Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Parshat Vayera: Crafts, Projects, Activities

Many of this week's parasha's central themes like Hachnasat Orchim (showing hospitality to the stranger) and Avraham's travels were in last week's parasha as well. We focused on those concepts last week and you can find many related activities on my Parashat Lech Lecha post.

Here are some new ideas for Parshat Vayera.
Photo Source
Guest Catching(Idea taken directly from Parasha Activities)

Activity: Everyone grabs part of a sheet, so it’s suspended in the middle. Explain that this is Avraham’s tent, and any guest that comes by must be brought into the tent. Throw the balloons into the air one at a time, while the kids run around with the sheet and catch them all. Make sure as each guest comes in, the old ones don’t fall out!

(idea taken directly from the Examiner)

1. Draw or print a picture of a women on cardboard.
2. Pour salt into several small containers and color them with food coloring
3. Keep spreading thin layers of glue with paintbrush over small areas of the picture and sprinkle your desired color of salt. Shake off any extra salt.
4. Repeat until picture is complete and let dry.
5. If needed, use tempera or acrylic paint to define outlines.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Indoor Activities for Kids

We continue to wish everyone an easy recovery from this storm. 
Hurricane Sandy is over, but she took her toll on many. Our hearts go out to those whose lives and homes were taken by this storm.

For those looking for more things to do with the kids at home for the next few days. Here are some science experiments and paint activities to try out:
Fill up Ziploc bags with finger paint for a no mess art activity.

 Clearly, taping it down to the table just meant rip it off and step on it, but it made for cool art.

Cup painting with stryofoam cups

Great idea for making the Olympic circles or can be used to make sporting balls for sports theme birthday.

Marble Painting

Place paper in metal tin and roll marbles around for fun abstract art.

Messy hands are inevitable with the marble painting.

Pour baking soda into a metal tin and have kids use medicine droppers filled with colored vinegar to see a sizzling chemical reaction.

Lastly, Carbon Dioxide filled Balloon: 
Use a funnel to fill half of a balloon with baking soda.

 Fill a bottle 1/3 of the way with vinegar.

 Carefully place balloon over bottle without letting baking soda into bottle.

Voila, the reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar creates carbon dioxide which inflates the balloon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rainy Day Activities

Here are some activities sorted by subject to keep the kiddos happy on a rainy day:

Van Gogh's starry night
Paint a starry night or any other scene by first using light colored crayons like white/peach, yellow to create images and then paint over it with tempera paint as seen here:

Check out for many art history lessons for kids

Make you own lava lamp

Check out Steve Spangler's site for instructions on the lava lamp and so many more science experiments.

Fine motor/Toddler:
Sorting just abbot anything will keep my lil toddler happy

Bring out the instruments and have a blast
Click here for a Charlotte Mason approach to music appreciation  

Physical activity:
Build an indoor obstacle course
We used pillows to hop on, painter's tape on floor as tight rope, tunnels, and more

Would love to hear your rainy day activities!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Teaching Kids about Hurricanes

Here on the East coast we are all preparing for the wrath brought on by Hurricane Sandy. We are praying that everyone stays indoors and safe for the next few days.

If you would like to learn a little more about what hurricanes are and help your kids understand them, here are some suggestions.

For your preschoolers check out Sesame Street's Hurricane Episode
and make your own hurricane here

You can also do some easy hurricane science experiments for kids:

1. What is a hurricane?
Many large thunderstorms coming together over ocean water and swirling like a vortex. When this vortex becomes powerful enough, it is called a hurricane. 

Make your own hurricane in a bottle by attaching two soda bottles with a washer and some duct tape:

2. The Eye of the Storm: What is the strongest and weakest part of a hurricane?

You will need a large bowl, wooden spoon, and paper clip on a string. Stir the water in bowl and then dip the paper clip attached to the string in various parts of the bowl and track the difference in its movement.

4. How does wind speeds effect water depth?

Blowing through a straw over water in a pan and see the results. Click here for further details

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Parshat Lech Lecha activity project and craft: Camping in Booklyn

In Parshat Lech Lecha, we read about Abraham dwelling in his tent and bringing in and caring for strangers.
We had a ton of fun role playing this dynamic in our homemade tent.
We got out our summer beach umbrella.
Draped some sheets over it and turned our beach umbrella into a cozy tent.

Once we started with the whole tent camping theme, I just ran with it. 
We made pink marshmallow and chocolate s'mores in our microwave.

Then we needed a campfire:

 So we painted paper towel rolls with brown acrylic paint, cut a slit through one roll and slid in the other roll. Slid in construction paper for the fire. Tissue paper would have done better, but we had none at hand. 

Our campsite is complete with our Ipad compass, canteen, s'mores, sleeping bag and campfire.

Lastly, in Parshat Lech Lecha Hashem promises that Abraham's children will be numerous like the stars in the sky. So we made some star arts and craft projects and brought some stars to our campsite.

Using our Dream Lites (now at Costco for 22.99) we were able to project a starry night on our tent.                        

Finished off with foam stars that we decorated with stickers and glitter glue. (I made the one in the middle)

I'd love for my readers to share photos of their lech lecha/tent/star projects, either home made or from their child's school. Please email them to me (, and I will post them to my blog if received before Friday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parshat lech lecha "curriculum": project and craft ideas

So thinking up activities the night before or the day of is starting to take its toll. I am not a very organized person so it is not easy for me to do this, but I am going to start planning out our schedule weeks at time. We are going to use the weekly Torah portion to guide our lessons.

Here is an overview of what our week will look like. I will update photos and ideas as we do them:

Parasha Story

Build tent with beach umbrella
and act out story of Avraham leaving father's land and inviting guests to his tent

Act out the disagreement between Lot and Avraham
using figurines 

G-d blesses Avraham that he will be numerous like the stars. Click here to: Teach children what stars are

Social Studies

Pretend to go camping with sleeping bag, compass app 
on Ipad, canteen, s'mores, 
and toilet paper roll campfire
Learn more about tents and camping using 

Moral character
Discuss Hachnasat Orchim and importance of hospitality

Pretend to  fight over something and discuss the importance of sharing and separating yourself from a stressful situation.


Star craft 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Parashat Noach and glitter leaves

I was waiting for the right opportunity to try Pink and Green Mama: Fall Craft: Glitter and Mod Podge Leaves and the time is here. In the story of Noach, the dove brings back an olive leaf which tells Noach that the flood waters have receded.
So we went out on a nature walk looking for leaves just like the dove did. Only we bedazzled them with glitter and more glitter.

The shiny gold leaves were made by brushing mod podge over the leave and shaking glitter over it.

The colorful leaves were made by squirting a lot of glitter glue and spreading it with out fingers. 

Our leaf creations!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Parshat Noach: Rain and rainbow projects

I love Sundays! 
While I was at work this morning, my husband was teaching the girls the entire Noach flood story. I walked in to find them them pretending our blanket was the ark and they were loading their stuffed animals aboard.

We continued with lots of rain and rainbow projects:

Shaving cream cloud and blue food coloring for rain

Rainbow Perler bead bowl inspired by Meaningful Mama.

Rainbow Cupcakes: used this recipe, but next time I would inverse the colors since when the cupcake is turned over it actually is shaped like a rainbow.

For a healthier treat: rainbow peppers over grassy guacamole and cauliflower clouds. Inspired by Kids Activities Blog

For other rainbow crafts check out:

Rainbow Rice Krispie Treats {Kids Crafts To Make}

And the hundreds of others on Pinterest and all over the web!

Perler Bead Fun

Perler beads definitely take me down memory lane to childhood birthday parties and lazy Sundays. 
My 3 year old  loves doing anything methodical and she loves Perler beads. 

The regular sized bead are just a tad too small for my little girl to work with so I am so happy to have found jumbo sized Perler beads and boards.
Perfect for Preschool fingers. 

Here are our finished products using the two templates that came with the set:

For 20 dollars (beads + boards), it would have been great if more templates were included. Thankfully, the people at Kool Stuff 4 Kids have a bunch of free printable Biggie Bead Templates.

Here are some really cool Perler bead ideas made by the amazing mom blogger @ Meaningful Mama.
Definitely check out her site for great craft ideas and character building activities for parents and kids alike.

Any other cool uses for Perler beads? Share below:

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