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Nov 09

The Sweet Smell of Shabbat

If you had walked into the Shalom Chaverim classroom this Sunday morning, you might have immediately been able to tell what the children were exploring and learning about– because the room was filled with all kinds of sweet and spicy smells.

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This week was all about Jewish objects– and one Jewish object in particular, the havdalah spice box.

Children had the chance to engage with a few examples of real spice boxes– to smell and touch and turn them around in their own hands, and to figure out what kind of smell they noticed inside.

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We explored spices– and spice boxes– in lots of other ways too. We worked together with our parents and families to build our own boxes for some sweet smelling spices, and as we worked we engaged in conversation with one another about what we were seeing, smelling, touching and creating.

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We are engaging all of our senses as we learn and explore. The children had the opportunity to paint with spices. Working with a variety of different spices– cinnamon, nutmeg, and even onion powder and paprika– provided an opportunity to compare and contrast the different sense experiences. Which ones, we pondered, are the best to smell at the end of Shabbat?

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At the end of our time together, we began creating our own special spice bags to use for havdalah at home. We are practicing using a pincer grip to add one spice at a time, and are engaging in purposeful decision making as we consider which spices work the best, smell the best, and fit inside.

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