February Story Hour: Purim
We read “It’s Party Time: A Purim Story” and then read the story of Purim. The children had groggers and used them every time we mentioned “Haman”. The kids decorated crowns, colored and decorated animal masks, and enjoyed a nice snack!
December Story Hour: Hanukkah
We read two books, “It’s Hanukkah!” by Santiago Cohen and “How do Dinosaurs say ‘happy Chanukah’?” by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. Then we made Chanukah crafts, a collage menorah and a star of David sun catcher. Lastly, we got a little treat when we made (and ate) dreidels out marshmallows, hershey kisses, and pretzel sticks! Everyone had a good time and got to bring home some beautiful artwork to decorate their home for the Hanukkah holiday.
October Story Hour: Simchat Torah
The theme of October’s Story Hour was bedtime and morning time rituals, specifically the Shema and Modeh Ani. Jews all over the world say the Shema every night as they lay down to sleep and the Modeh Ani every morning when they wake up. By teaching these prayers to our children we are keeping our promise (the Covenant) with G-D to carry on our traditions and teaching our children to be thankful for the blessings in their lives. We read “Boker Tov,” a book about greeting the day with gratefulness and joy, “A Mezuzah on the Door,” which told the story behind why the Mezuzah is hung leaning on its side, and “Goodnight Shema,” a rhyming book which teaches a soothing version of the Shema appropriate for putting your child to sleep. We also sang songs and learned about Mezuzot, which hold the Shema and V’Ahavta inside of them, the two most important prayers in Judaism. For our project each child made a practice Mezuzah to bring home and hang in a doorway in their home. We ended with a snack (bagels, of course!). Hope to see everyone again at our next Story Hour on November 9th where we’ll be learning about Tikkun Olam (Healing the World) and baking a special treat to share with some friends in need. Please bring a canned good or other nonperishable food item to be donated to a local food pantry.
September Story Hour: Rosh Hashana
We read two short books about the holiday of Rosh Hashana. We learned that on Rosh Hashana we celebrate the birthday of the world. The world, just like us, has grown another year older. We talked about ways we would change over the next year (i.e., growing taller and learning how to do many new things) and how we could try to do things to make the world a happier, healthier place (i.e., saying “I love you” to our family, sharing, and cleaning up after ourselves). We saw a shofar and heard the loud noise it makes when it is blown to celebrate the new year. We learned that on Rosh Hashana we eat sweet foods to wish for a sweet new year. We made Rosh Hashana cards to send to our loved ones. Finally, we ate round challah and apples dipped in honey.
May Story Hour: Ten Good Rules
We read Ten Good Rules and talked about the shape of the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Everyone made a Ten Commandments “tile” with 10 buttons in 2 rows. We sang a song aout the commandments and talked about rules parents have for their children and walked down to the sanctuary to find the shape there. We had ice cream for snack as it is customary to eat dairy foods on Shavuot. We ended with Shalom Chaverim with hand motions.
April Story Hour: Company’s Coming
We read two stories about Passover: Company’s Coming and It’s Passover. We sang songs, made seder pates and an Elijah’s Cup. We had chocolate covered matzah for snack and searched for the afikoman. A good time was had by all – see you May 4th at 10 am!
March Story Hour: When It’s Purim
We decorated boxes to create ishloach manot baskets and filled them with lots of goodies. We talked about refilling them and bringing them to a friend or relative, as is the custom of the holiday.Then we made play dough hamantaschen and sang a Purim song.
Story hour is held one Sunday each month.
February Story Hour: Tzedakah
This months story was The Very Best Place for a Penny. We made Tzedakah cans, decorated with paper money and placed pennies in them. We also did coin rubbings, ate mini-Oreos, and searched for all round, circular things in the room. We sang a song about Tzedakah and practiced saying this new word!
January Story Hour: Israel and Edible Flags
This month we read Sammy Spider’s First Trip to Israel. The kids made Israel “flip flags” – the children had to get the blue star in the middle of the 2 blue stripes.
After that they made edible Israel flags – pound cake slices with white and blue icing – YUM! Everyone sang Am Yisrael Chai as they marched around with their flags!
November Story Hour: Challah and Shabbat
About a dozen young book-lovers attended November story hour at Temple Sinai on Sunday, November 10th. This month’s featured book was Sammy Spider’s First Shabbat.
Children sang songs and created challah covers decorated with little challas made from braided felt. Kids and parents also got to make real challah dough and learned how to braid it. The best part was getting to take their challah home to bake later. Yummy!