To bring to life the dead space between fall Jewish holidays and winter Jewish holidays: The Gingerbread Golem. Continue reading
Lite Brite shin
Maybe it goes without saying that teachers of Hebrew letter formation can borrow the huge bag of tricks devised by teachers of English letter formation, but I’m saying it. A quick online search reveals oodles of brilliant alphabet ideas, and all we have to do is modify for aleph-bet. No need to reinvent the galgal.
A sensory activity can be as simple as you wish: simple in terms of content and in terms of prep. Is isn’t that hard to throw a bunch of wooden coffee stirrers in a basket and ask a kid to arrange them to make a letter. Continue reading
I Googled “Tootsie Torahs” and came up nil, so I named this post to correct the Internet’s oversight.
Candy Torahs are a thing, I know, and can be ordered in bulk, kosher and trayfe, with personalized wrappers. They are party favors.
I don’t do party favors. Or so I thought. Yet, I ended up on my floor, alone, fiddling with hundreds of 3″ Tootsie Rolls. Worse, no one (else) learned anything from this project, the Torahs are way less cute that they were in the Pinterest Board that lives in my head, and they are destined to be gobbled at a buffet that will again yield no educative outcome. Continue reading
Olive Crushing Installation
This year, instead of a Chanukah carnival, I envisioned something new, or rather, something very, very old. Our synagogue Religious School held a Chanukah “Oil Crush” program. In a nutshell, we made olive oil—shemen zayit—just like the Maccabees, with a commissioned replica of a Hellenistic-era olive crushing installation: crushing wheel, pivot pole (power shaft) and crushing basin. Students from Pre-K to 7th grade took turns pushing the pole to rotate the crushing wheel over fresh olives straight from the tree (ordered from California). Continue reading
The ol’ Pretzel Stick Menorah is a quick and easy activity for a class or party. It’s educational, it’s fun, and you can eat it.
Lighting the menorah in a window
I did this last year with K through 3rd grade, and everyone loved it, which is a boast I wish I could make about all my lesson plans. First, we turned off the lights and lit a real oil menorah, with blessings. This put everyone in a receptive mood and gave a heads-up that there are such things as menorah blessings. It also provided a real, working model of an object we were about to recreate with food, WHICH IS Continue reading
Folks are asking about the chocolate Ten Commandment tablets from my Lag BaOmer post. So easy, I promise. And won’t they look splendid atop Mt. Sinai muffins?
chocolate-esque candy bark
don’t eat these
I made plaster versions, too, for some of my little Israelites on our Lag baOmer Walk. They had to “receive” the Ten Commandments at the mountain, right? But I warn you Continue reading
Lag B’Omer! Here’s a quick glimpse at what we did…
I wanted my K – 3 classes to “embody” the connection between Passover and Shavuot via the Counting of the Omer, to use their bodies to travel from Passover—where the Israelites became a Free Nation, to Shavuot—where the Israelites became a Holy Nation.
view from the Sea of Reeds toward Lag b’Omer and Shavuot
First, we crossed the Sea of Reeds and became a Free Nation. On the floor were 49 steps toward Mt. Sinai on the opposite side of the room. See Mt. Sinai up there, far away? Continue reading
Edible fire for Lag Ba’Omer
Here’s a quick snack-tivity for Lag Ba’Omer, and believe me, I need quick. My Sunday classes are about 25 minutes each, including setup and cleanup, but this little project can bag one Lag Ba’Omer tradition in 5-10 minutes, tops. Continue reading
Mini, edible seder plate
Do we eat the foods on a real seder plate? Nope. But we can eat this seder plate snack—even the plate. Continue reading
Mmmmmmm, a menorah made of meat, in honor of the Shabbat during Hanukkah.
Actually, I made two:
1) a free-standing meatloaf menorah, and
2) a flat, branched meatloaf menorah (see below). Continue reading
tangram dreidel toast
A tangram toast dreidel may prove to be my least popular post, but as I tell my children, you gotta be you, even if no one wants to be around the you you gotta be. Continue reading
I give you an edible dreidel that actually spins. It shares the chief values of the marshmallow dreidel and my mini-marshmallow dreidels—values which lie in the building, the writing upon (with food-safe markers) and the eating. To these attractions, the caramel dreidel adds the bonus of spin. Continue reading
Sufganiyah on a String (the doughnuts aren’t here yet)
We set up for the big ol’ Chanukah Carnival today (my synagogue’s spelling, not mine), and I’m posting the pics below so you can see a few of the stations. Continue reading
Apparently, I have more to say about the Edible Sukkah. The big thing is that most folks skip the first and crucial step: to “glue” (with frosting, Nutella, whatever) a floor cracker to the plate. This anchors the whole structure, it gives the walls something to stick to, and it significantly reduces the frustration factor for little kids. Building a sukkah should be a treat, not a trial. Continue reading
There is no substitute for slow food, and for making slow food slowly with kids. Yada, yada, yada all the practical life experience and developmental skills: fine motor, following directions, reading, math, geometry, sequencing,
vocabulary, etc. etc. Make it Jewish holiday slow food and you’ve got a content-rich, unforgettable Jewish education lesson plan.
Like Hamantaschen. There is a world of slow Hamantaschen recipes out there: the soft, the crunchy, Continue reading
coconut topping, tree nuts, fruit fresh and dried
Last fall, I wrote about the kid-version of edible apple bowls used as a Rosh Hashanah honey dish. Apple bowls are easy to adapt for Tu B’Shevat. You and your child can hollow an apple—the paradigmatic tree fruit—and fill it with tree fruit salad. It’s easy with Continue reading
Hanukkah Gelt S'more
Hanukkah lasts eight days, eight looooong days. Gelt S’mores help keep things lively.
And today being Christmas, Gelt S’mores also help cut the post-prandial greasiness from the lunch buffet lo mein.
Ours were made with Paskesz Continue reading
When Hanukkah and Shabbat coincide, the challah deserves a thematic tweak. The preschooler and I made a big Menorah Challah and a few little Dreidels.
We learned that using food dye to color the “flames” orange is not worth the trouble. After the challah is baked, the food color merges with the golden egg wash. But it was fun to try, and now we have orange palms for the rest of the day. Continue reading
The classic Marshmallow Dreidel, with my mini version for older kids.
Marshmallow dreidels, regular and mini
Bump up the educatainment value with a food-safe marker and a printable guide to writing the 4 Hebrew letters (name of letter, what it stands for in Hebrew and English). Bump it up even more and make an Israeli dreidel for contrast: in Israel they use a Pey instead of a Shin. See below.)
Don’t you dare make these yourself and hand them out to kids. The whole point of edible Jewish crafts is that the kids do the making. You can be there, preferably, since another whole point of edible Jewish crafts is spending time together making Jewish things. Continue reading