Opening activity: read Parsha book: (ignores Egel... probably a wise move for little kids despite leaving out a huge part of the parsha...)
Interesting note.....The parsha book explained that the "Kohanim had to wash their hands and feet in the Kiyor before serving HaShem in the Beis HaMikdash". M gave me a puzzled look and asked, "and then do the Kohanim eat HaShem?" It took me a moment to realize what possessed her to ask that rather heretical question..... get it... "serving HaShem?" (lol) she associated it with "serving cookies...." Anyway, I laughed and realized that we should change that line to "before doing the mitzvos for HaShem in the Beis HaMikdash."
We talked about the mitzva of Negel Vaaser (which we try to do in the morning) and the fact that just like the Kohanim needed to wash their hands before doing important mitzvos, we need to wash our hands before we do all the great mitzvos we do as well (we listed some: focusing on being nice to (aka-not beating up...) sister, saying brachos and thank you, kibud av' v'em, etc). I'm happy to say that M seems to really understand that in her own way.
In this parsha, HaShem asks Moshe to do a census of the Jewish people by requiring them to each bring a half shekel. There's a lot to do with this:
MATH: the concept of a half is still challenging to M. I had her color a paper plate to make her "shekel" and we discussed how it is One whole shekel. Then (with new kiddie impossible-to-cut-fingers-or- anything scissors) we cut the "shekel" in half (I KNOW, i know, it wasn't really physically half of a shekel in the Torah. I'm just trying to make a point. I might have scarred her understanding for at least a few years. She'll get over it.) . Then I asked her to show me one half of a shekel- we practiced holding up "half" and putting them back together to hold up "wholes." It sounds silly but in my humble opinion a really important pre-math skill to learn- and she got it. We split a few more things into half, such as our banana snack, and looked at the "half" a cup measurements as we made some hamentaschen for Purim Katan.
(( I've been thinkin g of trying explain the concept of everyone being like "half a coin" and we need other Jews to be complete... and I'd put a picture of her on one half of our "coin" and a pic of her 10 month old sister on the other half..... but I think that's really over her head for now. ))
To explain HaShem "counting," I reminded Miriam of her sticker chart that we add to when she goes to bed (and Stays there) easily. She loves to count those stickers a few times, she's just so excited about them. So that was an easy parable for me to use. "Just like you keep counting your star stickers because you love them so m uch, HaShem loves every single Jewish person so much, and so He loves to count them."
Today I printed out a picture of a pushka-like pitcher from chinuch.org (an excellent resource for Jewish educators
Thanks for reading and have a Good Shabbos, and freilichen Purim Katan!