Chanukah play is underway in Shorashim (‘roots’ for nursery) and Shteelim (‘saplings’ for Kindergarten)!
Our preparations for Chanukah , the children get to hear some favorite chanukah folktales and play chanukah in our house area, playing סְבִיבוֹן (sevivon- dreidel), making latkes to eat, lighting the נֵרוֹת (neyrot -candles) in our חֲנֻכִּיָה (chanukiya- a menorah that is specifically for chanukah). We are also making chanukah cards for family members and community members.
We have also heard the story associated with chanukah. I want to share just one small snippet of conversation that happened after we heard the story and children shared some ways that Jewish people might celebrate chanukah, today. On our list was “I get presents from my mom and dad and grandma and grandpa”, one of the kindergartners said, “Why do some people get presents if that’s not part of the chanukah story?”
One child responded by saying, “its nice to give a gift if you are visiting someone.”
The first child responded with, “its nice to give presents, but it’s not in the chanukah story, so why?”
The children did not yet reach any new conclusions about giving and getting presents but I wanted share what kinds of questions children are asking and what kinds of ideas they are sharing with each other.