Joyful Jewish

Posts Tagged ‘shofar

Rosh Hashanah in plasticine

My daughter, now aged 6, is really enjoying creating little items out of plasticine.   This is her recent Rosh Hashanah still life, comprising apples, a pot of honey, three round challot, a black shofar and and orange and white Torah.

She had so much fun, she then produced a hamantaschen, a very wonky sukkah with table and chair and a lulav and etrog, among other things!  I was very proud of her efforts and finished products, which were 100% her own work.  My only input was encouragement and supply of the storage container.

Plasticine is really easy for little fingers to work with, comes in a range of colours and stays soft indefinitely.  It’s great!

Rosh Hashanah models and the artist

As my daughter (and our book collection!) continues to grow, I’ve decided to share the love and give some of our books away to friends with younger children.  Before they go, here are my thoughts on them.

Happy Birthday, World – a Rosh Hashanah Celebration by Latifa Berry Kropf, illustrated by Lisa Carlson

Book for Rosh Hashanah

Happy Birthday, World introduces some of the customs of Rosh Hashanah (eating apples dipped in honey, blowing the shofar, giving tzedakah) by comparing them with activities a child would associate with their own birthday (eating cake, tooting party horns, getting presents).  The realistic illustrations show a contemporary boy and girl with their parents.  It’s a board book with simple text, suitable for the youngest of children able to follow along.

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Apples and Honey – A Rosh Hashanah Story by Jonny Zucker, illustrated by Jan Barger Cohen

Apples and Honey

Apples and Honey introduces a more extensive list of customs of Rosh Hashanah, including wearing new clothes, performing tashlich and eating pomegranate on the second evening.  Despite the title, it’s not really what I’d call a story, although it follows a family through a set of scenes. The illustrations are engagingly colourful.  There are a couple of pages of explanatory material (in child-friendly language) at the end of the book, including one on blowing the shofar.  I would suggest suitable for children 2 or 3 years old.

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How the Rosh Hashanah Challah Became Round by Sylvia B. Epstein, illustrated by Hagit Migron

How the Rosh Hashanah Challah became round

Jossi is the son of the local baker, and he is very proud to help his father make bread for the townsfolk.  One day he is proudly carrying freshly plaited “challahs” to the oven when suddenly he trips.  The loaves roll down the stairs, becoming round in the process.  The townsfolk are at first unimpressed by these strangely misshapen challahs, but on the eve of Rosh Hashanah the local rabbi is inspired to find meaning in their shape, and soon everyone is agreeing with him.

This book assumes familiarity with the concepts of challah and Rosh Hashanah, and offers a gently humorous explanation for a question which probably occurs to children each Rosh Hashanah.  The illustrations are very simple cartoons.  It’s a little longer than the previous two books, and would be suitable for children over 3, or who are in that “Mum, why is….???” stage.

My wonderful husband is blessed with the annually useful talent of being able to make a great sound with a shofar. (In fact he can actually play recognisable tunes on a shofar, which is pretty impressive – too bad there is no need for this in a religious context!  I keep telling him he should take up trumpet.)  He was giving a shofar demonstration for a group of kids, most of whom were under 3 and not good at sitting still.  So we made it into an action game for them.

When he blew Tekiah, they took a big step forward.
When he blew Shevarim, they took three smaller steps forward.
When he blew Teruah, they did a bunch of steps on the spot.
And when he finally blew Tekiah Gedolah, they ran all the way to end of the hall and back again.

It was a lot of fun!

Fuse beads (hama beads, perler beads, whatever you want to call them) are awesome!  We found a new source of beads, including brown ones (how did we ever manage without brown?) and have been trying out some new ideas.  So, what can you do with fuse beads, other than vacuum them out of the carpet?  I made these Rosh Hashanah decorations for our front screen door and they are a little kitschy but I’m pretty happy with them.

The apple was made on a round pegboard.  The thing that looks like a furry red caterpillar is the pipecleaner (chenille stem) I used to attach it to the screen.  I didn’t realise we had two not-quite-identical shades of red until I took this photo, the joys of mixing up two sets of beads from different manufacturers!

The honeycomb was made on the central part of a six-pointed star (magen david) pegboard.

I made the text on a square pegboard, and the shofar down one side of a heart-shaped pegboard.  They are strung together with jewellery wire, and then onto a pipe cleaner.

So, come on over… 🙂

PS If you like this, you might also like my fuse bead dreidels and shabbat designs.

A couple of years ago my husband had his first opportunity to blow a shofar, and it turns out he is a natural.  He can even play a tune on one of those things!  When he blows, the shofar sounds amazing.  I, on the other hand, can barely make it sound like someone blowing a raspberry, or worse.  This year we decided that those of us not blessed with natural ram’s horn blowing talents should still be allowed to make a loud noise, and these shofarim are the way to do it.  This is a great craft activity for kids to do before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

You will need:
– light card or heavy paper cut in the shape of a shofar (I used the pattern from here: http://www.cajestl.org/documents/ShofarCraftProject.pdf and just narrowed the shape of the handle slightly.)
– the hooter part of the type of party favour where you blow and part of it extends.  (What are these called? Party horns? If you google “party hooters” some of the photos are a bit risque!)
– double sided tape and sticky tape
– textas/stickers etc to decorate

Cut out the shofar and decorate with textas or stickers. Stick together with double sided tape (as per the instructions printed on the .pdf), and roll the handle to fit around the hooter.  Secure with sticky tape.  That’s it!  Then put in your ear plugs and let everyone else go blow their horn.

Collage is always fun for young children, and it’s easy to incorporate the key elements of Rosh Hashanah – apples, honey, shofar, round challah and “L’Shanah Tovah”.

I used:
– cardboard – I used a plate to trace circles on some old cardboard folders I was recycling.
– pictures – find them on the internet or draw your own, cut shapes from coloured paper
– scratch and sniff stickers – who knew they came in both apple and honey scents?  (Mind you if my honey smelled like those stickers I don’t think I’d be eating it!)
– textas for additional decoration

Cut out your pictures and glue them on, then add some decoration (if you want to) and hey presto, a colourful new year decoration for your fridge or wall.

If you’re short of time, you are welcome to print off my compilation of pictures gleaned from the internet: Rosh hashanah collage pictures

Last year I used the same pictures and we made cards to give to grandparents.


Fun crafts and activities for Jewish families with young children

A resource site for anyone who wants to share the joy of being Jewish with the children in their life.

Enjoy!