Huda's Preschool, South Hebron Hills
9:00 - 13:00
Aim of the shift: Activity in Huda’s preschool; for Eid al-Adha – Feast of Sacrifice
Topic of activity: construction of a sheep mobile
This was our first activity of the year. As we have already reported: during our previous visit two weeks ago, we felt a change in the atmosphere, the openness to activities, and the general maintenance of the preschool: more caring, more energy, investment in the garden.
When we arrived, 35 children were sitting on chairs arranged in a large semi-circle. The children sat quietly.
Huda, Haula (the new young preschool teacher), and Amna (the older preschool assistant) greeted us warmly. They decided to begin the activity with a play, a simulation of the Festival of Sacrifice – slaughter of a lamb by the boys who then pretended to go to the mosque while the girls prepared the lamb for the festival meal. For the play, they used a stuffed toy lamb. The children also sang songs, “allahu akbar”. Haula directed the “play”.
After the play, Huda explained the purpose of the activity and showed the children a model of the mobile that we brought with us. The activity is a somewhat complex one, certainly for a first activity, but we didn’t want to miss the opportunity for an activity connected to the Festival of Sacrifice.
The children sat around small circular tables. We conducted the activity in stages. Each child received a piece of paper on which were printed two sheep (one at each end of the page). The children colored the sheep and then glued them onto a piece of cardboard – one of each side. The children cut out the sheep and strung a long string through a hole at the top of the cardboard sheep and then strung colorful decorations of different shapes on the string.
The major difficulty for the children seemed to be using the scissors. Some of the children worked independently for most of the activity. Others were in need of help. Overall, there was much excitement on the part of the children. Once they were finished, they helped us clean up. At the request of the children, they took their mobiles home rather than leave them to decorate the preschool. During the activity, Amna took the younger children outside to play.
After the children left for home, we talked with Huda and Haula (Mohammed translated) about possible follow-up activities. Huda and Haula were enthusiastic so perhaps they will do the activities with the children before our next visit to the preschool.
In order to enrich the play activity corners in the preschool, we brought a small open cabinet with shelves and packages (empty) of various consumer products (food, cleaning materials, cosmetics). The idea is to set up a ‘store’. Let’s hope this will actually become a play area for the children and not just a decoration. We also plan to set up a ‘kitchen’ play area – to do so we need to collect some kitchen utensils. We also brought a small table to be used to display the children’s art projects. We left with a good feeling; indeed there has been a major improvement in the preschool.
Pictures of the activity – album 17-9-2015