Although visiting the temple for a Rosh Hashanah service is typical when it comes to the day's events, you can also help your child to celebrate with a few family-friendly projects and activities. Your little learner can get a grip on the spiritual and historical significance of Rosh Hashanah by getting creative and making her own handmade arts and crafts.
If all of the holiday hustle and bustle -- preparing for a Rosh Hashanah meal and getting ready for a day at temple -- have you frazzled, don't stress about finding easy activities to entertain the kids. Themed printables are simple ways to help your child to learn about the holiday while getting creative. Visit a religious, kids' activity or educational website to download free printable pages. For example, the Torah Tots website features Rosh Hashanah coloring pages and worksheets with pictures of the shofar --ram's horn -- and the symbolic apples and honey that signify the new year.
As the start of the new year, Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to create a calendar craft with your kids. Instead of making the traditional 21st century calendar that most parents think of as standard, help your child to create his own Jewish calendar using construction paper or cardboard and markers. According to Judaism 101, three astrological phenomena -- the rotation of the Earth, the revolution of the moon and the earth revolving around the sun -- make up the Jewish calendar. This means that the Jewish calendar has 12, and sometimes 13, months with 29 to 30 days each. Although the start of the year is traditionally in the spring month of Nissan, the new year holiday is the seventh month of Tishri. Your child can consult a Jewish calendar online, using an example from an organization such as Chabad, for the precise months and dates for the current year. Keep in mind that instead 2013, the Hebrew year is actually 5773 when creating your calendar.
The shofar, or ram's horn, is a traditional symbol of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. Blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah is a staple of holiday temple services. Have your child celebrate by making her own craft shofar out of paper or clay. While she can't actually use this cute craft, it will help to familiarize her with the holiday. Have her trace or draw the almost-triangle ram's horn shape of card stock paper, cut it out and decorate it with paint or crayons. For a 3-D project, use modeling clay to sculpt a mock shofar masterpiece.
Instead of spending money on impersonal store-bought Rosh Hashanah cards, have your child make his own. This holiday activity is an ideal way to lead up to the big day. Start with an 8x10-inch piece of light-colored card stock paper, folding it in half book style. Your child can draw a picture on the front that represent Judaism such as the Star of Davis or a special holiday design like the shofar using markers or crayons. Add a special holiday sparkle by outlining the drawing with clear drying school glue and sprinkling glitter over top. Open the card and have your child write a new year's message. Give the card to family members or friends from temple.