It’s hard to believe that it’s Rosh Chodesh already! We are so happy that we had a full, uninterrupted month of Adar Alef and are excited to delve into Adar Beis as we continue to solidify the many lessons we’ve learned.
We started off the month with our new themes and began to explore the value of empathy and helping others. We played an empathy game in which each child wrote down something that was a struggle for them on a small piece of paper and crumpled it up and put in a bowl. The children took turns taking one of the papers from the bowl, reading the struggle out loud and verbalizing how they think they would have felt if that happened to them. The kids then each revealed which struggle was theirs originally and talked about how they actually felt as they were going through it. It was incredible to experience the empathy and compassion in the room as we learned what it’s like to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.
We continued this theme with broken telephone races, as we explored the meaning of “active listening.” The kids laughed as they watched us role-play “active,” and “non-active” listening and realized the importance of eye contact, non-verbal cues (nodding, smiling, facial expressions, etc.) and the overall value of paying full attention to someone when having a conversation.
As the month continued, we introduced the theme of “Simchas HaChayim,” recognizing that Hashem wants us to be happy. We read a poem called “Worst Day Ever?” by Chanie Gorkin and then read it backwards. When read backwards, the poem expresses completely opposite sentiments than it does when read the original way! The kids were blown away as they began to internalize the power that attitude and perception have on our quality of life.
We ended the month with exploring the value of having a leader by partnering up and trying to collect diamonds in a “minefield.” One partner was blindfolded while the other one guided him with his voice to try to collect 10 diamonds and place them in a cup. The group discussed the inherent need to always have someone whom we look up to and trust in our life to help guide us properly. The group processed how having a “leader” is helpful at any stage in life, because we often cannot “see” our lives the way someone who is objective can.
Thank you to all the parents who sent in their child’s immunization records. If you have not sent in your child’s records yet, please do so ASAP. Shayna will be reaching out to those parents whose children’s records we are still missing.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Adar Beis and a fabulous Purim!
Chana Perel Handler