We’re exploring Shabbat in Shalom Chaverim (“Welcome, Friends!” for infants and toddlers with a grown-up). Our favorite ways to play yesterday included shaping challah from brown, cinnamon-scented playdoh; exploring Shabbat pictures in the rice table; and painting Shabbat candleholders. We also sang a silly Shabbat song where we added chocolate chips, broccoli, carrots, cheese, and pineapple to our soup for Shabbat.

What was most notable about our time together is the way that children in Shalom Chaverim have learned so many new skills since the last time we were together in December!

Our youngest friend can crawl now! That means she can explore our Shabbat choices more independently and seek out interesting materials rather than waiting for them to come to her. She was really interested in the grapes on this felt wine bottle piece, and she tasted every single Shabbat puzzle piece!

Two of our older friends got more comfortable sharing space with each other in the Shabbat sensory bin. Usually, these two take turns playing independently in the sensory bin, but yesterday they felt ready to occupy the same space!

This friend learned a new way to extrude playdoh, which she used when she shaped her challah. It required a lot of hand strength!

And this friend is using a new grip on her paintbrush, which gives her more control over painting than the full palm grip she used as a younger toddler.

What a great start to Shabbat! I can’t wait to continue playing Shabbat together!