At the Jewish Enrichment Center, we give children time.
When we start a new theme, we offer children related stories, experiences, and ideas. And then we give children time to process. We listen to what children already know about our theme. We discover what children’s questions and interests are, and then with the children’s input, we plan more for in-depth exploration.
We’re now two weeks into our new theme, Tzedakah vaChessed. Here’s what we’re seeing in Nitzanim so far:
Abraham and Sarah’s story of welcoming guests has inspired children to cooperate on building a miniature set to act out the story (see the dead calf on the table?!).
Another child, at home, created a Torah made of newspaper, complete with sticks for rolling the Torah, his dad’s tie for tying it shut, and beautiful clothes to dress the Torah. At Shirah/Tefillah, the boy “read” the story of Abraham and Sarah he’d drawn on his Torah.
Children brought Shabbat to Dubi, who was sick in the hospital.
And two boys came up with their own Ivrit (Hebrew) challenge based on materials I had placed on the Ivrit table recently. They had a ball writing each other math puzzles using Hebrew letters!