BY SHYRLA PAKULA for Kveller
I’m not a gooey, super-affectionate type. I’m into competence and capability and problem solving. I have had to teach myself to be less Dr. Spock (as my children used to refer to me) and more Mr. Rogers, so to speak. I have a profession, and while I’ve practiced less than full-time since becoming a mother–it still keeps me pretty busy.
So when my kids started having their own kids and the demands on grandma started coming in, it wasn’t easy. Can I pick up from school? Something’s come up. Can I come to the house? The babysitter has to leave, mum is held up. Can I do this? Can I go there? I’m the Go-To Granny.
Taking care of Nature is a Jewish value
Learn about taking care of the environment with Gabi & Rafael as they help the Plonys clean up their act with BAL TASCHIT. Do not waste! Shaboom!
by REBECCA GRUBER for PopSugar
WITH PASSOVER A WEEK AWAY, WE'RE FEATURING CRAFTS FROM OUR PASSOVER RESOURCE KIT.
Bring out the builder in your tots this Passover! Though the holiday teaches us that the Jews had to flee their homes, this fun (and mostly edible) craft will have your lil ones building a new kind of shelter for the holiday. While looking for some holiday activities for kids, I came across Martha Stewart's directions for a Matzo home and knew it would make for a fun afternoon. Not only can children get involved in building and decorating this dwelling, it makes for a great centerpiece during your Seder (just don't get mad when the kids start eating the decorations while waiting for their meal!). See how to make it when you click through!
For more great Passover ideas, check out our Passover Resource Kit.
Open iTunes to buy and download apps.
Help two kids pack up to leave Egypt in this simple photo scavenger hunt! Take pictures of everyday items with your phone or tablet that capture Jewish values. Listen closely as Ethan and Daria give you clues that will have you searching for that perfect item to photograph.
After, review your photos with a grown-up to make sure that you've packed the right things and are ready to cross the Red Sea into freedom! Have fun!
For more great Passover ideas, check out our Passover Resource Kit.
With Passover less than a month away, we're featuring ideas from our Passover Resource Kit.
Afikoman bag: a seder-centric craft for those of us with 30 minutes or less. It’s practical, decent-looking, durable, and fun for kids to make.
I program this with Kindergarteners, but with tweaks it can work for other grades. Note that if you are working with just one or two kids, they can do all the work. If you have a group, there is no time for one-on-one assistance, which means you’ll make kits. Yes, a kit is rather “cookie-cutter,” but there are ways to offer choices.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
BinoVision goggles add eye-stimulating elements to any streaming video content children choose to watch; condition improves within eight weeks.
Amblyopia (“lazy eye”), a disorder affecting three to five percent of the general population, usually is treated by patching the stronger eye or blurring its vision with atropine drops, in order to force the brain to use images from the weaker eye.
Yet only 60% achieve normal vision, and 35% of those who improve eventually regress. Moreover, compliance is only around 50% since nobody – and especially children – enjoys using eyepatches or eye drops.
By Brenda Ponnay for ToriAvey.com
Purim is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start making Purim baskets – otherwise known as Mishloach Manot! Instead of rushing out to the local craft store for pre-made baskets, why not create homemade baskets with your kids?
These simple woven paper baskets are fun to make and give. They’re made from construction paper, and they’re super easy to put together!
You can find this craft and other great Purim ideas in our Purim Resource Kit.
Ruth Cohen Ohlstein for Kveller
I always have tissues in my tallis bag. Not because I use it as a purse, but because I’d rather not have to keep washing it in a pillow case, hoping the tzitzit (fringes) don’t get wrecked or the painstakingly hand-painted lettering doesn’t somehow decide to come off.
I’m emotional. My face leaks. Often inconveniently. And often in public. I own this now, but I didn’t always.
BY MICHELE CHABIN for The Jewish Week
Expat Israelis give their Sabra kids a lesson in N.Y. style multiculturalism
Last July, for the first time in three years, my husband and I travelled from Israel, where we live, to the U.S. with our two sons.
Although our 14-year-old twins had visited America several times, the previous trips had focused mostly on purely fun outings to amusement parks, 7-Eleven (Slurpees) and Toys R Us.
We wanted this visit to be different, or at least deeper.
From Moment Magazine
Every child is different. Find the camp that's right for yours!
Plus—an interview with experts on why Jewish Summer Camps are important.
Read about "Where the Stars got their Start" and "A Conversation with JCC Association of North America" plus all about the many experiences available for your child.
In Honor Of Tu B'Shevat Which Is on February 11, We Are Highlighting One Of The activities From Our Tu B'Shevat Resource Kit. You Will Find Many Other ideas, crafts, videos, and recipes.
Overview: A terrarium is a miniature garden grown inside a covered glass or plastic container. It is a low maintenance way to incorporate plants into your classroom or home and an excellent tool for teaching children about the water cycle as it demonstrates evaporation, condensation and precipitation. In the presence of light and heat, water evaporates from the plants through transpiration and from the soil. Since it is an enclosed environment, when the water vapor hits the side of the container, it condenses. Once enough water accumulates or the temperature decreases, the condensation will then precipitate down the sides of the container back into the soil.
Also, check out our Tu B'shevat board on Pinterest.
Michael Bahler for Kveller
Arguably the best thing about being Jewish is having a Jewish grandmother, so it makes me very sad that my kids are never going to know my mother, who died when our eldest was 6 weeks old, or my wife’s mother, who passed before we got married.
We want to give our young kids a sense of who their grandmothers were, but we also don’t want to burden them with our sadness or freak them out about death (and have them worry we are about to die).
Trying to strike the proper balance, here’s what we do:
By Jordana Horn for Kveller
My oldest son became a bar mitzvah in November. We had a congregational Kiddush luncheon in his honor, and a small party for him and his friends that evening. Instead of having the grand blowout party that seems to be the general expectation in my New Jersey suburb, we opted to go to Israel instead. And it was the best decision I possibly could have made, for these reasons (among others):
By Naomi Zeveloff The Jewish Daily Forward
American parents should be feeding their babies peanut products to avoid severe allergies later in life — just like the Israelis do.
Israeli consumption of Bamba, Israel’s popular peanut-flavored corn puff snack, is likely the reason that Israeli children have a low incidence of peanut allergies, say health reports.
By Marjorie Ingall for Tablet Magazine
Stories about Noah’s Ark, Jewish weddings, and scientific discovery make perfect Hanukkah gifts
Giving someone a didactic book as a gift is like giving them a Dustbuster. Or a bathroom scale. There’s implicit criticism there, a kind of superior “you require betterment, and I shall better you” messaging that is not very spirit-of-giving. It’s even worse when the recipient of your dull and noble book is a child. Congratulations, you’ve just conveyed to an impressionable youth that reading is a chore and that you are unfun.
Therefore. Here is a collection of giftworthy books that are not only worthy but fun to read. Gifts like these help kids stay readers for life.