Friday, 18 October 2013

Welcome to Vayera

I always marvel at the number of incredible events packed into each parasha in sefer beresheit and sefer shemot. It is very difficult to really learn/teach all the content in a week. Why can't some of the excitement be spread into the other three books?

Vayera has the three angels visiting, pleas to save Sodom, destruction of Sodom, Yitzchak's birth, exile of Hagar and Yishmael, and the binding of Yitzchak. I could spend weeks on any one of those events.

As for teaching the girls something to influence them on a daily basis, we looked at Avraham's efforts to welcome the three angels. We talked about what Avraham did in the fulfillment of hachnasat orchim and what we can do ourselves. 

And then we made welcome mats for our house. We actually did this last year as well, but I never blogged it and this year I improved upon the activity.

floor mat
heavy non fraying fabric, like felt
tacky glue
stencils (optional)

I cut out the words "ברוכים הבאים" [Hebrew for 'Welcome' but literally 'Blessed are those who come'] from the felt.  This would probably be better if you have stencils (manuscript alefs are hard to free hand). This was fairly time consuming and done while the girls were asleep.

The next day I gave the girls glue, the letters, and a mat. They knew what to do because we did it last year, but...

"Ema! The letters are in a pile! What order do they go in?" Gabi said.
"Sound it out," I suggested.
"But thats too hard," Cohava whined.
"Do your best to put them in the right order and I will help you before you glue it, OK?"

And off they went.

 The shape of the letters, like the outside of the heh versus the resh, bet versus kaf, yud versus little heh piece tripped them up a bit. But with a lot of work and a little help, they got it.

Last year when we made welcome mats, I tried to have them paint straight onto the mat. The color got absorbed too easily and their writing was poor. I remedied it by cutting some fleece scrap into letters and gluing it down.  
I prefer the two from this year. What do you think?

New mats
Last year

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