How lovely it is to have had our first true snow! It is truly magical to watch our children's joy and connection to nature as they engage in serious play and discovery through constructing, destructing and frolicking in the beautiful white stuff!
Within our curriculum, this big Jewish idea of the earth as a natural wonder and the practice of blessing natural phenomena is front and center. Even though our ancestors from biblical times were more apt to experience warmer temperatures, and snow was probably very rare, we know in modern times it can happen once in a while. In fact, when Hagit and I were in Israel around this time last year, we experienced light snow falling as we walked in Jerusalem one evening. It truly was an incredible experience that deserved a special thanks. Luckily, as HaMorah Hagit always assures me, "we can find a blessing for that!"
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם עוֹשֶׂה מַעֲשֶׂה בְּרֵאשִׁית
.Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, maker of the works of creation
As we move into these winter wonderland days, it is important that our students are well prepared to utilize our fabulous outside learning environments. Our EC team consulted with an early childhood outdoor education specialist earlier this year and learned a lot about what can be helpful for the children to not only be dressed in a way that allows them to be warm and comfortable outside but also to gain independence in getting on and off their own personal gear
Some of these tips included dressing for success: warm, water-resistant at minimum/waterproof preferred outer layers (jacket and snow pants), wool socks, waterproof mittens (those cute knit ones don't keep little hands dry or warm), sturdy waterproof snow boots and a warm hat. Please do review your child's winter gear so they can be prepared for long stretches of outside play each day. Labeling those items would also be helpful!
In terms of independence, we use this visual to help our students know what order to put on/takeoff their gear. You might want to use this, too!
We hope you don't let the fun stop at school! Outdoor play with your child is a great way to survive the COVID restrictions we are all facing and there are endless things to do outside in the winter when your gear helps you stay warm and dry!