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miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
miriamhendeles@gmail.com
1-323-243-7116

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Popsicle Sticks – Not again…

I noticed an interesting phenomenon with kindergarten arts and crafts. All teachers do the same things with their charges. I mean, why else would two Sukkah decorations which were made by two different children (albeit first cousins of each other) living on opposite sides of the U.S., look identical? Well, almost identical!

When our New York grandson showed us his paper designed sukkah (ritual hut) with popsicle sticks on the construction paper, and green strips for the palm branches, I was impressed!

Until my L.A. grandson showed me his project. Same! It was bizarre.  No difference. Same popsicle sticks, same green strips, same white paper background. Same lettering in the middle describing the project. Huh?  If not for their names scrawled on the lower left side of each project, I wouldn’t have known whose was whose.

Is there some kind of standardized project-making skill that the kids have to master before moving on to the next level? I know it’s not all about originality and I don’t want to be critical, but for Heavens’ Sakes, can’t someone come up with something new, individual, and original?

Any Early Childhood educator reading this blog, please consider that the next time you have the kids make a project the following:

Why doesn’t a teacher give the kids a blank piece of paper, and have them draw a Sukkah, or a house or whatever! Why does everything need to be so structured? Okay, okay, the popsicle sticks is a tactile activity. Teaches them fine motor coordination, lining things up. I get it. I am trained in child development. Yes. Fine.

But can’t they use pipe cleaners or yarn? or something different? Yeah yeah, popsicle sticks are wooden and resemble the building of the Sukkah. So?

What I’m getting at is I’d like to see some variety in the materials used for arts and crafts projects in pre-school. I challenge the early childhood educators to consider this Bubby’s opinion – just this once.

I’d like to see the children’s individuality reflected in their projects. Thanks for considering!


Gearing up for Gatherings

Hello everyone!

As I compose my post today, my family is outside preparing to have a barbecue. Well, that is for those who have arrived. You see, as is customary with our gang when we get together, everyone comes when they can…when they come..when they …well you get the idea. We are preparing lots of food, and I am feeling the angst of the Sandwich Generation.

Presently, one of my sons is putting the food up on the barbecue. Grandma – the matriarch of our clan — has gone shopping for all the food, and brought it over together with one of the cousins, who drove her around. Grandma is gearing up to direct the action.

The rest of my sons are out on errands and will be here shortly. Some of the other cousins will come as well, with the salad and some other food that they offered to make. My daughter-in-law is preparing some of the side dishes

My little grandsons  are scooting around on their scooters, taking turns with the bikes (most of the time) and having a great time.

Why am I writing all these seemingly irrelevant details? Well, one reason is that I am warming up as I have not written in awhile, and I am scrambling for material. No…kidding. Actually, I find that barbecue entertaining is in its own category. They can be challenging, and expensive, and chaotic, as well as fun, and exciting and fattening, and sometimes even stressful. And in writing these details, I take a look from afar at the action and events, and achieve some clarity and inner control over the seemingly challenging – albeit fun – gathering.

Never mind that my son does all the work. Never mind that it’s all outdoors on paper dishes and so there is no hassle with washing dishes and clean-up. Still – I find that barbecues can be stressful. When families gather together for summer get-togethers, after a long day of outings, it can breed very interesting family dynamics. Several generations under one patio roof  – or in our case – under one palm branch roof of our Sukkah, can yield some interesting interactions.

It can be a challenge to have fun when matriarchs manage, grandkids beckon, adult kids comment and stress surmounts. But it is definitely doable, and with some deep breaths, and some bracing, gearing and preparing, it will happen.

Ohhhh – I think I hear the rest of the company (or some) coming! Gotta run…

 


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