Contact Me

Any time - drop me an email
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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3 Ways to Tickle The Children’s Funny Bones

I love to make jokes with my pre-school grandchildren. I love to read picture books to them.  In fact, when they laugh, that’s when I know that what I had said is really  funny.  Kids know humor and they get it.

Kid jokes are different than grownup’s  jokes from the media or elsewhere, so a grandmother has to learn how to gently tickle the children’s funny bones. Here are some ways to get the children (and others!) to smile: Continue reading


Don’t Be Embarrassed!

Here’s my question for you today and I want you to be very honest:

Seriously, were you ever embarrassed by your parents? Your mom? Were you one of those kids who told your mom to drop you off a block away from school, because you didn’t want your friends to see your mom and her car? Continue reading


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!


Splinklers and Ekscalators

When my kids were about 2 or 3 and were developing their language day by day (hour by hour!), I loved when they mispronounced words. In fact, I would refrain from correcting them, because it was music to my ears to hear the way they chose to form the words. I found it to be utterly creative. This stage of parenting was so joyous for me, that I recall many of those words and the way the kids said the words.

See if you can figure out the “real” adult word from the words or phrases below:

Splinkers, ekscalators, upslide-down, pubulups, Yes, I’m are!.
Now, that I’m a Bubby – I not only embrace the words my grandsons use (strangely – these boys are soooo articulate that there are not so many of these mispronunciations these days), but I look out for them. When someone says a funny word, I get so excited, and I practically reinforce the mispronouncing! But have no fear, the kids grow up and all learn to speak perfectly well, and are quite skilled in their diction.

Here’s a song I composed together with one of my toddler and pre-school sons to sing at bedtime — he who had a whole slew of words that he said in his own creative way:

To the tune of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Splinklers and some ekscalators are working

Upslide down

I tried to tell my mohzer – yes I’m are all the way

down town

I asked her to seal my pubulups

Before I went to sleep

We said hello to Mrs. Habraham

And didn’t make a peep!

Shabbat Shalom!

Have a great weekend…full of speech and lovely communication.


Zero Plus One is One!

My grandson loves math. He especially loves when we, the grownups play math games with him and ask him “how much is x plus y?” And then he gets to say the answer, so proudly. No, it’s not algebra yet — -I just used x and y as examples of numbers.

But seriously, I started kvelling the other day when he actually seemed to grasp the concept of zero times zero (zero! – he shouted), or Zero plus 1 million (1 million! he shouted!)

Kids love Zero. Zero is a cute number. It means nothing. It makes them laugh. Hey, a number that is nothing? That’s funny to them. Nothing plus nothing? nothing! Nothing plus one? one!

And then I started to think about it (here we go again, the thinking Bubby!…..). If we can start with nothing, and build up one by one by one…then who knows how far we can go? Step by step. That’s all it takes.

I’m sure there are lots of metaphors to this “zero plus one = one” concept. But right now, that is the one I will sit with.

Zero plus one = One. Then – One plus one more…..hmmmm..and more…

With Hashem’s help, may we go from strength to strength – in good health and happiness — in the coming year…Amein!


Ring around…all fall DOWN!

Whenever my husband bounces our grandsons on his knee, up/down; up/down; up/down amidst laughter, giggles and shouts of “More! More! More!” from my grandson, I feel such great joy!

I know that the ultimate climax for my grandson is the part where my husband holds his hands to support him, and my grandson throws his head backward, screaming “all fall down.”

Kids just love to “fall down!” What a scream for them. What a joy!

Continue reading


Different Strokes for Folks

This Land is Your Land

This Land is My Land,

From California

To the New York Island

From the Redwood Forests

to the Gulf Stream Waters

This Land is Made for me and you….

A song from the 1940’s  by Woodie Guthrie, and one that I sing to my elderly clients very often as a reminiscence tool. This tune is so popular that a friend of mine R. Seidel, RMT – – has revised the lyrics and composed new ones for a fun song teaching young kids to identify their eyes, nose, ears, etc. I have used it for many a sing-along with young pre-school kids in my work.  Here’s how  part of the song goes: (sung to the tune of “This Land is Your Land”)

This hand is your hand; It has five fingers; Wiggle them around now; And feel them tingle; Raise them above you; And then below you; This hand is yours and only yours.

This foot is your foot; It has five toes; Wiggle them around now: Do your socks have holes; Tap them on the floor now (tap, tap, tap..); Now make them stop; This foot is yours and only yours” (copyright 1994- R. Seidel, RMT)

Now that’s a powerful statement for any kid to hear – especially in song. Keep your hands to yourself. Keep your feet to yourself. They are yours. G-d gave them to you to enjoy, use and treasure. You are blessed.

I think one of the most important things in raising kids (not my job anymore) and in nurturing grandkids (I love that job these days) is enhancing their self image, making them feel good about themselves and helping them realize their specialness and uniqueness.

We all are different. Each one of us has a unique way of seeing things – doing stuff, and handling life. That’s a great lesson for children – and for adults to remind ourselves of each day.


A Grandma’s Pajama Party

“When a child is born, so is a grandmother”

The birth of my status as grandmother has been one of the most evolving and growth-oriented periods of my life. Each milestone and event that happens in our family – leads me to learn more things about myself and life.

And tonight’s big bash at our house is proof of that. Tonight, Friday night, our grandson is sleeping over at our house. He is so excited.

And so are we! (well, really me).

True, he’s not coming because of me – the grandmother. Nor is he talking about this Sleepover for the past few weeks non-stop because of my husband, or my single sons, or anything else about our house. The reason he is so very pumped about this pajama party is because his 5 year-old playmate and parents are spending the next few days with us, while they are in transition before moving to another country. Continue reading


The Monkey Bar Mantra

This week, I switched the screen-saver on my phone.

The new picture is one of my grandson at the park pulling himself with his little hands across a horizontal ladder atop a swing set. You know the kind of playground equipment that the kid stretches upward and grips the first rung with one hand, while his little pre-school body dangles beneath the structure? Then, he edges his body forward, placing his other hand on the second rung, before leaving go of the first rung. He quickly transfers that fist from the first rung to go around  the third rung. This continues rung by rung (with all of us observing, holding our breaths) while his mouth contorts in concentration, his eyes squint in the sun, his face drips perspiration, his fists hold on for dear life, and his cheeks grow steadily redder. Continue reading


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