Decorate a Room for Your Little One!

As a first grade Hebrew School teacher, many of my students have never seen the Hebrew alphabet, or aleph bet, before. Those that have been exposed to it went to kindergarten Sunday School. Because they do not see it constantly like English, the students have little recognition of the letters when they return to school in September. Wouldn't it be lovely if they were as comfortable with a gimmel and a nun as they are with the English letters G and N?

Back when I became a parent in 1995, there were no wall decals of any kind, let alone aleph bet wall stickers. My husband and I did not want to know the gender of our first born, so we went with a gender neutral fish theme. The walls were painted seafoam green on top and peach on the bottom, with a fish border running through the middle.When it was time to turn it into a big boy room for our son in 2006, life would have been much easier if we could have simply taken decals off the wall instead of border. If Hebrew letter wall decals had been available when my three children were younger, they would have had them adhered to their walls.

What is Hebrew?

For children entering Hebrew School, learning the language that is written in the Torah can be challenging. There are 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and five additional final letters (these make the same sound as other letters, but only appear at the end of a word). The initial challenge of learning Hebrew, which is an ancient Semitic language, is that it is read from right to left, which is the exact opposite of English. Children have to learn new shapes that go along with the sounds. Fortunately, that is made a bit easier because the sound of the letter is the English equivalent.

Aleph Bet poster for Jewish KidsCredit:

Poster from Amazon

For example, the Hebrew letter "Pay" makes the English sound of "P". As children get older, they learn the vowel sounds, and then they have to learn how to read Hebrew without the vowels. I was lucky...while my kids have to learn Hebrew this way, I did not! The use of Hebrew as a spoken language declined during the diaspora, when Jews were scattered all over the world. However, it was still used in the sacred texts and in prayer in the synagogue. That has changed. Hebrew is the official language of the state of Israel. All new immigrants are required to learn the language. When my cousins went to live there, they had to take immersion classes to become fluent, which he did.

This poster has a soft them to it that would fit a child's bedroom.

Your Child's Hebrew Name in Wall Art

Both boys and girls are given Hebrew names as babies, although there are some people wait to give their daughters this name until they are older. In the last century, families confused Yiddish and Hebrew, and never gave their children a proper Hebrew name. This was before the birth of the state of Israel.

Boys receive their Hebrew names when they have their bris, which is the ritual circumcision that occurs when they are eight days old (if they are in good health). For boys who are unable to have a bris on eighth day, then it is done when they are well enough.

Girls are given their Hebrew names at a simcha bat. This can be done at home or in the synagogue during a Friday night service.

If you want to add Jewish culture to your baby's nursery decor,  aleph bet wall stickers make the perfect accessory. Simply purchase the letters you need and voila! You are done. Ask a rabbi, cantor or Hebrew teacher for the correct spelling it you are uncertain.

A Frame for a Boy or a Girl

Jewish Baby Yellow Padded Picture Frame with teddy bear on the moon - 7 inches by 8 3/4 inches accepts a 4 inch by 6 inch picture
Amazon Price: $11.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 28, 2016)
This yellow picture frame has a Star of David at the top in the center. The yellow is gender neutral.

More Jewish Nursery Decor

The mezuzah is an object that is mounted on the doorposts of our homes, both inside and out. Inside, it contains the words of the Shema, the Jewish prayer that is the central belief of Judaism, that there is only one G-d. Further on in the prayer, we are commanded to teach our children about G-d and to put a symbol on the doorposts of our house and upon our gates. It is also a visual reminder that G-d is watching over us.

Another way to decorate a Jewish themed nursery is to affix a mezuzah to your child's bedroom door. When my children were born, I selected a mezuzah for each one of their rooms, and another one for the basement where they play.

Bright and Colorful

Yair Emanuel Mezuzah Cut by Laser - Bright Pomegranates
Amazon Price: $22.38 $13.16 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 28, 2016)
This vividly colored mezzuzah is one that willhold a special place as you enter your child's bedroom.

Aleph Bet Toys

One of the wonderful things about learning another language is that there are so many more fun ways to do it than when we were children. Jewish parents and grandparents can buy aleph bet toys for their little ones, insuring that they will gain exposure to Hebrew and perhaps learn a little while they play. These toys fit in with a Jewish nursery theme.

A Cute Decoration

Uncle Goose Hebrew Blocks - Made in USA
Amazon Price: $43.00 $36.94 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 28, 2016)
When babies are little these can be used as decor, spelling out the child's name. Once she or he is old enough to play with them, they become a toy!

Decorating your child's nursery with a Judaic theme is a sweet way for your child to go to be dand awaken each day.