May 20, 2024
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Iris Berman Early Childhood Center Can Never Start Chanukah Too ‘Oily’

The early childhood began exploring something that’s a big part of the Chanukah story and part of many Chanukah traditions—oil! Usually people use oil for cooking but they decided to use it as an art medium and a sensory experience.

They took the time to use their senses and get to know oil a little better. The first thing was to fill a test tube with canola oil and look at it. Was it opaque or translucent? The students could see through the tube so they knew it was translucent.

They filled a second tube with water and placed it next to the tube with oil. The children felt they looked the “same.” When they added water to the oil, they noticed that the water stayed on the bottom and that the oil was on top. Even though they shook the test tube very well, the oil still was on the top. Oil and water don’t mix very well. But they did notice that when they were shaken together it was not as easy to see clearly through them.

Next, they played with the oil. Using droppers to squeeze and mix it (good pincer grasp practice), they loved touching it with their hands and had lots to say about what it felt like.

They smelled the oil. Some said it smelled good. Most said it smelled like nothing.

And when the students tasted it, it didn’t really have a taste.

The morot told the students to paint with the oil. First they painted with the oil on colored construction paper. The yeladim noticed that the paper had no color on it even though it was being painted. It just looked wet. When they added food coloring to the oil and painted on white paper, the food coloring and oil mixed very well. It was interesting to see the difference between real paint and colored oil—the paint is much thicker and shows up darker on the paper. With oil, the paint brush makes streaks.

They also made sensory bags with oil and food coloring and traced patterns through the bag with their fingers. They were so much fun that the children kept them out all day to play with.

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