Music and Shabbat Sing with Menucha
At Yaldaynu, we strongly believe in the power of artistic experiences, specifically in their ability to transform early childhood programs into a tight knit community and family. Music is a unique language that is able to convey meaning and emotion through the act of singing songs and making music. Engaging children through song is a multi-sensory activity and provides opportunities for children to concretize ideas and concepts they are learning, as well as create meaningful connections.
The children sing with Menucha each week, as she introduces an array of songs, in both Hebrew and English. Each music session is joyful and engaging, as the lyrics of Raffi, Ella Jenkins, Peter and Ellen Allard, Malvina Reynolds, The Beatles, and so many others fill our classroom spaces.
SPARK with Menucha
SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) was created in 1989 to help fight child obesity and heart disease in America. Menucha, who is certified in SPARK, bases her movement activities on the SPARK program, while making alterations based on the ages and abilities of the children at Yaldaynu.
Each session begins with creating a bubble of personal space and stretching. Children develop and strength their large and small motor muscles, as well as balance, coordination, and body awareness. Additionally, our movement activities encourage creativity and boost self esteem, improve focus and attention, and provide a foundation for understanding how our bodies move. Every session ends with a resting period, which allows for the children to focus on their breathing, calm their bodies, and refocus before returning to the classroom.
The teachers focus on developing children's ball skills, dribbling, running, passing &
shooting. This is a wonderful opportunity to exercise and develop motor skills, while having fun. When weather allows, the older children walk to the turf field at 101st & Amsterdam for this class, while the younger class uses an outdoor space at school.
Movement activities are designed to foster children’s abilities in body control, in sensitivity to rhythm, in generating movement ideas, and in using their body to express emotions and thoughts. The Yaldaynu teachers join the children in a variety of movement activities, including yoga, dance, and games.
The children, together with the Yaldaynu teachers, engage in artistic exploration. Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics are supportive of developing and strengthening motor skills, language development, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness, and improved academic performance.
"Children's curiosity about the natural world, their 'inborn sense of wonder,' is a powerful catalyst for their work and play. With this curiosity and the need to make sense of the world, children are motivated to ask questions, explore how things work, and look closely at the natural world around them."
-- Ingrid Chalufour & Karen Worth, authors of The Young Scientist series
In a world filled with gadgets, electronics, and constant technological advancements, children have fewer opportunities to simply explore the world in which they live. In this After-School Enrichment class, Menucha provides children with meaningful experiences that will support their curiosities and wonder about their physical world. Children are encouraged to ask questions and make discoveries. Through participating in hands-on, multi-sensory scientific learning, and children's play, scientific ideas will become deeper and more focused, serving as a foundation for future learning.