH a roll over here, I have Transportation, Weather, Animals and Parshah all in the works- and this is just the beginning.!

Here is the tutorial on how to make them.

For the Ocean Life/Fish box I used some fun fishy paper we had. For the Human Body, I covered the box with red paper and stuck a picture of a body that we cut out from a box of something we bought. Then for Space, I covered it in black and stuck on some foam glitter planets.

The kids LOVE them and it makes it so easy and inviting to just go over to the shelf and pull out a box of books on a specific theme that they are interested in.

Matzah Ball Tzedakah Boxes
And last but not least, using a Matzah Meal carton, we covered it with some fun Jewish craft paper that we had, made a slit in the lid, and voila- our very own Tzedakah box~

There is an awesome Purim giveaway coming up just around the corner... so stay tuned~
Wishing you all a fabulous Shabbos!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Curriculum and Daily/Weekly Routine

I get ALOT of emails asking me what Curriculum we use- both Jewish and secular. I also get many questions about our daily/weekly routine. So here it is, in a nutshell- hope its helpful!

Like I said in this post, having a bunch of little kids at home, you need to know that things will NOT always go according to plan and as much as you have your schedule and routine, know that it is a LOOSE routine and be prepared to work around it.

Using a dry erase board, I made a "tentative" schedule and put it up on the wall in the kitchen, just so the kids have an idea of what to expect throughout the day. It goes something like this:

6:30-7:30 Get dressed, brush teeth, breakfast
7:30-9:30 Older kids online class, younger kids play
9:30-10:00 Snack, play
10:00-12:00 School time, younger kids nap time
12:00-12:30 Lunch for everyone
12:30-2:30 Toddler nap time, quiet time for older kids (play, watch a video, go on www.Brainpop.com)
2:30-4:00 Snack, Trip (park, aquarium, playground) or outside play
4:00-4:30 play, tidy playroom
4:30-5:00 Dinner
5:00-5:30 Bath time and P.J.s
5:30-6:15 Reading time
6:15-6:30 Get ready for bed
6:30 BEDTIME!!!!

We keep this schedule Monday-Thursday. Friday, they go out with Daddy for the morning while mommy cooks for Shabbos, Shabbos is Shabbos and Sunday mornings we have Hebrew School with other kids and we usually go out as a family in the afternoon.

Now, I must tell you that I am a FIRM believer that little kids should be encouraged to PLAY PLAY PLAY and not get used to being entertained by an adult. Yes, I play with my kids, but only during "school time". I also read to them for a nice chunk of time at the end of every day. Other then that, they read and play by themselves.

I also must add that if the kids are playing and busy, I NEVER interrupt them, even if it goes into "School time". Unless it is something very important, if they are in "the zone" and are playing nicely together and very involved in whatever game they are playing, I let them be until they are done. I feel this shows them a certain respect for what they are doing which encourages them to keep doing it.

Our School time is done using the Montessori approach. We converted our garage into a classroom and have it set up Montessori style. I have many activities set up and prepared so during school time, the kids can pick what they want to do. As you can see in this blog, I plan many activities around the weekly Parshah/Jewish Holiday.

It is important to realize that each child is unique and has their own learning style- and to cater to it and embrace it.

The older 2 have the Jewish online class in the morning where they cover Davening, Hebrew reading and writing, parshah and holidays, and so our School time is a time to learn about anything they want to learn about.

My oldest is 6 and he LOVES anything Science. And so, we have a section of the classroom with all things Science: books, puzzles, models, activities. He can sit there for 2 hours straight working on different things, and sometimes he does.

My 4 year old loves coloring and Playdo. She has her little section with markers, crayons, papers, coloring books, stickers, Playdo, cookie cutters and all things fun like that. She keeps herself very busy there too. Sometimes they ask for help, sometimes they don't. That's what I love about the Montessori method. The kids are encouraged to work by themselves, without the help of the teacher.

My 3 year old is new to the classroom and is enjoying all the new "toys" that he discovers on a daily basis. He mostly sticks to the practical life and sensory materials (puzzles, building blocks, sand table, classic preschool stuff).

We have a rule that we can only be in our classroom during School time. This keeps things exciting for them, as they know that this is the only time they can play/work here.

For us (my husband and I) it is important that our kids learn what they are interested in. We introduce them to lots of things and the things they like, we encourage.

In regard to Jewish subjects, we have TONS of Jewish children's books in our library and live an Ultra-orthodox Chassidic way of life, which is an education all of itself. We also have the online school, so that is their "Jewish" curriculum.

In regard to Secular studies, I wish I could list off to you the specific books we use, teachers manuals and all- but the official curriculum's just don't work for us.

We use all types of books, from Dr. Seuss's Learning Library to National Geographic magazines. We use lots of different workbooks, LOTS of library books and books from Amazon as well as this fabulous site www.Brainpop.com. We make learning an all day affair in our lives, try make every opportunity a learning opportunity so the kids really develop a love for learning.

I don't ever make them do something they do not want to do. Some would agree with this, some would not. But it works for us.

Although I did not post any actual resources in detail, I have posted MANY throughout this blog, so just go to the search button in the side bar and search for whatever you might be interested in.

I hope this was helpful~
Wishing you a wonderful week,

Monday, February 6, 2012

Parshas Yisro- The Luchos

Okay... I'm back with my baby wipes caps:)
This time, we made our own Luchos (tablets with the 10 Commandments)-

Here's what we did:
Took a piece of thick cardboard and covered it with this funky scrap-booking paper that the kiddos picked out.
Then glue gunned the wipe covers to the cardboard, 5 on each side:

Kiddos then decided what colors they wanted the cover of each cover should be and settled on a red and white pattern- their own unique creation.

