Rosh Hashanah means ‘Head of the Year’ in Hebrew. It’s a festive high point of the Jewish calendar, a time to look back at the old year, take stock and move forward into the New Year. It’s also a celebration of the creation of Adam and Eve which gives the festival a celebratory, birthday feel.
It’s so important to give children a sense of their place in world cultures and religion. Whether you are Jewish or not, arts and crafts for kids gives them a starting point for their interest in Rosh Hashanah.
Make Your Own Shofar
The shofar is a horn, traditionally a ram’s horn and sounded during Rosh Hashanah to mark the celebrations.
Children can get involved with this tradition by having a go at making their own shofar.
The base for the shofar is a plain paper plate, mark the centre of the plate and cut a straight slit from the edge of the plate to this central point. You will now be able to fold the plate into a cone, which is secured by some sticky tape.
Younger children may be content with a ‘pretend’ shofar but if you want a noisy version carefully cut away the mouthpiece tip of the shofar to make a hole large enough to push a party blower through. Party blowers are inexpensive items available in most supermarkets.
The kids can go as mad as they like with decorations by using paint, stickers, gems or anything they fancy. Finish with a few ribbons or streamers and the shofar is complete.
Apple and Honey Plate
A traditional Rosh Hashanah menu includes apple slices eaten with honey. This is a simple craft idea that lets kids make something that will be a centrepiece for the celebratory feast.
Paint a paper plate with nice apple colours- either red with green patches or a single colour and leave the paint to dry.
Cut a strip of brown card and attach to the top of the apple to represent a stalk. Cut two leaf shapes from green card for the apple leaves and fix them next to the stalk.
For the honey pot, wash and dry a small plastic food pot. Paint the pot bright bumble bee yellow and decorate with strips of black tape to create the same markings as a bee.
Attach the pot to the plate and your centrepiece is finished. When serving apple slices on the plate make sure you place them on cling film if you are using the plate, the moist fruit could be contaminated by the paint and the plate will be spoiled too.
A Rosh Hashanah card
Apples are associated with Rosh Hashanah, so they are a great theme for traditional greetings cards. This is a good opportunity for younger children to try their hand at using food stamps.
Cut a large apple in half and dip it into a shallow dish of paint. Now stamp the apple design onto the front of a carefully folded piece of card.
Finish the design with glitter or sequins, write your greeting across the top and inside.
In Hebrew, the word ‘tzedakah’ means charity. It is associated with Rosh Hashanah by starting the New Year with the good intentions of putting away a little loose change every now and then; this is eventually donated to a deserving cause.
It’s an excellent idea which appeals to children of any faith and they’ll love making their own Tzedakah box.
Pick a suitable container, perhaps a small shoe box and seal the lid tightly so the money will stay safe. Now cover the box with plain paper or pretty wrapping paper.
The child can decorate their box in a theme that matches the charitable cause they are interested in.
Adults need to help finish the project by cutting a slot for coins in the top of the box.
Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful time of the year and including arts and crafts for kids in the celebration helps to involve and inspire them.