Shana Tova: Bringing Rosh Hashanah into the Early Childhood Classroom

by Teresa Narey

The beginning of the school year signals the beginning of many things: meeting new children and families, observing children becoming friends, setting rules and expectations, implementing new ideas and activities—the list goes on. It’s fitting, then, that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs during September. Rosh Hashanah literally translates to “Head of the Year.” (For help pronouncing Jewish holidays and Hebrew words, search here.) In addition to praying and attending services, Rosh Hashanah is a time when Jewish people reflect on their feelings and actions and consider how they may enter the new year with the best of intentions.

Like most holidays, Rosh Hashanah is associated with certain symbols, all of which can be used to inspire extended activities. Symbols of Rosh Hashanah include apples, honey, challah, pomegranates, and the shofar, a horn that is sounded following the reading of the Torah and services. Continue reading

Building a Honeycomb: Toddler Adaptation

by Katie Brazerol

Honeycomb-Toddler-ActivityLast week we posted an activity on our blog that involved creating a honeycomb for the Busy Birds and Buzzing Bees theme in our April Fireflies® Curriculum Guide (p. 33). You can find that article here. One of our readers asked how the activity might work for toddlers in the Buttercups® age group, so we adapted the activity for those not ready to use clothespins or paper clips. Please note: Although hook and Loop fasteners (Velcro) can be expensive, keep in mind that once you make the rings for this project, the activity can be reused over and over again!

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Building a Honeycomb

Building-a-Honeycombby Katie Brazerol

Cardboard rolls make great pretend honeycombs! In our Fireflies® April Curriculum Guide (p. 33), we suggest creating a honeycomb using cardboard tubes and paper clips. Recap what a honeycomb looks like. A honeycomb is group of wax cells with six sides inside a beehive, used to store honey or protect baby bees. A six-sided shape is called a hexagon. Explain to the children that you will be making honeycombs using sections of cardboard tubing. Here is a step-by-step picture tutorial of how to complete the activity.

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