Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Days of Creation Play Stations: Day 2 The Shamayim

On the Second Day, Hashem created the Shamayim (translated as the Heavens/sky). We happened to reach our afternoon of Day 2 Creation Play Stations right before last Shabbos, when we read Parshas Noach (the story of Noah and the Ark). S is learning more in depth about this parsha in preschool and we did a lot more at home with it last year, which you can read about here. I did not want to entirely skip over it at home, so I rotated in a toy boat, a Fisher Price "Noach" and some plastic animals to our bathtub playtime. To incorporate the idea of the rainbow both to learning about the creation of the Shamayim and to Parshas Noach ,I also prepped some colorful Shabbos treats...
Rainbow salad...

Rainbow fruit salad...

...and a chocolate cake with rainbow icing...definitely not the healthiest of the three options, but certainly the most beloved!

I covered our dining room table in white craft paper so S could decorate our Shabbos table with our favorite rainbow themed art materials and stickers...

Both boys have been enjoying our play stations. I've been preparing sensory bottles for each of the days (mainly with Y in mind, but S still enjoys these as well).

Day 1: water (dyed black with a bit of paint) and vegetable oil for Dark & Light
Day 2: blue dyed dry rice and cotton ball clouds

I especially love the small sized Gatorade bottles for sensory bottles. They are the perfect size for little hands! So when my husband came home with a pack before Yom Kippur, he saw an easier fast and I saw a future play at home project! I always hot glue and/or duct tape the caps to securely seal them. Numeral stickers help identify the day of Creation on each cap.

 On the topic of colorful rainbows and clouds, we've all been a bit under the weather here since the end of the High Holidays. It started with four green noses and progressed to five pink eyes. (Don't even ask... My preschooler is bringing germs home like a first year teacher!) We've kept many of our afternoon play sessions very low key, and that has been quite lovely nonetheless. For Day 2, we did some cloud themed sensory play using shaving cream and blue & green paint inside our water table. There's a great science experiment and story stretcher you could add in if you wish that I posted here.

I had no audible voice for reading a story that day, but S loved using a plastic fork to marble the paint inside the shaving cream and afterward got his hands into it as well! I like to make the most of my activities, so before he really had at it, I took a piece of white cardstock and made a print over top of the shaving cream. I used a squeegee to scrape off the excess back into the sensory table and allowed the beautiful marble-painted paper to dry. It would be perfect for use in our process art Days of Creation Counting Book.

 We've been creating a page with each of the days, along with a title page and this introductory page along to the song below, one of our favorite Bereishit themed songs:

(t.t.t.o. "This Old Man")

Hashem created a world so fine, 
He did it all in six days' time
How did He do it? What did He do?
Each day He made something new...

On Yom Rishon, there was dark and light
Hashem made the day and Hashem made the night,
On Yom Sheini, up very, very high, 
Hashem created the big, blue sky!

On Yom Shlishi, the rivers and the seas,
And from the earth grew flowers and trees,
On Yom R'vee'ee, the sun so bright
The moon and stars just for the night.

On Yom Chamishi, the fish in the sea
And way up high the birds in the breeze
On Yom Shishi, big animals and small,
Adam and Chava, most important of all!

On Yom Shabbat, Hashem worked no more
So we should know what this day is for,
A day of rest is the rule,
We learn Torah and go to shul!

Here's a peek back at our Day 1 page, white (light) chalk and crayons drawn onto black (dark) paper...

For Day 2, I set out "cloud paint brushes" in white paint. Simply pinch a cotton ball between a clothespin for these super simple paint dabbers! They are always a big hit and great fine motor practice for little hands. (Even Y was able to use it with some extra help from me.)

We are gearing up for another day of play here and will surely be back to post about it. In between our organized play sessions, S has really enjoyed this makeshift DIY Days of Creation garland. I printed out the beautiful clipart for free from this website and laminated/cut out the circles for each day. I hung some yarn across our deep freezer with magnets (we use every inch of available space here!) and wrote numerals 1-7 on clothes pins. An envelope placed below is great for holding on to the pieces between play. Both fine motor and math/sequencing skills are called into play with this activity, but your little one will likely be having too much fun playing to even notice he is learning, too!

Happy Playing!

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