During camp this summer, at the Jewish Enrichment Center, nursery-1st grade children made connections to each other and the world around us!
During our first week we explored social stories though dramatic play, building, art and cooking. For our purposes, social stories are, “stories about take care of each other at the Jewish Enrichment Center”.
Each day from Monday though Thursday, we heard a new story where different characters figure out a strategy for taking care of themselves or their peers (sometimes both at the same time). For example, Tova the Turtle, takes 3 deep breaths and tucks inside her shell when she feels sad or mad. Children tried out a few different calming strategies and decided what would work best for them.
Each day, we created a sign representing our new story, we put them up in our space as a big visual cue. As one of the children said, “they help us remember to do one of the things, like use kind words…”
The rest of our time was spent making our own stories about taking care of each other. Children made stories about, deciding what to play with a partner/ group, asking “do you want to be tagged?”, When I get mad I…
During week two of camp, we made recipes that Jewish people from around the world might eat on Rosh Hashanah. This helped expand our thinking about where Jews are and where come from, as well as what Jewish people might eat to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, beyond sweet foods.
Something that the children took very seriously was making Rosh Hashanah cards for the folks who take care of us and our building. In order to help us make our cards we walked around to meet them.
First, the children decided what questions they should ask when meeting these folks:
1) “What is your name?”
2) “What do you like to do?”
3) “What is your job here?”
4) “What is something you like to do that you don’t get to do very often?”
The children discovered who is responsible for cleaning after we use our spaces and who is responsible for security in the building. Then they made personalized cards and used light tables to help them make their designs.
Stay tuned for more regularly scheduled blogging throughout the school year!