Category Archives: Rosh Hashanah / Yom Kippur

High Holiday Resources for kids with special needs

image from Mayer-Johnson symbol greeting card for Rosh Hashanah

Thanks to Shira Dicker,  I just learned about Gateways, “Boston’s central agency for Jewish special education,” and am pleased to pass along a page of their holiday resources.  Granted, I have no experience in this area, but I adore any attempt to include the widest possible range of abilities in holiday preparation and celebration.  Gateways has quick, downloadable instructions on how to make stuff like:

• The classic apple-print Rosh Hashanah card, but with scrupulous step-by-step visual and written  instructions. They include options like an improvised slant board for kids with accessibility issues and a quickly-assembled foam-covered fork for kids who need a firm handle on a slippery, paint-soaked apple. Plus, what to do if someone logically wants to eat that apple currently being used as a vehicle for paint.  (I mean, it’s an apple and it’s even got a fork in it…) Continue reading

Cutting Apples with Kids for Rosh Hashanah

Adult’s hands cover child’s hands on the two handles

Wait, why do the kids need to cut the apples? Isn’t it easier and faster just to do it yourself? Yes, but letting kids share in the prep has oodles of benefits. It’s quality family-time, it creates anticipation, it’s fun, and it becomes a personal reference point to a holiday that kids will remember and can build upon. Still, I wouldn’t attempt this or any parent/child exploration/task/activity if I wasn’t in a decent mood at the moment. Common sense dictates when to chirpily invite a preschooler to assist in the kitchen and when to beg him to find something quiet to do in another room. Continue reading

Mini Shofar, Challah and Apples for Rosh Hashanah (polymer clay)

polymer clay apples, challah, shofars

polymer clay apples, challah, shofars

Twee, yes, but groovy: the Duplo Rosh Hashanah.  This is what happens when I find a baggie of clay at a yard sale—random Fimo and Sculpey packs already opened, slightly hairy, and obviously from the Year Gimmel—right around the time when we determine that our Duplo people just don’t have what for Rosh Hashanah.  Now they have what. Continue reading

Blessings Placemat for Rosh Hashanah: cut and glue (no-paint version)

(See the Apple-Print version at the previous post.)

Blessings Placemat for Rosh Hashanah: the cheat sheet as Honey Pot

The all out, get messy Apple-Print version of the Blessings Placemat is dandy, but sometimes kids (and neat-freak parents) hate paint and its attendant chaos.

This rather old-school version smacks of die-cuts and Parent-Teacher Store stickers, but it’s reasonably cute and it gets the job done.  What job is that?  We are turning a quickie-apples-and-honey-side-dish into a meaningful minhag (custom), and scoring some Jewish-y parent-kid time, too.

How-To:   Print the template (see below) onto thick yellow paper (like index stock or card stock) and then lightly pencil in a honeypot shape. Think Winnie the Pooh. Preschoolers can Continue reading

Apple-Print Blessings Placemat for Rosh Hashanah (with printable cheat sheet)

A shorter version of this post is published at

Apples and Honey blessings placemat

Apples and Honey blessings placemat

There are BLESSINGS for the apples and honey?

I hear this question every year. The answer is yes. And saying the blessings can turn a simple side dish into a meaningful minhag (custom) your kids will remember.  To remember the blessings, however, can be a challenge even for us grownups.  Thus, I have devised a DIY blessings cheat sheet.

The cheat sheet can help us:

  • Spend Jewish time with our kid
  • Teach the idea that blessings add meaning and gratitude
  • Create an object d’art we get to pull out every year
  • Exercise all those skills used in cutting, painting, printing, gluing and so forth

Continue reading

Rosh Hashanah Craft: the Pantyhose Challah

pantyhose challah / real honey

pantyhose challah / real honey


Not much could prompt me to create anything, much less photograph and post it, after a rainy, three-day weekend at home with an “energetic” 4 year-old and a migraine, but Homeshuling‘s post just did.

In her Craft Projects for Rosh Hashana roundup, she generously mentions two of mine: the edible honey bowl and the blessings placemat. Then, she issues a challenge. Could someone please create and send a pic of a round stuffed challah made from pantyhose, Continue reading

Edible Craft: Apple Bowl for Rosh Hashanah Honey

Apples and honey as an edible craft

A version of this post was first published at Edible Honey Bowl.

But here is my original version which is longer and more interesting…

Continue reading