My big guy then wrote Alef-Yud (for each commandment) on each paper and we glued them onto each cover.

Using 2 pages listing the 10 commandments from Parshas Yisro in My Parshah Reader, I made 1 copy of each. We cut out each one (one in English, one in Hebrew) and glued it inside the correct letter.

The kids really love opening and closing each one. Its great for discussions on each mitzvah. We might get more creative over the week and maybe add a picture in each one... but you can really add your own twist on this project.

And here's just a very cool thing we did that I wanted to share-
Using the tea cans from Starbucks, I covered them with different colored card stock, made a label, stuck it on and voila... some great quality storage bins that look really cute all lined up next to each other.
Just like the baby wipes, we have lots of these tea cans (we are tea drinkers in this house:) and they are so cute and so sturdy. Go us for saving the environment!

On a blog roll, so until next time~

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Shabbat Menu for You!

Every Thursday I sit down, take out the nearest notepad or piece of paper and write out my Shabbos menu for the upcoming Shabbos. I stick it on the fridge, forget to throw it out and end up with 10 little papers with different weeks Shabbos menus all over the fridge.

So I decided to make this template that I printed out, laminated and stuck on the fridge with a dry erase marker hanging next to it (attached to a magnet). Like this, every time I need to write out my Shabbos menu, I have the template and can just fill in the blanks- and erase it each week.

Feel free to download it here and use it for yourself~

And don't forget, 2 more weeks until the FOUR Giveaway winners for the Simply Fun Games are announced!!! Click here to enter!

Have a great week~

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finding Balance

I am by no means a homeschooling expert... in fact, I consider myself a homeschooling rookie as my oldest is just 6. Whether you homeschool by choice or because you have no other choice, Jewish homeschooling moms share many of the same challenges.

Since I am just a rookie, giving out homeschooling advice is something I don't feel is my place just yet, but what I can do is let you all know the things that really work for us and that help me keep my sanity (most of the time:)

Going with the flow
I have a few little ones at home and rely heavily on their nap times to get things done with the older kids. For the most part, this works as they are on a great schedule, but there are days where one of them will decide not to nap, or one isn't feeling well and the next thing you know, all plans for the day are out the window.

So now you have 2 choices:
1. Get extremely frustrated that things didn't go according to plan, feel like a failure that you didn't get to "teach" your kids for the day and end the day on a sour note since "nothing" was accomplished

2. Realize that we are NOT in control. That Hashem is running the show, as much as we like to think we are. Realize that yes, there will be days that no official teaching will get done and things might be a bit chaotic... but guess what: it will be okay! Tomorrow is an entire new day! and if it is like that for more then a day or 2 or 3, it will be okay too, trust me- I have been there, and my kids are turning out just fine. Actually, they are turning out pretty awesome:)

Trust your kids
I am not talking trust as in kids telling the truth. I am talking having faith in them as curious intelligent little beings. Little people that Hashem has created, little people who taught themselves how to crawl, how to walk, how to speak- yes, without your help! (well, my first got lots of special attention in all those departments since I actually had the time to sit with him one on one and point to his nose and say NOSE until he got it right- but guess what: as each little one came along... 4 more in 3 years! they all pretty much figured out where there noses were and how to say nose all by themselves. Who would have thought?:)

So yes, we feel like if we dont sit down with out kids and drill information into their heads, they will never know anything. WRONG. Just give them the tools. Surround them with lots and lots of great books, talk to them, answer ALL of their questions and if you don't know an answer, look it up together. Encourage them to ask. Every thing we do with our kids is a learning experience.

Another thing is, the younger kids learn SO much from the older kids. I never sat down and taught any of my younger ones any letters, numbers, shapes or colors. They just figured it out. It is all around them. Our kids are just so much smarter and capable of learning then we actually realize. We just need to get to a place where we trust that they will learn things without us throwing it at them.

I also have a lot to say about the whole "Curriculum" idea, but will save that for another post. It goes somewhere along the lines of, "Kids will automatically be good at something they enjoy doing. So encourage it. Don't force your kids to learn something if they are not showing an interest in it. And encourage the things that they are showing an interest in." Stay posted for more on this subject matter:)

Personal Mom time/Mom and Dad time
Okay. This ones a biggie. Whether you homeschool or not, these 2 are imperative.

I was speaking with a friend about this the other day and she asked me what I do for myself, you know, in my "personal" time. Embarrassingly enough, I had no answer. Um... check my email at the end of the day? That's personal, right? Blog once in a while. Oooh, I LOVE going onto Pinterest! She just shook her head. No, no, no! You have GOT to make some time for yourself, doing something, ANYTHING, even if its just 2 hours a week, that is JUST YOU.
Take a walk. Go to a coffee shop and have a cup of tea. Go window shopping. Dedicate 2 hours a week, just for you.

Now some of you may be thinking, wow, poor lady! 2 hours a week, are you kidding me?? that's nothing! Or some of you may be thinking, wow! I guess I am not the only one who could use a little me time! Whoever you are, do what works for you, but YOU need to do something, out of the house, just for YOU. Even if it means putting on headphones and walking around the block.

Hubby Time
Date Night. Once a week. No questions asked. Doesn't matter where you go or what you do. Just take one night a week. Take a shower, get dressed up, do your hair, put on make up, heels, whatever makes you feel like a WOMAN and go out with your man.

And that folks, is my two cents for the week.
Have an absolutely fabulous Shabbos!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...