One of the values that we are constantly in the pursuit of enacting, is empowering the children to be capable of making their own decisions when it come to playing and learning. We are in partnership with the children, which includes really listening to their ideas and making changes that will support their growth.
One day last week, one of the children told me, “We have a difference of opinions”, regarding how to play the first category of our new theme לְהִתְפַּלֵל (L’hitpalel). Originally, I thought that I would need to show the children how to play this new way. Following this conversation, I did a little thinking and decided to try a new approach that would really empowered the children and put their voices and ideas at the center of our play.
I created a set of cards depicting various actions that could be associated with this category לְהִתְפַּלֵל (L’hitpalel), so that children could experiment with different choices while playing. Here are some of the choices they made:
Whether or not to wear a טַלִּית (Talit).
Whether or not to use a סִדּוּר (siddur- Jewish Prayer Book).
Whether or not to cover their eyes while saying shema.
Whether or not to use musical instruments.
They can even decide the volume to use, regular voice, whisper, or totally silent.
These children are pushing against some of their pre-conceptions and starting to see that even within this category לְהִתְפַּלֵל (L’hitpalel), there are so many possibilities.
Kol Hakavod שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) for sharing your capacity for making your own decisions!