For our study of Israel, we relied heavily on the Kids of Courage activity book. We slowly worked through it as we discussed stories of children in West Bank and Gaza.
The kids and I had a great time learning about the traditional celebrations of the Jewish People. We particularly enjoyed learning about the celebration of Purim. The kids thought it was a fun celebration.
Once again, the two moms who planned our get together out did themselves in every way!
When we arrived, each child was given a name tag with a Hebrew name and its meaning. The moms chose each name specifically thinking of that child.
K (age 7) - Orli - "My Light"
T (age 5) - Shira - "Song"
D (age 2) - Gur - "Lion Cub"
*we let little sleeping C go without a nametag
Next we had a guest speaker. The pastor at my friend's church, is a Messianic Jew. He brought a variety of things from his Jewish heritage to share with the children.
He blew on a shofar for them! The trumpet makes an amazing sound. It truly gives me the chills! We talked to the kids about how a trumpet will announce the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus, when He comes again!
We talked about the importance of a prayer shawl as well as a keepah, or yamucca. The Keepah is worn to remind the men that they are under the authority of God.
Once again, each child selected a topic in order to give a presentation to the group. Our presentations this time had a different twist. Each child chose their favorite Old Testament bible character. Both of my girls decided to dress as their character.
K (age 7) chose Deborah, the prophetess. Together, she and I acted out the interaction of Deborah and Barak, the commander of the Israelite army.
Here is Deborah sitting by her palm tree, sharing wisdom with God's people. One day she sent for Barak.
He arrived and she told him that God wants him to go deafeat Sisera. Barak said he would only go if Deborah joins him. The very brave Deborah went with him, but God punished him by giving the honor of killing Sisera to a woman, Jael. (who stabs him through the temple with a tent stake while he is sleeping)
Together, Deborah and Barak praise God for victory!
Next, we have Queen Esther...
I happen to think she is a very beautiful queen! T shared with the group the story of Queen Esther's bravery.
Then we rotated to different stations. The first station was the dreidel game. It was fun to learn how to play. I think the girls loved eating their chocolate coins later!
One of the activities in the Kids of Courage activity book suggested making a lightswitch cover that would remind us to pray for an area in Israel. Everytime we used the light for that room, we could pray that God's light would shine on that area.
The girls really enjoyed making these and they put them on switchplates that night with their daddy!
K wrote, "Pray for West Bank."
T wrote, "There is only one true God."
*NOTE. That day, as I napped on the sofa, K conducted a class for T. She helped her make paper ornaments, complete with a hole and ribbon to hang on the tree. I woke from my nap to find ornaments on our tree that said, "Pray for West Bank" and "Pray for Gaza". Precious! May God conintue to remind us to pray for His people as we use our lightswitches AND every year at Christmastime when I get out these ornaments.
Yes, the boys were around too. Mommy had shown up with NO diaper bag for my littlest guy. I dropped off the girls and dashed off to drive 15 minutes BACK HOME to get it. But we made it and he was fed! Having the littlest guy around makes it tough at times, but I have amazing friends who just pitch right in!
And truly, who could resist just loving all over him?
D loves to eat. He spent time playing in the basement and eating upstairs. He loves the fun and excitment all around, but isnt quite ready to jump in with the gang!
After crafts and games? We danced! We learned a Jewish traditional dance, the Hora. It is done in a circle and the girls enjoyed it!
And then we did what we love...we ate! Just look at this beautiful Hallah bread:
...which we were delighted to dip in honey. OK, so mom liked it in honey, but the girls ate it plain. They were still delighted!
A little hummus, pita, applesauce...even D came running to eat again. Though delighted isn't how he looks...so I gave him a graham cracker.
Another great end to the study of God's people!
Some of our literature picks: