AT GAN HAYELED PRESCHOOL, we focus on doing things as safely, kindly, and mindfully as possible. By being mindful, we think about what we are doing. Each year as Rosh Hashanah approaches, we go through a process of reflection and Teshuva with our preschoolers. The steps below are something you could replicate at home.
First, we ask the children if there was ever a moment that they felt they might not have done something safely, kindly, or mindfully. We go through various scenarios, and they usually come up with something along the lines of not sharing, hitting, yelling, taking something, etc. We ask them to illustrate and/or write about that memory.
After they illustrate it, we act out the scenario. They also think about how it made the other people feel and why. We are constantly focusing on the social/emotional component, so we also use our visuals (feeling faces) to help identify their feelings.
Then we reflect and think about what could have been done differently and act out what that would look like. Sometimes, we can think of words that would help in the situation, such as are you ok, I'm sorry, and that didn't feel good!
Once we have gone through the whole process, the children trade in their illustrations for seeds. We walk to the nearby pond, share our thoughts, and throw the seed in the pond!
Gan HaYeled Preschool is a program of the Jewish Federation of Madison, for children 18 months through 5 years old of all backgrounds.