September 28th, marks the first day of Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah begins the ten “Days of Awe” which ends with Yom Kippur. While there are many rich traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah such as praying, giving blessings, feasting on fish heads and refraining from work, there are also many ways in which to make the holiday fun not just for the kids, but for the whole family.
Here are five activities that the whole family can enjoy for the first of the High Holidays.
Apples and Honey
Kids, they like sweets. And this is a day where eating sweets isn’t just a special treat but is a symbolic gesture. The sweets – such as apples dipped in honey – is a blessing so that the year will be as sweet as honey. A way to make this tradition a bit more fun is to do a honey tasting, especially if you have access to local honeys and a variety of versions. And if you have left over apples, you can cut them into slices for your kids and then you all string them up on hangers and let them dry out for a homemade dry apple snack that’ll be ready in just a few weeks. You can get instructions for making those right here.
On Rosh Hashanah it is traditional to eat challah bread, but not the regular breaded variety, it should be round (because the year is a circle) And making a round bread is far more easy to make at home with the kids. Make extra dough and let your little ones knead it pull it, push it and create their own shapes. You can get a simple challah recipe right here.
Make a Shofar
Traditionally the shofar (which is a horn) is made from a ram’s horn. It plays a big part in the traditions of Rosh Hashanah. But if you don’t have a ram’s horn laying around, you can make your own home spun version. You can follow these instructions here to make your own.
The Tzedakah is all about giving, it is a charitable gesture that is practiced throughout the year, but really is highlighted during Rosh Hashanah. As a great craft for the kids, create your own Tzedakah Box using recycled materials, you can follow the instructions right here.
Apple of Hope
This one is for the older kids, but is a pretty amazing craft. The concept is to make a big papier mâché apple and to fill it with slips of paper with your hopes for the new year. You can get the instructions to create this family keepsake right here.