South Hebron Hills

Judy (photos) and Yael (activity director, reporting), Mohammed (driver, translator, participant), Huda, Amna, and another (unnamed) assistant

Purpose of the workshop: Creative activity with Huda at the Hashem el-Daraj preschool

Topic of the activity:  Indoor and outdoor group activities


When we arrived, the children were seated on their chairs in a circle and loudly repeating after Huda the alphabet. Then children (in twos or threes) stood in front of the others and recited a poem about red tomatoes (not every child remembered the poem but they stood very straight and formal).  When they saw us, they waved their hands and smiled.

Most children were wearing blue uniforms with light blue shirts.  Huda told us that one of the rights organizations gave them the uniforms and that the children are now required to wear them to the preschool every day. Those who didn’t wear uniforms were not at the preschool on the day they were distributed. 

On our return trip from the preschool, we saw the children at the Um-el-Hir preschool were wearing the same uniforms.

Amna took the younger children to the second classroom for a freeplay session so that we were left with 19 children, some of whom looked quite young.

In the classroom, we played a circle game: pass the object from hand to hand: the children sat on the mat in a tight circle with their hands behind their backs. The small ball was passed from hand to hand and when the activity leader clapped her hands, the child who had the ball in his/her hands left the game. Some of the children did not understand the object of the game and didn’t want to give up the ball.

We went outside to the playground in order to motivate and stimulate the children.  Huda told us that they go outside to play daily and asked us to introduce new games to the kids.

Musical chairs with hoops: the hoops were scattered in a large oval arrangement on the ground.  The children were asked to run around the hoops, and when the activity leader clapped her hands, each child needed to jump into the center of a hoop.  The child who didn’t manage to jump into a hoop left the game.  Each time another hoop or two was removed from the game and the game continued until there was only one child left – the winner.  The children loved the game.

For every question an answer: Huda stood holding a ball in the center of the circle of children.  She called the name of a child and asked the child a question as she threw the ball to the child.  The child needed to catch the ball, answer the question, and throw the ball back to Huda.  The questions were simple, such as the child’s name, the color of the child’s shirt.  The questions could probably have been more creative.

            The next three games were relay races between two teams, which the children loved and in which they actively participated.

a.      Each child had to walk the length of the play ground holding a plastic spoon in his/her mouth.  There was a small ball on the spoon.  If the ball fell, the child needed to begin again.  When the child returned to the team, the spoon and ball were given to the next child.

b.      Each child in turn had to put his/her legs into a pillow case and by jumping, cross the length of the playground and then return to the team so the next child could have a turn.  The game continued until all the children had a turn.

c.       Two children from each team stood together and had one leg tied to the leg of the other (the right leg of one to the left leg of the other). They then had to walk together as fast as possible to the end of the playground and return to the team so the next pair could continue.  The children didn’t find it easy to walk in tandem. 


At the end of the games, the children gathered in the playground for a midmorning meal.  One of the girls thoroughly washed her hands with soap using the water faucet in the playground.  It turns out that there is no running water in the restroom or the outside sink…

We returned to the classroom where Huda and Amna served us food that they had prepared at home – pita, yoghurt, lebana.

Our impression from our morning with the children and Huda was that the children were less inhibited in playing the games than previously and that Huda was taking more initiative and feels freer in the activities.


Pictures of the activity on 27-2-2014 can be found at: =Gv1sRgCNS_j8qy0sCOGA