Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

I can't believe we are halfway through February already! Time flies when you are reading and crafting and playing your days away. And what are we reading these days? That would be:

Sammy Spider's First Shabbat by Sylvia A. Rouss

I love Shabbat (Sabbath). One day every week where I not only don't have to do "work," but I am not allowed to! A mandated day of rest. How lovely... And the celebration of Shabbat is such a wonderful family time. We always have Shabbat dinner together, and it has already become a tradition which Little Girl enjoys, too.

For about a year now (maybe more...) I have been making challah almost every week for Shabbat dinner. It is a traditional bread to eat on Friday nights as a part of the ceremonial welcoming of the sabbath. Little Girl has been helping me make my challahs for as long as she's been alive I think. At the end of this book there is a recipe for challah. We decided to make it together after reading all about Sammy Spider's first Shabbat.

Happy reading, happy baking, and happy restful reading with your little ones! Let us know how you celebrate and relax together!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

If You Give a Moose a Muffin

For the start of February I decided to combine two of the things I do with Little Girl the most into one Book Club event: reading and baking! We are reading (and eating our way through):

This is a book I have loved for years. The whole series of them, in fact, are among those which I used to consider stand-bys when I used to lead storytime. These are great books to help children understand the idea of cause and effect, which is how I would use them in the classroom. But Little Girl is still a little young for that concept. So we have stuck to more concrete activities.

The first thing we did was, of course, baking muffins! (And, no, not from a mix.) We had been having some very snowy days, which meant Hubby was home and working hard to shovel. Me being pregnant, and someone having to play with Little Girl, meant that I needed something to do inside...! We made apple-cranberry muffins, which were a real treat right out of the oven. Unfortunately our camera battery died partway through the mixing process, so there aren't as many pictures as I would have wanted, but you'll get the idea of the fun and the yumminess from these!

Little Girl is turning into such a great kitchen helper! And she totally understands relating the projects to the books! When we started this next activity, she kept saying "Moose! Moose!" and indicating the book... After the muffins, we made sock puppets!
I honestly don't think I ever made sock puppets before, and I kind of think it showed in the final project. My glue didn't stick things to the socks, and we wound up relying on Sharpie markers to make out critters, but Little Girl had a blast, and kept wanting the puppets to kiss her, so it can't have been a complete failure!

There are so many possibilites of things to do with this wonderful book. I would love to see what you and your little ones come up with!