created at: 2013-03-22We recently bid l’hitraot (see you later) to our Haifa colleagues after an incredible week together during the Boston-Haifa Early Childhood Educators Exchange, which is co-sponsored by CJP. Boston and Haifa educators learned together, collaborated on curriculum and strengthened our professional and personal bonds. All of us came away with a greater appreciation for Israel, the Boston Jewish community and the connection between us.

Before they returned home, I asked our Haifa partner, Nona Zazyan, how her school celebrates Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Independence Day). Nona said they choose a theme each year, and she suggested activities related to the theme of “HaDegel Sheli” (my flag). Here are some ideas from Nona and from our preschool:

  • Give children 5×8 clear stiff plastic sheets and white and blue Fimo clay. Put a model of the Israeli flag on the table. Help kids press down the white Fimo as the background. Then roll out long blue “snakes” and add the stripes and the star. You can also try this with blue and white Crayola Model Magic or homemade play dough.
  • If you’re having a group gathering, ask some people to wear blue and others to wear white to make a human “flag” for a photo.
  • Use blue and white as theme colors for the day and have fun competitions between blue and white “teams.”
  • Display an Israeli flag and have kids reproduce it with construction paper, scissors and glue sticks. Older kids can assemble the flags, and younger kids can glue the collage materials on cardstock.
  • Play “Red Light, Green Light” using Hebrew words instead (“kahol” for blue and “lavan” for white).
  • Make and enjoy blue-and-white snacks: vanilla yogurt and blueberry parfaits, rice cakes with cream cheese and blueberries, pound cake with vanilla frosting and blue sprinkles.

Find more Israel Independence Day kids’ activities here.