In the short time we had between Rosh Hashana and Sukkot, we packed in multi-sensory experiences to introduce the children to the themes of Sukkot and Simchat Torah.
Using the color green like schach and popsicle sticks like the natural walls of the sukkah, we engaged in an open-ended painting process. Some children scraped the paint on their papers like Riva while others explored the feeling of the paint with their hands. Another time we used a box to shake the paint and sticks together to see what resulted.
Some people hang decorations in their sukkah so we transferred this idea to our classroom space. Together we can make our room even more beautiful.
Another day we decorated CD's by gluing on colorful sequins with toddler-friendly glue brushes. Some children were kept busy just by brushing on the glue like Oliver and Leo, while others liked to sprinkle the sequins on and see them stick.
Busy workers used tools to build a small sukkah in our classroom. In doing so we learned the names of various tools as well as their differing uses. Hudson chose to bang the sukkah with a hammer and Eric moved the saw up and down, feeling the bumpy effect made by the ridges.
Hendrix made a connection between the tools and the screws in the furniture around the room. He looked all around, turning his screwdriver wherever he found a screw.
We explored the mitzvah of shaking a lulav and etrog with a plush play set. One day we brought in real lemons to feel and smell since they are similar to an etrog.
Rabbi Sollish presented an interesting demonstration of a real lulav and etrog. He showed us each part of the lulav branches and then brought the etrog around to see.
Thanks to Kitah Bet, we had a small-scale sukkah on the playground to use! We stood inside, sat inside, and sometimes pretended to have a meal inside too.
Immediately following Sukkot is the holiday of Simchat Torah. This is where we rejoice in having the Torah by finishing reading through it and starting all over again. It's customary to take all of the Torahs out of the ark to dance with them!
We made flags for the children to wave as they dance with the Torahs on Simchat Torah. To make them we pressed paint under bubble wrap to blend the colors. The bubbles were fun to pop too!